Blame It On The Weather. No, Seriously, Blame It On The Weather #depression

Hey Hey Guys!!

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Depression is something that can change like the weather. Think I’m joking?

SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a genuine illness. Not gonna lie, I’m not an expert, so I’m not sure if you would class it as a mental illness or a mood disorder, but it is classified as a varied form of depression.

So what actually is it. Well, the NHS UK website says this:

Sunlight can affect some of the brain’s chemicals and hormones. However, it’s not clear what this effect is. One theory is that light stimulates a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls mood, appetite and sleep. These things can affect how you feel.

In people with SAD, a lack of sunlight and a problem with certain brain chemicals stops the hypothalamus working properly. The lack of light is thought to affect the:

  • production of the hormone melatonin

  • production of the hormone serotonin

  • body’s circadian rhythm (its internal clock, which regulates several biological processes during a 24-hour period)

It affects an estimated 2 million people in the UK, commonly affecting people between the ages of 18-30 and, like other forms of depression, is more common in women than in men. There is a lot of skepticism surrounding the condition, mainly because it can be difficult to understand how someone can feel depressed simply because of the weather. It’s one thing to say that you change your mind like the wind, another to say that you can’t face getting out of bed because it’s raining.

Symptoms include lethargy, insomnia, poor concentration, negative thoughts and mood, unwillingness to socialise, decreased libido and weight gain.

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This is what 12 million people across Europe are facing. Again, I’m not an expert, but as a sufferer, there are a few words I can impart on the subject.

There are days when the thought of having to choose one pair of socks over another seems like an insurmountable problem. Can you imagine the implications of going outside when it is anything less than radiant out there? As if were not bad enough that the world already seems like one of the blackest corners of hell; what if it’s raining as well!? The fact that the weather reflects damp, cold in your soul, preventing you from feeling the glow of all the good things in around you is just confirmation to the depressed side of your brain that there is nothing good out there to admire. That everything really is as horrible and out to get you as you suspect.

But if the sun is out…

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I’m a total fire baby. I was predisposed, being a Leo (m’on the August-born troops!!) and if it is anything short of swelteringly roasty toasty, then I am inconsolably miserable. I’m talking, in tears, shaking, terrified of even the slightest baby’s breath of a draft. Lemme put this into context for you; I was in Ibiza during a heatwave and wore a cardigan. Yeah. So the fact that I live in BLOODY SCOTLAND, one of the coldest places South of the Arctic, is a hellish situation to be in. I don’t think people realise quite how many layers I wear on a daily basis. Maybe it’s a useful thing that I’m so skinny; all those layers don’t look so thick on a skelatal frame.

The past few days we have been experiencing a random heat wave and I know several people with varying forms of depression and anxiety who have (seemingly inexplicably) seen a lift in their mood. I swear, Blame It On the Weather! Being in the sun can literally feel like bands are being removed from your chest and you can breathe and in hail the sweet scent of real oxygen. Not just tolerate the stale air you’ve tasted recently.

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However you want to call it, Sunny Side Up, Everything’s Better on the Other Side, The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow, Mr Sunshine, Light of My Life, Build Me Up Buttercup, Mr Golden Sun; attribute any cheesy song lyric you like, the summary is still the same – EVERYTHING IS BETTER IN THE GODDAMN SUNSHINE!!!!!

The irritating thing, is that it has not been sunny all day. It comes and goes. The problem with this is that my mood has been going up and down as well. Literally, the sun being out one minute means I’m relatively happy, not too bad, occasionally I’ll giggle. Then it goes behind a cloud. Maybe there is a smattering of rain. And suddenly that cloud burst seems more like hell is spitting like icy shards of glass at me, determined to extinguish that ember of happiness fighting to burn hot enough to light so much as a candle. It’s exhausting.

Here is a link to treatment advice on SAD as well as some lovely handy dandy websites for mental health issues. Seriously, i have used some of them and even the info you can get online these days isn’t half bad.

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Remember though; the sun can be thought of in the same was as those middle aged women/students think of booze – if it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, it’s mid day somewhere else! The sun is always up somewhere, even if it isn’t where you are. If you are a sufferer of depression or SAD, do the daytime version of what Oscar Wilde liked to do; instead of looking at the stars, look to the sky. See the sun, love the light, feel the glow.

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NHS treatment of SAD

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Tess Holliday – Big, Bold, Beautiful. Plus Size Is On the Rise!

Hey Hey Guys!!

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Tess Holliday

Big things are happening in the fashion industry. Tess Holliday is one of them.

The bootilicious beauty from Mississippi is making history as being the first size 22 model to be picked up by a major label, UK based company, Milk Model Management.

Tattooed, pierced and rocking a little more junk in the trunk than your bog standard clothes horse, Holliday is breaking all the rules and breaking onto the scene in a big way.

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“Bigger is better…”

This is certainly true for the humble, 29 year old mother of one from Mississippi. Not only is Holliday stunning, but the alternative model is making waves as a campaigner for change in the fashion industry and for beauty standards in general.

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In 2003 she created #effyourbeautystandards encouraging women of all shapes and sizes to love their bodies and feel empowered by their individuality. It has gathered her an impressive 455,000 admirers on Instagram and almost 28,000 Twitter followers, where she posts behind the scenes shots of her on shoots, as well daily fashion snaps.

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Suicide Girls are an alternative models website and founder Selena Mooney rates Holliday’s future. “I’ve been following the #effyourbeautystandards movement for a while now, and I think it’s fantastic. Women have been put into boxes and made to feel ashamed if they don’t meet this specific cookie-cutter look that society dictates. Everyone is beautiful in their own way.  I’m just glad there are strong, intelligent, and gorgeous women like Ms. Holliday to influence and encourage society to break the mould and get people talking about female empowerment.”

After so long pandering to the obscene and regimented standards of most fashion houses, Holliday is presenting an alternative – a realistic, alternative.

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Critics have suggested that, far from being a positive representation of the female form, she is encouraging an unhealthy lifestyle with her size. But this is far from the truth, as Holliday works out with a trainer three times a week to maintain her glamorous curves.

With her flowing auburn hair, she looks reminiscent of a model from the Romantic period. Though her body confidence is something that has grown with time, much like the booty that is making her so worshipped now.

She told Look magazine, “I had to leave school at 17 because of bullying. I understand not everyone understands what I’m about. But to me it’s such a simple concept. It’s all about loving your body regardless of your size and chasing your dreams.”

Speaking to the Daily New York News she spoke of the struggles of her childhood. “I feel like I’m breaking ground. I never could have imagined that I could be here. It took a really long time to get over things that had happened to me during the vital years of my life. My mom always encouraged me, I’m always still that 13-year-old girl in Mississippi who people told I wasn’t good enough. I never could have imagined that I could be here.”

Tess is not only a great addition to the fashion industry as a model, but an inspiration as a role model. Real-world body types are grossly misrepresented in high fashion, television, advertising… Where is the variety? There is an increasing level of discourse between the pictures seen in magazines and the reality of life. An average UK woman is a size 16, yet models are generally an 8-10.

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It is becoming more and more difficult for females to accept themselves when being constantly told they are not “right”. For this reason, we need more pioneers, more strong minded, self-respecting role models to look up to.

The 5 foot 5″ babe is several inches smaller than the average plus size model, who generally stand at 5 foot 8″, making her yet more unique. Milk have been keeping quiet about what their plans are for their new star, but we can certainly expect to see those ruby locks a lot more in the near future.

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We aren’t all Victoria’s Secret models. Few of us can even afford to shop there and their gym bill must be more than rent in halls! But we can aspire to the mind-set of Holliday; live to make you happy. Screw what other people think and if they give you crap for it – show them one of Tess Hollidays’ super sexy, uber confident Instagram pics, with their sassy tags and F**k the haters mantras.

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SSDD

It’s All in the Packaging

Linda Macdonald sent me another package!

PACKAGE!! :D

PACKAGE!! 😀

This time of year is all about the wrapping paper, the bows the bells and whistles. Whether you are receiving or giving, it’s all in the way it arrives. Everyone likes a nicely wrapped little something, no matter that that little something is.

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Gifts are ubiquitous at this time of year. “Christmas is the time of giving after all. And this one is a super special example of how some people put in just that bit extra effort.

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Victoria’s Secret Bag

Some businesses at Christmas stuff things in a bag, scrunch a receipt in your hand along with a glum Ho Ho Ho“, and send you on your not-so-merry way. But then there are places like Victoria’s Secret. The fancy little stripey bag, the pink, the box, the intimations of contents a little more than ordinary.

Linda Macdonald is one of those places. And aside from her usual lovely packaging she is providing a special extra addition. Everyone loves a little indulgence at the festive time of year, writing it off as “It doesn’t count, it’s Christmas! (what kind of an excuse is that, by the way, exactly what difference to your metabolism is there during this particular stretch of the year that makes it better equipped to handle extreme amounts of rich and sugar laden foods, alcoholic beverages and cold weather??).

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Anyway, Linda has played into the hands of deliciousness and decadence and every order includes a lovely Lindt chocolate treat to please the tongue as well as the person.

package and CHOCOLATE!!

package and CHOCOLATE!!

Nestled inside my little pink organza bag was a ring that has been custom made to order for me. A gold heart set in a spotted silver band, on top of a solid one. Stunning!

RING!!

RING!!

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Even better, there is a sale! Lots of items under £50. Snap them up before your heart snaps in sadness at having not snapped them up!

Do you think they’re busy?? 😀

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SSDD

Love Mika’s Boutique and… I’M BACK!

Great News!

Well, two bits of great news.

1. I am back on the blogosphere after an intensely busy period of faffing around with Uni and freelancing like a demon.

2. I have discovered a wonderful woman to share with you all as my welcome back gift to you!! 😀

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The internet has seen fit to treat me with word of another wonderful company! Therefore I feel it my bloggerly obligation to share my tie-dyed find! 😀

LOVE MIKA’S BOUTIQUE is a one woman operation from Wichita, Kansas (USA) and she makes hair bows and headbands for bold fashionistas.

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I’ve been looking for new hair accessories since Uni is starting again soon and I always feel that a little new detail in your outfit can act as a wee talisman, a confidence booster to make you feel good. This is especially true since I went for the chop and got my hair cut from waist length to shoulder!! So when advertising on Facebook randomly assigned this little gem to my sidebar, I was super happy! Useful pop-ups for a change! Yay commercialism (for a change)!

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I got in touch with the very talented lady behind the venture, Kamika Hicks, to, firstly congratulate her on being creative and awesome, and secondly to find out where her inspiration came from. Because small businesses are the stones that lay in the foundations of our global economy and people do not appreciate the effort they go to enough.

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Starting 2 years ago Kamika spends time creating these magnificent head pieces, crocheting, tie-dying, designing and decorating fabrics to make her products, originally just for fun and then commercially on a small scale. She has a passion for beautiful things and told me:

“During my senior year in high school I started to sell them to people around school and I really enjoyed doing it. Not for the money but also by making people happy and by seeing them smile when I would give them something I made…”

I respect this so much.  For someone to want to create purely for the fact that it makes them happy is the kind of artistry that is relatable and I feel makes a more unique product. And if something is handmade then it’s one of a kind.

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With young people constantly trying to differentiate from their peers, LOVE MIKA’S BOUTIQUE is a fantastic idea. All her products are hand-made and super colourful, but in my opinion not overdone. These days I think some hair accessories are so overly extrovert that there is more focus on the thing bouncing around on top of your head than your face, which kind of defeats the purpose of, you, know, having a face, if all the people around you are doing is staring distractedly at the glitterball on top of your barnet.

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Being that she is a strong independent woman, she is of course doing very well. She recently set up a store on etsy. com, which I advise you take a look at HERE.

Seriously, for the festive season, there is nothing better than a custom made hair accessory. Bows and adornments are a cute way to spice up a look at any time of year, but at Christmas they are all around us. Stand out from the crowd and roll custom – VISIT HER AND HAVE HER AWESOME STUFF IN YOUR LIFE.

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I would only suggest her if I thought she was the best since I’m really particular about my hair… mainly because my hair is so hard to make look interesting. Trust me.

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SSDD

Birthday Bling: Gem’s a Jewel But Jenny’s a Crystal…

Age Appropriate Gifting

Bring me the shiny things… and the leather bag…

I turned 20 the other week. August 12th marked the end of my teenage years and… the start of Grouse Shooting Season. Charming way to mark the occasion.

I asked my family not to get me presents. I’m not particularly materialistic and there was nothing I really wanted. But then… I thought, this is not just an average birthday. This is 20, a big one, I think. The end of that era we call childhood which opens a door into decades of adulthood. Real adulthood, this time, not just the way they tell you you’re an adult when you turn 18. That’s like a dry run, a practice for the real thing.

How do I know? Well, it’s obvious. They’ve dropped the teen from the end of my real age and added the altogether less exciting ty.

140720131139So I decided I would get something special that I could keep forever. If I was choosing it, I would enlist the help of my expert mother, qualified in all things jewellery in all but legitimacy. I wanted a unique little something, a trinket that would not tarnish, nor rip or tear or break, that I could keep and love and cherish and have as a reminder of this time in my life and what all the events happening in it meant to me, the good and the bad.

So I bought a handbag. Kidding! Well, kind of.

I did get a handbag, but that was more an indulgence and a present than something meaningful.I do love it dearly, it’s a beautiful leather manifestation from River Island and sure, I hope my leather bag fetish lasts a lifetime but nothing will last as long as the real gift…

An amethyst and diamond ring.

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Amethyst symbolises piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom… The perfect gem to symbolise trying times and a new attitude.

Diamonds may be a girls best friend, but diamonds get lonely. I was searching the web for the perfect companion for my triumverate of bejeweled joy. And instead, I uncovered a jewel mine with enough carved precious stones to satisfy even the most bug eyes magpie.

Jenny Mills Jewellery

An Australian Lady with a Swarovski Heart

Jenny Mills is an Australian Jewellery designer and her creations are composed mainly of Swarovski crystals and pearls on silver hooks. The one that caught my eye was the amethyst pendant. It’s text based charm may not exactly match the simplicity of my ring but the colours vibrancy was beautiful. The powerful purple hue was mersmerising!

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E-219-3-620x376Further inspections delivered my eyes with more and more sparkles are fine gems to make me melt! Colours and clarity in all the crystals whispering of unparalleled quality. So finely crafted, so lovely and utterly unique. One woman and her skill and creativity, made all that, and the sites categorization into sections for easy perusal made my trip through the glittering mine of heart shaped lovelies all the easier and more rewarding.

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What purchase I will make is yet to be decided, but one thing is for sure; more people on my side of the pond should know of her. E-242-620x376Such a gift would be perfection, a gift to remember forever and treasure like the heart shapes on her pendants.

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SSDD

Black and White: Who Needs Colour

I don’t normally make fashion posts but I’ve been inspired recently and there is one coming up that’s got me pretty excited. Watch this space if you like nail art… 😀

 

Today I felt quite comfortable in what I was wearing – surprising, considering the length of my skirt 😉

Almost the entire outfit is from Primark, actually.

my outfit on this sunny day :)

my outfit on this sunny day 🙂

my outfit on this sunny day :)

my outfit on this sunny day 🙂

I accessories with a blazer, brogues and my favourite bag. I love me a leather bag… mmmmmmn… ^.^

I think the body-con look can look great on a girl who has curves and has the confidence to rock them in all their glory. But…

without blazer and bag...

without blazer and bag…

without bag and blazer...

without bag and blazer…

If you’re like me and are a little self conscious about having all the curves of a 10 year old, then there is an answer, yaaaaay!! 😀 COVER IT UP with a baggy t-shirt.

The American style, numbered jersey thing is “in” right now or something… I don’t really know I just saw it in the shops and like baggy t-shirts 🙂

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I like the body-con-short-skirt combo because it elongates my legs and gives me the freedom of movement I need – I take big steps, restricting clothes irritate the hell outa me, as I discovered after venturing into the realms of the midi-dress… I love it, but don’t ask me to meet you at the top of a hill, you’ll be waiting a long time.

The necklace is the special item for me.

Linda Macdonald is a Scottish jewellery designer who won the British Jewellery Association 125th Anniversary Awards 2012 Designer of the Year. She’s based in Helensborough, Scotland and I will link to her website HERE. I cannot recommend her stunning, handcrafted designs enough. I was so pleased with my necklace that I e-mailed her and Facebooked her to say thanks!

beautifully packaged... just looks great right!? :D

beautifully packaged… just looks great right!? 😀

The presentation is so sweet and so feminine that opening it with trepidation and anticipation is almost as exciting as opening it to find the silver beauty nestled within.

and WITHIN, behold the loveliness!! :D

and WITHIN, behold the loveliness!! 😀

It was given to me as a thank you from a very dear friend for doing her… well I wouldn’t call it a favour, but I tried very hard to help her in as best a way as I possibly could and it paid off in her favour, thankfully 🙂

She didn’t need to – you should never, ever, do something for a friend in expectation of thanks or recompense – but she gave me this gift in thanks for that. Apparently my actions made an impact. And hers certainly made an impact on me. I’ll treasure the pendant forever, for the memories and the sentiment.

And yes, the background to those pics IS a notebook covered in mustaches. You’re welcome.

Here’s a couple of pics of the dress I bought today. My birthday is coming up (the big 2o!!) so I figured I’d get me a wee party dress to… party in!! 😀

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And a couple of my lovely hometown this afternoon 🙂

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