I’m Not Ashamed of Periods, But…

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Hey Hey Guys!!

So this is a little left of centre for me, but I’m going to talk about… Periods.

Not like the ones you have in schools (though if you are a high school girl, then those too!). No, I’m talking about the monthly menstrual cycle of a woman.

This is a 100% natural thing, necessary for pro-creation and there is NOTHING to be ashamed of about them. Nothing at all.

But…

I recently read an article in HelloGiggles, a site I am a big fan of for their empowering, female-centric articles. They speak to their reader like a friend, like a sister. They give a platform for women to scream HELL YEAH about woman’s issues and that’s great! BIG fan of female empowerment.

But…

This article… It’s gone viral so you might have seen it. I just can’t agree whole-heartedly with it. I am in no way saying that the writer was wrong in what she was saying, not at all. Just that I personally am just not in agreement. She basically says that she bled through her pad, which is something pretty much all women have done, but she seems pissed off that people offered to help her, or told her that she might want to hide the stain, perhaps until she got home.

And this is where I disagree with her. She seemed annoyed that it was said to her in hushed tones, that she was looked at by people who spotted the stain. But I understand. If I were in her position, I would have tried to cover the mark. I would have accepted the pad from the stranger. I wouldn’t be ashamed of being a woman, not at all it happens to almost all of us. But can you really blame people for trying to help her to cover up blood? If you saw someone with a nosebleed in the street, surely you would offer them a hankie? Is this not a similar situation? It’s a matter of personal care. I’m not exactly the finest dressed of folk, but I do try to take at least a little care, and going out covered in blood seems to be the opposite of that.

That’s not to say that we need to look like we’re off to a ball every day of the week, just that maybe being covered in blood is taking “zero fuck’s given” a little too far.

Men are infinitely immature a lot of the time and those men that were staring aren’t worth dealing with. I admire her for putting it out there, but I do find this whole thing a little aggressive. I would have accepted the help and left it at that.

I want to conclude by saying that the girl totally has my respect and admiration for broadcasting the fact that this does happen, it’s natural and if you care, you are an idiot. I’m just saying that maybe she misinterpreted the offers of a pad as shame, when they were really meant as an aid to modesty and as a kind gesture. Just saying.

SSDD

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My Almost (Now Not) Apartment!

Hey Hey Guys!!

SO much has happened in the past few days!
I… moved out! BUT… I’m moving back home again in a few days. It’s so complicated, let me explain.
OK, so for the past god knows how long, I’ve been talking about moving out. It’s something I’ve just felt like I NEEDED to do, for my own well being. My parents and I have a, shall we say, complicated relationship (*ahem* we con’t get on, they suffocate me, and there are times when I genuinely fear for my sanity *ahem*).
So I found a flat in the city (Glasgow, I’m a Scottish lass, if you didn’t know), I arranged a date, I packed up all my shit and readied for off! But something just didn’t feel right. I had this feeling in my gut like nothing I’d ever experienced before that translated to my head that I was making the biggest mistake of my life. I thought, it can’t be because I’m moving out, surely? I’ve done that before! I moved to Barcelona(read about my adventures!!) for godsake and that was fine! I was perfectly confident doing so! But there was something wrong.
I couldn’t sleep the night before the move.I stayed up all night crying, wondering why I felt this terrible about something I had been so excited about, had planned for for so long. I could feel it in my very bones, so strongly, everything inside me telling me I was making a massive mistake.
 
This feeling continued right up to the point where I was literally packing the car and I was still humming and hawing, back and forth, on the verge of emailing the person who owned the flat and saying I wasn’t coming. But I pressed on regardless. I moved. Got all my stuff into the new place and that was that – I was moved in.
 
I stayed up, awake again, all night almost, with that same sick feeling in my gut. And there was no logical reason for it; or so I thought. The flat is perfect. It was as if someone reached into my brain and decorated the flat of my dreams and delivered it to be in a beautiful, cozy dream house, all for me. Studenty, but not too much. Tidy, pretty, relaxing colours rather like my room at home, a short walk or bus right into the very heart of the city – AND IT HAS GUINEA PIGS!! I fecking LOVE guinea pigs!! Perfect!
 
I had an appointment back home so I traveled back the next day and spoke to mum. Together we decided that I would move back as soon as possible. The minute we decided that, I felt this great swell of utter relief, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I felt dizzy from it. I knew it was the right thing to do. I don’t know why, after all this time, all this waiting and saving and hoping for the right place to become available, it was so wrong. It just was.
 
The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
  • I only have 2 classes this term.
  • I’m only in 2 mornings and 1 full day, so I really don’t need to be in Glasgow for that.
  • I have other commitments but not so many pressing ones that I need to be living in the city.
  • I would be spending a tonne of money that I could otherwise be saving for… something. Maybe a holiday this summer?
 
But the main thing, the big one, is… that I hate my University course.
I started off loving it, but now, I loathe it. So, by staying in the city, I would essentially be paying a fortune to make it easier to do something I hate. So I paid for the week and now my parents are coming to get me at the weekend and I’m moving back home.
And to add to the shit storm of emotional upheaval, my psychiatrist has put me on anti depressants. On top of my anti anxiety meds, the vitamin supplements, the gut aids, the dietary assistants, the pain killers… I’m becoming something of a toxic cloud!
 
So that has been my crazy week. How was yours? And here are some pictures to show you the place I’ve been living for… well, I suppose it’s my flat for a few days.
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Living room

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Bedroom

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Care package from home

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First coffee and candle!

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Best. Body spray. EVER!

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GUNIEA PIGS!!

SSDD

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

Hey Hey Guys!!

Tess Holliday

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

The World’s Largest Ball of Wool and Getting Crafty

Hey Hey Guys!

I took a little trip this afternoon with a friend of mine, her mum, gran and pup pup (miniature schnowzer, Kiwi; I hate dogs but that little thing is a darling). We just got in the car and said, “So, where do you want to go today?”

The fact that we just took off, drove in a direction with the vague intention of locating a coffee somewhere picturesque was so… freeing.

I’m usually that super uptight cretin that has to know exactly when we are meeting and exactly who will be there and exactly how close a blood relative of yours was dying that meant that you were 6 and a half minutes late… Sorry, friends… But it was a lazy Saturday. Sure it was grey outside but we had 4 wheels and a radio. The country roads of coastal Scotland are a heaven for those with itchy feet but no intention of really going anywhere. One of the things I love about where I live is that you can simply drive to the middle of nowhere, take in the scenery and call it being somewhere.

We ended up in a little pocket of creativity known as West Kilbride; a hub of arts and crafts and apparently Scotlands’s official craft town! Who knew! We’re all knitters and chrocheters, but now we have been inspired to take up peddaling and spinning yarn on looms and… pretending to be Sleeping Beauty or something… I dunno, but it was a lovely place anyway.

GIANT BALL OF WOOL!!

GIANT BALL OF WOOL!!

There was a gorgeous wool shop in town. We were drawn to it by the MASSIVE BALL OF COLOURED WOOL hanging outside the door. It was just… interesting, and a little bizarre. It tickled my funny bone so I took a pic and inside, was greeted with some of the softest wool I’ve ever felt, made from Alpaca! Can you say luxurious!? Clothing made out of that would be like getting stroked by… well, I’ll let you fill in the blank there 😉

Georgeous Antique clock

Georgeous Antique clock

Eventually we found our coffee and cakes in a cafe in Sea Mill. It seemed to literally pop up at the side of a road with nothing for miles in any direction. It simply seemed to be there and expect people to find it. Which they did. Considering we never passed any houses, the place was a pleasantly bustling little heaven from the biting cold wind blowing off the salty Clyde. Nothing like a crisp breeze and the lure of mediocre coffee to drive you off the road.

Well, that was my Saturday. Til next week! (When I am predicting I’m going to need a serious sleep coz it will be at the end of my first week back at Uni…)

Follow me in Instagram!

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.

Victoria's Secret Bag

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

The Hills Are Alive

The hills are alive, and they are helping me live again too…

I have returned from Fort William! The Ben Nevis region of the world.

I’m a creature of habit. It’s not something I like to admit but it’s true. Certain changes make me uncomfortable which is a pain because I like to try new things and my mind delights in the thought of travel. But I also like the safety of a certain level of routine… Even though repetitiveness kind of makes me want to kill something. Ahhh, paradox. Which is why I’m glad that my holiday this year was the most placid of family affairs rather than an out-and-out 20 year old party bonanza.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a drink and I do turn into MC Hammer when the DJ brings the tunes (oh aye, coz I’m that cool) but there are times when your mind has just had. e. nuff. Peace, tranquility. These are things that in the metropolis of your personal bubble are lost and shoveled brutally into a grave of insignificance.

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It wasn’t til I arrived on one of the most stunning roads I’ve ever seen that I realised this. There is a community in loneliness. Hills feel older than you. They have been around for a long time and will remain there indefinitely (I hope). Human lives are far more temporal. We are lucky to even be allowed the privilege of bearing witness to such ancient features. They rise out of the earth, like majestic guardians. I see them as guardians, because why else would they need to be so tall? They are clearly there to protect nature from man by being stunning and intimidating in a breathlessly  massive way.

Lately my life has taken twists and turns, stagnated and infuriated me with it’s inability to rail itself on a path that is actually going to make me happy.

20130829_085906And that is why I took the Glenfinnan Viaduct and became a Real Wizard. Now there is a rail that makes me very happy!

Fort William is not so much a sleepy town as a town that needs only to rest. Sure, there is a Weatherspoons, but that is about all there is. If you want a little youthfulness, that is where you go, if not… you chill in the hotel bar with the other 195 year olds.

To be honest, boarding the bus made me imagine looking through a looking glass that shows you 75 years into the future. There was not one single person under 100 on there. My parents and I were almost as startled as the old folks on there; they were peering through their 3 inch specs at us as if they were beginning to believe the docs when they said they were going cray cray! We were spied through 50 pairs of scrunched up bug eyes and wire frames as if for all the world they could not understand what the hell we were doing there.

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Yet I didn’t care. We spent our evenings drinking Mojitos and boogying in our chairs to the sounds of Scottish folk warblers. The old timers may have pulled a few muscles on route to their 5th half lager shandy but we were ripe to party til the fun ended… at 10:30pm. We skipped the bingo night. Too much excitement. We re-named that Cocktail Night and Dads-First-Shot Night. Twas excellent 😀

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The strangeness of the entire situation; a relatively young family of three in a hotel full of people old enough to be my parents grandparent;, a 20 year old being absolutely not bored in a place that was essentially nothing but water too cold to swim in; trees to coniferous to climb and pubs too expensive to be worth the pints that are pulled there; was just another part of what made everything so perfect. I was finding solace in the predictable strangeness of the view outside my window. There was nothing new on any given day, except perhaps an extra smattering of drizzle. There was a peace in the quiet 20130828_165037of the hills I was constantly surrounded by. I don’t think the ancient wisdom of historic hills can be properly captured in text. Words are not enough to encompass the all consuming silence that resonated in them. They are so full of age that one feels dwarfed just driving through them. I got the impression that what I was doing was wrong – the only correct way to view these hills should be on foot. To be driving through seemed a travesty, indignation of the more insolent order.

But, as I am not currently able to walk those rocky roads, bus wheels it had to be. What I’m really looking for in this life is freedom. Despite being utterly static and restricted to their station by their own nature, the corries and peaks of the Ben Nevis region seem to have found that embody it, even, in a way that is zen and breathtaking.

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Next time, maybe I will get to see things from up high…

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SSDD