Sunday, 19 April 2015

Blue Toned

Penneys top, jelly shoes and tights | New Look velvet skirt 

Currently playing : R U Mine | Boys And Girls In Love 

I spent the first half of this weekend visiting Nanny in Dublin so whilst there, I had a look around the stores which are generally larger than the ones down here in the South East and first, I got hyper in Claire's because sparkly pink fairy wand, lace chokers and cute rings - none of which I bought, may I add, but nevertheless I was ecstatic and then when we got to the huge Penneys I practically screamed "MY FAITH IN THIS SHOP IS RESTORED" because I found so much cute clothes which I actually feel comfortable wearing ! One, being the sparkly silver jelly shoes I am wearing in the photos above. I spent half of summer 2014 looking for a pair of heeled jelly shoes and every clothing shop ever always seemed to be out of my size so I really didn't complain when I had to jump up and down to reach the only pair in my size at the back of the top rack ! They also had them in black and sparkly pink but I felt that the silver glitter might have been obnoxious enough for one day ! I'm obviously going to wear these all summer until they fall apart, no matter how tacky they may look walking down the main street, they are comfortable and they make me feel like a majestic unicorn or some magical creature who does not care all too much ! I also found a tank top and two "gypsy tops" which I prefer to call off-the-shoulder tops, they're really not appropriately named by the shops, but anyway, although I'm still unsure as to whether the style suits me or not, this rose print one is so beautiful and I thought it would look fitting with my velvet skirt which brings a different vibe to the entire outfit plus I can pretend that I'm at Coachella or a twenty first century Woodstock - just in a more temperate climate !

Normal classes are resuming tomorrow and I am way too tired and lacking in energy to function - it is a wonder that I finished my English homework, the only reason probably being that it was on a topic, gender equality, that I actually have an interest in and so I just kept telling myself that it wasn't homework and that I wanted to do it. Portfolio is also due this week and I've never been so happy that I chose to do blogposts throughout the year since for once, the only aspect I'm cramming is the photo album and even then, sticking photos in an album is more tiring and repetitive than anything else so I cannot really complain !

Grace x

Friday, 17 April 2015

Through the Glowing

Currently playing : Long Way Down | Shots | You 

So on the first day of Transition Year and even way before then, you are told by year heads, family, your goldfish and practically everyone that good 'ol TY is going to be beneficial to you for a lot of reasons - one of the main things being a great chance to meet new people and make lots of friends ! At that point, my friends and I would make a face at each other and some sarcastic comment since

a. The majority of us don't have the social skills to interact with practically strangers

b. We don't like the other side of the year - we like the friends we already have

c. We know that with our luck, none of this great "making new friends' kind of thing is going to happen to any of us except like two of our friends so we may as well sit back and get ready to complain anyway.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I am pretty sure by now that I subconsciously began Transition Year with the full intention to practically force myself to be more outgoing and to get to know more people. All I needed was a kick or something to encourage me to do it and that happened when on the second week, one of my more outgoing friends told me that she wanted to start sitting at the TY bench during lunch and asked me to go with her as she didn't want to not meet new people and regret it by the end of the year so I went along ! I didn't really know anyone there but I was find with listening and observing until I built the confidence to start participating although by the end of the month, I was on an adrenaline rush filled with anxiety and fear - which is the only way to describe it - trying to put off panic attacks every morning and lunchtime, because I could not handle the social situations where I felt so uncomfortable since I knew barely anyone. I really missed Third Year when I used to love all my classes and felt comfortable in but now I couldn't even find one class I fully looked forward to ! It really took me until we returned from Galway and October midterm to feel that I had settled into Transition Year and the wait was worth it.

The whole aspect of building confidence and getting to know people has been the one aspect of Transition Year that I have really enjoyed and I feel quite lucky and grateful to have had a decent experience in that sense. As a quiet person who would never speak a word to the person sitting next to them in class or waiting outside the classroom because of such dire social and conversation skills, Transition Year has put me in a situation where I force myself - probably not always the best of ways but still - to be more confident and to cope in social situations better. So speaking in the second-person narrative, you really have to thanks the friend who encouraged you to sit with an entirely different bunch of people for lunch and introduced me to so many lovely people, the person sitting behind you in class who never shuts up and calls you out for making small talk, the friend who has accidentally made a new classmate by sassing them and has dragged you along, the person who you have got to know solely because all you ever do is ask each other the homework you are yet to do, the friend who always adds you to group chat on Facebook and the friends who tolerate you in that group chat even though you keep sending 'cats in space' gifs and creating small talk.

I'm lucky enough that as well as becoming closer to some friends and making some new friends, I also didn't lose any friends during Transition Year and since I'm an observer, I've noticed how much louder and confident some of my quieter friends are compared to this time last year and that makes me feel really happy ! I've so many brilliant and funny memories from the last eight months which I remember in detail, I wish I could write a blogpost on all of them, but that would involve like twenty more posts which is not my aim so maybe I'll compile a few into one at the end of the year. The photos above were taken when a few of us went to the beach on the last Thursday of the Easter Holidays. The beach trips are a result of a group chat we basically spent our Easter Holidays on, quoting one particular message "People are gonna think we're cracked with insert-boy's-name-here going around in a bikini top, insert-name-here rolling around and the rest of us being us !". One of my friends lives quite near to the beach so the lot of us have gone several times over the past month and every time we go the weather happens to be scorching, the beach itself is always fairly quiet, there's a playground and shipwreck nearby where my friends who are all much more adventurous than me can be crazy and there's always something to do especially when there's not exactly a small number of us. So between walking off too many times because still-can't-handle-social-situations, forcing people to eat sand covered cookies because eye for an eye and not being in the best of moods because of reason number one, I was surprised that people were still talking to me by the end of the day - and the weather then was amazing by the way since the beach looks even prettier at the beginning of sunset !

Pat on the back for me not writing soppy for the majority of this post, but I am really grateful for the opportunities I've had this year to make new friends and be less of a social disaster ! Referring back to my friends and I's sarcastic comments at the end of paragraph one,

a. our social skills have improved. Drastically. I'm not even being sarcastic.

b. the friends I've made from other side of the year are actually some of the loveliest people I know and nothing changed with the friends we already had.

c. The whole 'making new friends' thing did actually happen to all of us - even our friends who can't stand anyone ! There is no escaping it !


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Hear me Screaming

Vest top sent out to me* | New Look hoodie and denim shorts | Penneys tights | Tesco hat and boots
Currently listening to : Carried Away | Luv, Hold Me Down | Snap Out Of It

About a week ago, I was sent out this amazing vest top - thank you so much, I'm very grateful - to do with the film The DUFF which is in cinemas right now ! Unfortunately, I have not got around to seeing the film yet which is supposed to be quite different from the book it is based on, but from reading the book and hearing about the film, I think the themes and stories that run through both are brilliant and a lot can be learnt from it. Some themes in the book I didn't really enjoy and found a bit boring after a while but I really loved how Bianca's - the main character - image of herself and confidence dropped because of one thing she was told yet was lifted by the end of the book. I have a feeling I might enjoy the film adaption more, which is quite unusual, but I do prefer what I've heard about the storyline.

I was thinking of what to wear with this top for this post -it would be brilliant over my floral maxi dress or with a black skirt - but in the end, I wore it with my pair of denim shorts and rushed out to take photos before going to the beach with friends - post coming during the week ! This brown hoodie and pair of shorts have kind of become my 'beach attire' and although they could be a pain in the neck when wearing tights like I did for anyone who wanted to go near the water (definitely not me !) and in the past have sometimes made me feel body conscious, I've been practically living in shorts recently and they make me feel so confident, I don't even know why and they are way more comfortable when going places such as this and it's so easy to get sand or grass stains out of them, unlike my velvet skirts or material shorts so I'm just here like 'win win'. The day was probably one of the warmest so far this year and the sun would burn you so mam and I found three massive hats and this one was my favourite so we bought it and it's the perfect kind of big hat I've been wanting for ages ! The want became a bit of an almost-need after seeing Violet's amazing bowler hat in the first episode of American Horror Story so I'm content with this hat - and it';s good for hiding under when you don't want to have to participate in social interaction ! And forgetting the most important use, yes, it did protect my head from the sun.

School returns tomorrow and considering it's the final term and I only have workshops for the week (essentially no classes.), I'm not looking forward to it as much as I usually would but I will probably be in better spirits once I adjust to the 6.30am beginnings again !

Grace x 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

A Note on Accepting Others

I'm in a bit of a mess writing this as I have just 'ugly cried'. Again. Same time, same reason. If I look at the blog post draft I want to write up, I can look at the pretty photos of the beautiful scenery that surrounds me, yet all I can think is "this is such an ugly world". Around this time last year, I wrote a post here on positivity towards those around you. It was meant to be the first in a series of posts on positivity but it never continued since I guess there are some thoughts I just cannot compose on paper or the Internet. I hold up a bit of a barrier. So here is where we go back to square one. Last year's post was completely unprovoked, it was just a change of attitude or way of thinking which has, no joke, changed my life and improved my difficulties with social skills and being close to other people. This year is different though. I can complain about all these problems circulating my mind and I can let them eat me whole, like they are beginning to, or I can do something about it. So I am writing a blogpost to share my opinions with all you lovely people. Warning that I have been doing a lot of reading lately so I apologise in advance for any metaphors or book quotes and I also warn that there is a chance that a lot of you will disagree with my opinions and that's okay too ! 

Slap me, why not, for writing 'all deep' now, but we are growing up in a time where negativity has really taken over and is often considered the trendiest of all. It's become trendy to hate yourself, hate everyone, hate everything. Pick yourself apart, pick everyone else apart and while you're there, why not pick anything to exist apart too ? And it's sad really because everything has a reverse effect - See yourself in a bad light, see everyone else in a bad light because they're competition. See everyone else in a bad light, you sure as heck are going to see yourself in an even worse light ! Your criticism of others will affect your criticism of yourself and the other way around ! Ugly isn't a facial feature, it's a personality trait and you don't need good eyesight to see it. Beautiful isn't a facial feature either and you also don't need good eyesight to see it. Somehow over time, people have found it more comfortable or fitting to spend a whole lot of time expressing their hatred for someone rather than expressing their admiration for someone else. People have found it easier to dislike someone rather than like them when they haven't got to know them enough to develop a proper opinion. And somehow over time, people have forgotten to create their own judgement of people and instead, base their judgement of people off the opinions they hear from others. In no way am I trying to scream "LOVE EVERYONE" here or tell you that it's wrong to dislike certain people in your life because guess what- we're all going to meet people who either we taken a dislike to or they take a dislike to us and events are going to occur where someone crosses the line for the one hundredth time and you say 'hey I can't put up with this sh*t anymore' but that in no way gives you a sparkly ticket to begin viciously gossiping out in the open or treating that person how they treated you because that's called crossing the exact same line and stooping to an even lower level. Bitching is a horrible past time and I don't agree with it. But that doesn't restrict you from having an opinion on that person - rant to a close friend or two in private over a bloody coffee, vent your frustration through a pen into a journal, cut them out of your head and life if they're bothering you that much ! Disliking someone doesn't make you a bad person just as liking someone doesn't make you a good person - it's all in how you handle a situation. 

Back to the 'ugly and beautiful', a lot of the time people tend to see the ugly before the beautiful. We seem to think that a human being can only be one or the other and not both. We seem to think that a human being is a 2D cardboard cut out with 2D feelings and a 2D personality. We seem to think that a human being is obliged to behave the way we want them to and the way we personally do. What we seem to forget is that we're all diverse characters and there are endless amounts of sides to every one of us and we're all staring through warped mirrors at ourselves and one another, seeing different versions of each other. We're left feeling disappointed and angry once we encounter a flaw of someone we think to be trait perfect and we're left conspiring and feeling duped once we encounter kindness of someone we think to be the opposite. I'd liken creating new friendships to setting up a flatpack from IKEA or somewhere (except you've no instructions in this case.) - it starts off as 2D but it has to be built up, in order for it to function. All very toxic, confusing but in the end, worth it. So I'm sitting on these rocks, completely frustrated and upset, thinking "so there's good in bad people and there's bad in good people. Wouldn't that make them all the same ?" At the same time, I'm looking out and I think about when I first came to this spot three weeks ago and how much longer it took me to get up on the rocks and how differently I perceived this place. And then I think of how differently I perceived people. 

The thing is, being a teen and creating friendships is both the best and worst mix. I mean, you can't understand everything going on with yourself the whole time so how are you supposed to understand what's going on with someone else ! It all revolves around the word 'acceptance' because that's all we want - to be accepted, to feel understood and part of something. You want to be accepted but you can't accept yourself so you pick and choose who you accept and that's often influenced by those you want to be accepted by. But accepting a person isn't the same as liking or disliking a person so you may as well accept them anyway as you don't have control over them to change their behavior whether you agree with it or not and unless it's affecting you directly or someone close to you, it's sometimes best to move on if you don't agree with it. 

What I'm getting to is again, my whole 'mantra' that everyone has a flaw. Everyone has both positive and negative traits, everyone's personality is made of beautiful and ugly, nobody is an entirely morally good person and nobody has never hurt someone else. But we're all looking for everyone to be these one hundred percent perfect people who are never going to hurt us or make a decision or opinion we disagree with and we're in denial to the fact that everyone including we, ourselves, are flawed and I feel that's one of the biggest problems as well - picking apart the flaws of others, to distract ourselves from our own. The majority of people have more good in them than bad and sometimes unfortunately you encounter people who are the opposite so you just move on and don't let them affect you.  I tend to see the good in someone before I see the bad and I get used to it leaving me being a bit naive sometimes or feeling a little surprised when I do see the bad but like the metaphor I used last year, we are not in court and we are not a jury. 

Because we're in no way to accept flaws, we pounce on them instead and judge people on one simple action or comment ! Like I said last year - People don't always mean what they say and people don't always think before they speak and unfortunately words cannot be taken back and are used against people for god knows how long and all of a sudden you're deemed a bad person. It doesn't hurt to think outside the box when someone says or does something hurtful or unusual. This doesn't mean justifying or making excuses for their actions but you do have to sometimes think "why is this person acting like this" or are they being influenced by trying to fit in" or maybe they're having a bad day and don't even realise that their words or actions may affect someone. It can be difficult to give someone the benefit of the doubt and sometimes it doesn't end well, but it's the effort that counts. If we all treated every single one of each other like s*it and never stopped complaining because of things said in the past, we wouldn't have anyone left - I know I, for one, would have no family, no friends and I'm pretty sure Plum and Truffle, my rabbits, and Tulip the goldfish would be gone too. Words do stick in people's feelings like daggers though and they stick for a long time. And both sides end up feeling like crap as I don't believe people can be so heartless that they never feel bad for a comment they passed. I also don't believe that it's ever too late to apologise and tell someone that you are genuinely sorry for upsetting them. Speaking of apologies, sorry for being extremely cheesy and cliché here and basically speaking of common sense at times. I generally accept and make amends for when people act like s*itheads because there is always a hidden reason behind their actions. I'm probably repeating myself here, but people unfortunately release their built up emotions by yelling and screaming at people - this is what I do when I have a meltdown at home, sorry mam, dad and Evan. People belittle others so they can hide their weaknesses or insecurities feel better about themselves. People go along with treating a person like s*it because it's the easiest thing to do and they won't be the victim next. I'm pretty sure I've been in every one of these situations in the past, everyone has so I don't feel in a place to judge someone for doing this so I suppose I list the excuses-which-still-doesn't-make-the-behavior-right in my head. But that still doesn't make their actions okay. So, please, always apologise. 

I really don't want to sound like I'm ranting here but I guess what I'm saying is to keep a healthy balance when it comes to attitudes towards other people so recap ! There's good and bad in everyone. Don't be afraid to have different hobbies to or to not agree with the views of those around you - it all makes better conversation or debating in the end ! Remember words can sometimes hurt without us even realising and an apology has never killed anyone. Feel free to have an opinion on someone but don't hurt their feelings by broadcasting it. Look out for your friends, but also look out for yourself. If someone's presence bothers you to the point you feel unnerved or if you feel unnerved by someone appearing to feel bothered by your own presence, get yourself out of the situation or ignore them. I'm hoping to have a more lighthearted post on friendship and the likes up during the week and to be quite honest, writing this whole thing has made me feel a lot better and happier when I think of everything buzzing around my mind. I'm pretty anxious that I either haven't got my points across correctly or  have forgotten something and on an important note, if any of my family or friends read this post, none of this is 'directed or aimed at' any of you because if that was to be the case, it would be aimed at myself too. 

I don't know how to end this post so here's a quote from Paper Towns -  a book that has taught me a lot on acceptance and not expecting people to be how you'd like them to be, it has kind of assisted me through the past month and a half - and my favourite Anne Frank quote. 

“You know your problem, Quentin? You keep expecting people not to be themselves. I mean, I could hate you for being massively unpunctual and for never being interested in anything other than Margo Roth Spiegelman, and for, like, never asking me about how it's going with my girlfriend - but I don't give a shit, man, because you're you. My parents have a shit ton of black Santas, but that's okay. They're them. I'm too obsessed with a reference website to answer my phone sometimes when my friends call, or my girlfriend. That's okay, too. That's me. You like me anyway. And I like you. You're funny, and you're smart, and you may show up late, but you always show up eventually.”
"Stop thinking Ben should be you, and he needs to stop thinking you should be him." - Paper Towns 

"In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion,misery and death." - Anne Frank 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Peach and Pale | A Makeup Look

Over the past week or two, I have found myself wearing less and less makeup - to the point that I haven't used heavy purple eye shadows since I went out for my birthday - and particularly with my hair being cut, my face looking fresh - I sound like a 'hipster' but I swear I mean, another adjective for 'natural' - appeals to me more than spending endless time fussing over different shades of dark shades of eye shadow and the noticeable reduction in time spent getting ready is brilliant and far less stressful. In saying all that, I still wear berry lipstick most days and I'll probably returned to my beloved deep eye shadows soon enough but for now, I'm really enjoying this change of look so I thought I'd share it on here ! 

1. First I do the usual by applying concealer as a base all over my lids, crease and inner corners. I then use the eye shadow shade closest to my skin pigment and apply it to my lids and crease. 

2. Next, I used the third shade in the palette and applied it to my crease and outer lids. To give the look a little bit of dimension, I blended the fourth and seventh shades and blended the result over my outer corners. 

3. After brushing my eyebrows and filling in the ends of them with pencil, I brushed the fourth and seventh shades together through my brows as I thought that they would create a lighter look, but the result was really only more red toned brows ! 

4. Finishing the eye makeup, I wore mascara and applied a very thin line of eyeliner and winged it out. 

5. Finally, for lips - my favourite step ! I used a slightly light brown-peachy shade of lip pencil to line my lips and gently blended it towards the centre. To finish this, I applied a lipstick in a lighter shade ! And the look is complete !

A kind of short post today but I hope you enjoyed it anyway ! 

Grace x 

Sunday, 5 April 2015

What Became of You

 Next maxi dress | crop top from a store in Shaw's | New Look hoodie | Tesco boots
Currently listening to : In Your Honor | Haunt // Bed | Handshake | Take a Walk

I really don't know what to write right now because I've just began listening to Passion Pit and I'm annoyed with myself for not giving their music a listen before now since it is amazing and I'm just here not able to deal with the level of brilliance. An hour later, my blogging brain is functioning again so today was Lettuce Eat Loads of Chocolate - properly known as Easter - Sunday and naturally, I ate chocolate from the moment I got up and made pastel goth edits out of photos of Plum and Truffle and annoyed everyone on Facebook with these - my favourite being the two of the rabbits with the caption "when you finish all the chocolate". Cue, "the struggle is real, guys !" The two of them really did look in a state of despair and melancholy all day so if you were looking for your poster Easter bunnies, you needn't have looked here - they were on a day off !

Lately I can't be arsed to get out of my pyjamas in the morning so pulling on a pair of tights this morning was going to be an effort and a half so I think "MAXI DRESS !". Yes, this is the same one I wore on the day I made my Confirmation when I was twelve years old and yes, my legs have grown slightly longer than the length of the bottom half of this dress and hence, it has become a midi dress ! I haven't worn this crop top in ages, it has one of the raddest patterns I've worn and today, the neckline didn't scrunch up and look weird - hurrah ! I have also been living in this hoodie for the past week - hence my friend being like "I'VE NEVER SEEN YOU WEAR A HOODIE BEFORE" - and it's pretty much the comfiest piece of clothing ever and I couldn't find my denim jacket and all my cardigans were too long so that is what we went with today ! In other news, I got my hair cut on Friday which is an entirely different story altogether for another day and I'm in the midst of loving and hating it right now so we'll see how that goes and carrying from the whole casual clothes things, I've been wearing scarily little makeup this week to the point where I have stopped bothering with eye makeup and just about convinced myself to wear dark lipstick today. Non of this is one bit relevant but it's just freaking me out !

I hope you had a brilliant day,

Grace x