Sunday, 26 July 2015

TAG | Sisterhood of the World Bloggers



A couple of weeks ago, I was kindly tagged by the lovely Maeve over on Thrift O'Clock to participate in the Sisterhood of the World tag. Maeve is another Irish Blogger who I've had the pleasure of getting to know over the last few months and I'm only delighted she asked me!

THE RULES
- Thank the blogger who nominated you & share their link.
- Answer the 10 questions you've been given.
- Come up with 10 questions of your own.
- Nominate up to 10 bloggers & spread the love!

THE QUESTIONS
1 What song can you put on and instantly feel good?
"Uptown Funk" currently, hands down. I will shout out the lyrics, even caught in traffic on the motorway, zero shame.

2 Do you prefer sweet or savoury snacks?
I don't have much of a sweet tooth but I do lean on the sweeter things if I was asked to. There's no point asking me "Would you like cream and marshmallows with your hot chocolate?" You know what the answer will be...

3 If you could go back to any time in history, when & where would it be?
I don't think I'd like to go back at any time in history, if I'm to be quite honest about it. I could say the 60s for their carefree way of living, discos, and back to a time where dates were proper "I'll pick you up at 8" kind of thing. Any period of time, before now, was backwards with society in many ways. I wouldn't want to live in a time where certain people in our community would feel oppressed at being just who they are. Very deep, but very true.

4 What were some of your favourite TV shows when you were younger?
"Dora the Explorer" wasn't on the go in my time, it was Barney, Tweenies, Scooby Doo etc. As the years went on, I was beside myself when Rugrats made a newer version of the show! Drake and Josh, Spongebob - anything that was on really. It was always a big deal being in Dublin every so often, because I had access to Nickelodeon - endless back-to-back of my favourite programmes, that was sheer and utter bliss.

5 What's something you're proud of?
Last year, myself and two of my friends took part in the BT Young Scientist (a major national science exhibition for schools all across Ireland), and we did quite well in it! I think I'm proud of not being afraid of who I am anymore, to not feel the need to merge with everyone else.

6 Do you prefer to plan things or be spontaneous?
I like to plan, I'm a woman that needs a plan! Spontaneous occasions are nice when they happen, but I feel at odds with myself if I don't know what's going on.

7 What was the best thing about your day today?
I finished writing a non-fiction piece for a writing workshop I'm starting here locally tomorrow! I'm happy with it so far, I'll share it on my blog within the next couple of weeks so keep your eyes peeled.

8 If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Jeans, a loose, flow-y top, my black boots, my black Vera Moda jacket and my bright blue satchel handbag. 

9 What's your earliest memory?
The most distinct memory I have, I was probably two and a half years of age. Myself, my mother and my older brother went with a group to Lourdes (yes, yes, I know), but I was quite sick at the time. I remember pushing my buggy over a bridge, completely on my own. That trip was the first time I had a proper attempt at walking. Was it a miracle? Was it a coincidence? Who knows, but I've been walking since then!
 
10 How do you like your tea?
First of all, the secret is in the tea bag, Barry's Tea. (I'm not sponsored, but I might as well be at this stage) I like middle-of-the-road tea, not strong, not weak, just smack bang in the middle, one sugar and plenty milk. And I put the sugar in before the milk, always.

I NOMINATE
Lara from A La-Ra Mode
Jessica from Gingerly Pale
Amy from Amy & More
Sharon from Behind Green Eyes
Marie from The Beaut Mum

YOUR QUESTIONS
1 What is your favourite pass time, aside from blogging?
2 Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
3 What saying/quote do you live by?
4 Finish this sentence: "In 10 years time I hope..."
5 3 things you would change "in a perfect world"?
6 Do you find it easy/difficult when making decisions?
7 Something you feel is most misunderstood about you.
8 What were/was something you were afraid of when you were younger?
9 Do you have any quirky talent?
10 5 things that complete the perfect night in.

I really enjoyed doing this one, and thank you Maeve for the nomination. Feel free to answer some of the questions in the comments below.



Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Joys of an Overthinker



Did you leave the heat on? Did the kettle fully boil? I have to make sure I get the first cup of tea in the pot because somehow the rest of the house likes to wait until a "brew" turns into full on tar. Will it rain when when I go for my walk, I won't be able to call for a lift home? I need the 30" leg in the Small size, but that combination doesn't exist in River Island, will I go for the jeans anyway? Did he know what I meant when I said "talk soon"? Is talk soon in today's language goodbyeneverwanttohearfromyouagaingoodlad? But that's not what I meant. I'm not a terrible person. 

Or am I?

I NEED CAFFEINE.

You might need to re-evaluate the worth of your over-analytical label until you've met me and had a peek on what goes inside the workings of my head. I am sure on the big things; I've a fair idea on what I want to be when I "grow up" (says the person that's turning 18 in 8 days), I know where I want to study, I know what I stand for and the values I keep close to me to keep my feet on the ground, I've the memory of an elephant and am always sure what's happening most of the time. Despite this, I still can't pick a Netflix film, or decide what I want for dinner, or what emoji is most appropriate at the end of the text, or what grammar-related sin I will commit on twitter when I've gone over 140 characters. 

SWIMMING POOL
I picked this because it is the latest fiasco I've dealt with. Water, kids, noise, people, holiday season, great chance of slipping on wet tiles - not to mention I can't actually swim - perfect recipe for a meltdown at three o'clock on a Sunday afternoon. Why you might ask, why do I bother? It's an established fact at this stage in the game I will not be accepting a gold medal on a podium, gushing over a bouquet and cheering crowds standing next to Tom Daly, but, I still have to go. What do you do then? Might be your next question, my answer; I do my own thing. It's part of my routine to keep my back and the overall Catherine Machine ticking and staying in (relatively good) shape. 

I wasn't lying when I said I couldn't swim, I literally can't, but I have a routine of things to do in the water. It's a more hectic, fast-paced, hipper version of your average over 55s aerobics class at lunch time.

It does take a lot of confidence, it is to be said, to hop into a pool, as young as I am - and faff around like I'm doing the Buckaroo with my two legs, but it has to be done, and I do feel all the better for it afterwards. 

I don't appreciate crowded pools, noise, kids jumping on top of me, parents letting their children run free because "Sure it's the holidays", stares from people who aren't even doing half as much work as I would be, trying to figure me out. "You could be an award-winning athlete with plates and cups on the mantelpiece, who happens to be recovering from a sports related injury?"

*Spots someone I actually know*

Okay, Theory A gone out the window.

"I'M TAKING YOU OUT" THEY SAID, "IT'S A SURPRISE" THEY SAID
Let's get one thing out of the way. "I don't like surprises" is the biggest lie told by absolutely everyone when it comes to actually receiving something. However, when it's an actual, place you're going to - that's a different story.

What do I wear? Casual? Do I need to put on the glad rags? Will it be inside or outside? How many layers do I need to wear? Will I bring a jacket? How long will we be gone? Do I need to organise a lift home? Will we be eating? Will there be seats, I can't stay standing forever. Will there be a crowd? FILL ME IN ON THE DEETS.

I'll have probably ruined the ~surprise~ element to your brilliant plan, but I don't think anyone needs an already-worked-up-Catherine before I've even left the house. There is PLENTY more thinking to be had when I get there.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS 
On a scale of I wonder what's the deal to why in God's name is the grass green do you get anxious over a text that has been read and not answered? The quickest route to giving me heart palpitations is leaving me hanging, answer-less. 

To add to the drama, most messaging apps will tell you when the person was last online, wonderful.


FEAR OF (LITERALLY) TRIPPING
A lot of this anxiety stems from the fact that I was always told "Be careful, mind would you fall" growing up. It's instilled the thought, that no matter where I go, I might fall. Uneven ground and steps with no railings are a no-go, whether you're Prince Harry or my uncle - I'll probably ask you to help a gal out. There's no denying, there have been some near misses, and I do not have the graceful movements of a swan, but I still to this day - have not fallen in public. Given everything that's to be considered, I think that is a wondrous achievement. Can I put that on my CV?

I am the first person who will tell you "not to worry" and "sure it'll be grand" - I fail to take a leaf from my own book. As I'm getting older, and about to become a technically "responsible" adult, I'll eventually, if not already, outgrow a lot of these worries. I'm a worrier by nature and that can't be helped. While my head could be spinning from 101 distant, irrelevant happenings, my face would never show it. I try to exercise the Three Cs; cool, calm, collected - fake it til you make it kind of thing.

Whether these were the most useless pieces of information you've ever clapped eyes on, you can see where I'm heading with it..



And sure if your problems can't be fixed, boil the kettle (allow yourself to check it twice), and strut your stuff to some Destiny's Child, tomorrow's another day.



Thursday, 9 July 2015

A Poem | "Hardly, If It All"


Following the positive response from last month's poem, I have decided that I would not be as petrified as sharing my poems as I usually am. This piece has been sitting around since the beginning of May and I have no major plans with it, so I might as well throw it up for you to read. I have been in a slump the last little while with coming up with interesting content, so in the meantime I'll leave you with this.

"Hardly, If At all"
I've looked along the border,
A line that cuts right through
The eyes and ears of dreams long ago,
Sit a while and tell me
A fine wise tale you heard,
Did a symphony of stars rise up as you slept?
Hardy, but one can hope.

Around the fire at dusk,
We know the lives we've led,
The singing flames have calmed.
As children we'd wheel and scream
Testing the elements.
Would you put your hand in the fire,
If I did so too?
We are as brave as we want to be,
Hardly supernatural.

The road is long enough,
If you miss the signs on your way,
They chose to discard themselves
When I set foot on this soil.
But I'll make it to suit my means,
No bends can bound the soul
If I can write my name in the sand,
I shall be content.
Hardly the end of the world.

Monday, 6 July 2015

June Favourites


Stall the mini digger for a second, is June gone already? I'm a month down on my summer holidays and I feel like I have done nothing, as well as everything. I went to Dublin, and ended up having my first cup of coffee, it wasn't the most enjoyable beverage in the world but I can see why people drink it; the energy. I used up two One for All vouchers that have been staring at me since who knows when. I wrote like a mad woman since I got my school holidays and shared a poem on my blog for the first time.

The pick of the mix for my monthly favourites is as random as ever, enjoy!

BRITNEY SPEARS | FANTASY PERFUME

You can say what you like about her, or her music, but one thing she is getting right is her fragrances. I had ran out of my two favourite scents, and I can't seem to be able to find them anywhere. I spotted a 100ml bottle (parfum version) of this for 35 euro, which, I thought was good value for money. I have bought it in the past for friends as gifts and never owned it myself. I'm not crazy about the packaging, but it's what's inside the bottle that counts. It has a lovely cocoa-y, musky, but feminine scent. It's not overpowering and I am still able to smell it off my clothes at the end of the day. I've gotten a lot of compliments since wearing this, it's a daily staple.

BOOTS BOTANICS | HOT CLOTH CLEANSING BALM

I've started to take a more nourishing approach to my skin over the month of June. I found that using strong foam washes, even with salicylic acid, it wasn't doing the trick. I had heard great things about the Boots Botanics range. 

The balm is 97% organic with nourishing rosehip, shea butter and jojoba oil, leaves my skin feeling cleansed and properly looked after. It does leave a slight residue as it is a balm, but after I teamed it up with my moisturiser it wasn't a problem. It does come with its own muslin cloth, however I prefer the regular face cloths I have at home. It's great at removing make up, it simply melts the mask away in your hands! When using this, I steam my face for a couple of minutes with a wash cloth, then massage the product in (and a little bit goes a long way), I steam my face again with warm water for two minutes, rinse and splash a bit of cold water to close the pores. After five weeks of use, it's on it's last legs!

FAMILY
At the beginning of the month, one of my mother's relations came over from England and we met up in my aunt's house. I always love to meet new people, family members or otherwise. It is amazing how you can feel like you've known someone for an incredible amount of time at the first encounter. 

Towards the end of June - I was reunited with my cousin and long-life-partner in crime, Kate. Dare I need to say any more?

GETTING FIT
May wasn't an easy month for me health-wise. I felt I was ran down, exhausted and generally not as physically able for getting up to things that I would have been used to. June was definitely dedicated to getting back in the game and strong again. I have reverted to my regular walks and have been pleasantly surprised at the pace I've been doing! I live in a very hilly area so the walk home is without a doubt, a fairly demanding quest. I've also been sticking to my regular exercise regime and I'm able to see some slight results. Fingers crossed the weather will improve so I can have my daily trot out!

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
If you haven't jumped on the bandwagon, I would seriously question where you are with your life right now. The third series of OITNB was far more enjoyable than the previous one. I liked the fact it was less revolved around Piper, and we got to see more of an insight into the other inmates. The only bee in the bonnet I have is, I feel the Norma storyline was dragged out a bit too far, another two or three scenarios could have happened in that time! Still though, I really enjoyed it and finished it off in a week and a half, which is good going for me.

Who remembers this scene?





What have you been loving this month?