Posted in Lifestyle

Hi, My name is Ciara and I am addicted to Netflix

New Year, new me. How many times do I have to say it to myself for it to actually ring true? So far this year I have gotten a job, joined a local political party, went to Brussels to go on a tour of the European parliament and got quite drunk. Sounds good for three weeks. However my actual New Years resolutions to be more healthy and confident was hindered, as in the New Year I also subscribed to Netflix. In 24 days I have watched all five seasons of 90210 and two seasons of the Vampire Diaries. Despite being less active, I have enjoyed spending copious amounts of time in front of my computer, but there are faults to spending five hours a day feeding your addictions.

1. You get completely and utterly compelled by a series to find out it has actually been cancelled on a cliffhanger.

This happened to me with Heroes. After watching series after series and falling in love  Milo Ventimiglia, we never actually get to find out how things end. I watched The Tomorrow People on Netflix, became invested in the characters only to find out it has been cancelled after one series! The outrage!!

2. I bought Netflix around exam time. A silly and costly mistake, believe me. Don’t worry, my exams did not hinder my progress in 90210.

3. Finally I have not exercised in all of January, but instead have invested in eating microwaveable popcorn in my spare time while getting fat and crushing on Ian Somerhaulder and Elena’s younger brother.

Hopefully I will beat my addiction and get off my ass soon. I have admitted to having a problem, which is the first step so I am quite pleased with myself for now. As soon as I watch all of House of Cards, I may warn myself off my laptop for a while but until then… wish me luck.

Posted in Fashion and lifestyle

Leave The Gym Resolutioners Alone

Sass & Balderdash

We’ve all seen them. There could be one next to you right now on the treadmill holding on for dear life and hiking up a level 15 incline. You may have spotted one inquisitively eying a BOSU ball, wondering what manner of cruel and unusual punishment a semi-circle could possibly deliver. They’re the Resolutioners who have taken your gym by storm this January to get started on their weight loss and fitness goals, and they haven’t received the warmest of welcomes.

I used to be a Resolutioner. In fact, I can say with confidence that “losing weight” or “eating better” was probably my staple resolution from the year 2003 through 2011. When it comes to my New Year’s resolutions, it was probably only surpassed in frequency by “This year I’m going to have a boyfriend,” or “This year I’m committing to not being so quiet and weird.”

I never stuck to it. I’d show up to the…

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Posted in Fashion and lifestyle

Is there such a thing as a ‘New’ you?

A couple of months ago I decided that I didn’t enjoy the way I was living. Unfortunately I was surrounded by all the wrong people and I was constantly down on myself for not being good enough. I posted a positive but very untruthful post in my previous blog in a moment of positivity, but reading over it a week later, I realized I wasn’t being true to the way I had been feeling or acting for a long period of time. I was being a fraud. I basically said that I wanted to undergo a whole makeover. Going from blond and flirty to dark and mysterious. I then said that my hair looked strangely like a mix between “Billy Ray Cyrus’ mullet and Alice Cooper’s black mains”. I told myself that I needed to lose at least seven pounds and that then, and only then, would I finally be finished and happy with myself. I even went as far as Bridget Jones and said that I would ignite my inner sex goddess. It was funny to read over. I had the idea in mind that I was going to recreate myself. However, I recreate myself every six months, I tell myself the exact same things, as do my friends and I have realised its a damn near slippery slope for unhappiness.

As women, we are constantly down on ourselves. I cannot remember the last time I have heard a woman compliment herself without being accused of being ‘cocky’ or ‘up-herself’. We are our own worst enemies! For example, After finishing my first year of college this year, I went to Santa Ponca. It was initially supposed to be a group of us, but slowly more and more girls pulled out and before I knew it, it was only my best friend and I going. This was fine with me, I hadn’t seen her in yonks’, I missed the bones out of her and looked forward to the catch up. Unfortunately we scarcely had time to meet up since she had moved to Dublin.

We met up the day before going to Santa Ponca, I was shocked to see that she had gained a little bit of weight, but instead of unnecessarily bruising her fragile self confidence I said that she looked well and we carried on to our destination. The same cannot be said for her. I had lost seven pounds, as we lay on the beautiful Spanish beach, something along the lines of this came out of her mouth “I think Ide want someone to tell me I was getting fat and you are need to lose loads of belly fat”. Offensive. GRR…. I didn’t ask, I didn’t need to lose weight (months of regular Pilates). She was projecting her own unhappiness onto me. This was our whole holiday, putting me down every single opportunity she got. From making comments such as ” I wish I was here with my fun friends” to insisting we go home early because some hot guy talked to me instead of her and even going up at one stage to this guy and go “You are annoying, f*** off, im here too”. I knew she was finding it hard, but so was I and there was no need to be talking about my body type when she definitely very unhappy with her own.

My point is that woman often feel they have the right to comment on others’ body type.. How often have you picked up the magazine to read about how Kim Kardashian has gained 10 pounds? Or said that a celebrity is “too skinny” As women we need a bit of comradeship. Especially in this dog eat dog world we live in.

I never comment on my friends unless asked by then. We need to embrace the people we are. So what if I am in to politics, ir feminism or lost weight. Unless you are being supportive it is none of your goddamn business…

Posted in Fashion and lifestyle

Christmas blues

I would love a Christmas that exuded that which we see in films. This is what comes to me as I sit watching Scrooge this evening (the version with Patrick Steward) and contemplating how nice it would be if those who have caused pain in life had to wear chains in purgatory. As they do in this version of the movie, Scrooge is a timeless classic which my family and I watch every year together

But the happy ending, is life ever that perfect? Is it just that we expect too much from a culture that nourishes the extreme? It seems as though everyone around me either loves or hates this time of year. Christmas exudes a passion in people that can either be their best or their worst. Is it possible that we expect too much from one day? I think so. Although Christmas is normally my favorite time of year, traditions are set in place that if I don’t make I get quite upset by. I always remember that one interview with Frank Skinner where he admitted that while he was addicted to alcohol, he sat alone on Christmas day in his pajamas and masturbated.

For example, this year I was asked to work on Christmas Eve. I was really upset by the possibility of spending my Christmas eve in a bar, earning money instead of stuffing my face by the fire surrounded by family in my usual Christmas tradition. I think change can be unsettling. However, this is a very ungrateful attitude to life. Although of course I would prefer not to work my favorite time of year, it is obnoxious to identify this as a problem when a lot of people would love this opportunity to work, or get the hours or even be with such a loving family. But it is around this time when a look back at the previous year can lead many people to feel down trotted and lonely. Christmas can lead to many suicidal thoughts which can be enhanced by the weather at this time of year. It is a time to thank God when you have a loving family. And if you don’t and feel alone, seek some companionship through attending church and various voluntary groups such as SVP.

I think that Christmas can lead us to think about the past year and whether it has been a good one. I always see it as a time of creativity, Where with money I get for Christmas I emerge myself in some project for a number of weeks. Last year I enveloped myself in abstract art for the holidays, two years before I learned how to play the guitar and this year I have been writing daily. When I go to college, I agonize over grades until the end of term tests, Christmas and Summer are the only times I can relax and rediscover passions. And although it is a horrible time for a lot of people, it just makes me feel blessed.

Posted in Fashion and lifestyle

The Success of every woman is an inspiration for another- Diane Von Furstenburg

my literature handbag

The theme outlines this week by fellow bloggers gave the title ‘Heroes’. It made me consider aspects of my life and left me deep in thought for the remainder of the morning. The first name that came to my mind was undoubtedly Diane Von Furstenburg. However I realized that there is a tall differential between those that I admire and am inspired by and between those I would call ‘My Hero’ . Inspiration is defined in theology as adivineinfluencedirectlyandimmediatelyexerteduponthemindor soul. Someone I have definitely admire is Diane. I am currently reading her book “The woman I wanted to be”. I can honestly say I support anyone that supports the rights of women. More and more people are becoming better aware of the real meaning of feminism. Years ago, when I was younger, I read an article in ‘Stellar’ magazine describing…

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Posted in Fashion and lifestyle

The Success of every woman is an inspiration for another- Diane Von Furstenburg

The theme outlines this week by fellow bloggers gave the title ‘Heroes’. It made me consider aspects of my life and left me deep in thought for the remainder of the morning. The first name that came to my mind was undoubtedly Diane Von Furstenburg. However I realized that there is a tall differential between those that I admire and am inspired by and between those I would call ‘My Hero’ . Inspiration is defined in theology as a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul. Someone I have definitely admire is Diane. I am currently reading her book “The woman I wanted to be”. I can honestly say I support anyone that supports the rights of women. More and more people are becoming better aware of the real meaning of feminism. Years ago, when I was younger, I read an article in ‘Stellar’ magazine describing how misconstrued feminism was. I have always been passionate about this simple topic; women supporting other women.

Can your hero really be someone you don’t know? Undoubtedly not, as you are aspiring to someone you don’t know. With this came the appreciation of my mother, and her mother before her. Two women whom are equally strong but in different ways. My grandmother is the face of elegance. When younger she looked like an icon from Hollywood and had the most amazing singing voice. However when her husband died, she gave up her dreams to raise three young children alone. Independent. Beautiful. Strong.

My mother is more outspoken. She rarely holds her tongue but has a heart of gold, as if she feels like when someone else is in pain, she can feel it too.

I feel that thinking about this exercise is enlightening. When I asked my friend who she would call her hero she replied automatically “Gigi Hadid”. There is a difference. Hopefully this rage in feminism is not just a trend.

Posted in Fashion and lifestyle

I think that it would be fair to say that I’m not the most patient person. Admittedly, there are a couple of things in my life that I could have handled better, but there are also problems I could have dealt with worse. I have the occasional sprout of anxiety, anger and random moodiness but there was a time not so long ago when I felt that my life was riddled by these problems. They consumed my life on a daily basis and tainted my happiness.
It was then that I found Mindfulness.

 

Mindfulness is, to an extent, grounding yourself in the present moment. I actually find it quite spiritual. It is no something you ‘do’ but a meditation in which you practise.

Since wondering upon the class ‘Mindfulness for Daily Living’ I think that my life has completely changed, my attitude towards life certainly has. It is helping me through some though situations.

In a way, practising mindfulness is trying to be aware of your five senses– touch, sight, smell, taste and hearing. According to the teacher this is because “our thoughts are not reality”. She explains that many people live in their regrets and the ‘what ifs’ of their past or worry about their future. By noticing our senses we are more present as individuals in the moment, instead of with the mindset of always thinking of what you have to do next. I find this theory interesting, you can’t enjoy the life on autopilot.

 

For example, let’s imagine its my birthday tomorrow. I’m so excited that I can’t sleep. I imagine waking up, the excitement, the present and presuming there will be the yearly family meal. In a sense, I am setting myself up for disappointment because I have already lived through tomorrow in my mind. Things probably will not be exactly as I imagined them and even if they are, I will more than likely be really tired on top of everything.

 

Another lesson that my instructor has shared, that has particularly struck me is that regrets are pointless. You did all you could at the time. If you had a better option, you would have taken it! Now obviously that doesn’t apply to extreme cases -crimes committed- but in general a person can only do what they believe is best at a moment in time.

 

Life can be very overwhelming. I think that having learnt at eighteen that you can at least take five minutes out of the day for yourself to relax and breathe is an important lesson. It helps a person to grow a healthy attitude towards life.

 

The whole idea of meditation is to see the world afresh. If you can try and see the beauty in the small things in life and surround yourself with kindness, I believe that things can only get better.
Hell It worked for me.