Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Chapter 37: It's Just Me, Myself & My No Makeup Selfie

On a weekly basis and for almost a year now, I have been putting myself out there to all of you with this blog. Granted, I might talk shit some weeks, other weeks I may actually make sense, but let me tell you this... It's a big thing for me to do. Usually I am someone who will bottle everything up and then eventually explode like a fizzy drink. Not the best quality to have, but this blog helps me to express myself to you all and I am very grateful to have a loyal following from my family and friends who read this on a weekly basis. For that, I am eternally thankful.

Now. Hands up who can tell me what has been one of the biggest topics of conversation in the past week?... Yes, you over there with no makeup on... Ahh yes, the #nomakeupselfies. I am going to be honest now, when these first started circulating around the internet and my Facebook news feed, I thought what everyone else was thinking: "What is this doing to raise awareness for Cancer?" Some people have said it is because people would rather spend their money on raising awareness by donating to Cancer Research UK than spending their money on beauty products. I've also heard it was because a Cancer patient said that you don't have to wear make up to be beautiful. Both of these are great reasons to start raising awareness about Cancer and the terrible affects it has on patients and their families.

Let's take a step back here and think how it must be for a Cancer patient to see loads of girls on their Facebook posting selfies looking beautiful and flawless before a night out. A night out that they won't get to experience for a long time until they are feeling better. I know how I'd feel, but maybe that is just me? My sister said last week that we live in a selfie society these days. It's almost a new culture for social networking. I do it. You do it. There's not a problem with it. It's a picture. A picture you would be getting someone else to take if you didn't have a front facing camera on your top of the range mobile phone.

So, after careful observation, I have seen a lot of complaints about these 'no makeup selfies' circulating and I must say, I would rather be tagged in multiple no makeup selfies than see shit loads of complaints and negativity about them on my news feed. I use Facebook quite a lot and let's face it, it has proven to be an extremely powerful tool when it comes to sharing information and raising awareness along with Twitter, Instagram and all other social networks. Now I am, oh sorry correction WAS, Facebook friends with a guy who works for a very well know Radio station in Birmingham. I'm not going to say any names, but some of my friends reading this may already know who I'm on about. He is a Photographer and when I say he posts enhanced selfies, I'm telling you, they are more enhanced than the models on the cover of Vogue magazine. It really is amazing what Photoshop can do... Well, anyway! He had quite a few negative things to say surrounding the no makeup selfie campaign before AND after he realised that the campaign had actually raised A LOT of money for Cancer Research. Naturally, this angered me and anything negative toward something that is making such a massive difference will always upset me because I have lost my Mammy and Aunt to Cancer. There was also a girl whom I have known for years on (whom I have also deleted) who spoke her opinion about it. Opinions are fine and everyone is entitled to them - I get that. But when you're boyfriend butts in and says things like, "No one wants to see girls and how rough they look without make up on." Then I also have an opinion - you're a vile chauvinistic pig. You know that saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? This also counts when you haven't lost anyone so close to you in your life to an illness that you aren't bothered about raising awareness for.

One of my Facebook friends made a VERY valid point about this campaign for everyone who is being so negative about it. She said:

"I don't quite understand the negativity about this campaign, the pictures don't cure Cancer but neither does doing something like a 10K run. It is the reason for campaigning that matters and if making a chain of no make-up selfies gets people talking, joining in and donating then I'm all for it. This campaign just shows how a little reminder that we can do something about Cancer goes a long way, with an unexpected number of donations being make to Cancer Research UK over the past couple of days!"


She is right, wearing no makeup and doing a 10K run doesn't cure Cancer. Climbing a Mountain doesn't prevent Poverty. Davina McCall cycling around the UK doesn't bring more food or water to starving families homes... but it makes a huge bloody difference. All the money raised for doing such bold things makes a bloody difference. If me putting a baby wipe to my face and wiping off what usually gives me more confidence makes a difference, I'm going to do it. If running 5K and pushing myself to limits I didn't even know I could makes a difference, I'm going to do it. Last yearwhen I ran for Race For Life for my Mammy, I had many pains and stitches along the way, naturally. But you know what drove me forward? If my Mammy can go through chemo and have what she described as "bleach pumping through my veins" in her body, I can cope with a little bit of muscle pain and stitch.

I get that people donate on a regular monthly basis and that is really great, but don't slag people off who are quite literally 'baring all' to people on the internet, some of which they have never even spoke to or have even met before! Campaigns like this not only helps raise awareness and loads of money towards curing Cancer, but it also helps you to realise what category you want to fall into: the person that helps, or the person that sits back?

Robert F. Kennedy once said:

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million difference centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

AKA #nomakeupselfie.

Here's mine:

Sorry guys, had to be done!

Did you also know, that Samuel L. Jackson invented the selfie? Here he is explaining how.

Big respect to all the men out there doing your bit too by doing a makeup selfie or a 'cock in a sock'. Many other acts have been done too, the important thing is a difference is being made! I would also like to take the time and say a massive THANK YOU for everyone who has donated to mine and my sister's Race For Life Just Giving page already, it means so much to us. If you haven't already and would like to donate, please click here.

Here is my song of the week: #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers.

Big Love.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Chapter 36: That Don't Impress Me Much...

Wow, my titles are getting more and more explanatory I think. Note to self: Be more mysterious!
This week I want to talk about something that is on every woman's mind: Food. I don't care if you say it isn't ladies, I know it is. I don't know about you, but as soon as I've finished my breakfast, I'm already thinking about what to have for lunch and how many hours away it is 'til lunch time. However every Sunday night I say to myself, "I'm going to be good this week, I will, I will, I will." Then come Monday 09:05,  I've already failed miserably by starting the day with Choco Pillows (a personal favourite of mine from Aldi). However, for Lent this year, I have given up chocolate for the first time since I was about 11. I thought I did pretty well the first week, but yesterday when I walked into the garage to pay for my petrol, I almost caved when every aisle started with offers on chocolate bars, chocolate digestives and bags of Maltesers. How DARE that garage do such a thing?! It's as if whenever you have given up something, it is everywhere staring at you in the face. Chocolate, cigarettes, alcohol. The thing is, they were there all along, but because we had easy access to them, we never thought anything of it. While we are on the subject of Lent, I just want to tell people that back when I was 12, my Form Tutor told us she had given up tinned products for Lent. Three words: Poor fucking effort.

Let's face it though guys, when trying to lose weight, we all know dieting and working out comes hand in hand. You just can't do one without the other. For all you people out there with high metabolisms like Keira Knightly, screw you. But come on! It's a daunting thing to face... especially if you haven't done it in a while. My sister and brother-in-law suggested Bootcamp to me just before I went away to New York. I'm not gonna lie, I shat myself. When I think 'Bootcamp' I think of a massive army type figure shouting at me to do more reps and telling me I need to do better. Which I'm guessing that is a fair judgement to make? After all, it's called 'Bootcamp'! The only thing that has ever really worked for me, is running. Granted, I'm not all that good at it, but I have definitely improved over the past year!

In this day and age, it seems that everyone works out or has a new diet craze - trouble is, I'm one of them! Last week  I bought this new things called, BooTea. Apparently it is supposed to aid with your weight loss regime with a 'Daytime Detox' tea to start off your day and a 'Bedtime Cleanse' that you take every other night. There are supposed to be many benefits such as speeding up your metabolism, improving your skin and just generally make you feel good! Also they're supposed to taste great! My order should be with me any time now, so I will let you all know how I'm getting on with it next week. When I went on the website to order, this image came up:

If my arse looks like this after 14 days, I'll be using it all the time - and probably be walking around in a bikini 24/7.

The point behind my title is, I have found that lots of men say, "I'm just going to the gym." Like it is going to make every girl on this planet swoon for them. When I go to the gym (which is rare) I see so many idiots 'pumping iron' with silly KG weights and staring at themselves in the mirror getting a little too excited over themselves. Please note: This is NOT good. Men aren't the only ones though... When I'm at the gym, I wear the most boyish clothes ever and I like to sweat it out. Last time I was there, it was fecking freezing and there were two girls in hot pants and crop tops, carefully placed on the floor in the middle of the gym, doing planks. I was on the bike at the time looking over in disgust (and pure jealousy at their figures) but the amount of men that perved on them was actually quite disgusting. Why any woman would want that sort of attention from chavs, I'll never know!

However if the above diet doesn't work, then this one looks promising:

Bottoms up! If you guys have had an effective diets or workout regimes, or can;t seem to agree on any, please feel free to drop me a lone on here, Facebook or Twitter!

Speaking of alcohol, I hope you all had a great St. Patrick'd Day yesterday! Aas many of you know, I'm Irish, but I only celebrated for the first time last Sunday in town for the Parade. It was such a fun day and the weather was beautiful! Crazy considering it was snowing the same time last year!

In celebration, here's one of my favourite songs of all time, U2 - Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

Have a great week ahead!
Big love!

P.S. We would greatly appreciate any donation you have to give, big or small, to our Race for Life page. My sisters and I will be doing 5k again this year for our beautiful and brave Mammy and for anyone who is suffering from cancer and it's awful affects. One day there will be a cure! xxx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Chapter 35: Men Are from Mars, Women Are from... Earth.

I'm sure you can guess what I'm going to talk about judging by this weeks title... spoken like a true... woman! Taken from the best seller, 'Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus', this book is a self help book, about how to get what you want out of a relationship. It's human nature that men will never understand women and women will never understand men... Oh, but that's not to say we don't try. After all, God loves a trier!

This is a subject that crops up day to day. Women complaining about men... "Liam keeps leaving the toilet seat up and it's pissing me off! I can't tell you how many times I've nagged him about it!" And men complaining about women, "I took her out for a romantic dinner to Nando's last night and did I get any when we got home? NO!". FYI guys, Nando's isn't romantic. I'm not sure if I can speak on behalf of EVERY woman on this planet, but romance doesn't cost very much - like, AT ALL. It's not about the fanciest restaurant you can take us or an expensive hotel for a weekend. I've always been partial to a romantic evening walk, or a picnic! Or best of all, a night in with a film and some treats! But then again, I'm a cheap date and easy to please! Truth is, the best ingredient to a relationship is spontaneity. Don't worry men, I'm not JUST talking to you when I say that - it's a two way street ladies and gents!

But enough about relationships in specific, let's go back to basics... meeting a person! Okay, now I'm gonna be honest and say I NEVER approach a man and tell them what I think because I'm pretty sure I'd either, A. Come out with something like, "Err, hi, errrr, you have a nice face and errr, you smell good. What are you wearing? Davidoff Hot Water?" or B. Just blush and walk away. So, that won't ever happen unless I've had a glass or two and I'm feeling confident enough. Moving on to men. First of all, cheesy lines are dated. Why on earth do they still exist? Here are a few examples of some lines I have had:
  1. Hi, what's your favourite dinosaur?
  2. Hey, you going to the top of the Empire State Building? Man you have beautiful eyes, will you marry me?
  3. Did you know I've been sky diving before? Yeah I zoomed in and out of Google Earth.
Some may argue that numbers 1 & 3 are not pick up lines, but believe me, THEY WERE. What ever happened to good old fashioned honesty? Just literally going up to a guy or a girl and saying, "Hi, my name is ******* and I find you attractive. Can I take you out sometime?". Let's face it, what do you have to lose?! I could take my own advice, but I don't take rejection very well haha! Not only this, but I'm quite old fashioned and am attracted to men who are chivalrous, which let's face it... it's dying a slow death. Growing up in school, I had more lad mates than girl mates and I was involved in a LOT of conversations concerning women and allllll their negative traits. Such as winging, complaining, being premenstrual, menstrual, post-menstrual (don't worry ladies, I fought our corner). As a woman, I would say we do hold a lot of the power. Ever heard of the term, 'Happy wife, happy life'? It's simple, if your woman is happy, you won't have a bad life! You know, that life that has all that winging, complaining, menstrual nonsense that can linger! 

Now I have had a little rant about men complaining about women, I will say this much for men: you say what you mean. Better yet, you don't always need to say it. You do what you mean also. If you're angry at a woman, you're angry. You say you want to watch Match of the Day, you watch Match of the Day and the best of all... you don't like the girl, you don't like a girl! This is probably the reason why I don't ever approach men, ha! Another best selling book that has helped women's understanding of this is called, 'He's Just not That Into You.' 
This was adapted into a film in 2009 - quite hilarious actually! I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't seen it. Some funny lines include, "I just need you to stop being nice to me unless you're going to marry me." And "Maybe he lost my hut number?". This has to be the funniest scene for me... Drew Barrymore's character, Mary, goes out on a date with a singer and is left with this answerphone message - gets me every time!

Now, I know the title of this weeks blog is unfair guys, but I am a woman after all... :). I have and understanding that both sexes will NEVER fully understand each other. It's almost like the art of agreeing to disagree. I do know one thing though, when it comes to any type of a relationship, whether this be platonic or romantic: know when to say sorry. It's okay to be in the wrong, it's never admitting it that's the problem!

Hope you have found this weeks blog as interesting as I wanted to convey it! Please let me know your thoughts in the usual places on here, Facebook or Twitter. I welcome all of your comments! :).

Many thanks,
T. x

P.S. For all the ladies reading this, as you know it was International Women's Day on Saturday the 8th March. I read this fantastic article from Dawn O'Porter (of whom I'm a massive fan) in last month's Glamour magazine. I just have to attach it for you all to read as I found it so inspirational and it has really made me want to do more as a woman! I'm sure you will all feel the same after reading it :).

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Chapter 34: The Holiday of the Year!

Welcome to my first "26 and... What the Hell am I Doing?" Blog. Depressing for me, but funny for all of you I'm sure! Well I finally went on the holiday of the year and it was everything I hoped it would be... and then some! As cliche as it sounds, it really is the City that never sleeps! I have been before and have wanted to go back ever since. I have only been back 3 days and I'm already day dreaming of going back! But, who knows?! We will have to see what the future holds :). All I can say is I am very excited for opportunities that come my way... you know what they say, you live to regret the things you don't do, than the things you do...do. Sorry that just reminded me of Chandler in Friends when he is being interviewed and the bloke says,"do do".

It was my friend, Katie's, first time in the Big Apple, and she loved every minute! We had a great package deal with Virgin Concierge, where they offered us different deals to see and do different things. We went for the "Hop, Shop & Top" service where you get 4 days unlimited bus travel, shopping at the Woodbury Common Outlet, a choice to go to either the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock, a boat tour around the New York skyline and Liberty Island and a Broadway Show. We went to see Wicked and I'm not gonna lie, it was wicked! 

One of the best shows I've seen and I knew it wouldn't disappoint as I'm a massive Wizard of Oz fan. It w as everything I loved rolled into one, reels you in from the first line, great music and dancing and there were some amazing sarcy comments coming from the Wicked Witch. I loved it because it was a completely different take on the original story we have all grown up with. So if you are wanting to see a show either in the West End or Broadway, this is a MUST see. It took place at the Gershwin Theatre and the entire place was dedicated to Wicked, NO other show took place there. The halls were FILLED with signed pictures of previous actors that were apart of the play and even the Beer cups had the 'Wicked' logo on. Naturally, me and Stead stole them!...

Love a collage, me! As you can see, I'm wearing a white suit and Stead is wearing a black suit. We had no time to get dinner that night as it was a manic day, so we resorted to M&M's, Pringles and beer. I said to the lady who served us, "She treats me well", as Stead went to pay on our card. FYI, American's don't take sarcasm very well. She genuinely thought we were a couple. Safe to say, Stead gave me a bollocking, ha! 

We chose to go to the Empire State Building (you can't go to NYC and NOT go to the Empire State Building?), the views are out of this world. You literally see everything, from the yellow cabs, to the Statue of Liberty, which again was a beautiful site on the boat tour. There were a few things we didn't make it to, like Top of the Rock (which apparently has better views than the Empire State), Central Park (but it was minus 12 degrees) and the famous toy store as seen in the movie, Big! I wanted to play on the floor piano like Tom Hanks!

Even though we didn't get to see them places, I wouldn't have changed the trip for the world. It was one of the funniest holidays I've ever had and for anyone that knows the legend that is, The Stead, she is bare hilare! Thanks for an awesome trip lady! I'll be sure NOT to buy you a Cosmo next time we're out ;). Newww Yoorrrrkk! YEAHYEAH! xxx.

This song is for you baybay! It's a mixture of both of our interpretations of, "NEWWW YORRRK!"

Thanks for reading peeps! For anyone who is thinking about going to New York, don't think - JUST DO IT.
Big Love,
T. x

P.S. My sister's and I have entered to do Race for Life again this year for our amazing Mammy. She put up a huge battle with Bowel Cancer and we are proud to run this race for her. A true warrior and our biggest inspiration. We love and miss you so much Mammy xxx. I have attached our page here, we would greatly appreciate any donations you have to offer. X