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The good ‘ol days

We’ll remember this night when we’re old and grey, because in the future these will be the good ‘ol days..

No matter how old we are, everyone still enjoys looking back on “the good ‘ol days” these good ‘ol days might date back a few years.. months.. or in some cases weeks!..

“Aw remember like two weeks ago when it was sunny out and we did nothing for a week? those were some good times!”

Nonetheless it’s always a fun time looking back on past memories, pondering over years gone by, laughing over the old photos, bad fashion choices and dodgy hairdos! No matter if you’re 85 or 25 being nostalgic gives everyone that warm and fuzzy feeling.

Back in the days when all you had to worry about was going down the drain after your mother unplugged the bath, (I’m sure that wasn’t just me!) who you were going to sit with on the bus during your school trip, or what you were going to wear to the disco on Friday night.

Seemed like such major problems at the time didn’t they?

Back when Christmas was the most exciting time ever.. when getting this little creeper from your uncle just made your 7 year old little life:

amazing ally

Looking back there wasn’t anything “amazing” about you Ally was there? all you did was talk in an eerily sweet voice, yet you managed to bring so much joy..all the while scaring the wits out of every mother in the country (well mine anyway!). You never did turn evil though, despite the concerns that you would somehow manage to steal a kitchen knife and bludgeon us all to death.

“Hiii I’m Allyy and I’m gonna get youuu” still gives me chills.

Back to a time when if you didn’t have one of these you weren’t a cool kid:

Walkman

That my little 13 year old friends is a Walkman. She was the precursor to what was to become the discman MP3 player and eventually that snazzy iPod touch you can’t go anywhere without. (Can’t say much I suppose, I am glued to my iPhone.. but it’s only because I had to beg my sisters to let me use the wonderful walkman you see there)

These. Just these.

bn+biscuitspoptart

Back when Kids TV was actually watchable:

raven RUGRRATSsabrina cnn 600full-kenan-&-kel-screenshot

Back when you got along with your siblings.. (for the most part)

sisters(yes, that’s me in the middle.)

Back before you valued every precious moment of sleep, and going to bed was the worst thing ever:

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(I will fight this!)

Back when cars looked like this:Vintage

(You might also want to take note of the fashion.. not one of my finer moments)

Back when being seen in public with your dad was cool:

dad and me

(That’s not my pint….)

Okay maybe that was always cool……

dadcollage

(Sorry dad!)

So you see my point. Writing this post was so fun. It’s really good just to look back on times gone by. I’m sure in another 19 years I’ll be whipping out photos I’ve taken recently and dying of mortification all over again! Not to mention craving some of the food I eat now, or longing for some of my favourite TV shows and tech gadgets.

good ol days

So I leave you all with this classic (albeit cheesy) feelgood song of the 90’s. I’m sure you remember this lot..

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Imperfection is beauty

A recent entry by a good friend of mine inspired me to write this post. In it she talks about the many issues women have with their body image, and how to combat the  feelings of inadequacy that often arise as a result of comparing oneself to others.

Here’s the entry in question: http://fogsfogarty.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/how-to-have-the-perfect-body-dont/

Check it out. Everything she says is so real.

Self Image is something all of us as women have battled with. You see an add with a stunningly beautiful thin woman with flawless skin, and suddenly you feel guilty about that chocolate you had earlier. Your mind instantly starts picking apart everything that you feel is wrong with you. Your thighs could be smaller, your stomach flatter, and  your lips plumper.

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We have to ask the question; why do we do this to ourselves? We need to learn to embrace our own beauty. We need to stop concentrating on what’s bad about ourselves and focus on the good, and we definitely need to stop comparing ourselves to other people. We’re all different. You might have a quality the envy of someone else no matter how much you put yourself down. 

Happiness and confidence are the prettiest things a girl can wear.

It’s true, it doesn’t matter what size you are, how tall you are, or how perfect your make-up is, If you don’t learn to accept yourself for all of your flaws and insecurities, well then you’ll never be truly satisfied with any aspect of yourself. Be confident in your strengths and your weaknesses.

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When I was 16 I wrote two inter-connecting poems for a young social innovators project on body image. I would like to share those two poems here for whoever may find themselves reading this.  (They’re a bit cringe, but I think they give a good message)

The first part of this poem is a girl expressing her inner most feelings and insecurities. The second part is sort of like a response in which she is reassured that she is beautiful. l hope that is serves as a reminder to every single girl out there battling against her perception of herself, that despite what she thinks, she IS beautiful.

Part 1

 Perfection is beauty.

I long to look like the models in magazines,

or the beauties I see on T.V screens.

Why can’t I just look better?

Look at me I’m huge!

I’d never fit into that blue sweater.

I mean look at my nose! It’s bent,

now plastic surgery that’d be money well spent!

I’m not asking for much just a bit thinner,

that’s not a crime?

It hardly makes me a sinner.

When I look in the mirror I don’t see poise

I don’t see grace,

all I see is plain old me and my big fat face.

When people look at me I try not to care,

but I can see the disgust, in the way that they stare.

All I want is to be called hot.

All I want is what other girls have got.

What’s the use in being a maths whiz?

when your hair sticks on end and is a giant ball of frizz.

All I want is to feel pretty.

I don’t care about being smart.

I don’t care about being witty.

Days alone I will spend,

because there is no chance i’m getting a boyfriend!

No one wants you when you have monstrous thighs,

they’ll tell you you’re sexy, but it’s all lies.

They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover,

but who wants a fat girl for a lover?

Being thin gets you all the attention,

not a whale in 3 dimension.

But hey, I’l just fake a big ‘ol smile

and let the pain melt away.

At least for a little while.

———————————

 Part 2

Imperfection is beauty

To the girl who thinks she isn’t pretty,

that’s a shame, really it’s a pity.

You are far from fat,

you are beautiful!

and being thin isn’t all “that”.

Who wants to be a model?

Sure, they are pretty wealthy,

but starving yourself isn’t cool,

it definitely isn’t healthy!

Most of those pictures you see

they aren’t real,

they have gone through an airbrushing spree.

Most of those girls have been photo-shopped,

their bad bits altered, covered and cropped.

Who cares what people think?

don’t go believing any of that magazine or tabloid ink!

Why be called hot?

when it’s something you’re not?

You’re beautiful and trust me that is so much better!

So forget about that blue sweater!

Last time I checked guys liked girls with self respect.

Boys do like girls who are witty,

it’s not all about looks

It’s not all about pretty!

Guys like girls who are smart, outgoing and fun

so be yourself, stand out from every-one.

Being yourself makes for a change,

don’t be afraid to be weird, or even a little strange.

Piling on make up and playing pretend,

is not the way to find a boyfriend.

It’s the girls who are happy,and confident that are the strongest,

who have real relationships that last the longest.

Being “pretty” doesn’t get you far,

it most certainly doesn’t define who you are.

So be yourself it’s all you can be,

look in that mirror and see what I see.

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1

The secret to not taking life too seriously

“..and in the end it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”

Image“Don’t take life too seriously” ,”Lighten up” and “Take a chill pill” are phrases I’m sure everyone is familiar with. Truth is we’ve all been told to lighten up from time to time.  We may have even uttered the words to someone else.

Most of the time we let these words float over our head. We may laugh our worries away in the midst of the moment, but those little gripes and stresses are still there,nagging away at us in the back of our mind, driving us crazy.

Now I’m not suggesting to forget about all of your responsibilities and go wild, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt just to take a step back and think about what’s really important. What if I told you all that the world was going to end tomorrow? Would you feel like you had made the most of your life? or would you regret the precious time lost worrying about the small things?

For example think of the time you might spend making sure your house is spic and span, worrying over a test, your weight, what people think of you, finding a job, being successful, money… (the list is endless)

then think about what you could be doing instead..

Spending time with your family and friends, laughing, smiling, living! I know it’s easy to say but at the end of the day as long as you have your health and the people you love,you’ve enough to conquer anything.

Millions of people grow old feeling the spontaneity of life has passed them by. That’s why it’s vital to remember life is supposed to be exciting, a journey, an adventure.

So what is the key to not taking life too seriously? Well it’s different for everyone. To me the key is Laughter. How dull and dreary would the world be without laughter? Everything would lack energy in my opinion, and life would feel flat and empty. Those who take life too seriously are the ones far too preoccupied with work, school, study and making money. Sure they’re all important, but you have to enjoy yourself also! When you laugh you feel instantly better it’s like all of your worries and stresses are vacuumed out and you’re left with a happy, weightless feeling.

If you ever feel like life is getting on top of you, think of a time when you laughed so much you couldn’t breathe, hold on to that feeling and never go too long without laughing.

For me life is all about the little things:

The smell of freshly cut grass, hugs, lie ins, laughter (if I haven’t emphasized that enough)

that feeling you get when you’ve finished an assignment, reading a good book, curling up on the couch with a blanket, bed after a long day, pajamas, cuddles, hot chocolate in the winter, Christmas, going for a walk in the summer, when your favourite song comes on the radio..

You get the Jist. Sure it would be sweet to win the lottery, but for now I’m content with the way my life is going. Having gone through a really difficult time last year feeling like everything was scary and hopeless, I’ve learned to just embrace whatever is thrown my way, hold my head up high and laugh my way through life.

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Lake Bled, Slovenia

ImageI was looking through old holiday photos, and came across this stunning photo I took from Lake Bled Slovenia.

Last May I was lucky enough to do an inter-rail around Europe with a few friends. For those that don’t know, an inter-rail is basically travelling around Europe by trains. Among many of the places we visited was the remote area of Lake Bled in Slovenia. We were originally only supposed to stay for two nights, but we loved it so much we extended our stay to three.

Contrast to some of the bustling cities like Berlin and Amsterdam that we had already seen, Lake Bled was scenic and peaceful. The cinematic views are enough to win anyone over.

While some might turn their nose up at Lake Bled as a holiday destination, there is actually loads to do. For instance we went white water rafting (which was an experience in itself! capsizing in a rapid flow downstream was quite the adventure), biking around the area, hiking through the forest, and of course swimming in the lake.

For someone who isn’t exactly the “outdoorsy” type, I definitely enjoyed myself! It was refreshing to try something new. Our hostel doubled up as a bar so there was plenty of entertainment in that department also!

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There was some lovely restaurants around the area also, with food to suit everyone. We found a lovely little Mexican restaurant just 5 minutes from where we were staying.There is even a little sand area at one side of the lake with deck chairs where you can lie and sip a cocktail in the sun. The Slovenians are so friendly and welcoming and suggested lots for us to do.

Even if you prefer the excitement of the city, Lake Bled is definitely a place you should  consider visiting sometime! 🙂

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The Script- Why their music is important to me.

Here’s a video of a live performance by one of my all time favourite band, The Script. I’ve had a friend or two laugh at me in the past for liking a band that is so “generic” and “same sounding”.

This is a notion I find ridiculous! Every artist has their own unique sound. Every song by The Script tells a story, and that’s what I love. There isn’t a single one that lacks meaning or emotional impact. The melody and the lyrics that go along with each song are simply beautiful.

People say each song is the same as the last, but if you truly engage with the lyrics and the story to each one then you cannot say that.

Back in 2007/2008 when they first burst on to the scene, I used to listen to their album non stop with my sister in her car. I was only thirteen or fourteen, but instantly I was hooked.

The album “Science and Faith” helped me through a really difficult time in my life and it may sound soppy or a bit cringe, but being able to relate to the lyrics in each song helped me feel a lot better. I think that’s what the beauty and magic of music is. When an artist or band is so passionate in what they are singing that they can transcend that passion and emotion to you.

The Script never fail to invoke feeling within me, whenever I’m sad I can listen to them knowing I’ll feel instantly better. Whenever I’m happy I know their music will increase my mood by ten fold. Whenever I’m lonely or nostalgic, I can listen to them and be whisked back to Oxegen 2011, where I stood in the rain with my best friends and along with 80,000+ others and sang my heart out.

Whether it be seeing them live twice, road tripping with my sister or just rocking it out to one of their albums in my room, I’ll always associate great memories with this band.

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Making a long distance college/home relationship work

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Upon hearing that I am in a relationship in college, people always ask me “how do you do it?”

Well for me the answer is relatively straight forward. I do it because I have to. I do it because It’s what I know. But most of all, I do it because I’m in love (cue the cringe). I’ve been with my boyfriend for three and a half years and when you’re with someone for that long you make it work.

Sure it’d be easy to just “take a break” for four years and do whatever we wanted in college, but then it would just be throwing away everything we have gone through together to get where we are today. I wouldn’t trade three years of highs, lows, laughter, tears silly fights and great memories for four years of what is considered an “exciting carefree” single life. 

The way I see it I’ve built a relationship with this amazing person and it would be crazy to throw it away just to live up to the single college lifestyle. I’m not saying it’s easy, it most definitely isn’t. It’s hard, like everything in life, and sometimes it isn’t all plain sailing.

I’m not trying to make like I have the perfect relationship, there are times we frustrate and annoy one another but we do our best to stay happy and to not lose perspective.

Sometimes we might go two or three weeks without seeing each other due to our busy schedules, but it makes when we do see each other all the more sweeter. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that.

If you throw in the towel whenever the going gets tough, well then you’re never going to get anywhere in life. If you’re heading to college and you’re in a relationship my advice to you is simple: Do your best to make it work.

Don’t give up simply because it’s “convenient”. Don’t cop out. If you really care about someone then you do your best to hold on to what you have. So many couples are broken by college but we made a promise not to let silly things get in the way, and so far so good.

One year in and we’re still here. Though if he continues to bring his dart board with him when he comes to visit me I’m not quite sure… 😉

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Surviving public transport!

So having no coordination what so ever when it comes to the skill of driving, it’s no surprise I have to resort to public transport. Every Sunday and Friday evening I must brace myself for the dreaded two hour journey from Kilkenny to Limerick and vice versa. Which isn’t easy when it comes to the confining restrictions of a crowded bus, and bumpy back roads.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering, how do I survive the atrocities of said public transport?Well, let me tell you.

I have become the master of the “Don’t even think about sitting beside me” look. Forever dodging the plague that is the onset of other passengers, I have learned some tricks a long the way. Now before you go thinking I’m some reclusive, loner-type grump, I just like my personal space. Nothing wrong with that right? I mean there is nothing worse than being squished up beside a window for the duration of your journey and feeling obligated to make awkward chit-chat with a stranger, who’s just destroyed all of your blissful comfort.

So here are some rules I live by while braving the terrifying realm of public transport:

Rule #1- Don’t make eye contact.

Seriously, this is the worst thing to do. They’re only after getting on, they’re stressed trying to squeeze down the aisle without drawing too much attention to themselves. Struggling with their carry ons they’re looking for a friendly face. Don’t be that face. The minute you look up the jig is up. They take it as an invitation to plonk themselves down beside you, and before you know it, you’ve lost all leg space. Keep your head down and look inconspicuous.

Rule #2- Place your bag on the seat beside you.

This is a good one. It creates an unwelcoming atmosphere. You’re exuding your hostility from the outset. Usually they will sense your unwillingness to facilitate them with that wonderful space beside you, and if you’re lucky they will pass right on by.

Rule #3- Earphones, Earphones, Earphones!

I can’t stress this one enough. If your earphones are in you can easily avoid the dreaded “Can I sit there?” question. Most of the time they won’t even ask for fear of disturbing you. Unless you come across those pushy “I’m going to disturb you regardless” types, In which case fear not! There is another method at your disposal. This comes in the form of…

GRUMPY CAY

Rule #4- Pretend to be asleep, or go asleep.

This is a no brainer. They’d want to be awful brazen to wake you from your seemingly peaceful slumber. Unless the bus is completely full and there is no other option, you’ve gotten away with it again.

If you’ve made it this far, now you can feel secure in your public transport ventures. But don’t get too comfortable. There is a final rule which can be applied. Though I warn you, It’s only to be used in extreme cases. For instance, you’re one of two passengers still left sitting alone on a crowded bus. You have to act fast. There is no time for previous steps. This passenger has caught you by surprise, and he/she is hunting for a seat .. in this case go straight  to

Rule #5 Start coughing, sneezing and spluttering. (loudly) You need to make this passenger aware that sitting beside you is just not an option. So practice looking contagiously sick. If you can survive the entire journey with an extra seat in tow, you’re laughing.

That-Feeling-On-Public-Transport_o_104485

some people might take offence to being left alone on public transport, but not me!

At the end of the day I’d rather have people think I’m sick, asleep or just plain stubborn than sacrifice my glorious comfort.