A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 15 January 2018


Hello pals! It's actually #BlueMonday today, the one day where society allows us to be sad. Companies like to jump on this weird, made up day to monopolise campaigns to make sad people buy things. Two things to remember here; 1. It's okay to be sad at any other point in the year and if you are more sad than usual and it's stopping you from doing things, maybe think about visiting your GP. And 2. Maybe instead of buying into some overpriced, bullshit campaign donate to a mental health charity and help end the stigma once and for all. Annndddd breathe.. I know that #BlueMonday has some positive aspects attached to it, but I just think it's wrong to use mental health stigma as a means of advertisement, that's all. And I'm here to tell you it's not a blue Monday after all and if it is, that's okay too. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Bullet Journal____________________________________________________________________

Wow, I've been on a right ol' journey with diaries this Christmas. I ordered my usual Flow diary, it arrived and it was tiny and really disappointing (sorry Flow pals but it was). Then I ordered a 365 day journal from Amazon and the weekly spread only had 4 sections. So I gave up and decided to just make my own, bullet journalling isn't that hard is it? Well.. yes, but it's also really enjoyable. It's been really fun to design my own layout and have everything I need to stay motivated and be productive and I can personalise it anytime I like. I used to be really sceptical about 'bujo's', thinking that I would take up more time designing and making it pretty than using it. And yes maybe that's a tad true, but it's allowing me to be creative and also, get shit done. I'll probably do a separate post showing you the inside, that's what bloggers do right?

Hard Sun_________________________________________________________________________

It's the new addictive drama on the bbc, staring Agnys Dean and the plot is crazy good. I don't want to give away the plot, but it's set in pre-dystopian London, on the edge of an apocalypse in which the sun destroys the earth. Every shot has this amazing light, this very bright sun is always there, ominously in the background. I love a bit of dystopia and so far it's my ultimate cup of tea, check it out if you too like clever wide angles, models-turned-actors and dystopian dramas. 

Mist_____________________________________________________________________________

If anyone has  had a gander on my instagram feed recently, you will find that my aesthetic has become 94% grey, mist and trees and I'm happy about that to be honest. People keep telling me how miserable this weather makes them feel, but with me it's the opposite. I feel really at home in cold, misty weather and I think it's perfect for photography. Mist gives amazing perspective and mood to photos and I've been enjoying capturing all of this on many a bleak, January walk. And there's nothing better than coming home and thawing out with fluffy socks, a cup of tea and a bath. 

Black Mirror S4___________________________________________________________________

Oh look, more dystopian sci-fi what a surprise! -I'm also reading The Power at the moment but more on that later- Black Mirror is one of my all time favourite tv shows and their newest season did not disappoint. I wont give anything away but my favourite episodes are Crocodile, Arkangel & Hang the DJ. A lot of people have criticised this season but I think Brooker's writing has just got better and better, I just love tv shows that make you think so outside of the box that you end up trapped in an existential dread (not speaking from experience or anything) and I also think the beauty of Black Mirror is that they don't give you all the answers on a plate, it doesn't treat the viewer like a fool, there are things to work out for yourself and I think that's really brave in this day and age. Also I might just delete tinder for a while y'know? -if you know, you know- 

How was your Monday?


2018 | Let's Call Them Intentions & Let's Keep Them Chill

Sunday, 14 January 2018




So here we are again. The time of year where I try so desperately not to fall into the 'new year new me' mindset and end up failing and setting goals anyway, I've even decided to start a bullet journal this year; I mean I've really out-done myself. The reason I don't like this new year pressure to change everything about myself is mainly societal. We get forced into thinking that January is the only month for radical change, the-diet-starts-tomorrow mentality actually works for once and everyone feels content with their newfound selves until February comes round the corner. But I'm sick of shaking it off, I'm joining this bandwagon with full force because hey; if it brightens up my January and makes me a better person that's fine with me. 

2017 was a difficult year, for many reasons that I won't go on about anymore on here and it's basically been a tough year for the world as a whole. It's fair to say I was pretty pleased to see the back of it. To mark this occasion I've been focusing on what I want to do this year and what I want to achieve. Although I am a very driven person, I've decided to keep my intentions quite realistic and basically quite chill. I don't like the word goals, for reasons I've already explained and the word intentions just sounds a bit lighter and slightly spiritual, which I'm trying to be a bit more this year. I've always been interested in star signs and chakras but my psychologically trained brain was always a little sceptical. But I have found great comfort in discovering a more spiritual body recently, especially the relationship between my brain and the phases of the moon and I'm excited about this journey; with some help from my new set of tarot cards of course.

Last year I set some kind-of last minute intentions whilst writing the blog post and I did surprisingly well at all of them:

Do More Yoga ____________________________________________________________________

Yep, I did just that, even whilst writing my dissertation I still found time for a bit of stretching now and again. I'm definitely going to carry this on into 2018 and hopefully soon my long tree limbs will let me touch my toes.

Worry in a Week__________________________________________________________________

I became a boss at this! After reading through my CBT work books and talking to my current therapist about it, I cracked it and it has really helped with my anxiety. Of course I still worry, I have a neurotic personality (hooray for INFJ's), but my restless thoughts have calmed down a whole bunch and I think it's because of practising this mantra. I would recommend this to any lil' worrier out there to try and practice this way of thinking this year!

333______________________________________________________________________________

I can confirm that I sorted my wardrobe out and passed this with flying colours! I think I only still have about 40 items in my wardrobe and almost all of them are thrifted from charity shops, depop or vintage stores. I'm really pleased with how ethical my fashion choices have been this year and apart from some Joni jeans at the end of the year that were desperately needed and some online underwear orders, I've been minimalist and ethical all year round, pat on the back to me I guess. And of course I will be carrying this on into 2018, maybe without the 33 item restriction though, if I see a jumper for 50p in sally-army, I'm gonna' buy it eh.


I'm all kinds of excited about this year and whatever's in store I feel more equipped now and ready to take whatever comes my way. Let's talk pretentious intentions this year shall we:

Release an EP_____________________________________________________________________

I want to focus ultra hard on music this year. I spent a lot of 2017 writing and that means I have a lot of songs ready to be recorded and released, only problem is I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing. I'm just going to do as many gigs as I can and hopefully get somewhere with that. I think after 3 years of intense academia, I just want to be creative for a while, do this for me, no one else and see how far it gets me.

Move Out_________________________________________________________________________

I've been living in my parents house now for about 6 months and although they are wonderful, I need my own space and I need to see the world. We have plans, we just need to put them into motion and hopefully by the end of the year, I'll be settled in a new place to call home.

Constantly Grow __________________________________________________________________

If last year taught me anything it's that we should all still be growing. My favourite quote of 2017 was 'you can't grow when you're comfortable' and that's so true. I thought I had slightly self-actualised during 2016, ermmm no Ciara, you've got very far to go and that's exciting!


Become More Educated_____________________________________________________________

I'm an academic and strive for knowledge. But since finishing Uni I've found myself become a little lazier when it comes to things going on in the world. I want to be as socially and politically aware as I can. And that means reading books, articles, watching more Ted talks, podcasts etc. Basically consuming anything knowledgeable and interesting to me and not just to win a debate in a pub. And here's an extra one; I want to be able to remain calm during debates. I am fully aware that I live in a liberal bubble and when I am faced with people with different mindsets, I tend to shut out what they're saying, not in a rude way, I just go really quiet and keep my views to myself. I know that when it's angry, my brain forgets words and tends to see red. I want to get to a point where I can articulate my argument and educate people, whilst also listening to their views calmly.

I think that's all I can think of. Although this year might be quite stressful, I'm hoping to achieve a lot and still have time to chill, write on this blog and maybe travel a bit? We'll see. Here's to a chill 2018 I guess, something that we should all do more often. 
Do you have any pretentious intentions?


  



A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 8 January 2018


Hello pals, it's been a hot minute! After working hard as an elf for the whole of December I needed a well earned rest and that's exactly where I've been. Catching up with friends and drinking plenty of alcohol and peppermint tea in equal measure. But now I'm back and ready to stick to a proper blogging schedule again. I have a new diary (although it's tiny) and I'm starting to get into a routine again starting with yoga in the morning and planning my day at a reasonable time; before it starts to get dark. January is a bit of a waiting game for me and therefore I have a lot of free time, so expect regular posts to start soon, I have much to say and although I am trying to focus more on music, I have missed writing. So I'm going to try and balance the two, starting this week. A good, old fashioned Monday post to start 2018, here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Starwars_________________________________________________________________________

I went to see it with a new edition to the fandom. My best friend Emily hadn't seen the most recent films, but after watching The Force Awakens she caught the Starwars bug and we decided to go and see the new one on the big screen. Although I have a lot of questions (no spoilers here dw) I did have fun and that sense of nostalgia that these most recent films do so well at; remained there. It was also so interesting to see Skellig Michael being on screen because I have visited that island and it is as isolating and remote as it is seen on the film, although there are no Porgs..unfortunately. Kylo Ren is still my favourite character though, what can I say? The darkside calls me. 

Sampler _________________________________________________________________________

I got an AKAI MPX8 sampler for Christmas, what is that you may ask? It's something used in music as a means of digital percussion, or a way to add background and noise filters to songs. I've been having so much fun with it this week and although it's quite tricky to master, I'm excited about how much it's going to give to my music and what I can do with it. At the moment I'm just having fun recording my cat making weird noises and using them as a beat, it's the new sound of 2018!

The Crown_______________________________________________________________________

So while I've been hibernating, what have I been up to? Well, for the first week of January you would find me snuggled under a blanket watching The Crown. I got through the first season in 2 days, pretty impressive and I'm now onto season 2. Now I'm no royalist, far from it. But I do have a strange fascination with the royal family and how they negotiate through life. The Crown; although dramatised is quite close to the truth -after a gander on wikipedia- and I now have a new found respect for The Queen and her fam', especially Princess Margaret, she went through so much shit man.  Who knew a series on Netflix could give me such a history lesson. 

Golden Globes Oprah Speech_______________________________________________________

I was lying in bed this morning scrolling through twitter and found this clip of Oprah Winfrey's speech at The Golden Globes. Nine minutes later I found myself streaming with tears and a warmth in my heart for all women everywhere that things are going to change. It was so powerful and the perfect thing to wake up to, if you haven't taken the time to watch it, please do it'll make your day and your life better:

  

How was your Monday?



A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 18 December 2017


Hello pals! I can't believe it's only a week until Christmas, my cheeks are glittery and work is busier than ever, but I think it's the most fun I've had working. I've spent the week working incredibly long hours with a smile pinned to my face, dancing around to Wizzard -who knew entertaining children was such hard work- But I know it's all worth it and I've still managed to have a social life, going to bed at 2am and waking up again at 7, at least I have the glitter to cover up my eye bags! Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Haley Blais & Covers ______________________________________________________________

Haley is one of my favourite musical artists and I get a lot of inspiration from her lyrics and choice of covers and this Dean Martin cover just blew me away. I got into bed after a hard day at work and clicked on it for a bit of background music. Next thing you know I'm turning it up full volume and getting teary at the perfect vocals and chorus build up. I love Dean Martin songs and hearing a  cover of  one of my favourites; turning that drunken vocal slur into something angelic was just amazing and I have gone on to click on this video multiple times a day. 

Getting Published _________________________________________________________________

That's right, ya girl got her dissertation published in an actual psychology journal and I've never been so proud of myself. The hours of sore fingers and brains and tea and tears were all worth it! People can actually reference me when writing their own dissertations, that's crazy!

Love, Lies & Records ______________________________________________________________

It's a program designed for middle aged women but I've become hooked! My mum and I have been watching it on  BBC and it's just a simple program about a registrar and her dramatic life surrounding her job, but so much happens, so much un-necessary drama and it's such a good program to switch off to at the end of a long day. I also now am wondering if I would make a good registrar; I've come to the conclusion that I am too emotionally unstable for that shit. 

Labyrinth________________________________________________________________________

I had never seen the puppet-cult-classic that is Labyrinth, so my friends decided to change that. We watched it together the other night and apart from the effects being laughable and wanting to strangle the main character because she is so annoying; I would say I enjoyed it. It gave me huge Never Ending Story vibes and I'm not complaining about that. Bowie makes it though, and that soundtrack oh my I haven't been able to get Magic Dance out of my head since! 

How was your Monday?




Teeny Tiny Film Reviews | Part II

Wednesday, 13 December 2017


Here we are a month later than predicted, but here none the same. If you haven't read part one already this is a lil' series we do on here sometimes when I've watched a whole lotta' films and want to talk about them, but only haphazardly. So here is part two of my bunch of teeny, tiny film reviews:


Stuck in Love_____________________________________________________________________


"If love is setting a place at the table for someone who is never coming home, I think I'll pass."

- heartwarming, poignant & hopeful
☽ - 8 moons 


Dunkirk__________________________________________________________________________


"The tide's turning now. The bodies are coming back."

- bleak, immersive & intense

☽ - 9 moons 


50/50_____________________________________________________________________________________________

"It makes it worse... that no one will just come out and say it. Like, "hey man, you're gonna die."

- hilarious & light, in the face of sadness & fear

☽ - 8 moons 


The Circle_________________________________________________________________________________________

" Knowing is good, but knowing everything is better."

- Interesting concept, strong build up to nothing

☽ - 4 moons 


Two Night Stand___________________________________________________________________________________

 "Look at 'em, a million tiny, little matchmakers. Thank you, snowflakes."

- A bit stupid, but perfect for a shameless midnight rom-com


☽ - 3 moons 


Me Before You_____________________________________________________________________________________

"You are pretty much the only thing that makes me wanna get up in the morning."

- Flawed and old fashioned, but slightly warming 
  
☽ - 3 moons 

Good Will Hunting _________________________________________________________________________________

"You're not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you've met, she's not perfect either."

- Doesn't live up to the hype, slow, but a wholesome film none-the-less 

☽ - 4 moons 


Everything Everything______________________________________________________________________________














"I'm willing to sacrifice everything just to live one perfect day."

- Close to the book, pleasing aesthetics but unrealistic 

☽ - 6 moons


Asthma ________________________________________________________________











"I have nothing to lose man" 

- Unusual, unnerving and experimental

☽ - 5 moons 


There are sooo many films coming out recently that I would love to see, so expect another one of these in the next couple of months. 
What films have you been watching?


A Not So Blue Monday

Monday, 11 December 2017


Hello pals! Boy it's cold outside now, winter has definitely arrived bringing along frosty mornings and low sunrises, I've been enjoying the two equally on my way to work every morning. It makes cold hands and sleepy eyes feel worth it. Here are the things that have made me particularly happy this week:

Advent Calendar__________________________________________________________________

It's that time of year again, where us vegans are completely ostracised from society because we can't eat a tiny piece of chocolate daily. I'm joking of course; there's loads of dairy-free advent calendars to get your hands on these days. I however, am not the biggest fan of chocolate anyway, so my mum decided to treat me to a lovely candle advent calendar from my bae' Wilkos. Everyday is a different scented tea light and I am thoroughly enjoying coming home from work and basking in the warm glow of my daily, winter candle. Maybe I will spend a fortune on the Yankee candle one next year, who knows. 

The Good Place ___________________________________________________________________

I've recently been craving a sitcom style show to binge whilst doing other things. And instead of re-watching the complete series of New Girl from the beginning, I decided to try The Good Place, I've heard a lot about it from friends and social media and it definitely lived up. It's a very particular type of humour and it tickles me so much. Also the plot is actually quite deep once you've got past the first quirky few episodes. I'm on season two already after a week and I'm well and truly hooked to the concept of this show. If you're looking for something quite light-hearted and a bit zany to breeze through; this show might just be perfect. 

'The One's That Got Away' Playlist__________________________________________________

Spotify recently advised me on their 'wrap up of the year' function. Based on the site's algorithm it tells you what songs you have been listening to the most as well as artists and genres and number of plays. Mine was not surprising; The 1975, Fleetwood Mac, Lorde etc. (you can probably guess). But along with this, they constructed a playlist of music that they think I should have listened to, based on these results and oh my goodness! Every song I have been played, I have added to another playlist. It's quite creepy how well Spotify knows my taste in music and what I would like but also so helpful. It has allowed me to discover new artists and I'm always thankful for that. Also I seemed to listen to a lot of sad songs in 2017 hmm? 

     


How was your Monday?

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