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.
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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

Movies To Watch This Halloween

Ah we’re here – crisp mornings and dark nights, sweater weather and pretty boots, blankets and popcorn. It’s autumn. And of course, with autumn comes Halloween – and with Halloween comes horror.

Nope I’m not going to sit and list the usual Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas etc despite my photo (also most people go for a hot chocolate on a cosy night, not me, I apparently pick the cider). Anyway on another note, TNBC is a must. Get it watched, on repeat. I mean, mixing two of the best holidays together into one film??? Yes pls. Tim burton??? Yes pls. The songs??? Yes pls.

Now back to today’s point.

Let’s have a mix, nothing beats a classic horror but you have to love the authenticity of films nowadays. Get the blankets (and possibly cushions to hide behind) ready and get these on your to watch list.

1. The Shining

A classic. Man takes his family to deserted hotel then goes insane??? Nice. It’s not scary but a very good watch – I can’t wait to read the book, I believe that’ll be the terrifying one.

2. Carrie

Another classic, this 70s film follows a girl who’s overly religious mother smothers her, tells her everything she does is a sin and makes her life hell. She has no friends, the girls at school bully her, the boys ignore her. What else can she do but use the devils magic inside to fight back?

3. The Woman In Black

I loved this. I didn’t go to the cinema to see it (when it came out I hated horrors – who even was I?) and so when it finally came onto Netflix I got round to watching it and I’ve seen it so many times since. It’s creepy, ominous and gives you chills.

4. 3096 Days

Based on the true story of Natascha Kampusch, this shows you the ordeal she went through after being abducted the age of 10 years old. She lived in a secret bunker under her kidnappers garage and stayed there for 8 years. As time went on she was allowed out more and was trusted more by her kidnapper until she managed to escape. It’s a hard watch I won’t even pretend it’s not. It took me two attempts to watch it all the way through but I did some research on her and found it very interesting.

5. Beauty and The Beast (2017)

There’s something about this being a live action that brings out the horror side of the Disney Classic, so if you’re not up for a full on scream fest, shaking and hiding behind a cushion sort of film, take this as a better option! Based on the animation, it’s amazingly portrayed through Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Dan Stevens. Like I say, hardly a horror but a little scarier now that it’s not a child’s animation.

6. Jigsaw

If you loved the Saw films then obviously you’re going to love this one too. Pretty gory but still a good watch. Watch as Jigsaw tries to take down people for their sins when they refuse to admit what they’ve done.

7. Psycho

The famous Norman Bates. It’s such a classic, nothing like a black and white serial killer horror to watch after a long hard day. Does that make me sound crazy?? Maybe it’s my love for Norman coming out. Moving on.

8. Would You Rather

Omg. Okay. I love this film. I think you either love it or you hate it. A rich family invites a number of people in need of help to sadistic dinner party where they play a deadly game of the famous child’s game “Would You Rather”. SO GOOD – and a little brutal at times.

9. The House At The End Of The Street

After her parents divorce, teenager Elissa moves to a small town with her mother. They hear about the tragedy that happened in the house down from theirs where a young girl Carrie-Anne murdered her parents and then disappeared with no trace. Her brother, similar age to Elissa, was the only one to survive that night. Elissa and Ryan become involved but the unsolved mystery still lingers until the questions are answered.

10. Berlin Syndrome

Young woman decides to pack up and travel and soon arrives in Berlin. She meets Andi who she has a one night stand with but it turns sinister when he locks Clare in his apartment and holds her prisoner.

There are so many more, I could go on forever. I actually look through Netflix and go “hey this looks like a good horror!!” And realise half way through that I have in fact already seen it. Good to know I still enjoy it the second time round mind you.

Also anything to do with supernatural or exorcisms are always a good shout. Just sayin’.

So yeah, horror fest anyone?

I’m Suicidal But I Do Not Want To Die – TW

Mental health is a hard thing to deal with for anyone. It shows your worst, most vulnerable and confused sides. It makes you do and say things you never thought you would. It makes you push people away and cling onto them at the same time. It makes you doubt you – who you are, your capabilities, your strengths and talents, your whole demeanour is suddenly up in turmoil. It’s a hard thing to cope with every single day and so many want an out. I want an out.

Because the thing is,

I am suicidal but I do not want to die.

It makes me sad – the idea and hope that people could care for me but it’ll only show once it’s too late. I sometimes wonder, who’d turn up to my funeral? I assume my best friends would but what about the guy from my old college class, the girl I had a heart to heart with on a night out, the guy I slept with, what about the people I was friends with and now walk past in the street?

The problem with feeling like this is you have to deal with thoughts that you’d wish on no one. You have to go about your normal life while your brain asks if that ex your not over would care, what would your friends say? Would your parents be surprised if you just made it all go away? What if it was at someone else’s hands rather than your own? An accident? No one could blame you then. You just sit there, feel the world go past you and wonder, even when you don’t want it to happen.

Or maybe to an extent you do. Maybe it’s like you deserve it, maybe then you’ll be worth something, you’ll matter. You’ll matter even more because you’ll survive it. You’ll be the person who almost died and miraculously made it through. You’ll get better and the world will in turn accept you. You’ll accept you.

But instead nothing happens. You don’t feel anymore worthy than you did yesterday. And that in itself is a battle. You have to continue to fight while no one notices, hardly anyone checks in because like everyone, they assume you’re just out there living life. But is this a life?

I’m not so sure, a life with suicidal ideation makes normal day to day, run of the mill tasks strenuous. I wonder what it’s like, to not feel this way. It’s all I’ve known since I was 13 – it’s not always constant but it’s always there, like a haze at the back of mind until the fog takes over.

But I want the fog to disappear. I want to see the sun and feel the fresh air again, that typical girl-running-through-a-field happiness is something I crave. That sense of freedom, like I could do anything. I really do want the fog to disappear. I just don’t know how.

I think the problem is we push ourselves so hard to be our best versions, we naturally want people to like us, we try to please others and in turn we lose our own happiness by trying to create it for others. What would happen if we lost our toxic friends, the job that makes us miserable? Would it be so wrong for us to take Mental Health days? Why is it so hard for people to accept that our brain can be damaged? If we fall, everyone runs to make sure we’re okay. If its a broken leg, everyone wants to sign our cast. If we have cancer, people visit the hospital. But a chemical imbalance? It’s for attention, or its us just being pathetic. How do you beat a society that would rather make you work with tears rolling down your cheeks than one that tells us it is in fact okay to not be okay.

Because it is. I am not okay – and that in itself is okay.

If you’re experiencing anything like what I have written then please feel free to message me, also try to reach out to a loved one or a doctor. You are not alone in this.