Thursday, 26 February 2015

TY Thursdays #13 : Work Experience & Second Modules

During the second last week before midterm, I was in work experience at a playschool nearby the school. Unfortunately I missed the first two days due to conjunctivitis but by the time I was finished my first day on Wednesday, I felt like I'd always been there. It helped that I had attended this playschool when I was younger so I already knew the teachers who made me feel really welcome and were very helpful when learning how to interact with the kids. When I first arranged the week last summer, I almost made arrangements to do hand actions to a nursery rhyme with the children as drama is one of the directions I'd like to go in after I leave school and it was brilliant teaching the movements and then seeing the kids repeating what I was doing. Each week there's a different theme in the class where they learn about something such as a culture and the week I was in, they were learning about Chinese New Year and during the lesson, one of the teachers overheard me showing a little girl how to say 'hello' and 'goodbye' in Chinese so she got me to teach the entire class which ended up being very funny when the little kids got mixed up saying hello to us instead of goobye in Chinese at the end of the day ! One of the brilliant things I observed throughout the three days was how the kids didn't restrict themselves to playing with toy cars because they were boys or dolls because they were girls. I thought it was lovely seeing a lot of the girls dressed up in their princess dresses playing with the racing cars and the boys dressing a baby doll and arguing with the girls over who got to play kitchen or make the pirates or princess jigsaws ! The kids were obsessed with Frozen which I shouldn't have been surprised by but when half the girls come in wearing Frozen t-shirts and you're not even there twenty minutes when the teacher has started humming Let It Go and every kid in the room decides to join in, belting out every lyric, you really want to give the first kid you see with their hands over their ears and a frown on their face a cookie except there is no unimpressed kid except for you. And then the final Frozen event happened on Thursday when a Frozen book came in and I successfully kept a straight face reading the story. I really enjoyed my work experience there and the kids were so adorable and cute, but I found myself quite exhausted before the end of each day and I think three days was enough - I don't know what I would have ended up like if I'd been in the full week. I really love children and being around them, but I don't think that playschool teaching is an area I'd be interested in when I leave school ! 

Our second group of modules ended the week before midterm and unlike the first group, I wasn't really disappointed that they were ending since Chinese was the only class I really enjoyed. Every language I do I usually develop a huge interest in and I know that I'll find it difficult to choose between French and Japanese when leaving cert subject choosing comes around so Chinese being my favourite out of the three came as no surprise ! A lot of people found it difficult doing both Japanese and Chinese each week but I didn't mind too much because as much as the basic language wasn't the easiest to understand, we weren't learning it for tests or anything and we definitely did more about the culture than the vocabulary so there wasn't any pressure to pick up the phrases. My favourite parts of the module was learning how to count in the language, picking up the everyday greetings which I then ended teaching to the playschool class, like I mentioned earlier and of course eating chow mein noodles, rice and spring rolls - which I unfortunately forgot to photograph - with chopsticks in our second last class. Considering I have the coordination of beanbag, I picked up the way of holding chopsticks properly despite never using them before, although I put this down to holding them the odd way I hold a pen and speaking of bad coordination, we won't discuss the paper lantern I made on the last day. It's the ugly duckling one in the Japanese room if anyone's interested !

The other two modules I did were Prezi and Scratch - I wouldn't recommend doing both in the same group of modules to anyone as being on a computer for six classes in one day drains you and can strain your eyes quite a bit, and that's coming from someone who practically lives on their laptop at home ! Scratch was my favourite out of the two. Even though I found it a bit slow at times and wish we had done more in it, our teacher made the three classes a week very enjoyable and gave us a lot of freedom when creating mini games and the likes such as the one before Christmas here and the quizzes we partially made in groups at the end of the module. I didn't really enjoy Prezi at all as we didn't learn much over the thirteen weeks and although I had fun spending lots of classes researching information on my favourite online magazine Rookie or the makeup of the twentieth century for projects, it did become a little tedious after a while. 


Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Eat You Whole

Dress from local shop | shawl worn back to front | Dunnes denim jacket and headband | F&F at Tesco boots
Breezeblocks // Dance with the Devil // Chvrches covering Cry Me A River 

The title of this post is half a line from what is my favourite song at the moment, Breezeblocks, and I am pretty sure I listened to it at least four times on Sunday, several yesterday and I'm still not bored by it yet but I won't gush over it for too long as I will be posting a February playlist soon ! I haven't done an outfit post in almost a week now and even then, the last one was quite different to what I'd usually wear so I spontaneously put this outfit together after school and took out my tripod and camera - hence why these photos aren't exactly the best but hey, lettuce pretend that I'm being all hipster and it's supposed to be grainy because I almost prefer it that way. 'Lettuce' pun intended, thank you very much.

The dress I'm wearing is so beautiful yet I've hardly worn it since I end up feeling very self conscious of my hip in it and also how tight it is around the chest area but I solved that problem today by number one, convincing myself not to give a monkey about it and number two, doing what I do best by layering up with this shawl worn back to front as always and my denim jacket ! I know that hiding in layers probably isn't a good solution but newsflash, it is February and it is still winter - it's so cold ! Speaking of the cold, I tried this furry headband on either last night or the night before and ended up falling in love with it again which means that in the morning I open my wardrobe, stare at it and debate with myself on whether to wear it to school or not. It's still cold.

That is my little ramble over so I shall return to listening to music and complaining about my side piece of hair being flat as a pancake. Interesting times everyone, I might even have an argument with myself !

Grace x

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Teal and Rose Gold | A Makeup Tutorial

Today I'm back with another makeup tutorial except this time I'm breaking away from my comfort zone of purples and pinks, stepping into the zone of greens instead ! Generally I find greens - especially teal - quite difficult to pull off since I have blue eyes but I think I may have found a balance today with the rose gold lips !

Products used L-R : Perfect Colour eye shadow palette | Essence Multi Colour blush | bronze metallic lip gloss - likely to be from Penneys | Maybelline Colour Drama lipstick pencil in Berry Much | Essence eye liner pen | Maybelline Great Lash mascara 
Not pictured : Maybelline Fit Me concealer in Shade 15 | Catrice eyebrow pencil

As always, the video tutorial is above to watch but there is the text version below too ! 

1. First I primed my eyes using concealer and applied a base eye shadow in a blue-toned white shade.

2. Next I went straight in using a navy blue eye shadow in my crease and outer lids blending the excess into the centre where I began applying a turquoise shade outwards.

3. I then went back to the crease and outer corners, applying a teal green and blending it into the navy. I also applied the same blue-toned white on the inner area of my lids so that my eyes would pop a bit more and I used the navy again, but this time on my lower lash line. After this, I used a makeup wipe to sharpen the edges and clean up the excess shadow surrounding them.

4. I completed the eye makeup with more-subtle-than-usual winged eye line, a light coat of mascara and by filling in the ends of my brows ! 

5. I also attempted contouring in this look, applying the darker shade of bronze on the lower area of my cheeks followed by a lighter shade above it. I then took the blush shade and applied it above the bronze and used the highlighter shade below my under eye circles. 

6. Finally I outlined my lips with a berry pencil and blended it into the centre as I didn't want any visible harsh lines since I applied a metallic bronze lip gloss over it. 

And above is our completed look !

I hope you enjoyed this post which was a little more daring than what I've been wearing in recent months. My next post will probably be a Transition Year one since apparently portfolio is due to be updated by this week - eek - so I will see you then !

Grace x 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Five Ways To Spend Your Weekend (without leaving the house !)

The above photos have no relevance whatsoever to today's - or tonight's, more like - blogpost but I was bored in the school bathrooms waiting for drama rehearsals to start and the photos didn't turn out bad in my opinion anyway so here they are marking their ground on the Internet. That is no pun or metaphor for animals and bathrooms and whatever. Today I am compiling a list of five ways to make your weekend semi-productive and interesting without leaving the house or spending money you would rather not spend. You can even avoid social interaction altogether or turn the whole thing into a social gathering - the opportunities are endless ! Cat gifs included because how else would I be spending my Friday night ?

1. Celebrate Pancake Tuesday about four days late 
Because why ever not ! All you need is an egg, flour, milk and whatever else is on this recipe here along with a pan and some extreme cooking skills and you have a meal and a very satisfactory one ! I recommend adding sprinkles, marshmallows and basically every sweet food in your house to lemon and sugar or adding rashers to maple syrup.  If any other human beings decide to judge you for your late timing you can answer 'a queen is never late, everyone else is simply early' followed by this. Expressionless cats over anything else, you've got to get your priorities straight guys and eating pancakes on the correct day is not one of them !

2. Let the Facebook of the past entertain you 
If you are one of these sad people like me who still finds themselves both pointlessly and unwillingly scrolling through their newsfeed on a daily basis then I have a new pointless way of wasting your time on bookface - group searching ! Tonight, after much Internet boredom, I accidentally clicked on 'Friend's Groups' a section of the Groups function, which resulted in me scrolling through a list of groups my Facebook friends are added to. It was quite entertaining, especially the amount of '1st Year Class' or 'Sixth Class <3' you find and then the current groups as well, even though they're all private, the titles are funny half the time. And then I went into the list of groups I've been added to over the years - five years on Facebook this month, big cheer - and cringed like this

3. Watch the London Fashion Week live stream 
 If you have any interest in fashion, designers and the works, the LFW website is your best friend this weekend ! There are shows streamed live here every hour between 9am and 8pm all weekend so really all you need is a laptop to watch it on, food to eat like this and a super stylish outfit to sit in - you know, pretending you're being fashionable outside Somerset House like this. You then have the option to cry because you can't put together outfits like they do on the catwalk or come to the conclusion that you are queen and your outfits are on an entirely different level. I take both. I also recommend this blogpost here if you really want to get into the spirit of things at home. 

4. Visit the fresh air 
The outdoors may be a foreign concept to you so already we are making progress here in terms of productivity and doing everything on budget, because stepping out your front door step is practically a trip abroad and you may get a fright like this but lets way up our positives and leaving out any negatives including rain ! If it is raining put on a coat and umbrella and open your window instead because a. nobody wants to end up like this for the weekend and b. raindrops on your hand feel nice as long as they're not also dropping on your head. If the weather is nice for a change, go outside, pretend you can climb a tree, don't get stuck in one, bring your camera or phone with you and take loads of pretty pictures since the outdoors are beautiful and full of majestical scenery and remember this

5. Watch some positive and enlightening YouTube
The Internet can be full of a lot of negatives and YouTube can be full of a lot of nonsense but that doesn't mean it is or has to be ! I've watched a few videos lately that have either immediately put me in a better mood than I was in or educated me further on a subject so I may take the opportunity to share these gems with you ! First is Meghan Hughes whose videos always inspire me to be a better and more positive person, they make me so happy and to avoid being a grumpy non-morning person, I'd seriously recommend watching her latest two videos 'I Love This Stuff' - you will find it hard not to be instantly put in a better mood by her chanting Swiffer and raving about shower crayons - and her sixth Pizza Talk, this time with her friend Drew - their advice is gold and everything is so chilled plus who doesn't love pizza ? For educating yourself on a topic more, BriBry and Candice's video 'Confused About Gender' really got me thinking this week and I'd suggest it to everyone. I'm quite an open minded person anyway on the topic of breaking gender roles and the fact that sex and gender do not mean the same thing but this really broadened my mind and I'd love to hear it discussed more ! It has always interested me how gender is basically decided on by the world around us and how we're expected to confine to these roles without a second thought but especially now lately, in terms of appearance. 

So I hope my cat gifs and endless rambles inspired you to do more this weekend and I will talk to you soon !

Grace x 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Something Different

New Look hoodie | Penneys top | New Look denim shorts | Tesco boots | choker was my mam's 

Three cheers for me because today I managed to 

a. Leave the house 
b. Not overdress 
c. Dress appropriately for the weather  

They are three achievements that rarely join forces but with getting out of your pyjamas and leaving the house comes responsibilities and it's ten minutes until ten o' clock and I have not removed my makeup yet nor am I looking forward to doing so. Complaints aside, today's venturing into the outdoors included going to a drama club rehearsal for two hours and then going home only to venture back out for therapy ! I convinced myself to wear my denim shorts today and after adding a hoodie and slogan top to that I was just like "wow I'm dressed like a teenager I'm not overdressed for once bualadh bos for me !". As ridiculous as it sounds, the weird feeling of trying something different wears off after a few minutes and turns into a feeling of confidence because I'm there thinking "yay for stepping out of my comfort zone !". Honestly though, I feel like I'm in First Year again, going drama on a Saturday in my leopard print docs, t-shirt, leggings and denim jacket ! 

In other news, besides the return of the 'emo fringe' as my friend and I lightly name my occasional extreme slight side parting, yesterday was pancake day and unfortunately I had too much spare time that morning to scroll through a never ending list of cute pancake photos on Instagram which led to the idea of sprinkles. I should add that the kitchen cupboards are lucky that I didn't find photos of marshmallows being used as toppings until later in the afternoon. Anyway, this all ended in me sprinkling red sugar-like sprinkles and your regular colourful sprinkles over the lemon and sugar on my pancakes beside a rasher and pudding. I promise you, they were beautiful and bursting in sweetness.

I don't have much other news at the moment besides the fact that Aveen and I are filming an AwkwardSprinkles video tomorrow so we shall leave it there !

Grace x 

Monday, 16 February 2015

BLOGGER MEETUP | February 2015

Credit to Jane for Photos 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 14 | 17

Yesterday was quite a surreal day as I met five of my blogging friends for the very first time. There's been a few of us trying to arrange a meet up for ages and somehow, although a few unfortunately were unable to make it, we managed to get seven of us together up in Dundrum ! Mam brought Aveen and I up to Dublin - thank you and sorry for leaving you for three hours - and we arrived in the shopping centre several minutes early, which allowed us to take our time finding the meeting point we'd decided on - the cinema - and after many incidents of furiously tapping on screens to find a map, walking aimlessly around outside and up a derelict-like road, we came back around the corner only to find that the cinema had been right in front of us the entire time. Go us !
Then we saw Jane with her mam and the three of us started running towards each other - it probably looked quite comical from afar - and I was so excited, I forgot to scream "wow, it's fifteen year old Jane, not a forty five your old James !" and for the next ten minutes we were just like "omigod you're a real person". Next came Chloe which is when we started discussing the popularity of selfie sticks and then Aoife - at this stage we were inside the building and began to wonder whether or not we should go back outside just in case Celine and Sarah, who arrived several minutes later, were there ! 

We had planned to go for lunch in Eddie Rockets, which happens to be in the cinema building which were meeting in, so of course, we had to travel so far food food. *cough* only two escalators *cough* I promise I didn't hold onto everyone around me *cough*. Lunch was hilarious as we discovered that Aveen and Jane talked the most and the rest of us sat there like 'socially awkward turtles', both my phone and camera made pretty loud crashing sounds when they fell to the floor, then Chloe and I jammed out to Elvis and Grease songs and of course when Jane took her selfie stick out and got down on the floor to take group selfies - I am pretty sure I almost fell over laughing at the stares we got. After this, we wandered around Penneys and Bershka which was quite fun and went back outside to be roped into more tons of group selfies - surprisingly we did not receive as many stares this time and both Jane's iPhone and Celine's SLR camera quality were brilliant ! After this we paid a visit to Starbucks where we felt as if we were essentially being thrown out, but by then it was almost time to say goodbye anyway. 

 I attempted to vlog our day 

All in all, it was an amazing experience to meet these five girls and after five minutes of meeting them, it was no longer as if we were meeting Internet friends for the first time - It felt like we had known each other forever, considering that only one - Jane - I have known for almost three years and the rest of the bloggers, I have known for about several months to a year and half ! It was such a fun day and the girls were just as friendly as they are online. Hopefully over summer we'll get around to arranging something similar again so we can meet a few more of our blogging friends.

*Altogether now*

Grace x

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Polished in Purple | A Makeup Tutorial

Although I abandoned plans with friends - blame the recent return of social anxiety, I was actually productive today and managed to half clean my room, take part in finalising blogger meetup plans and film a makeup tutorial - the one you're about to watch or read ! Today's look consists of a much heavier plum look on the eyes than I'd usually wear and a soft pink lip. 

You can watch the video above or read below or even both for steps but on with the writing ... 

1. First of all, I applied concealer as a base coat over my lids and applied a yellow tinted white eye shadow all over my lids and up to the crease. 

2. I blended the first deep purple eyeshadow in my outer crease and corner and then used a strong pink eye shadow and applied it from the centre of my lids out to the outer crease. I also applied this shade ontop of the deep purple above my lids as well. 

3. I then used an even darker shade of purple or plum - whatever you like to call it - and again, blended it in my crease and outer corners but this time I blended the excess on the brush into the centre of my lid and crease. I then used it on my lower lashline and waterline ! 

4. After this, I dabbed some concealer and powder around my face, contoured in a different way which actually worked out for once and did my eyebrows. But then I went back to the eyes and applied eyeliner which did not turn out very 'on point' as I was filming and mascara too. 

5. Finally, I used a soft pink lip pencil and outlined my lips with it and blended it inwards. I kept the lips quite natural because of the eyes being so dramatic although if I was going somewhere fancy, I'd probably throw on the gothic lipstick too ! 

And this is our completed look !

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and that it may have given you a few ideas for makeup looks this spring. Tomorrow I'm off to my very first blogger meet up and I am so nervous yet excited, I don't think that it has properly hit me yet, that I'll be meeting some of my blogger friends - one I've known for almost three years - in person for the first time, like what is air ! 

Grace x    

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Safer Internet Day

If you didn't know, today - Wednesday 11th February 2015 - is Safer Internet Day and to be honest, I am quite surprised and slightly disappointed that we weren't told much about it nor did we learn any information to do with the day in school. As someone who's always been on the Internet since a young age, Internet safety has always been right in the front of my mind, often like a sore thumb, but it is something I constantly take into consideration and especially as a blogger, it is crucial. In my mind, 'don't talk to strangers' or 'don't upload a photo if you wouldn't like your granny to see it' or 'don't add Facebook users you do not know' is not enough in terms of safety online. It's all too many "don't's" and there is a lot more to using the Internet safely than this.

First of all, I'd recommend watching Cyberbully on the Channel 4 website here if you haven't already, as it deals with most of the issues I'm going to speak about below. It is a real eye opener if you aren't aware of the detailed dangers and negatives that come with the privilege of the Internet, and even if you are like me, who knew about a lot of these things already, it will give you an alarming reminder ! Moving on to the rest of this post, I'm sure a lot of you reading this will already know this information but at the same time, some of you won't. Reading through articles on Safer Internet Day today really did remind me once again to be cautious of my actions online and I hope this post will do the same. I'd especially like anyone reading this to think about the times we've ever innocently said something not so nice about somebody else in a private message to a friend or if anyone reading this has ever liked or commented on a Facebook post or retweeted or favourited a tweet that was deliberately posted to poke fun at or hurt someone else. 

NOTE : This post is not intended to scaremonger anyone.

Nothing is private online and nothing is permanently erasable online. That Facebook private message you sent your friend ? Heck no, is that in any way 'private'. That double chin photo of your friend that you removed because she asked you to ? No way has that been permanently erased. How, you might ask. Well, before we even get into the nitty-gritty, we all have screenshot applications now which are accessible within the space of a few seconds, but that is not the half of it. Anything posted on the Internet is there forever and anything is on the Internet no longer belongs in your private possession because the Internet is a public platform. Not everyone who uses the Internet is nice and many have knowledge of how to find anything posted on the Internet. Ever. And don't forget about the terms and conditions of every app you have ever downloaded on your phone - did you agree to that list of conditions which included access to sent and received texts ? Nothing is private. 

Everything you post online can be traced back to you. Everything you view online can be traced back to you. That anon message you once left on someone's ? God no, is that one bit anonymous. That website you visited the other day ? One little scroll through your History or Recycle Bin will remind you of that. What a lot of people don't realise is that with a few buttons clicked, everything you have ever posted 'anonymously' online can come back to haunt you, friendly or not. Nothing is ever anonymous online. Anyone could hack into your device and find proof that you were the sender of these messages and although doing it by yourself I'm pretty sure is not 100% legal, anyone can trace an IP address which can again, trace anything you have posted online back to you. Please, please, please, treat Facebook messages or Viber texts to and from friends like having a conversation in a busy coffee shop. It is not in private, you do not know who is behind or in front of you, any information you would not shout around the streets, take extra precaution when sharing online, whether in a Skype call, a text or a tweet. Even if your social media accounts are locked, all information on them are accessible in some way. 

"Wow, Grace, how hypocritical, considering you speak to more than a few bloggers you do not know offline" you may say, but I do this with precaution. We've all heard enough catfish stories to scare us off all our devices for life but it has to be said over and over again, you can never be sure of who you are speaking to online, whether you know them in real life or not. As for talking to strangers online - or other bloggers in a lot of our cases, please make sure somebody else knows about your online activity and this, whether this is a parent if you are under eighteen or a close relative or friend if you are over that age. You always need a second opinion and especially if you are under eighteen, your parents need to be aware of your online activity, My parents have always been aware of who I talk to online and I never hide the fact that I participate in blogger chats and communicate with bloggers online, most of whom I have never meant online. I see it as crucial. Please never give out sensitive information such as phone numbers or addresses, do not use chat rooms which are often quite sketchy and full of dirty nasty people who pretend to somebody they are not and I must emphasise if you do ever decide to meet anyone in real life you speak to online, do not go alone. I'd also like to add that anyone can take a phone and impersonate someone else online. That goes for acquaintances, school friends, anyone. There was an incident once where someone texted me pretending to be their friend and being all sweet to me and at the naive age I was at, I fell for it. It took me a long time to trust anyone I messaged by text or online and it still plays in the back of my mind every time I have an online conversation with anyone I don't that well. That may sound awful and paranoid of me and in no way am I saying you should all of a sudden think that every person you converse with on Facebook is playing a nasty prank on you, but what I am saying is to watch your back and keep in mind that it is easy to do role play online. 

When the Cyberbully fiction documentary was aired, I was surprised by the amount of people who were unaware of webcam and camera phone safety which is why this is the last and most important piece I'd like to say. Please watch where you leave your devices lying around - whether that be a phone, tablet or laptop. Webcams can unfortunately be hacked into, meaning that they can be forever watching you which sounds very scary but many consequences that come with this are preventable. When you are not using your laptop, always leave the lid down or turn the entire thing upside down. Don't leave your laptop up and running right in front of you when you are getting changed or something, unless you are sure you're okay with that - and I can guarantee that most of you would not be cool with that. Like private messages, when you are FaceTiming or Skyping someone, be careful of what information you share and don't say anything you wouldn't shout in down a busy corridor. Again with the phone applications, most of their T&C's include access to your photos and camera. When you take a selfie or any photo on your phone, ask yourself would you be comfortable with this photo being shared with half the world ? Any photo you take on a device with Internet is not private and any photo you upload is no longer in your possession. Also, always remember to ask your friends and family if it is okay to upload photos of them online before doing so. 

I really hope that I got across the correct information in the right way in this post and that you enjoyed it and maybe took a thing or two from it too ! Again, this is not meant to frighten you off the Internet altogether or discourage you from posting online. 

Happy safe online sharing, 

Grace x

Sunday, 8 February 2015

What Else

 New Look top | Dunnes denim jacket and shorts | Roam necklace | choker is my mam's 

Currently listening to : All Apologies // Cool Kids // Come As You Are // Bright // My Hero 

The curse of the Sunday has returned and this time it is mild flu. Lettuce remind ourselves that Grace doesn't get sick. She does not. Ever. Or at least not since Second Year. Besides that, this week has been a good one and quite productive considering I left the house, went to Costa, bought dad's birthday present, came back home, took outfit photos and filmed a YouTube video which you can watch here. Now we shall all insert a doge meme and yell 'wow much brilliance' !  

I ended up hiding in baggy, black and white clothes again, which is completely okay with me ! This velvet top is my favourite thing in my wardrobe right now - it comes across as so boho but so glamorous so it's quite a versatile piece which also happens to be really comfortable and not tight and stretchy at all ! Only downside is the three quarter length sleeves but a denim jacket or cardigan over it sorts that little issue out and I love love love wearing this silver and gold necklace with the velvet. Also, I am aware of the fact that my outfit photos are a bit all over the place lately, but when you realise that more of your classmates read your blog than you thought and also the fact that practically anyone can, you all of a sudden feel quite awkward putting photos of yourself on the Internet, compared to me two years ago when almost fourteen year old me really gave the supermodel pose a run for it's money. That is meant in all sarcasm and dryness.

Grace x