Self Care Ideas

Become a priority in your life.

There seems to be this enigma where self care becomes selfish, or a waste of time. It’s as if you can’t win, be happy but don’t take time for yourself. The truth is, it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself. This is the thing that’ll make you feel much more like you and less like a disintegrating shell.

Whether they like you to believe it or not, everybody needs some self care and will need it relatively regularly in order to continue their normal life.

As it’s coming up to Christmas, everyone expects you to be enthralled with the entire season and yet that’s usually never the case. Christmas is hard. Christmas is testing and stressful, it’s trying to save pennies while buying loved ones gifts, it’s working overtime because it’s so busy, it’s arranging to see everyone before the big day, it’s hours of writing and sending cards, it’s busy and it’s invigorating. It’s also emotional and tiring. Keep that in mind this season, we’re all feeling it.

Self care comes in any form. It’s not just a clay face mask drying into your pores while lying in a steaming bubble bath, most likely with a glass of wine in hand. However, it is definitely a good way to go about it.

Self care is also going to the gym and beating hell outta that punch bag, it’s listening to your favourite song on full volume and ruining it for anyone within 1000metres of your house, it’s retail therapy and thinking fuck it I need a new jacket, it’s surrounding yourself with people who support you.

It’s also saying no when you feel you should say yes. It’s doing what your body and mind needs.

I’ve jotted down some of the things I tend to do when I’m feeling, eh, under the weather:

Reading

Nothing makes me look myself quite like a good book, I don’t hear any noise once I’m engrossed into a story. Want a conversation with me? Talk before I pick up the book, you’ve been warned.

Writing It Out

Some of the best things I’ve written are things I’m probably not going to publish. Buy a pretty journal, or start using the notes section on your phone. LET. IT. OUT.

Feel Good Shows

I have an awful habit of watching grim tv shows or films when I’m down, like gimme a horror and suddenly my life isn’t so bad. Least I’m not being taunted by someone living in my walls right? But the truth is, I don’t actually feel better in myself after watching them. Get an easy to watch series and binge the shit out of it.

Make it special too, take the duvet to the sofa, get on your cosy pjs and make some food. Get the fairy lights on and candles lit. Make it feel nice, and you’ll in turn react to that.

Take a Day Off

This is your sign to tell you you’re allowed a day off.

I was in a job previously where I served people with tears streaming down my face and honestly, it isn’t worth it. Take a day off, but do what you can to feel refreshed so you can get yourself back to work, uni, college or whatever in the coming days. Staying off for long periods of time may make it harder to go back. All you need is breathing space, and remember you got this.

Cuddle, cry and generally feel it.

As I said previously – LET. IT. OUT.

I can tell you to drink a green tea and it’ll all be better, but I couldn’t lie to you. Drinking green tea can help, if this is something you enjoy and keep up. Mix it into regular exercise and meditation and your body will thank you, but you need to get yourself into the right head space to keep these tasks up. So take a day or two, maybe a weekend or that weeks holiday, and let yourself breathe. You’ll only really start to feel better when you acknowledge what you’re feeling and why.

Then, you can make the necessary changes.

Stay safe this festive season,

Much love x

Curly Girl Hairstyles

I know what you’re thinking, how the fuck can I tame my hair, and honestly like, me too. It’s so frustrating trying to work with curls: there’s frizz and too much volume in the wrong places, you can’t really get a sleek look – well not that I’ve yet managed, and you defo look like you’ve been in a competition with a lion when you wake up. You can’t brush your hair when it gets tangled and it’s always gonna look shorter than it really is but alas, we have been blessed with the mane so I guess we gotta go with it. Here’s some looks I’ve been doing over the last five months of being a curly girl!

The Space Buns

Now, bobbles and hair tie elastics are not really your friends, however if you can get one of those anti breakage/anti kink spiral things then that should work (or only do it every so often with hair ties/bobbles, I won’t tell if you won’t). Get two high pony tails and twist them into a bun, secure with kirby grips and pull down any fly away hairs you want to shape your face!

The Curly Beehive

Now do not ask me the actual name, I was going for a bush on top of my head sorta look and here’s what happened. Tip your head upside down and use mini crocodile clips to secure ur curls on the top of your head. Tie a bandana or wear a hairband to give it a little extra bit of cute.

The Low-Down Buns

I’ll give you the low down on the low down buns, it’s literally two messy buns with held with hair ties and leave your fringe/front of hair down to shape ur face. Perfect when you want a beachy, idgaf look. Keep the hair ties loose and don’t pull your hair tight.

The New Hair Day Wash

Your hair always looks it’s best on wash day. Want the ins and outs of my hair routine? I’ll get that written up, but here’s how cute it can look when you really take some time on it!

Hint: give it a good old wash and get your products in while it’s soaking! And it’s all about that scrunch.

The Fro

Bugger it, who wants sleek and simple? (Apart from me, obviously) just leave the frizz and curls to do their own thing if you’re feeling brave. A quick spritz with some water/leave in conditioner and a scrunch and then you’re good to go on those non wash days. And remember, every curl day is going to be different.

By the time my week is up my hair is usually frizz and waves, so don’t get too disheartened if you’re the same! It’s all trial and error when you’ve got close to untameable hair. Embrace the wildness and keep that condition in your hair! Try different things to keep your hair in tact, including clip your hair up at night (avoids bobble kinks and limits frizz), condition when needed to keep it bouncy but never weighed down, and only wash when needed. The good thing about curls? They’re less likely to get greasy!

What’s your go to hairstyle?

Em x

How Has It Been A Month, Lover?

Yesterday marked the one month release of Taylor Swifts seventh album, Lover, and if that’s not cause to talk about it then I don’t know what is.

Lover, compared to her previous era Reputation, is well, like daylight. In this 18 track album, she sheds her dark colour palette and snake persona for pastels and butterflies. We see summer and happiness, and giddy I love you’s mixed in with accepting who you are and what you’re going through, even if it’s devastating.

Beginning with I Forgot You Existed, Swift takes one of her final nods to her previous album. This upbeat, funky and slightly salty bop let’s us see the hurt she went through, yet the lyrics feel anything but petty as she admits she’s managed to find balance after the downfall.

Her latest album sees a mix of happiness, heartbreak, ballads and BOPS. She has something for everyone, for every mood. It speaks of love, heartbreak, family, friends and everyday life.

Along with IFYE, we have absolute bangers that leave us screaming lyrics in the car and definitely envious of Taylor getting to dance to them on stage. Cruel Summer, I Think He Knows, Paper Rings and London Boy are all full of life and dance vibes. Her devoted lyrics are so strong and confident. This on top of the powerful beat leads for an impressive feel good sound.

To stay true to Swift, she included the emotional Death By A Thousand Cuts. Like previous songs including Haunted and Dancing With Our Hands Tied, it takes us on a journey of heartbreak and loss without turning it into a ballad. Personally, this being my stan song, I could talk about it for H O U R S but I’ll hold it together. Just listen to the bridge and cry-scream.

Here with the emotional waves she loves to land on us, a few of her ballads include title track Lover, The Archer, Soon You’ll Get Better, Daylight and It’s Nice To Have A Friend. All have taken a different approach to life, none similar and yet fall under the same type of song.

Lover sees her talking of forever and marriage, The Archer relives her experiences on the giving and receiving end of negativity, Soon You’ll Get Better is a beautiful tragic wish for her mother – our Mama Swift – to recover fully. It’s Nice To Have a Friend sees a simple stripped back acoustic song of friendship and life.

The album finishes with Daylight, a song that makes reference to her step out of country album, Red. “I once believed love would be burnin’ red but it’s golden, like daylight.” shows her new experiences, views and matured point of view.

And never worry, the cute but somewhat childlike lead single, ME! (Feat Brendan Urie), doesn’t mean she can write about feminism and politics.

The Man sees the inequalities herself and other women face, how women are scrutinised more so on certain topics than men. It’s another to scream into your hairbrush, or in the car, or anywhere.

Taylor Swift also had stayed silent on her political views until before this albums release, where she took to Instagram to voice her opinions and encourage her fans to vote. She then placed Miss Americana And The Heartbreak Prince in the middle of the album. Set in a metaphorical stereotyped American high school, we see scenes of bad boys and rolling eyes, love and losing teams. She loves a metaphor, and this whole song is an impressive story based on her personal truths.

I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about every song individually and here we are, I’m still going. Yet having missed some others, here’s a quick list below in case you’re in need of some inspiration to add to your playlists.

Afterglow: a soulful sorry ballad to her love, an apology for starting fights and a vulnerable confession of love.

You Need To Calm Down: a damn good women’s and LBGTQ+ rights anthem.

Cornelia Street: a beautiful song admitting the fear of being so in love.

False God: a jazzy starting, slow continuing song on blind faith and imperfection. The chorus gets me every time.

Taylor Swift’s talent never fails to amaze me and the majority of the world. This album has seen her reach new records with every song surpassing hundreds of thousands of listens, it’s seen her stand tall from her reputation that began to spiral to the ground, and it’s as if she continued on naturally from her first entirely pop album, 1989. Her professionalism and love for her fans is undeniable and the confidence within herself only continues to reach back up to the top.

And they say Taylor can only write a break up song.

Plus, her and Joe? Absolutely adorable, especially if this album is anything to go by.

What’s your thoughts on the latest Taylor Era?

*Disclaimer: I do not own the photographs used, all rights go to rightful owner*
Photo rights: Taylor Swift. Valheria Rocha, Dave Hogan, John Shearer, Peggy Sirota.

Transitioning from Straight to Natural – My Hair Journey So Far

As a girl who began straightening her hair at 13, and did so up to F O U R times a day for the next 8 years, I never thought I’d really go natural. I tried it three summers ago and it was frizzy and short and it wasn’t long before the straighteners were back out.

Now, I’m into my fourth month of the straightening ban. All my heat tools have lay in one of my many drawers and are yet to see the summer light. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy breaking the habit and I do sometimes miss blending into the background with my straight hair, but we’re here for the curls.

I can’t say that I took the decision to go natural and embraced it from the start, because I definitely didn’t. I was unwell and shoved the frizzy mess into a bun for a couple of weeks. From there, I still could not be fucked with it so I started using a curl creme that had been in my bathroom cabinet for about a year, or more, but anyway. I then took to washing my hair everyday (as appose to once or twice a week) and putting in the creme. It’s a slow process but we’re starting to get somewhere now.

What I would say for those wanting to go natural, is embrace it. I’ve learnt during this summer to appreciate something I spent my whole life despising and it’s such a relief. For the first time in years I have curls rather than just frizz, my hair is finally growing and I’m learning to enjoy the different styles you can do on curly hair. We have things that make us, us and my hair is one of them.

Good ways to get help during it is The Curly Girl Method, hitting through the YouTube videos for inspiration and try give your hair a lot of love. Lots of conditioner: both wash out and leave in, use less heat or no heat on your hair, use curl cremes and mousse and a wide toothed comb.

Also invest in Fibreplex, this is a conditioning treatment much like Olaplex you may get on your monthly visit to the hairdresser. You can leave it in for as long as you like: 20 minutes, 2 hours, over night but it’ll help repair the broken bonds in your hair and allows the frizz to y’know bugger off and also helps your hair grow.

Some products to try:

– Noughty Curl Creme

– Fibreplex

– Lomé Paris Frizz Control Cream

I’m also looking to invest in curl cremes and leave in conditioners. Let me know your favourites!

 

A Week In Ibiza – That Wasn’t All Drink, Drugs and Sex

You hear people are going to Ibiza and you’re like ooooft that’s gonna be a wild fucking disaster ain’t it and assume the group will return as broken, alcoholic slugs that are no longer friends. But what about the other side of Ibiza? The pretty side? I think we’ve forgotten about that.

My boyfriend told his colleagues that I was in Ibiza at the start of May and they’re first response was “oh so she’s currently getting shagged then?” And I’m like, do people automatically assume it’s gonna be carnage? Or that I’m carnage? I mean, it was a little ridiculous and I am a slight liability but give us some credit guys, you can hit up Ibiza without ruining your life.

So sure enough, todays chat is all about my week trip to Ibiza which saw no drugs, no sex and only *cough* a little alcohol – and lots of sight seeing!

I spent my week with my cousin, who’s my best friend and to be honest, basically my sister, in the quiet resort of Portinatx – a pretty beach town north of the wild San Antonio. We stayed in the lovely Portinatx Beach Hotel which is a quick 15 minute walk from the centre and a 5 minute walk from the first beach. The hotel was a gorgeous summery white, with a rooftop terrace looking out to the sea, the opportunity to partake in water sports or just chill on a lounger with a – slightly watered down – cocktail in hand.

There was a blissful relaxation aura around the place and you’d forget you were in one of the most popular party islands. I’m warning you now, if you want clubs and all sorts, Portinatx isn’t the place for you. If you want sunbathing and pretty scenes, maybe give this place a go.

With nothing planned, we accepted it was a holiday for getting a tan. Many of the days we lay by the pool or on the beach, but we still managed to go sea kayaking, jump off a cliff and venture on a 7 mile hike in between. Oh, and get very drunk in a karaoke bar.

If you go to Portinatx, hit up Vincent’s Bar and say hi to Paul for us. He’s the angel who made our holiday – and the little devil that came up with the 7 mile hike plan and took us round a mountain the morning after drinking until 4am – and can get anyone up to sing. Including me. Crawling back to my hole now don’t worry.

Portinatx has quite the handful of restaurants and shops too, enough to keep you going on your weeks holiday. You can munch on the traditional Spanish food, and I recommend the paella, as well as your well known pub dishes. All the restaurants offer a variety of drinks and cocktails to keep you going too so you never really have to be without a drink.

Also, I don’t know if I’m really selling this as the chilled holiday I made it out to be in the title? Maybe not.

Okay, it’s the holiday that wasn’t clubs, drugs and sex.

Better.

I wholeheartedly don’t think I can pick a highlight, it wouldn’t be fair. The scenes took my breath away, the people made me cry-laugh, the drink got me drunk – and singing, the company allowed me to relax. There’s nothing better than a holiday that leaves you wishing for longer, or wishing you could send for your things and  just continue a life out there. Who wants a boring office job when you could be pouring drinks in a glorious beach town in the north side of Ibiza? SIGN ME UP.

We made so many friends and so many memories and if I could do it all again, I certainly would. Don’t knock a chilled holiday in Ibiza until you try it babe.

Abortion Is A Personal Choice, Not a Legal Debate

The world is divided by a number of things – religion, race, Trump supporters vs. Trump opposers, does pineapple belong on pizza, is water actually wet – just log onto Twitter and watch your timeline flood itself with different ideas.

One thing the world is still very divided on however, is abortion. Many countries do not want to see it legalised, some are taking the right away and others are trying very hard to keep their grasp on it. It is becoming a vastly talked about debate and many are sure it should be made illegal. I completely disagree.

Nearly every young woman has had a pregnancy scare at least once in their life. Your period is late or you skip it altogether, next thing you know you’re on Google finding out you either have an STI or your pregnant. Neither is a great outcome for you but you start to think the first one might be easier to deal with, a lot them can be cleared up with some creams and pills right?

Most of the time we have neither, no infection and no foetus. All is right in the world again and you get to go back to your normal 9-5, gym going, lunch date with wine on the side routine, without worrying if the alcohol and busy lifestyle is going to hurt something that’s part of you – possibly apart from your head.

Not all of us are that lucky. Sometimes the test comes back positive and we now have a life changing decision sitting in front of us. You never really know the emotional hurricane you’re thrown into unless you’ve had the scare yourself – and you can never know what it is truly like to make that decision until you are in that position. You can sit and say, “I would never get an abortion”, but you don’t know what situation you could be put in and if it could lead to you considering it. There are so many factors you have to bring into your decision before you keep a baby – your lifestyle, your job (or lack of), your financial state, your mental health, how the baby was conceived and if this pregnancy will dangerously affect the mothers or the babies health.

Some who have had this decision to make don’t always have their life completely set together. They haven’t got the ‘dream life’ in place where they’re married to the love of their life and living in the most beautiful house and going to the perfect job. Maybe they’re in debt, they and their partner have split, they’re too young to really look after a child or they had a one night stand. Maybe it was rape. Are you telling me you could happily have a child to the man who destroyed your life?

I understand that there is so many different reason that people oppose abortion. Religion, moral beliefs, is it or is it not murder, past experience – the list goes on. Many believe you are taking away the right of a life when you end a pregnancy and if you do it too late on then the foetus will feel pain as the abortion takes place. You cannot take away a life in order to make yours easier but can we really bring another life into this world when we are not ready? Can we bring another child into poverty or into an unhealthy living environment? Can we really bring another child into the world when there are already so many who still need a family?

Many argue that the aftermath of abortion will affect the mother in too many negative ways to be classed as a feasible decision. The Sunday Telegraph reported that women who have an abortion are 30% more likely to develop a mental illness. Similarly, Priscilla Coleman of Bowling Green State University claimed that women who aborted have a 55 percent higher risk of mental health problems compared to women with an unplanned pregnancy who gave birth.

Yet here we are, trapped in an estranged world that uses mental health as a reason to not have an abortion when there’s still so much stigma around the topic. Yes, abortion can bring on all kinds of emotions, as can any other life changing, or everyday, decision. It can aggravate depression, anxiety, guilt or an addiction. It’s a chance these women knowingly take. We cannot use mental health as a reason to illegalize abortion when it’s still yet to be fully accepted. We cannot sit there and announce that it’ll unleash the mothers depression while telling her to get over it. What about the women that feel relief and safety after abortion? Are we to tell them that their feelings, the way their brain is made it up, is wrong? Where do we draw the line?

Abortion is a personal choice, not a legal debate – a popular opinion within the pro-choice community. Do not torment and take away the right a woman has to try make the best possible decision for herself, and ultimately the child.

What 2018 Has Taught Me

Every year I start January off by announcing that it’s going to be my year, that things will work out, that everything’s about to fall into place. It’s going to be the year I go travelling and fall in love and find my dream job. So, in a way that happened.

It also really didn’t.

I think the thing is, no year is going to be all round fantastic. Life throws curve balls at us constantly, it’s a continuing war between you and the rest of the world. Some people thrive on it, and other people crumble. I’m both. I crumble and then I thrive.

And thats what happened. I crumbled and it’s only now I’m starting to come out of it. Helloooo world, you’re suddenly not looking too shabby.

With that, heres what I’ve learnt in the last 12 months.

A job is literally that, a job.

It is not worth the stress and tears. In October I gave up a “career” for what’s classed as a “gap year job” and I’ve never felt better. Yeah, theres drama and cliques and the usual shit but there’s also my best friend helping me everyday, a whole new group of incredible people, I work in a place where I don’t bring the stress and grief home with me. It’s not an outrageously good job, I’m not amazing at it yet, it’s not my dream – but I’m so content and that in itself is bliss.

No isn’t always saying no.

It’s something I’m still trying to wrap my head around. It’s something I’m working on. It’s something that wasn’t my fault. It’s okay that I feel like this – scared and unable to be comfortable in intimate situations. It’s something that we all need to accept, no isn’t always shouting “no” and if you’re unsure if its a no or a yes, then you stop.

Fuck boys ain’t shit.

I swear I have like this sixth sense that just makes me unintentionally attracted to them. They’ll mess you around, tell you they love you when they don’t, go for your pals, they’ll make you feel like you can’t go on without them but when reality hits, and its you out there living life after deleting their number, it’s wonderful.

With that, it’s okay to have your heart broken.

Mine broke this year. I feel like a dramatic school girl but there, I said it. My ex told me he loved me and two weeks later broke up with me via Snapchat. And I was crushed. He came back and left and came back and left. Each time, the pain in my chest got even harder to handle as I realised he wasn’t sticking around, that the amazing start we had was long gone, that I wasn’t enough anymore. And he’s allowed to leave, he didn’t have to stay but it didn’t make it hurt any less.

Travelling helps the soul.

I didn’t travel much this year and guess what, the little plane shaped tattoo in my heart is sad. Seeing other countries, cities and cultures brings you a feeling like nothing else can. I spent some time in London this year and it was actually calming to blend into a hectic city and take it all in. I just want spend my life making memories out with the sane little town, have a routine but always have something different happening.

Keep your drinks close.

I’m *99.9%* sure I was spiked not so long ago. One minute I was a happy drunk making memories and the next is a black hole where no memory is ever getting out of. There’s other factors and symptoms to make me (and nurses) think this without having a blood test done. And honestly, I’m scared. I’m so scared to go for a city night out again. I’m scared of what I did or said – or what I didn’t say. Keep your drinks close – we always say things won’t happen to us, and then they do. Be safe and be kind.

Toxic people aren’t worth your time.

If someone is bringing you down, explicitly or otherwise, then ask yourself – do you really need them in your life? I’m currently working on having those who really care about me in my circle. I don’t want to be part of bitchiness or competitions or lies. Take it elsewhere. Let your soul be happy.

Don’t lose your hobbies.

I’ve been so bored when I’m not crying or working or sleeping or drunk. I miss everything. I miss shinty and photography and hell, I miss writing. Let’s go to the gym, try that pole dancing class, go on road trips, cinema dates and when summer comes, let’s not hide away because we’re insecure. I want to experience it all because I’ve experienced nothing and it’s not worth it.

You deserve to be happy.

I mean who says we shouldn’t be? You deserve all of the above; quit the job that’s causing unreal stress, ditch the boy who’s only thinking of himself, lose the friends that aren’t interested, pick up an old hobby. Be you. As cringe as it is, as soon as you’re you, that’s when you become happy.

Look;

Head to toe in Primark. Bag old stock.

Ciao x