Thursday, April 19, 2012

fashion faux pas or no?

Socks and sandals are a no-no. Ask anyone. If people know nothing else about fashion, they’ll know that you absolutely never wear socks with sandals. But I love the side of fashion that challenges these assumptions. And I’m not alone with this one! A quick Google search will show you just how trendy and chic the socks and sandal combo can be. As long as you’re not a middle-aged father-of-three embarrassing your kids during those awkward months where it’s too warm for closed-toe shoes but too cold for sandals and skin.

I discovered a really cute blog today that showed the everyday Jo Soap how to wear the sock and sandal combo without seeming like a creepy old guy. According to Fashion Assist, you can wear socks and sandals as long as the rest of your outfit suggests that you are quirky and chic. Rather than quirky and afflicted with bad BO.

Despite my friends disagreeing with me about this important issue, I’m still adamant that socks and sandals, and socks and tights, work if you do it right. And maybe I’m wrong but I took a risk when I chose this outfit this morning and I think I got it right.

What do you guys think? Fashion faux pas or fashion forward? Comment and let me know!

P.S. I hid behind a cartoon heart because I wasn’t wearing make-up and my face was being weird today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

dating the very tragic.

My favourite thing in the world is going on a date. I love dressing up and looking pretty and hoping that I make a good impression. I love the butterflies you get when you’re with someone you really fancy. More than anything, I love when dates go badly. I love telling stories about all the tragic dates I’ve had. I love being on a date and saying something ridiculously stupid out of nervousness, and I love telling my friends what I said, to raucous laughter. I love complaining about bad dates. I love when people are rude, or they’re late, or they’re boring, because it means I get to tell hilarious stories based on their misdemeanours. I have a very self-deprecating sense of humour so I love telling stories from the ‘Oh Look How Crap My Life is’ angle – I just find it funnier.

I’ve been on a lot of dates, most of them unofficial type things. Walks, drives, Chinese food. I’ve had some wonderful dates with boys I really liked, the kind of dates that are characterised by dry-mouth and awkward chit-chat. I’ve had comfortable dates that involved food and talking and occasionally me saying something bizarre and suggesting we steal the cutlery from the restaurant. I’ve had boring dates, ones where I’m so bored that I can’t think of a single thing to say to liven up the proceedings, and anything I do say is met with stony silence, or a general lack of appreciation for my hilariosity.

My favourite dates are the ridiculous dates. The ‘Shh, cat’ moments. That time I had to walk a half an hour home in the rain on a Friday night on my own. That time Druggie Guy wanted to have sex without a condom and I had to get a taxi home feeling like poo, and astonished that people like that exist. That time I got blanked the Morning After the Night Before and thinking, ‘Okay, you’re a 4, I’m at least a 6. How dare you blank me!’ That time the boy was twenty minutes late and didn’t even apologise. The time that other boy turned up for our date wearing a tracksuit and rugby shirt and proceeded to phlegm all over the place. Maybe I just attract the very tragic boys. But it’s funny. I base most of my life on what is funny, which is why I enjoy tragic dates – I see the funny side and I look forward to telling people about them.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a nice date, one that began and ended well, and didn’t result in one of us disliking the other. I’m in the mood for passionate kissing and butterflies and being a sap, so one of those dates would be fab. But I won’t say no to more tragic dates – they provide lovely, bizarre, insane humour in my life, and make for interesting conversations later.

If you think we’d have a terrible time eating Chinese food together, please let me know, because I would love to hang out with you. Our awkward Chinese take-away would provide fodder for my future stories and I’d be forever indebted to you.

Monday, April 09, 2012

just casually ruining my life, nbd.

My bus back to Limerick never showed, so I’m going back in the morning instead. In the meantime, I’m waiting out a hangover and half watching The General. It’s good but I’m distracted. I’m distracted by pretty dresses on the internet and speculating how I may have ruined my life again. Not that I remember a whole from last night but it did involve me breaking my new year’s resolution of not kissing people who I wasn’t attracted to. That might seem like a silly resolution to a normal, emotionally healthy human being, but it’s changed my life over the last couple of months. It means I don’t wake up after a night of debauchery and think, ‘Shit, what have I done?’

But I broke my resolution last night and I’m trying to deal with the creeping sense of self-loathing as best I can. This involves reassuring myself that I didn’t actually hurt anyone last night. And maybe I’m growing or something but the fact that I didn’t physically hurt myself in an effort to make up for last night – that’s pretty great. Valuing myself like a mother-fucker.

On a lighter note, I engaged in some retail therapy and ordered these gorgeous loafers from Asos.

Hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend!

x

Sunday, April 08, 2012

ten things to love about spring/ summer!

We can now finally say goodbye to winter, and to celebrate, here are the top reasons to love the new spring/summer season:

  1. The best of ladies fashion. When the gruelling torture of waking up in the dark is replaced with rays of sunshine acting as a substitute alarm clock shining through your curtains, it signals the end of thick tights, warm boots and fur coats. Cue a new spring wardrobe full of bright colours, fun prints and open toe shoes – so much more uplifting.

  2. Vitamin D. It’s a scientific fact that we feel better when the sun is shining. Get outside as much as you can and soak up that vitamin D!

  3. Lighter nights. It’s not just the lighter mornings that we love so much during spring. The lighter evenings mean the end of walking home in the dark, the return of alfresco dining and the chance to drag out those Sunday afternoons in the garden just a little bit longer.

  4. Painting your toenails. Finally, a legitimate excuse to get creative with all those vibrant nail varnish shades – a treat that feels like a complete waste of time over winter.

  5. Flowers. Spring is an exciting time for anyone with green fingers. Even if you’re not an expert, all those colourful flowers popping up everywhere are bound to put a spring in your step.

  6. Easter = chocolate. Enough said!

  7. BBQs. This is definitely the time to let him loose on the grill and impress with burnt sausages and burgers. If only he would just do the washing up too!

  8. Planning the holiday. Finally, it’s close enough to the summer to imagine yourself on a white sandy beach, without a care in the world.

  9. Get fit – no excuses! When the warmer weather kicks in, there really is no excuse for not getting out and about – whether you’re a jogger, a walker or are simply planning to hop on your bike. Be inspired by all the sporting events on offer over the warmer months – the French Open, Wimbledon and, of course, the Olympic Games to name just a few.

  10. Summer food and drink. In a couple of months we’ll be seeing our shelves filled with all the best seasonal produce, including summer berries, asparagus, plums and rhubarb. Enjoy with drinks that taste better when sipped in the sunshine like Pimm’s, rosé wine, and the classic gin & tonic.

This post was sponsored by the lovely people at Isme. Go check out their flirty fashions online now! (I’m currently besotted with their pretty summer dresses.)

Image from Domestic Sensualist.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

give-away reminder and pictures okay fabulous.

I posted back in August that I’d be hosting a give-away to celebrate my 500th post. It’s still a couple of posts away yet (this is post #438) but I just wanted to let you all know that I haven’t forgotten about my promise of showering you with gifts!

Only 42 more posts until presents! (I’m think pastels and florals and cute things. Yay or nay?)

Hope you’re all enjoying the Easter break!

P.S. Here are some pretty pictures:

Images from Tumblr.

Friday, April 06, 2012

going wild (in a tame sort of way).

At the moment, Queerbash is about the only thing on my brain. The tribal-themed show is taking place next Friday 13th April in Dolan’s Warehouse in Limerick. (Click here for the Facebook event!)

With a lot of other events happening in Limerick that weekend, promotion is important. Out in UL decided to make some eco-friendly tribal jewellery to hand out to potential Queerbashers as an incentive to come join in with the fabulous fun we’ll be having!

I roped my gorgeous and glam friend, Tara, into helping me procure leaves, twigs, and flowers, and put them all together in hippie-style garlands. There was a very primary school arts’n’crafts vibe in Tara’s house last night, amid several cups of tea and some Terry’s Chocolate Orange. We talked about pubes, nipple piercings, and cats. Undeniably good fun! There’s still plenty more to do but we made some pretty good progress last night!

Poster paints, string, and bits of nature: Hippie Chic!

self-worth.

The older I get, the more I see the importance of really valuing myself. I used to think it was spoiling myself: eating too much double chocolate chip ice-cream; buying pretty necklaces with money that I didn’t have; hanging around with mean boys because when they kissed me, I felt like I mattered. But in reality, that’s not spoiling yourself at all. That’s practically bullying yourself. Bad behaviour leads to bad feelings and bad thoughts, which in turn lead to more bad behaviour.

I find it hard to commit to going to counselling every week but if there’s one thing that I will take with me from my sessions in UL, it’s the fact that your feelings and your thoughts and your behaviour are all intertwined. When I feel bad, I act bad. I set myself to self-destruct mode. I neglect myself completely. I’m learning – slowly – that if I really valued myself in the first place, I wouldn’t feel as bad as I sometimes do. I’m learning that valuing yourself doesn’t just mean treating yourself to some ice-cream after a bad day at college. It’s more than that. It’s valuing your body as well as your mind. It’s realising that you deserve to be happy, and acknowledging that you have the power to make yourself happy. Because you do. You really do. It’s not easy, but it’s very possible.

So I’ve been taking my make-up off every night before bed. I’ve been brushing my teeth every night. I’ve been remembering to wear my elastics on my braces. I’ve been exercising. I’ve been spending time with my mother and her whimsy. I’ve also been thinking about the future. I’ve been learning to accept myself. I’m learning to accept my unruly hair and my chubby tummy and my scarred legs.

I think you have to be your own best friend. And I don’t mean that in a ‘Don’t Trust Anyone’ kind of way. I mean that in a ‘Treat Yourself the Same Way You’d Treat Your Best Friend’ kind of way. Look at the way you conduct yourself, the way you talk to yourself. Would you want your best friend to do the same? Would you talk to your best friend the same way you talk to yourself throughout the day?

I caught myself berating myself on the bus home a couple of weeks ago: ‘You’re stupid, Emma. You’re a fucking spa. No, you’re a fucking spastic.’ I wouldn’t say that to an arch nemesis, so why was I saying it to myself? If I think about it rationally, I’m not ‘a fucking spastic’ – whatever that means – but those negative thoughts tend to slip past the rational part of your brain. They go unnoticed by logic and reason, and you believe them, rarely questioning their veracity.

I’m fat. I’m ugly. I’m stupid. No one likes me. I’ll never get a boyfriend. I’ll never get a job.

I tell myself these things all too frequently but the logical part of my brain knows that they aren’t true. If you catch these thoughts while you’re thinking them and you interrogate them, you’ll find that they start to crumble. They’re not used to being questioned. And it’s funny how even questioning them will make you feel better. Imagine how you’ll feel when you outright tell those thoughts that they’re false. I still sometimes notice myself calling myself ugly but then I think, ‘I’m not ugly though. I’m actually kind of pretty.’ I might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but surely I’m someone’s? If nothing else, I’m my own cup of tea. Or I’m learning to be.

Speaking of being someone’s cup of tea though, or wishing you were – don’t. Don’t wish for a certain boy to like you. More importantly, if you like someone and he treats you like poo, ditch him. That’s valuing yourself. When has staying with a boy who makes you sad 90% of the time ever benefitted anyone’s self-esteem?

I am still trying to grasp what I should have learned years ago: you don’t need people who make you feel like shit. The worst part is, you think you do need them. Bad boyfriends are the worst. They’re so ironic. You think you need them, and, in reality, they’re the last thing you need. You need to surround yourself with people who make you happy and make you feel like you’re worth your weight in gold.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
– Mark Twain.

You can be great. You know that, right? I want to inspire people. Inspire myself. I’m always banging on about challenging gender roles and challenging how people define ‘beauty’. So I’m doing that. I’m learning that everyone is beautiful, including me.

I’m starting to value myself as a person. I’ve realised that my thoughts and my feelings and my opinions are all valid. They’re mine. My body is okay too. (See, that’s always a difficult thing to say. For some reason, we find it so hard to admit that we’re attractive. But I’m working on it.) I’m taking care of my body because, whether I like it or not, this is the only one I’ll ever get. I’m taking care of my emotions because they’re pretty fragile. They’re important though. More important than silly boys with something a little less dignified than romance on their minds.

This is a beautiful adventure!

Images from Flickr & Imgfave. Click through for sources.

Monday, April 02, 2012

i win at being awful.

This is how I feel.

queerbash 9.

Queers Go Native!

So I’m big into Out in UL, the LGBTQ society in college. Their annual showcase event, Queerbash, is making a return this year on Friday 13th April. If you happen to be in Limerick, you should definitely go. If you don’t happen to be in Limerick, come to Limerick, and come to Queerbash: you can crash at my gaff afterwards.

Fresh from their hat-trick success at this year's Clubs & Societies Awards, Out in UL present Queerbash, the tribal themed showcase event that promises to be a night of unadulterated entertainment!

At this year's Clubs & Societies Ball, Out in UL took home three awards, including Best Society Event for last year's gothic-themed Queerbash. Queerbash 9 has a lot to live up to but it promises to deliver!

Hosted by Alternative Miss Ireland contestant Madonna Lucia and previous AMI winner Sheila Fits-Patrick, with performances from the untouchable Candy Warhol, Fada, and Eileen, and many more, the event will be a feast for the eyes and ears.

Expect Dance UL, UL Drama, and UL Choral Soc to demonstrate their talents on the night. Jack Deacon will provide tribal drumming to get you in the mood for a rain-dance. With music from DJ Jeff and Return to Sender (RTS) as well as a few surprises, Queerbash 9 is set to be better than ever!

Dust off that old African headpiece and release your inner animal. This will be a Friday the 13th you'll never remember!

x

(RSVP on Facebook by clicking here!)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

doing awful things.

I was always terrified of that phrase, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ Because I only ever had words. What actions did I have? I never seemed to be doing much of anything. (And I’m all talk, of course I am.) I felt like a waste of a life because actions were of more value than words and all I had were words. (Then again, I will take any and every opportunity to degrade and devalue myself.) And maybe it’s okay to just have words. I mean, if they’re all I have, maybe that’s the best I can do, you know? Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. And it’s not as though I do nothing. I do some things. I do a lot of things. I like doing things. But I always feel as though words are my most powerful tool. Or I used to. I don’t know, man. Things change all the time.

And I feel like a bad person. But I don’t feel like you’re much better. Even though you very obviously do think you’re better than me. I’m having a hard time lately believing that anyone is better than me. I think we’re equal. We’re different but equal. We both have our faults (and I have a fuck-load) and it’s wonderful. Wonderful faults and flaws.

I sweat too much, I swear too much, I eat too much, I think too much. I don’t do anything in moderation.

I often think about what it means to be good or bad. Because if you do something that you think is awful and you believe it makes you an awful person, what can you do? You can apologise to whoever you hurt and you can try to repair the damage. And then? As an ongoing punishment, you can keep telling yourself that you are an awful human being. But it’s not productive, is it? It doesn’t achieve anything. And you just feel awful. And in my experience, that kind of self-flagellation only leads to a cycle of more awful behaviour: if you really believe that you’re an awful person, you’ll continue to do awful things because it’s who you are. And it’s easy. It’s what people expect. But it won’t make you very happy. So I think you should (and I should) stop beating yourself (and myself) up about awful things you’ve done. I think you should accept it. I think you should acknowledge what you did, apologise if necessary, resolve to not behave in the same way again, and move on with your life.

Because what does all this negative thinking actually achieve? Sometimes I still think about stupid things I did or said when I was sixteen and I cringe and berate myself and hate myself. But it’s not the stuff of happiness, is it? And with four years separating me and that epoch of stupidity, negative thinking does nothing for it, except put me in a horrible mood, and more likely to do stupid and awful things again.

But maybe that’s just me. And maybe it’s not that easy to stop blaming yourself and your past for the shitty things that happen now. That doesn’t even make sense. You know what I mean. I just think we should all move on. I think I should move on.

(And even if the stupid/ awful thing only happened yesterday, we should still move on with our lives. We should apologise and drink tea and take a couple of deep breaths and move on. Move forward. Into the infinite abyss.)