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Month: March 2017

Treat Yo Self: 4 DIY Face Masks

Treat Yo Self: 4 DIY Face Masks

Oh Friday, you took a while to get here. Even though I was off on Monday (damn cough can get the better of me at times) it still felt like Friday would never arrive. Yesterday my head felt like it was ready to spin off my neck; my brain was fried and my body was tired. In spite of being ready for bed as soon as I woke up, I managed to take myself off to the gym after work but the world is cruel and I got stuck in the worst traffic I have experienced in months. It took me an hour and 10 minutes to travel 5 miles and when I arrived late to my PT session I nearly cried. Actually feel teary writing about it so yes, I am more than ready for the weekend.

 

This weekend I am ready to treat myself and so should you! A wee pamper session is great for the soul especially in this inbetween-y time of year when our skin can be a little more vulnerable to change. I notice my skin suffers in between the seasons, especially my face that seems to get dull and tired (and makes the need for make up that more necessary). Face masks are a great way to bring my skin back to life and it feels like such a treat when I’m in my PJ’s on a Friday night with my fluffy socks on and a big fat glass of wine in my hand – yes I know I am a rockstar. 

 

It’s so easy to go straight to cosmetics when looking for a decent face mask but it can also mean spending more cash than we can afford. This week, instead of turning to my very shallow purse I thought I’d turn to my kitchen and research if anything in there would do me any good. I have tried introducing natural ingredients in to my routine before and I saw the benefits then so I thought creating my own face masks might do the trick. And they did!

 

If you’re like me and have sensitive skin then give some of the below combinations a whirl. Reducing the amount of chemicals, artificial colours and fillers in our beauty regime will help relieve our skin of irritation and not only that, it will reduce the environmental impact we have on this lovely planet of ours – win win!!

 

Before you prepare for your cosy night in this Friday, I do have a few words of caution:

  • Be prepared for mess – do not wear your posh PJ’s because you will more than likely get drippage. Best to wear your old t-shirt and lie flat while the mask dries!
  • Be careful with the turmeric – this stuff stains like a motherlover and you should definitely NOT wear white.
  • Have a bath while it’s drying – not just because it’ll help you feel even more rejuvenated but also because of the drippage and you might get the odd bit of honey in your hair. I prescribe some bath salts, your favourite podcast and some candles because you’re fabulous.
  • Some of the masks serve as a handy snack while you’re waiting for them to dry – you’re welcome.

Enjoy your masks and let me know if you have any natural recipes your own – lots of room for inspiration over here!

And have a lovely weekend 🙂


4 DIY Face Masks

Avocado, Honey & Yoghurt Face Mask 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tbsp raw honey

Avocados are great in this transitioning time as they moisturise the skin and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids – fancy pants. Also, yoghurt is a gentle exfoliant and honey is a natural antibacterial so all of the good things are in here.

Mix the ingredients together, slap on your face for 10-15 mins and then wash off with warm water. Ta-da! Use this method for all your masks, there’s no real science to it.

 

Oatmeal, Cucumber, Honey & Lemon Mask

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 tbsp ground oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

This mask is full of goodness – oatmeal to exfoliate, cucumber to rehydrate, honey to kill off that pesky bacteria and lemon juice to brighten the skin. It might not look pretty but your skin will thank you for it.

 

Brown Sugar, Turmeric & Honey Mask

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 tbsp turmeric

Another exfoliating gem that will brighten that skin right up along with a bit of turmeric thrown in to help with inflammation. This was my personal favourite because it made my skin feel silky smooth after – just watch the flippin’ turmeric for stains!

 

Coconut Oil & Honey Mask

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Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp raw honey

Super simple yet super effective. Both ingredients act as antibacterial shield and the coconut oil moisturises the skin better than any artificial product. This mask is also great for your hair if you fancy a deep treatment!

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Mother’s Day Post: Part 2 – 10 Signs You Are Becoming Your Mother

Mother’s Day Post: Part 2 – 10 Signs You Are Becoming Your Mother

After a weekend with constant sunshine it’s no surprise I’m feeling a little depressed this Sunday evening. Setting an alarm for another week of work is enough to fill anyone with dread but I can’t help but feel content too after such a happy few days. We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather and it was a perfect chance to spend some time outdoors and take that Mum of ours out for a dander in the sun.

 

When I spend time with my Mum these days I find more and more habits and idiosyncrasies of hers that I have slowly started to inherit. It’s enough to scare the bejaysus out of me when I start to snort like her or correct other people’s grammar but it’s nice to know there’s a part of her in the woman I’ve become. Even if that part can be a cynical nag at times.

 

To finish off Mother’s Day I thought I’d share a few signs that you too are turning in to your ma. Try not to let it worry you – it happens to all of us so we might as well embrace the moments of walking in to rooms and forgetting why we’re there (it was probably to make yet another cup of tea).

 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and here’s to turning in to the women we love most!


10 Signs You’re Turning In To Your Mum

1. You Hold Your Phone a Metre From Your Face To Read Messages

I have caught myself doing this so many times when I’m trying to read a message and I also do that super-attractive face-thing where I pull the corners of my mouth down. It doesn’t even matter if I have my glasses on – it’s just a natural state I find myself in when scrolling through Instagram.

2, You Make Sandwiches for Journeys

My Mum would have had no qualms about sending me off to the airport with a load of ham sandwiches wrapped in cling film when I was headed off travelling. She knew rightly that I probably wouldn’t eat them after they were squished within 5 minutes but it was just an extension of her looking after me. I find myself making wee snacks for long journeys now just in case I find myself in the wilderness and fancy a hob nob – you can never be too careful.

3. You Wear Your Glasses on Your Head and Forget They’re There

My favourite moments are when my Mum walks around looking for her glasses when they’ve been on her head since she put them there to make tea. I don’t tell her of course because the entertainment is just too much.

4. You Make Excuses for the State of the House

9 times out of 10 I’ll walk in to my Mum’s house and she’ll try and excuse the disarray (even when there’s no real mess) because she’s in the middle of some recent deep clean. She takes herself on these notions of gutting out all the cupboards and then gets bored halfway through when she suddenly finds old school reports she knows have always been there. The women has the attention spat of a gnat (but I do love her).

5. You Call Your Children Every Name but Theirs

Now, I know I don’t have children but I couldn’t help but put this in here since I’m sure everyone can identify with it. When we were growing up my Mum would shout for me but come out with my sisters’/dad’s/cousin’s/postman’s name before getting to mine. I couldn’t help but feel slightly wounded when after getting through all those names she still couldn’t get to mine. Definitely something I still carry around with me.

6. You Become Petrified of Being a Car Passenger

Anyone else’s Mum make them feel like Schuhmacher when they’re a passenger in the car? My Mum does this whole dramatic door grab act when I’m turning a corner even though I’m only doing 25mph around a roundabout. Drives me bananas!

7. You Drink At Least 10 Cups of Tea a Day

I have timed my cups of tea to an art form which is something I have definitely inherited from Mother Dearest except she has a good 8 – 10 cups a day in comparison to my 4. I actually don’t think the woman drinks any liquid other than tea which makes me a little afraid that she’s slowly turning in to a used teabag.

8. You Overfeed Any Visitor

Especially male visitors. Having brought up three girls my Mum thinks that men must eat twice as much and forces them to eat everything she has in the house. What she doesn’t realise is that one of her daughters (me) eats just as much as a man. I find myself doing this now though – I’ll insist on feeding anyone that comes in to my house even if it’s just to deliver a leaflet. Definitely an Irish mammy thing.

9. You Hide Evidence of Snacking

As a child my Mum would have never have had a sweet tooth – something she always prided herself on. Fast forward twenty years and she’ll now easily inhale a whole tray of cupcakes and wash them down with a Fanta. It’s gotten so bad that she’s now taken to hiding the evidence for fear of ridicule. I am guilty of hiding this little habit too though – don’t open my car door because there will be mountains of sweet wrappers that will fall on to your feet.

10. You Don’t Care About Looking Like a Stalker

If I miss a call from my Mum and don’t call her back within a half hour I’ll usually get a text followed about another 5 calls. The poor woman instantly worries and doesn’t give a damn if I might be in a meeting or driving my car. We’ve tried to tell her that when we’re free we will call her but I don’t think that’ll ever get through. At the end of the day it’s only because she loves us and how lucky are we that our mothers love us so much that they just can’t wait to hear our voice?

Mother’s Day Post – Part 1: How To Treat Your Mama

Mother’s Day Post – Part 1: How To Treat Your Mama

Happy Mother’s Day weekend! And what a weekend it is! The weather man was actually right for once and the sun is shining down on our wee island leaving us with bucket loads of stuff to do with our Mums. Sometimes it’s a little easy to just grab a bunch of flowers before a Sunday roast dinner (most likely made by her) but this year I’ve been trying to think of better ways to spend some quality time with the aul doll.

 

My Mum lives about an hour away from me so I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like and when I do see her it always feels too rushed. I try to squeeze so much in to my weekends sometimes that I forget how grateful she is when I take a minute to just have a cup of tea with her while we fill out the Irish Times crossword. My Mum is so undemanding of my time and yet she is so quick to be there for me when I need her so tomorrow is her day.

 

What are you doing with your Mums this year? If you need a little help in thinking of ways to spoil her with your time then have a gander at the below ideas I have been thinking about. Whatever you do, be present in the moment with her. Leave your phone in your bag and start a conversation that you don’t want to end. Let the memories and words fill your day together and allow yourself to remember just how lucky you are to have her.

 

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Happy Mother’s Day!


How To Spend Mother’s Day

Cook Together

Big T (our adorable nickname for our Mum, Theresa) is the champion of the Sunday Roast, queen of the beef gravy and chief of the spud. We so rarely cook for her so I’ve been thinking how great it would be if we prepared a meal together. Spending time in the kitchen with our Mum is where we can see her at her best and it’s a good way to pick up some tricks and tips too. Why not invite your Mum over this Sunday to cook a feast? Play music you used to listen to her cook to as a kid (The Lighthouse Family and M People were on repeat in our house) and shut the door so you get her all to yourself for an hour or too.

Go Through Old Photos

I love doing this with my Mum. We usually discover old albums when we’re supposed to be doing something else! We sit cross-legged for hours pouring over photos from an age ago and wondering what the hell we were thinking – who ever thought crimped hair was a good idea?! It’s a beautiful way to hear your Mum’s version of events, how she felt on that day or hearing stories you had completely forgotten about. Have a tea party on the floor while your Mum tells you about the time you chucked a fit at the fun fair (or some nicer stories) and remind yourself of some pretty wonderful moments.

Go on an Adventure

One of my favourite memories of my Mum is the time we took a road trip down the east coast of Australia. She was over visiting me at the time and we drove south of Sydney not really knowing where we were headed. We laughed so much over those few days (I still laugh when I remember the time she saw a sign saying ‘Horse Manure’ and thought it read ‘Horse Manicure’ – she thought that horses were getting their hooves filed!) and we both felt free to do whatever we wanted. I saw her at her most relaxed and I was so happy to have been a part of that. Why not take a spin with your Mum this year and explore a bit of the country with her? Don’t plan it too much – just allow yourselves to be free for the day together.

Try Something New Together

We all can get in a bit of a rut and our Mums especially can be reluctant to try anything new. Register the both of you in a class where you’re both beginners – learning something new together will surely bring you closer and might even fill you both with a little more confidence. It’s important to push ourselves no matter what age we are and your Mum might be a little bit chuffed regardless of how nervous she might be.

Go on a Date

Why not dress up and get a little fancy this Mother’s Day? Take your Mum to her favourite restaurant, just her, and treat her to a little decadence. We’re taking our Mum to Castle Leslie tomorrow and I can’t wait to be a wee bit posh for the afternoon. After that we’re taking her to the movies to see Beauty & The Beast – a childhood favourite in our household. I’m a little bit excited about it, mostly for the popcorn.

Remake a Childhood Memory

Did your family ever have a tradition or a place you would visit regularly as kids? Our Mum used to take us to Gosford Park in Armagh when we were tots and I have so many memories of climbing giant trees before getting too scared and wanting her to help me down. Pack up a picnic and take your Mum back to a special spot that will bring back lots of good memories and remind her that she was once a Mum to wee terrors!

 

 

 

What Not To Worry About #17

What Not To Worry About #17

Oh my goodness it’s actually feeling like Spring and today was the first day I was able to spend some time outside after work – hurrah! I almost forgot what it felt like to take big gulps of fresh air after spending hours parked in front of a computer hidden in an office of artificial light. But today Andrew and I bounded up to Stormont while dinner was in the oven, we watched the sun go down on the city and I forced him to take photos of me amongst the daffodils – a true Insta partner.

 

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It takes something as little as a short walk outside to cure me of any restlessness or bad temper I might have been feeling that day. Today was a bit of a tough one not only because it’s a Monday but also because I had just spent the last weekend at a hen party drinking a little too much wine and way too much beer for my own good. The things we do for our friends eh?

 

My voice is slowly returning (and my sanity too I think) but it was all worth it for the laughs we had. Getting a whole weekend away with my friends is such a rarity and it reminded me of the time I spent travelling Asia and Australia in my early twenties; living out of a suitcase and not having a care in the world. I know to cherish these moments that return us to our girlhood because it won’t be long until we start becoming mothers and a whole new chapter in our lives begin.

 

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This week I plan to relish in the golden hour – even if it’s just doing a few stretches in the back garden or sitting on my back doorstep was my face pointing up to chase the last moment of light. The worries I carry around are easier to shed now and here are a few that I plan to shrug off this week…

 

Quiet Moods

Do you ever get in those moods where you retreat in to yourself and can’t bring yourself to summon the energy for chit chat? The girls in work know me well enough now to recognise my wee quiet moods. It’s not that I’m in bad form; I just become an introvert now and again and can get lost in my own thoughts. I’ve been like this since a child so much so that my Mum thought I was deaf because I would be in my own world while she would be roaring at me to come get dinner!

 

Writers Block

I never thought I would say this because I have never considered myself to be a writer but since I started this blog there are times when I feel at a loss. The words hang over my head taunting me while my brain goes dark. It’s not a nice feeling when I allow myself to think that I have nothing valuable to share but I have to remind myself that the words and stories will come again. Usually a wee dander and a cup of tea is enough encouragement!

 

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Chipped Nails

My little sister Shannon is a goddess with her beauty routine. She puts so much care and thought in to her appearance and not because she’s vain but because she actually enjoys it. I on the other hand try to avoid standing next to her in public because it’s so apparent I didn’t brush my hair that day/don’t own an iron/should never attempt to paint my nails. There really is no use in trying to paint these bitten-down talons because they get chipped within a minute which makes me look even more thrown together than usual. I’ll leave the glamour to the baby sister I think!

 

Snorting

When I was away this weekend I snorted A LOT. This is an adorable trait that I inherited from my mother and gets progressively worse when I drink alcohol. It’s something I have no control over and I tell myself it’s an endearing treat when in reality I sound like I should be in a barn.

 

Warm Toilet Seats

Because. YUCK.

 

Have a great week folks and make sure to get out and enjoy this spring sunshine!

10 Pubs To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

10 Pubs To Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland

Lá Fhéile Pádraig shona daoibh! Or Happy St. Patrick’s Day for those of you who aren’t as familiar with the Gaelic language – ye poor sods. Today is the day we celebrate the shamrock, the day we paint ourselves green and the day we permit ourselves to drink bucketfuls of Guinness (even though a lot of us out there don’t even like the taste that much).

 

Personally I actually love a pint of the black stuff and plan to consume several over the weekend while I act the young thing with my best friends. We’re headed south for our girl Louise’s hen party and I’m a big ball of excitement/fear for the activities ahead of us. What I’m most looking forward to is being wedged in between the gals. roaring over our drinks while we listen to the same traditional music that’s been listened to for generations.

 

It’s a cliché I suppose but there is no greater place to be in Ireland than in a pub on St. Patrick’s Day. When you pick the right one you find yourself not wanting to leave, soaking in the atmosphere that’s thick around you while trying to say sober enough so you remember it all. It doesn’t even have to be a session, it may only be for a wee sensible skiff of a drink but it’s sure to be enough to fill your heart with as much patriotism as you need.

 

As well as being lucky enough to be born here, I’ve also been lucky enough to have had my fair share of pints across the island so I’ve decided to share some of my favourites from over the years. Obviously there are hundreds of establishments that are stupendously wonderful so please share if you have any tips of your own but for now here are mine. Wishing you all of the luck today and a wonderful Paddy’s Day wherever you find yourself!

 

Fitzpatricks – Carlingford, Co. Louth

This is the best place to go for a pint with your Granny. It’s coming down with old artefacts from across the years and it even has a pet farm out the back to keep the kids entertained! If you don’t make it this Paddy’s Day be sure to pay a visit over Hallowe’en. The owners go all out with decorations and spooky scenes across the whole site – definitely something to be seen!

 

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Kelly’s Cellars – Belfast, Co. Antrim

As a new local to Belfast I could list a load of pubs here that are good enough to pay a visit to but for now I’ll choose my favourite. Kelly’s Cellars is a great spot for a lit fire and when you walk through the doors it feels like you’re in the middle of old Ireland. It’s a great place to escape the city pace and slow down over a few cold ones.

 

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Singing Pub – Downings, Co. Donegal

This is a gem to be found on the Wild Atlantic Coast and well worth the trek to. The place is family run and the manager, Tony, makes you feel like a local anytime you drop in. Whatever you do, please order the seafood chowder. It’s without a doubt the best chowder I’ve ever tasted and the portion size will surely soak up whatever you’ve been drinking.

 

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Matt Molly’s – Westport, Co. Mayo

I remember walking in to this place after stopping off on a road trip. We walked to the very back of the pub to pick out a seat and found ourselves parked beside the local musicians who had dropped in for a session. More and more players joined and soon the entire place was filled with music so amazing my eyes filled with tears. It’s a place I can’t wait to go back to.

 

Peadar Kearney’s – Dublin, Co. Dublin

This place has been hiving both times I’ve been in it but the live music was sensational. It’s a good place to start a night out but I wouldn’t blame you if you found yourself still there at closing time.

 

Tig Cóilí – Galway, Co. Galway

I was in this pub on St. Patrick’s Day in 2013. The sun was splitting the trees that day as we sat by the windows that were open on to the famous Shopping Street of the city. The pub was jammed with people and we were delighted to have scored some seats when all of a sudden the crowd fell silent. An aul fella who was propped up at the end of the bar had started singing an old Irish song, the words of which I can’t remember. What I do remember was the feeling in the room as every man, woman and child had been hushed by these gorgeous lyrics. Once he finished, the pub erupted and it was probably the best St. Paddy’s moment I ever had.

 

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Tynan’s Bridge House Bar – Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

This pub is off the main street but I loved it for it’s simple charm. The floors were uneven which did nothing to help the inebriated among us but it was quiet and had plenty of dark corners to hide in. Sometimes the best pubs are the quiet ones; where you’re free to have a relaxed chat and the whole place is yours to fill with forgotten conversations.

 

Red Ned’s – Armagh, Co. Armagh

Of course I had to include Ned’s – a pub I’ve frequented since I was a child with a Club Orange upper lip and wee legs swinging from the benches. The pub has plenty of familiar faces for me but it also has some fantastic live music that would attract any from outside the town. Definitely a recommendation if you’re about the Orchard County.

 

The Mutton Lane Inn – Cork City, Co. Cork

We were in Cork for the Jazz Festival in October and this was the pub that stuck out for me. It’s one of the oldest establishments in the city which is just bursting with tradition. You’re really spoiled for choice though around the Oliver Plunkett area so you can find yourself doing a pub crawl that could last for days.

 

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McDermott’s – Doolin, Co. Clare

A class wee pub that I stumbled upon once with friends while visiting the Cliffs of Moher. Doolin is a really sweet village and this place is perfect for resting the hooves and whiling away an hour two with some drinks in hand. It’s also a great place for a feed if you find yourself staying on for dinner – which no doubt you will!

 

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What Not To Worry About #16

What Not To Worry About #16

My favourite kind of Monday is the Monday of a short week of work! Friday is St. Patrick’s Day and not only that, it’s the first day of my best friend’s hen party so I have so much to look forward to (including a whopping hangover on Sunday – I’ll be sending out SOS calls no doubt). We’re headed to Kilkenny which will be jammed to the rafters with fellow revellers but I’m most excited about getting some quality time with the girls; talking over one another, laughing until our sides hurt and basically pretending that we’re teenagers again for the weekend.

 

It was International Women’s Day last week and so it feels more important than ever to surround myself with the women who have influenced me the most. I am incredibly lucky to have the same group of girlfriends that I had aged 13, friendships that have endured university and living thousands of miles apart. What unites us is our loyalty to one another and how fiercely we protect the relationships that have shaped us in to the women we are today.

 

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day was #BeBoldForChange with the aim of calling on the masses to help forge a more gender inclusive world. The World Economic Forum predicts that the gender pay gap won’t close entirely until 2186 – the year I would turn 198! It’s ludicrous to think that we are still campaigning for equal rights today let alone that we still can’t expect total equality for the next generation of badass women. This is why it’s more important than ever to drive these issues in all areas of our lives and lead the call for action.

 

Within the workplace there are plenty of opportunities in which we can be bolder and encourage change for all our female employees. I’m lucky enough to work for a company that encourages employees to network and join committees that will create mentoring opportunities. Aligning yourself with a female colleague you admire or a junior female who you feel could benefit from mentoring is a crucial way to enable gender parity issues to be more widely discussed and acknowledged.

 

At home be sure to educate your partner, your parents and your children on gender stereotypes, violence against women and the underrepresentation of women within politics, science and business. Our daughters, who are more likely to complete secondary education, should feel that any career is available to them and our sons should feel just as passionate about narrowing the equality gap.

 

It feels like we’ve gone back in time recently with recent elections – friggin’ terrifying really – but our voices are still heard especially when we shout together. Be loud ladies and gentlemen and make sure to give the IWD website a browse for more ideas on how you can be bold for change.

 

And with this in mind, I will be choosing not to let the following bother me this week…

 

Feeling Embarrassed About Voicing My Opinion

I usually shy from confrontation but I want to be braver at pointing out unjustness when I see it. When I overhear anything which encourages sexist ideals I won’t cower but voice what I feel is right.

 

Accepting Women-Bashing Behaviour

Women supporting one another is so necessary for change and we should be lifting each other up, not tearing one another down. If I witness this behaviour I will not be silent especially when it’s on a social forum where nastiness can breed freely.

 

Taking My Full Time Job For Granted

Only half of the world’s working-age women are in the labor force compared to around 77% of working-age men. I am lucky that I live in a society where full time employment is accessible – next up is fair pay!

 

My Choice of Clothes

I will dress exactly how I want to and appreciate how lucky I am to freely express myself through fashion. With more extremist views emerging, women from Muslim communities do not feel as free to dress how they like according to their own values. All women should dress for themselves, not for any man or woman.

 

Be Complacent In My Education

I will not worry about not knowing enough but instead use this as a fuel to learn more. Read more studies, sign more petitions and be more vocal in my day-to-day life. It’s the little changes we make that can make the biggest difference.

 

Wishing you all a lovely week ahead and please share the ways in which you are being bold for change!

 

A Spring Clean

A Spring Clean

Hello friends, it’s been a while. I am well aware of the fact that I’ve been neglectful of this wee space over the last few weeks and I want to use the excuse that it’s because I was without a laptop (no lie – it was more difficult being without Pinterest more than anything!) but in truth I was in the middle of a major funk that I am only starting to resurface from. I’m not sure if it’s the weather and my neediness for Spring to be here already but whatever it was it really dragged me under.

 

When I get in to this negative mindset my confidence and motivation are the first to go. I become lazy in just about every area of my life which only makes me feel worse about myself. I am the eternal optimist in the eyes of my friends and yet when this fog comes down I turn in to the person I least want to be; needy, insecure and just a little sad. I don’t really know what triggers the fog but I do think being cooped up inside and forever yearning for a sunny day does tend to influence my pattern of thought – living in Ireland doesn’t help this at the best of times!

 

This state of limbo is not something I talk about often because it doesn’t really happen that often. It’s so common for people to feel this way at this time of year; we’re all waiting for the chill to leave us and for the sun to warm our souls again. But why shouldn’t I talk about it? Because I might share a part of myself that I don’t like? This part of me that’s far from perfect and far from the positive shiny person I want people to see me as is not something I should be ashamed of. Learning to like ourselves is such a necessary step to happiness and so accepting these little negatives is a lesson I will always be working on.

 

The weather is turning though and I can feel the weight being lifted already. Right now I’m writing with speed for this first time in what feels like ages and my fingers can’t keep up with the ideas that are flowing out. Yes spring is here. Actual sunlight is streaming on to the table I am writing at and I can see blue skies from my seat. How good it feels when we can finally see the light at the end of a tunnel we didn’t think would end.

 

Of course the dark moments will come and go but they are always a temporary blip that I shouldn’t pressurise myself to get out of as quickly as possible. I will endure them at my own pace. I will talk as much or as little as I feel I need to. I will like who I am even when I feel I shouldn’t. I will be the first person I am kind to each day.

 

If you are feeling a little burdened by our long winter and are in need of a little positivity to help guide you in to spring, then try a few of the below ideas that I turn to even when all I want to do is throw my jammies on!

 

Make Plans

Every Sunday I like to make my plans for the week which can wreck Andrew’s head because it means planning his as well! But knowing that I have people to see and fun things to look forward to allows me to get excited about the week ahead of me. Surrounding myself with people I like reminds me that I am in a much better place than I think.

 

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Practice Yoga

I went to my first heated yoga class last week and walked out with my mind and body buzzing. I was soaked in sweat but I also felt like I shed a tonne of baggage that I hadn’t realised I was carrying that day. I have known how much good yoga brings in to my life for a long time but the heated class only heightened the positive change. Please try it out! I couldn’t recommend the Flow Yoga Studios in Belfast enough but there are sure to be classes near you if you’re not in the city.

 

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Do A Little Good

I am lucky enough to volunteer on the ‘Time to Read’ programme but to be honest I feel like the children do more for me than I do for them. Watching their confidence grow and the wee improvements they make over time is such a joy and it’s usually one of my favourite parts of the week. You don’t need to volunteer to do good, all it takes is a drive to make someone else’s day a little better. Bringing a smile to someone’s face will surely bring a smile to yours so it’s win-win all round.

 

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Notice Pretty Things

Being a self-confessed Instagram addict means that I am always looking out for the beauty in the things around me. Some people might think that Instagram can create a constant need to share everything and can lead to comparing ourselves to others (which is never a good idea). But keeping an eye out for the little things that I might usually take for granted encourages me to appreciate the corners of my wee world.

 

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Get Outside

Yes Ireland brings an awful lot of rain but this also means that there are endless fields, rivers and forests to get lost in. My favourite place to clear my head is Helen’s Bay. It’s my spot where I go to on my own to feel the sand, let myself get battered by the sea winds and watch dogs lunge themselves in to the waves (dogs make me SO HAPPY). Make time for those solo moments of gratitude, a time to sit and think of nothing. No internal arguments you will never actually have. No memories that make you feel bad. Just your own piece of wonder near you which makes your heart sing a little. Feel free to use mine if you don’t have your own!

 

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Do you have any methods of bringing a little lightness in during the darker moments? Any ideas that will always guarantee a happy head? Would so love to hear them!