Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Chapter 27: The Social Network

Okay, if you're reading this, you more than likely have a social network account. Whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. You name it and people have it - unless you have no internet or a smart phone in which case, I'm sorry to hear that... or am I???

I'm just gonna say it, social networks are a mixed blessing. On the one hand you get to connect with your friends, capture pictures in the moment, edit them with beautiful sepia tones and upload to your friends instantly and find people you thought you never would, like long lost families. On the other hand, you are at risk of becoming a victim to Twitter trolls, being deleted by people who are on a cleanse or just plain and simply don't talk to you any more (heaven forbid) and you may not get the attention you were looking for, e.g. uploading a selfie: 0 likes and 1 comment saying, "You dyed your hair blonde? I preferred it brunette." Ouch!
Some people don't know what a "Twitter Troll" is, so here is a brief definition:

Trolling
Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and, hey, you can.
Guy: "I just found the coolest ninja pencil in existence."
Other Guy: "I just found the most retarded thread in existence."
(Urban Dictionary).

I love the Urban Dictionary's definitions, they're ALWAYS on point.

Social Networking can also be used to find out information about a person. Now this could be for good and can easily be for bad and more likely than none, it is seen as 'stalking'. When someone says, "Oh I've looked through all of your pictures" and you have 3000 pictures? Hmmm... sweet if you're in a relationship with that person, but completely deemed as stalker-ish if you aren't with that person.

Here's a list of things that REALLY nark me about social networking sites:

  1. "OMG, I can't believe that just happened!" "Oh no, you okay chick? What's happened?" "I can't say on here." ARRRRGGGHHHH! Don't look for attention, GET attention and then say you can't elaborate on the attention you initially wanted. Two words: Status tease. 
  2. Requests for Candy Crush, Bubble Witch Saga and all other shitty games. Even Liam Neeson's getting pissed off : 
  3. Following clothing range sites on Instagram with nicely assembled outfits and the question, "Yay or Nay?" followed by loads of corrupted smileys with the little square symbols from random Instagram pages in countries all over the world that take up a good few thumb scrolls. My answer is "Nay, you're fecking annoying and now I have thumb cramp."
  4. Following funny "Like" pages on Facebook such as "Will you be on time? Will you be on time? Yes! Oh sorry I'm gonna be half an hour late", only for them to post horrible images of abuse and animal cruelty on your news feeds - this really disgusts me. Instant unlike!
  5. Countdowns to the weekend and the whole, "I'm dreading Monday morning!". This is what I have to say...
  6. Lastly, people publicly arguing on a status/trolling. Leave it out!
If you wanna read some more Facebook don'ts, click here.

However there are pro's to social networking sites like:
  1. Talking to your friends and family and...
Yeah that's all I got.

One of my favourite scenes in a movie is from The Social Network (2010), the biopic story of how, Mark Zuckerberg, created the most popular social networking site to date. Mark is portrayed as a person of sheer honesty, ruthlessness, rudeness and generally very hard up. A solitary man out of his own accord (rejecting anyone he gets close to), he gets sued by two brothers who claim Facebook was their idea and things begin to rapidly go downhill. It's the final scene that's my favourite; we see this straight laced character throughout the whole of the story and all of a sudden, he adds an ex girlfriend who publicly humiliates him earlier on in the film, and is literally staring at the words "Request Pending" and constantly refreshing the page in the hope that she would immediately accept. This displayed the softer side to Mark's character and confirmed that every type of personality can become addicted and dependent on something like Facebook, even if they convey to be above everyone else who openly displays they're gonna "add you on Facebook" or "post" something on Facebook.

Here's the clip for you:


I'd love to know your opinions on social networking. Is it for the good or the bad? Have you ever had any bad experiences? Have you maybe married someone you met on a social networking site or been a victim of trolling? Contact me on the usual places via here, Facebook or Twitter - ironic hey?

Talk to you next week on Christmas eve peeps - happy shopping!
T.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Chapter 26: Women Have it Better Than Men... When it Comes to Clothes

Hi guys! Hope you are all well this week :). Well! I went to The Clothes Show Live on Sunday with my cousin and her friend Sarah and we had a brilliant time! I used to work at the Clothes Show for four years and it was so much fun to do looking back, but at the time it was very stressful and the hours were long, so I sympathised with the workers there this year.

Now when I worked at The Clothes Show, there were obviously a lot of women there (I would say there would be 2/3 women and a 1/3 men). I also know that a few men enjoy going to the show regularly as it is one of the most well known events in Birmingham and the shows are different a fun every year. However, it was only this year I noticed that there isn't much for men... like AT ALL?! Okay there are fragrance stalls and hair and tan stands (for the odd man that likes a spruce of fake tan every now and then) but for the "Clothes Show", there aren't many clothes for the men to peruse. 

Every year I go, I know what I'm going to pick up. There are sooo many goody bags that are handy for stocking fillers, they're just too good to miss out. Yes, this might be a good location for men to come so that they can treat their girlfriends or family, but what's really in it for the man? I don't know about you ladies, but it gets quite frustrating when you shop with a man, whether it is for yourself or for them. Maybe it's just me, but I like to get in there and get out of there as quickly as possible because I know what I want before I've even step foot in the shop. Also, might I just add... never, EVER, under any circumstances ask a bloke what they think of what you are wearing. Like this for example:


You're setting yourself up for an unenthusiastic response AKA an eyebrow raise or a shrug of the shoulders, or simply a "I preferred that ruffly top I picked out for you earlier". You know, the top that covers you completely? Like this:


Ugh, rant over!

ANYWAYS, I was talking to some colleagues at work and we were discussing Christmas jumpers as we are planning to wear them on the same day and we came to the conclusion that... Christmas jumpers are the only selection of clothing that is better for men than women. Quite sad really as Christmas is only one day out of the year! 

Like I said, when I go into a shop I know what I want before I have even entered the doors. From shops like H&M to New Look, there is only ever a small section in the corner of the room that caters for men. As for Forever21 in the Bullring... the men's section is Danny Dyer! You have three floors for women, including a massive accessories section and what do the men get? A section the size of a Ford KA. Highly disappointing for all you men out there. No wonder you end up buying designer labels! When you can get a bargain it's like finding gold but otherwise, if you're wanting a new wardrobe, it seems like you have to fork out an arm and a leg!

I really wish I had an alternative for you men out there, but the only options I have are:
1. Shop with what little selections they have on the high street
2. Buy designer wear, but not to excess as surely you would want to save designer for special occasions and save the pennies, right?
3. INTERNET SHOP!

The latter is my favourite as you all know, and if I HAVE to suggest the best place to go, I would shop on ASOS 100%. Free delivery and returns peoples!

So when my cousin was here I introduced her to the American Sitcom, Modern Family which series 1 & 2 are now available on Netflix. She found it hilarious as I expected she would and we spent most of the weekend singing this little number... Enjoy:


'Til next week!
T.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Chapter 25: Wanna Go Catfishing?

I watch a programme called Catfish, you may have heard of it? It's a new programme that developed from a film documentary starring Nev Schulman. It is now a hit TV show on MTV and I'm gunna be frank... I'm addicted to it! Queue the 2010 film synopsis:

Catfish (Film Documentary 2010): Nev Schulman, a talented New York Photographer, develops a pen pal relationship with an 8 year old girl called, Abby - a child prodigy who sends Nev illustrations and paintings of his highly publicised work. However, the pen pal relationship develops to phone conversations with Abby's Mum, leading to online friendships with the entire family, including Abby's older sister, Megan. As Nev and Megan's relationship deepens, hidden truths begin to unfold and Nev starts to question who exactly he is talking to.

I'm not going to reveal anymore, but it gets juicy! The documentary is filmed by Nev's older brother, Ariel Schulman (above, far right) and his friend, Henry Joost (above, middle) whose work includes Paranormal Activity 3 & 4. Since the movie, Nev has decided to make this into a television show, showing every Monday in the UK at 9pm. Now as I haven't revealed what the ending of the movie entails, you're probably wondering what the hell the term, "Catfish" means? Well here goes:

"cat.fish [kat-fish] verb: To pretend to be someone you're not online by posting false information, such as someone else's pictures, on social media sites usually with the intention of getting someone to fall in love with you."

Well! What do you make of that? Have you ever done something like this before or had anything like this done to you? Well don't worry, you're not the only one! As Nev has been in the same boat before, he has had many people all over the world reaching out to him for advice on how to go about meeting their online romances. Nev has now taken it upon himself to go on a mission with his film making friend, Max Joseph, around America to help people find love and truth in their internet relationships. 
Now I'm going to admit, it is very RARE that Nev and Max find real connections that have longevity when they try to help these people out. I have watched both the first and second series so far and there is only one relationship that is still going strong now, Derek and Lauren. You might recognise them as this cute pair: 


All together now, AWWWWW! However, my favourite episode so far comes from Season 2, Episode 14: Keyonnah & (wait for it) Bow Wow. I know, Bow Wow. Fucking reaks of a Catfish instantly! COME ON KEYONNAH?!! I just HAVE to tell you how it ends because you really can't make this shit up... 
BASICALLY, Nev & Max are determined this is a classic Catfish scenario until Keyonnah reveals that he has given her $10K, which begs the question: Is this REALLY Bow Wow??? You all know who Bow Wow is right? Bow wow wow, yippee yo, yippee yay? He's this kid:


Got that image? Yeah? Okay. Brace yourselves... this is who "Bow Wow" turned out to be:


Yeah that's right. A woman. A woman... who looks like a young boy, who uses women on the internet to allure them to sleep with her. Now, Max Joseph is the absolute essence of the programme, he says it how it is. He is the "voice" if you will, of the public. So as soon as this woman/boy/I don't what, claims that she can "have" Keyonnah if she wants, Max HAS to ask, "Well... how???" To which this woman replies with the above and more information that I don't wish divulge in this blog! Like I said... you really can't make this shit up!

I'd love to know your opinion on "Catfishing". Do you think you can find true love with someone over the internet, especially after you have shared wrong information about yourself in either your profession or even worse, your appearance? Contact me on here, Facebook or Twitter and let me know!

In the mean time, here's a trailer from the hit MTV show which can be seen every Monday at 9pm. Enjoy!

                                          

See you next time peoples!
T.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Chapter 24: In Her Shoes

Heard of the film? I watched it last week for the first time in ages and forgot how good it was. Here's a brief little synopsis for those of you who haven't seen it and think it's just your average "chick flick":

Starring Cameron Diaz and Toni Colette, these two
play sisters who are polar opposites. Colette as the
serious, business type who has her own place and a
killer rack of shoes and Diaz as the fancy free, live
for the moment and scrounge off of her sister type.
Together, they are each others best friends... and worst enemies.
After a fight that tears them a part, they are reunited
by their long lost Grandmother who was outcasted
by their father after their mother passed. This is a story of family, love, loss, friendship and sisterhood that will be sure to have you gripped from start to finish.

Like my synopsis? Always fancied myself as a film critic... but that's another story. Now for those of you that know me, I do love a good film - even a chick flick (shock horror). In actual fact, I think Cameron Diaz is a fine actress, one who has really impressed me in recent years with films such as, My Sister's Keeper (2009) and more recently, The Councelor (2013). 

What I particularly love about, In Her Shoes, is that it displays all the conventions that happen in everyday life and specifically, within the family. Families are the closest people that we will ever have in our lives and it isn't unheard of that families can argue and fall out from time to time. One scene shows Toni Colette (Rose) quickly grabbing a pair of her Jimmy Choo's to wear to a wedding. When she puts them on in the car on the way, she discovers the heel is broken and has been mended with used chewing gum - nice! Ladies, we've all been there. Probably not with a pair of Jimmy Choo's... maybe with a New Look pair. I know I have. When me and my sister would share a wardrobe we would always take each other's clothes. One time my sister borrowed my jumper and got bleach on it! I didn't care though... it was an old jumper.

There is one scene where Rose gets married and Cameron Diaz (Maggie) recites a poem by E. E. Cummings before she takes her vows:


The first time I watched this movie, this scene made me sad because of the way Maggie was saying the poem. When I watched it last week, I was sad because the words mean something to me now. Poetry has never been my strong point, but a poem about love doesn't always have to be about someone we have fallen in love with. It can also be about a love that has been unconditional from the beginning of time until forever. The love of a Sister, a Brother, a Father or a Mother. The words mean something to me because I carry another heart now and she also carries mine.

Although  I love Cameron Diaz, Toni Colette is also a fantastic actress and as many of you know, her major breakthrough was in, Muriel's Wedding (1994). So I'm going to leave you with a song taken from it's soundtrack and a song that is close to my hearts.

Until next time.
T.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Chapter 23: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like...

I'm not even going to finish the title of this blog, because you all know what the last word is. That's right people, I'm a Scrooge.  I have NEVER agreed with the talks of Christmas in the month of November. November is November. It AIN'T the month of Christmas. I actually went to Tesco in August and seen a whole aisle dedicated to Christmas - I could have found the manager and throttled them. I also can't stand logging onto Facebook and seeing people have bought a wrapped their Christmas presents... on the 1st of November! What the actual fuck?!

I'm not a Christmas person for my own reasons, but when I was a Christmas person and I still think this to the day, people seem to have lost the meaning of it. Don't get me wrong, I like to open presents as much as the next guy, but of course that isn't what it's about. Just like Easter isn't about eating shed loads of chocolate (although I do especially love doing that).

However, I did go to the German Christmas markets tonight and it did get me feeling festive... I of course had an Amaretto Hot Chocolate #yum. I went with my Sister's, Niece and my Aunt Elise and it was lovely. For me I love it so much, because I know it's a place that my Mammy loved. She would always say, "It's the biggest German Christmas Market in all of Europe, ya know..." She loved all the little trinkets and the fact that everything was hand made as she was quite the craftswoman herself. She could do anything! From making dresses, to doing the garden and making curtains to knitting cardigans. If I could learn half the stuff she knew, I'd be on my way! So talented and appreciated everything and everyone around her that showed their best self. She never realised how talented she was herself and just thought of all the things she could do as second nature, something she's always known, and you know what? She was just amazing xxx.

Christmas is about being with your family and friends and being truly happy with everything you have around you; not forgetting it's about the birth of Jesus Christ as well. It's not about how much we spend on one another and rushing around at the last minute to find something we THINK that person can't go without. As I quoted on last week's blog, time is precious and we have to spend it wisely. So although I think it is ABSOLUTELY ridiculous to be celebrating Christmas so early, make sure you don't forget what the meaning of it is and if it just so happens you need to get a present, do it Christmas Eve - THAT'S when the sale starts - NOT BOXING DAY!

Toodle pips peoples.

T.

P.S. EVERYONE says their favourite Christmas movie is "Home Alone". My personal favourite is "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". Enjoy this wee clip:


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Chapter 22: "Baby Steps"

Hi everyone. This is my first blog in around two months now and to be honest I've been struggling to think of what to say. As some of you may know, my family and I have had a very rough year. A year that has been a complete blur to me. A year that has gone so quick but also seems so long lasting at the same time. I usually write my blogs with the intention of injecting positivity and happiness into peoples lives and now that my own has hit a turning point, I feel it would be very hypocritical to tell you all to do things when I'm not particularly feeling that way inclined myself.

The truth is I can't tell you all what is right and wrong, what you should and shouldn't do. You all have to figure life out for yourselves and how you go about living it. What I will say though, is appreciate every good thing you have in your life. Your health, your family, a job, a roof over your head... When I ever had a bad day before, it was over something trivial. This could be to do with work, not starting that diet you said you'd begin on Monday, waking up with a headache and not taking anything for it. Trivial. That's what they are. I have hit a turning point in my life and can honestly say that although the above will happen, nothing could affect me the same way it did before, because worse things have happened.

I'm not going to write any more now. Eventually I will. But not now. Now I'm going to leave you with several quotes from various different well known and anonymous figures that I read from Elle Inspired all the time. I hope these help you all with whatever life throws at you, because I know throughout this year when I have read these, they have brought so much truth and comfort to my life. I'll also leave you with a song in the ordinary way I do.

Remember, life is a wave that we all ride. Some waves are overwhelming, some underwhelming. But we just need to keep on that board and keep looking for a smooth ride.

This blog is dedicated to my first love, my best friend, my only reason for writing this blog, my Mammy. Love you and miss you more than you'll ever know xxx.
















T.x

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Chapter 21: Confessions of an Internet Shopaholic

It's no news to any of you that know me, that I have a slight obsession with shopping. Internet shopping to be precise. Why? Because of all the freaking discounts people?! My sister is forever saying to me, "You have a serious problem..." this is of course when she notices three or so parcels in my bedroom. But little does she know that all of those items would amount to ONE thing she would buy out on the high street. Which begs the question, why isn't EVERYONE internet shopping?

My boyfriend's little brother loves to shop and he has a very keen eye for fashion. I told him about all of the bargains I bought on eBay last year and he said, "I dunno... I like to try stuff on in the shop." I said, "Fair enough. But most places are free return?" He said, "I just love the feel of handling money." Like I say, everyone is different! But it goes to show everyone has their own preferences when it comes to shopping. Some people like to buy their groceries online whilst it's easier for others to just pop down the road and get a carton of milk.

Around this time two years ago, I was unemployed and it is around this time of the year I would stress quite a lot about birthday's and of course Christmas presents.  My Dad and both of my Sisters have birthdays right before Christmas and with so much time on my hands, the only thing for me to do was browse the internet for jobs and of course, presents for my family. Now weirdly enough, I had no problems buying presents for their birthdays (or for Christmas for that matter). With so little money to live on, I think I had bought the best presents for them in my life to date, so I was quite proud of myself! However, the first outing I was invited to was my Sister's 26th birthday.She planned on going to the German Christmas Markets, followed by drinks at a pub nearby. Needless to say I was in a pickle about what to wear with so little money. Having a job in the town centre before and for a company that provided great discount (Ii stress the ONLY perk of the job), I had no trouble buying clothes before, so this was a REAL challenge. Now, I'd had an eBay account for years but never really discovered how fucking A-MAZING it was until I was jobless. I looked on the clothing outlet which has a variety of different brands, form Topshop to Karen Millen. I thought, cold evening, need to wear something nice but obviously something to keep me warm, so I opted for a playsuit with tights and heeled boots and you know how much the playsuit cost me? £2. TWO FRICKIN' POUNDS! Now THAT is what I call a bargain. Not only that, but the playsuit was still available to buy on Very for the full price of £49. What's that I hear you say? I am the shit at grabbing a bargain? Yeah I know, it's a gift, what can I say? I also purchased a faux fur coat, ex Topshop. Original price of £100, eBay price of £25. Only worn once, no faults. God I'm good...

However, if you asked me to grab a bargain on the High Street, I'd have to kindly (refuse like a child in your face) decline. I couldn't think of anything worse then traipsing around the town and going into the shops on Boxing day. For those who do do this, you must be an amazing bargain hunter, or just plain frickin' mad. Maybe this is because I worked in retail for so long in the likes of Next and New Look and the sheer thought of Sale prep still haunts me to this day. Maybe it's because I'm fully aware of how stock is handled and I'm OCD. Or maybe it's because I REALLY don't want to find something I like, try desperately to find my size and see some douche bag in front of me walking around with the dress I wanted because she was there 5 seconds before me. All I know is, internet shopping is REALLY the way forward. Free delivery and returns on most sites, discount vouchers and codes on a weekly basis and avoiding shit customer service? I think that's a good deal if you ask me...

And yeah yeah... I know what all you women are thinking, "But I want to try the clothes on" or "The sizes are never right." Read above ladies, free returns on most sites! Save your legs and avoid the bitchiness, messiness and tiredness that comes with hunting a bargain.

Pop some tags (online) peeps!
Big love.
T.




Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Chapter 20: Excelsior...

Excelsior. I've  heard the word before, but it wasn't until yesterday I knew what it meant when I watched, Silver Linings Playbook. Anyone know what it means? It is New York's motto meaning, "Onward" and "Upwards". I instantly loved it...
Bradley Cooper's character is all over the place. He suffers from bipolar depression and has to adjust to the transition of life outside of the institution he was in for 8 months. One of his coping mechanisms was repeatedly saying the word, "excelsior, excelsior." To which his father asks why he keeps saying this word? Bradley Cooper's character, Pat explains:
"It means, you know what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna take all this negativity and I'm gonna use it as fuel, I'm gonna find a silver lining, that's what I'm gonna do. And that's no bullshit. That's no bullshit. That takes work and that's the truth."
Since hearing this word I have been inspired to do the same thing as Pat's character. Saying this word before even taking action on it fills me with positivity just because of the way Pat was so enthusiastic about the word in the film.

As you all have read previously, I love my films and I can be very influenced and touched in many ways by what I see. Whether this be a character, the actor, or the script itself... another character in this film is Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence. She also plays a troubled woman who lost her husband and dealt with her grievance by sleeping with people.The both become friends and learn to accept their flaws along the way. For me were both unique in their own ways, but Cooper's character stood out the most to me. He had to go to an institute because he caught his wife sleeping with another man and almost beat the guy up to death (sorry if I have ruined this for anyone who planned on watching it). But, is this not a normal reaction? If you caught you partner sleeping around with someone else, would you not react irrationally? Call me a softy, but I think it was a bit far fetched sending him to an institute for a reaction most people would have in that situation. Am I right?

Anyway, when he gets out he goes to all lengths to better himself so he can repair his relationship with his wife. He loses weight, eats healthily, tries to stay positive and takes an interest in all of her work. He goes to all this trouble to change himself and take all negatives and make them positive. Sure he struggles a lot of the time but he tries.

Now, everyone has a bad day, or a bad time in their lives. This may last a day, this may last a year, this may seem to last forever. But only we can do something about the way we feel. Only we can adjust who we are to be the people we want to be. Pat wanted to get back together with his wife (I won't tell you that part, don't worry ;)) so he worked on doing that and the one thing that kept him going was what people? EXCELSIOR!

To be positive, you have to surround yourself with positive things. This may be your family, your partner or a word - it's all the above for me personally. But I know what word I will say to remind myself of this and I don't think I need to finish that sentence for you to know :).

Here's a little teaser of the movie to give you a feel for what it's like:


I'd highly recommend you watch it because it's worth it!
I shall talk to you again next Tuesday peeps and this time I promise :).
And remember, excelsior!

T.

Chapter 19: Póg Mo Thón

You guys must think I'm absolutely atrocious lately because I keep missing my blogs! Really sorry peeps, but I was on holiday last week and I treated my boyfriend to a few days away in Dublin for his birthday! It was so much fun! Got it for a good price as well, so I would highly recommend anyone to take a break there. There's so much to do! Unfortunately we had little time to do them in, but we fit in the most important places: the Guinness Factory, the Jameson's Distillery and the Wax Museum. As most of you know, all of my family are Irish, so it was nice to learn a bit of history about the men who made the most well known alcoholic beverages in the world! What? I'm Irish? I like alcohol! Not only that but it was fascinating to know some of the most famous people in the world have been there to experience the history as well. Here are a few to name:

Ron Bur... I mean, Will Ferrell
            
Sean Penn



 
These cool dudes, Sean Astin and Elijah Wood
Pink

    
Tom Cruise and Olga Kurylenko

        And the legend that is HURLEY FROM LOST!


Yes, I was just as star struck as you are now... I mean, it's Hurley!! Bloody love that dude... after seeing these I was really interested in seeing what Guinness was like and for a first time drinker of the beer, I loved it! The same when I tried Jameson's, I am a new found whiskey drinker. But like I said, I'm Irish! ;).

One thing I really didn't appreciate was an incident myself and my boyfriend came across whilst getting change for the bus from my purse. Now, my mother did warn me before I went that there were a lot of pick pocketers in Dublin and to be very wary of my belongings. So we were and this is what happened when I got my purse out.

Beggar: You have any change?
Luke: No.
Beggar: I just need some change! (looks to me for sympathy).
Me: (sighs)
Luke: No, we are using it for the bus
Beggar: WELL GET ON THE FUCKIN' BUS THEN!!!

I was mortified to say the least - Luke and I were just told off in the middle of Dublin, by a tramp! (Please excuse my politically incorrect language). Most of you will be wondering what Póg Mo Thón means. Well it means, kiss my arse! Which I feel was very fitting for that dude who demanded we, "get on the fuckin' bus!"

Although my last blog was about "motivation" I can't say I had much of this on my week off. I  was motivated to eat and drink and you know what? I bloody loved it! It's important to indulge every now and then, especially on your holidays! Speaking of holidays, just want to say I hope all you teachers out there enjoyed your 6 weeks off and are raring to go back to school! Although I am jealous you all get this time off, I can empathise with all of the stress you are under when you return to work as both of my sisters are teachers and put a lot of time and effort into making their lessons perfect for the children. So good luck for your new year and it won't be long until your next holibobs :).

Meanwhile, here's a little clip of something I'm sure most of you have watched before. God rest Father Ted...



Tune in for my next blog!
T.                            

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Chapter 18: A Bit of Motivation...

How many of you can say you have great motivation? Can say that your will power is unbreakable and your determination is immense?! Anyone??? If I could put a sound to what I imagine would be a response, there would be tumble weed rolling at my feet right now. I believe everyone has a great sense of motivation don't get me wrong, but I do think that motivation can slip away at some stage or another. You see these celebrities all the time that go from a size 18 to a size 6 in a disgustingly short period of time, only for it to be piled back on again. Or someone at work who claims they've quit smoking only to get them hidden behind the fire exit toking away like it's a gold cigarette that will make them rich if they don't get rid of it within the minute.

Hi. My name is Patricia and I am constantly on a diet. That doesn't mean I stick to it religiously... There has only ever been one time where I'd like to say I had great motivation and that was when my sister was getting married. I was 19 and her bridesmaid along with my other sister. I lost a stone before the wedding because I went for a dress fitting and was literally horrified at how much I let myself go at Uni. What? I had a Tesco Express, a Nandos and a Chinese Buffet around the corner from where I lived. You'd have all done the same... So I started eating less and moving more. For exercise I'd run, cycle and jump on the little trampoline in my back garden and you know what? It worked. I did however exercise twice a day and lived on a diet of cereal and stir fry and when Laura's big day finally arrived, I felt much better for it. However when I went back to university I took it a little too seriously and dropped to a weight I'd never seen on the scales before. It was only when my sister recognised that my tits had disappeared (for anyone that knows me this might come as a shock to you), that she said I need to stop being so obsessive about the diet and exercise. So I went back up to a healthy weight and kept the exercise to just jumping on the trampoline.

After time, my motivation dropped massively and I haven't really been able to pick it up since before Laura's wedding. I joined the gym with my boyfriend, but didn't go very much. I don't deprive myself of anything, ESPECIALLY if it is sitting in front of me. I have a massive sweet tooth so if chocolate is in the picture, I can't deny it! However I did do my run for Mammy and Cancer Research UK not long back and since then I have got back into running... but I have recently discovered I have sciatica. Yes that's right people, I have become a little old lady. I went to the gym yesterday and winced on the treadmill - NOT a cool look when you have gym addicts and running pro's all around you. I read on the internet that running can help relieve sciatica, but I haven't felt this yet. I've gone back tonight and still nothing. Wish me luck that it does go away soon!

I have tried to regain ways of motivating myself. I have even pretended my sister is getting married again. Heck, I've even GOOGLED how to stay motivated! Wtf?! It's getting desperate now people and I'm not even going to say, "Oh, I'll use some good ol' fashioned will power". Don't put the cakes in front of me and I won't eat them. Don't put a Ben & Jerry's ice cream stand in front of me and I won't ask for a core sundae with cookie dough, chocolate fudge and a hot melting chocolate sauce in the middle. And most importantly, DON'T PUT CADBURY'S DAIRY MILK ON OFFER FOR A £1 FOR THE BIG BARS! I WILL devour them and I WILL happily go for seconds!

I don't believe for a second that you can eat what you want and have abs of steal, so I only have one last thing to add - fuck you, Cheryl Cole!

If anyone shares my thoughts or has any good tips for me, please contact me in the usual places on here, Facebook or Twitter.

Maybe this song will help me?


Toodles!
T.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Chapter 17: What's in a Name?


Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Even if it's just for one day? This could be a movie star, a singer, ANYONE! In my previous blog I spoke about how I have put a different accent on on a night out, just for the craic! What?... It's funny! But I know some people who have changed their names on a night out... I know some of my single girls have done this on a night out. My Dad and Brother-in-Law did it on the way in to the E.T ride in Universal Studios. I don't know if you're familiar, but when you go on the E.T ride you say your name before you go on. When my Dad was asked his name he replied, "Fraser", his name is NOT Fraser. When my Brother-in-Law was asked he replied, "Bart". Again, his name is NOT Bart. it was very funny looking back when E.T shouted, "Bye Fraser, bye Bart!", poor E.T didn't know any better!

It's funny when you look up to stars and think, I would love to be them for a day. People like The Rock (real name, Dwayne Johnson) and Dita Von Teese (real name, Heather Renee Sweet) . But the ironic thing is, they obviously feel the same, cause they don't like/want to use their real names in show business?! Here are a few examples.

Rooney Mara. Real name: Patricia Rooney Mara.
Brad Pitt. Real name: William Bradley Pitt

.
Vin Diesel. Real name: Mark Sinclair Vincent
Jude Law. Real name: David Jude Law

    Pink. Real name: Alecia Beth Moore
Marilyn Manson. Real name: Brian Hugh Warner

So you see, we're not the only ones who wish we were someone or something else. Yes, most of the above examples are stage names, but why have a few of them cut their first names out? To get more work? Because they don't like their first names? Because they want to convey the glamourous world they live in? But isn't it better to show off the real you? I'm sure we have all had a think about how our names would sound if we were famous... 
"And now... The moment you've alllll been waiting for... It's the one, the only, PATRICIAAAA BAXTERRRR!" No? Just me? You're right it does sound shit. I've often thought I would take my middle name, Elise, as my stage name if I ever was famous. I have a thing about my name though. I often think Patricia is only found in three categories:
1. In the credits on a film, e.g. Lighting Manager, Patricia Jones - just look for it, Patricia WILL be there.
2. An author of a book. Zzzzzzzzzz.
3. The name of an elderly person. I'm not ageist, but it is an older woman's name.
So I get slightly upset when I see the likes of Rooney Mara has dropped her real name, Patricia. Yeah Rooney is cool, but why not Patricia? One person I am REALLY pleased has kept her real name is Patricia Arquette because let's face it, she is class!


I think it's perfectly naturally to want to be someone you're not. The reason why I want to get back in to acting is because I love to do so. Because you need something different in your life, whether it be being apart of a band, going to a martial arts class or even going to the cinema and watching the story of something else, or even reading a book and being so enthralled by it that you actual feel like you are one of the characters. I can't be alone in thinking this. So, you know the drill - I'd love to know if you feel the same, just Facebook, Tweet or reply on here as usual.

Myself and my boyfriend went to  Hoar Cross Hall the other week and it was amazing! I must say, it was nice to feel important or similar to that of a celebrity who lunches, wines and dines and relaxes in the spa ;).

One things for sure, being "someone else" didn't work for these guys...


Toodles Peeps!
T.


Chapter 16: Roller Coaster of Life

Hey guys! Hope you are all good! Firstly I would like to apologise for my absence last week, it has been a manic few weeks!

As we all know, life seems like one huge roller coaster - it has it's highs and lows. Things happen to you or someone close to you that makes you see life in a completely new way. I'm sure every one has gone through something like this and if not, it will happen and it could be good or bad. But as I have said in previous weeks, it is important to look at the bigger picture and see what matters in your life. You may have went into the back of someone's car (like I did last Monday morning), but there are worse things happening in the world.

It's amazing how something can happen to you and completely change your view on the world. Some people turn to their families in times like this, others turn to religion, others try to avoid the situation. The point is everyone deals with things in different ways. As some of you may know, my Mammy hasn't been well for over half a year now and there have most certainly been more lows than highs for myself and my family. But I can honestly say we are stronger than ever and constantly supporting each other through whatever good and bad days have came our way.
On another note, my eldest sister Laura fell pregnant this year, which for all of us has been a real blessing and we are so excited to see the new arrival! I really believe that when something bad happens and pivots your life in a different direction, something good always follows behind. It might not happen immediately, but it happens.
My Mammy, Dad and I met a couple at the hospital last week, they must have been in their mid 70's and they were the nicest couple you could ever meet. Both of them are suffering with cancer; the wife was the patient and the husband was visiting. The man was nothing but positivity and smiles and he said, "If you can't laugh, you'll cry." To which we all agreed strongly. When something major happens in your life there are moments where you could be so self destructive and you are completely in your right to feel like that. Many have turned to things they wouldn't usually do. Yeah it might make you feel better in the short term, but what happens in the long term?

Not knowing what the future holds is a scary thing, we all know that. I don't care who you are, I know that at some time or another you have feared what tomorrow will bring, where you're going in life, what job you want to do, how will you support your family, or what people will think of you. The point is, it's important to have that fear factor in order to push yourself and fulfil all the things you want out of life. I'm not claiming I'm always strong, because I'm not. I am quite the opposite. But the way I deal with this is constantly reminding myself of where I have come from and how I've been raised. I have been raised by strong Catholic parents who have great morals and are the biggest support in my life. I come from a family of carers and although I don't do this as a profession, it is something I do on a daily basis.

Something that is frightening me is the time of the year we all know is impending; Christmas. A time of the year I once loved, is a time of the year I fear the most as it was this time we found out about Mammy. But we are all putting up a united front and doing our own thing this year which we are really looking forward to, especially with the new baby being born :).

I know you all probably reading this and thinking, "the title of this girls blog is, '25 And... What The Hell Am I Doing?' why is she lecturing us about how to feel and what to do when she doesn't even know herself?" But that's just it. We can all feel the same way and be in the same boat. After all it is better to share our feelings and let it out rather than keeping them all in. You I said earlier that people deal with things in different ways? Well, this is MY way of dealing with things and it makes me feel a whole lot better. So tell me, how do you cope in certain situations? Do you vent? Do you cause arguments? Or do you avoid what's really going on?

I'll leave you with some Public Enemy - thinking it's fitting for this blog.

Tune in for my next blog coming shortly.
Big love.
T.







Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chapter 15: Whoooo Are You?

Hi guys, I hope you're all okay and have had another fabulous week!

Not gonna' lie, but I do struggle to think of a topic to entertain you all with week by week. But I just want to say a massive thanks to everyone who has been keeping up with my blog and well, my random stories! I do think I am quite a random person to be honest... I have never looked at myself and put myself in a definite category... do you know what I mean? I certainly hope I'm not the only one on this boat!
When I was growing up, I was never hung about in a specific group of people. I was kind of a floater (queue the poo jokes). I kinda just spoke to everyone really... don't get me wrong, I had friends I would regularly meet up with at break times, etc, but as the years went on I became friends with different people and lost touch with others. I guess that's just a matter of life though. Things happen and you just fall out of touch with people. Whether it involved an argument, a loss of shared interests or you even just stopped talking for no apparent reason?!

I know that when times have been tough for me, I quickly come to realise who my true friends are; especially in recent years. Now that I am grown up (well, sort of), I think I have become a bit wiser when it comes to situations like these. But if there is one thing I can admit, I am one stubborn bitch. I've known this for the majority of my life. Saying it to you guys is fine, but when it comes to admitting this to someone's face... well, that's a different matter. But that being said, I still couldn't tell you what type of person I am?!

Let's do a check list of the types of people there are, shall we:

  • The Brainy People: the people who know everything and anything. Whether it is to do with Maths, Computers, Art, Politics, the general all rounders! You know. The type of people that talk about stuff and you end up nodding along to it like, Joey Tribbiani.

  • The Arty People: the people who are so creative, they look at a bin full of crap and think it is really profound and meaningful.
  • The People who CLAIM they're Smart: You know the type. They watch hours upon hours of YouTube videos about Science, Nature, etc. Then they report back to you with all the crap they know and could you give a shit? No. Because you know that in work, they're actually dumbasses.
  • The Travellers: The people that go off travelling around the world for the year and come back preaching about how they lived with a tribe in Papua New Guinea and they now know the meaning of life - I've never known anyone come back from Papua New Guinea. The majority of people I know have gone to Thailand and still claim the above.
  • The Musicians: Those cool kids who are naturally amazing at any instrument and are so up to date with the newest bands that when you say, "Ooo, have you heard Arctic Monkeys new album?" The other person is like, "Arctic Monkeys? Yeah. I like them when they first came out when I was 9. They're old news." - Soz, kid.
I could go on forever, but all I can tell you is I am DEFINITELY not one of the above. I'm not smart. I have to read revision notes and books on end to absorb information for a test. Hell, I even have to revise typical interview questions and answers before ANY type of interview and you all KNOW I have had shit loads of interviews... I enjoyed Art in school and I played a bit of the guitar when I was younger, but lost touch. The longest I stayed away from home was for a year and a half... in Sheffield. And no. I don't watch YouTube for hours on end and impersonate a smart person.

Although I'd like to say I'm one of the above just so I can categorise myself... that would be a lie. I'm quite happy to keep learning new things about myself everyday. Learn from my day, my mistakes, start afresh and take each day as they come.

I read a quote the other day from David Russell which said: "The hardest thing in life to learn is which bridge to cross and which to burn." I believe we all face moments like this in our paths to discovering ourselves, what we are, who we are, what we like, who we associate ourselves with, how we treat others, how we want to be treated.  I could go on, but the point I am trying to make is that if you don't know what type of person you are, that's fine. If you do, that's also fine. Everyone takes life at different paces and that is the beauty of what makes us all individual! I have a fantastic family, an awesome boyfriend, great friends, a good job and I really enjoy writing to you all every week. So on that note I'll say to you all:


I think the below clip is a combo of  "The Person who CLAIMS they're Smart" and "The Traveller":


A massive thanks again for reading my blog guys! I really do enjoy writing to you all every week... I'll leave you all with, The Who, Who Are You?


Later peeps.
T.






Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Chapter 14: Three is NOT the Magic Number!

The clue is in the title peoples... this week I am going to discuss the POOR service that is provided by the mobile network, Three. And since I have already written a letter of complaint AND complained in the shops, I thought I would have a little rant about it in my blog this week. NOTE: for ANYONE that is considering joining Three, don't bother your arses!

A week last Friday, my phone went dead (I have a Samsung Galaxy S2) so naturally, I thought I would charge my phone. After over an hour on charge, my phone wouldn't turn on and all that appeared was the Samsung logo on the load up. Flashing, flashing, flashing. I HAD to have a phone because I was going away for the weekend for mine and my boyfriends four year anniversary. So I popped my sim in a Nokia E63. I never realised how much I depended on my phone until I used this phone for one day. I couldn't take photos which REALLY upset me, cause I'm all about the photos and Instagram, use Twitter OR Facebook?! 

When I arrived home on the Sunday, I decided to ring up Three to sort out the issue. I explained the situation and they told me to hold on to the volume, home and power button simultaneously to see if it would revive itself. The same thing happened... flashing Samsung logo over and over. I started to lose patience and they suggested I take my phone away for repair either over the phone (3-5 working days) or going into a Three shop (10 working days). I said I would like to have a loan/replacement phone while this issue is being fixed and they said they couldn't provide me with one and that I had to go into a Three shop, meaning more time and money for myself. My boyfriend then asked to speak to a manager and you know what the guy did? He laughed. WTF?! He then proceeded to say there wasn't a manager present and when we asked why he laughed, he said it was over a separate issue. Regardless if it was or not, it was a bad time to laugh and well, he shouldn't have laughed at all! In anger, I hung up on him and my boyfriend wrote a large letter of complaint as he heard all of the conversation and I was too angry to do anything at the time. 

Monday came and I went to Merry Hill after work (the only Three shop open by the time I get home). Again, I explained the situation. Again, the guy did the volume, home and power button scenario. Again, I was getting annoyed. Did these people actually KNOW what they were doing? When I asked if they had a replacement phone, they said they had non in stock and it was subject to availability. This was bull to me because I know most networks would provide a loan phone on the spot if someone's phone needed to be repaired within the warranty they were given when opening a contract. He then said there were two options:
1. Do a factory reset, which would mean starting my phone from scratch, losing all my contacts, photos... basically EVERYTHING.
2. Connect my phone to Samsung Kies to make sure all my data is backed up before doing a Factory reset... Well the phone has to be fully charged and functioning to do that, dip shit.

So I rang up Three again and they basically confirmed that if my phone wasn't turning on, then everything is wiped from my phone anyway. Great. So then I got REALLY pissed off. Non of this was my fault?! And no one was doing ANYTHING to help me?! All they suggested was that I send my phone off for repair and basically have NO loan phone whilst waiting for it to be returned. This was unacceptable. I said I would cancel my Direct Debit unless they helped me. Did they care? No. I even went to the Citizens Advice Bureau to see where I stood and they suggested I go to Trading Standards. GREAT ADVICE!! I spoke to people at work and my friend Shao reckoned it could be to do with my battery. Made sense as the battery was completely flat after charging it for several hours.

I gave Three one last chance to redeem themselves. I went into the Merry Hill shop again and explained myself AGAIN. I added that I thought the battery might be contributing to the fault and he flat out said no. He said it was definitely down to software issue and that a factory reset was the only option to clear any faults the software contains. However, this guy said something different. He said that if I had a Google account, then more than likely, everything on my phone was backed up (excluding apps). He said it was worth a go and if it didn't work he would suggest something else. FINALLY, someone was helping me. The phone turned on and when I logged onto Google, all of my contacts and pictures were backed up. Ranjit (the guy from Three in Merry Hill) was the ONLY helpful person I spoke to from Three and I was very happy with his customer service manner. 

This takes me back to what I said in my first blog... how can people afford to be rude in customer service when there are people out there CRYING for jobs?! Even though Ranjit came through for me in the end, there is no doubt about it... I will DEFINITELY be leaving Three come the end of my contract in February and I wouldn't recommend the mobile network to ANYONE considering going with them. Rude doesn't even cut it...

This week I would like you to tell me who you think the best and worst network providers are based on your own personal experiences. This will give me an idea of who I might consider joining next year. And if any of you take the hand and say Three are the best, I WILL be ignoring you ;). Again, just reply on here, Facebook or Tweet me by clicking over the highlighted links.

I think the below video best describes how I was feeling about the phone situation last week...


Take my advice, if Fenton pisses you off, you let 'em know!
T.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Chapter 13: The Great British Fake Off

Have you ever gone out on a night and and said to your friends, "Let's put on a different accent tonight." I know I have. Of course it never lasts the more you drink. Mine is a Northern Ireland accent, purely because it's the only one I can do fairly okay! Scouse comes in second place. The other month me and my boyfriend were coming back from a night out in Liverpool and the Taxi driver asked where we were going. I replied, "Aye we're tekin the ney-xt ley-ft hee-re may-te." Luke turned to me and said, "What the hell?!", to which I HAD to carry on with the accent, otherwise I would have looked a fool! So why do we feel the need to change our accents? Probably because the Birmingham accent is the worst accent in the world... but why in general do people feel the need to fake something?

This can range across a BROAD spectrum of things, such as fake hair, eyelashes, teeth, boobs and now even bums?! When I go to Liverpool (my favourite city in England), I always go all out. Big hair, fake eyelashes, high heels, the lot! Don't get me wrong, I try to make an effort when I go out as I'm sure all of us do in our own way... but I think this has stemmed from an experience I had the very first time I went to Liverpool for my 21st. I planned a big weekend away with my friend Sinead and my sister and our mates. The first day, it was just Sinead and I. We had our outfits sorted and we were raring to go. But when we went shopping in the day, we couldn't help but notice the sheer level of glamour from EVERY  girl we walked past. We were pretty stunned when we saw about 10 girls walking around the town centre with massive rollers in their hair! So we took matters into our own hands and bought fake eyelashes (not much compared to rollers, I know). Later on in the night, we were ready to go! Legs out, heels on, hair curled, eyelashes glued on, extra glue in our bags just in case. We caught a taxi and this was how the conversation went:

Us: Hi Mr. Taxi driver! You okay?
Taxi driver: Yes thanks girls, you?  Where are you going?
Us: Anywhere that's good to go out

He headed straight for Concert Square....

Us: Well there are a lot of very glamorous girls in your city!

Taxi driver: Yes girls, you're gonna have to make a bit more effort, you've got stiff competition....

The silence that filled the taxi thereafter was so apparent, you could have dropped a feather and it would have sounded like a bang. So we paid the taxi driver, got out and walked to our first bar with our heads in shame. But why?! We felt glamorous going out! I think if you feel confident in yourself, then you shouldn't care about what other people think... However, that's only what I THINK. The way I am is a completely different matter as I'm sure this is the same for other women.... and not JUST women, but men too! Yes, all you men out there, I know you all want your hair to be perfect before you go out, and no doubt some of you have a cheeky spray of Aftershave in your nether region - sorry that was below the belt. I like to call all of this, showing others the best part of yourself.

Men... You all say you would prefer it if women didn't wear make-up, but you would be wrong. I'm just gonna come out and say it, I look like a ginger albino with no make-up or tan on. But there is NO way I would subject my boyfriend to this on a daily basis. Yes I wear make-up every day. Yes I tan. Yes I dye my eyebrows and eyelashes. But this is for EVERYONE'S benefit trust me. No one should be ashamed to do what they want and have their own little beauty routines to show off the best bit of them... Even if it does mean having to fake an accent because you think you would suit it more than a Brummy one ;). Don't worry though, I doubt my accent sounded as bad as this:



I'd love to know what you have done to change yourself for the better! If not for anyone else, but for yourself! I have chopped off my hair tonight by the talented Katie Stead I spoke of last week and it feels SH-AMAZING! ;). Just Facebook, Tweet or reply to this blog post :).

P.S. I don't know what I was so worried about with my Murder Mystery rehearsal last week, because it went well and I felt great for it afterwards! :). I shall be going to view one very soon and shortly after I should be having my first ever performance! :).

Come back for more next week lovelies!
T.






Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Chapter 12: Why So Serious?

Hey guys! Hope you're all okay and are having a beautiful week in the sunshine! I realise last week people may not have been open to discussing about any time they have ever felt lost, as it can be quite a private or embarrassing subject. But just to let you all know, any time you feel like inboxing me or messaging me, it is all in confidence. Unless you obviously want to talk openly about it! As I said before, talking and sharing is important for peace of mind, an unclogged head and a weight off your shoulders!

This week I want to talk about nerves; everyone gets nervous at some stage or another. For me, it was queuing up for Oblivion at Alton Towers last week. I'm pretty sure I sharted (shat/farted) during the ride (jokes), but it was all worth it to say, "I've been on that ride!". I was extremely nervous before my 5K run for Race For Life a few weeks back. I kept thinking negatively and I convinced myself I wouldn't do that well, but I completed it in my best time yet and I felt amazing for it after. I'm also SUPER nervous as I have my first Murder Mystery rehearsal this week and it is the first time I have acted in about 7 years! But I will let you all know how I got on next week!

A very dear friend of mine, Katie Stead, is probably one of the hardest working people I have ever known. She is a fantastic Hairdresser ans Beautician and I would highly recommend her to anyone! Not only has she been in full time work since leaving school, but she has also juggled doing a degree for the past 3 years- FAIR PLAY! I know I wouldn't be able to do that as I'm sure a lot of you will agree. She finds out her degree results today and naturally she is nervous, but I know she will do brilliantly and all of her family and friends know it too. So why must we all doubt ourselves and our abilities? I'm not saying we should all go around being big headed, 'cause let's face it, that's just damn cocky! But why must we insist on being so nervous about things? I know it's easier said than done, 'cause if anyone of you have read my blog from the beginning, you will all gather that I am quite a shy/nervous person... but wouldn't it be fantastic if we could all be positive about ourselves, ALL the time?! I'd love to wake up of a morning and be like, "I'm going to have an amazing day today and I going to do really well in everything I do." But the simple fact is, that's not realistic, is it? Life doesn't work that way and we have to have feelings and emotions in order to be human. Life throws things at you that you don't see coming and it can take one thing to ruin our day, week, month or year.

One thing that has kept me in high spirits and feeling positive, is watching my Mammy get better and better over the past 9 months. If she can go through what she is going through and still have a smile on her face, we all need to really assess what's important in our lives; forget the negatives and look at what's good around us. Most importantly, we all need the support we can get to feel confident in certain situations... because without these people and this support, we would all be serious and nervous wrecks!

Katie passed her degree with flying colours - as I suspected she would. The point I am trying to make is that all these nerves and emotions we build up before doing something that scares us, is just all natural. It would be silly if non of us got nervous, EVER. Look at the Boy George wannabe in, The Wedding Singer... he was nervous, got booed for his singing and STILL carried on singing after?!


I bet these guys were nervous before they performed this:


Cheers me up every time...

Until next week ladies and gents!
T.

P.S. Katie achieved a First in her degree and deservedly so! I wrote the above before I found out her results ;).