Thursday, 20 August 2015

Dreading Exam Results Day

Today is results day. Screams fill the towns and cities, lightning strikes pursue the skies and every teenager in the country is filled with anxiety and anguish over their impending doom. Where are the lies? I can honestly, hands down, think of at least fifty plus things I would rather do than head down to school this morning and face my fate. By the time you have read this, I could have already opened that envelope and found out the results to those GCSE exams I sat a lifetime ago. I can't believe the time that has passed since I wrote that first blog post talking about the end of my exams and the blissful beginning of summer and now here we are. Yet, here are the facts. Those results were determined when I put down my pen and walked out of that examination hall long ago. Nothing I say, nor do from now on is going to change that. I just have to hope that my best was enough. For all of you lovelies who are about to also face the terror today, I thought I'd give you ten points on how you can cope with it and hopefully, no matter what happens, by the end of the day, you will still be you just minus the stress and anxiety! Also, even if you aren't getting your exam results today maybe these tips can help you in other anxiety filled aspects of your life. So, without further or do, let's get started!

1. Simply Relax 
Easier said than done I know, but seriously, rest your mind. Remember you have been in much more panicked situations than this before, you sat these exams remember? If you can do that, you can sure as heck do this! There is no point getting worked up over a little piece of paper, it won't change anything!

2. You're Not Alone!
Guess who else is going to be reacting to their fate today? Every other GCSE student in the UK! You are one of many of your kind and you can use this to your advantage. Search hashtags like #ResultsDay or #GCSEResults on Twitter or Tumblr. You will be surprised by how many other kids are also have emotional breakdowns at this present moment and you can have a good laugh at some of the jokes and memes. Also, although our High School Musical days are long gone, it will calm your nerves knowing that we are all in this together!

3. It Will All Be Over Soon.
If we break it down and just think about this situation. It's actually pretty lame. All we are doing is going in to fetch a piece of paper that has a few statistics and letters on it. What are we all getting freaked out over? Just go in and do it. It will all be over in a matter of minutes, have a good old sob then laugh at yourself and deal with what is in front of you. Do not freak out in front of people who haven't opened their results yet, try and hold it together. They are just as nervous as you and probably could do without it.

4. Options, Opportunities and a Whole Lot More.
So I know you have this whole plan in your head on how things are going to work out. Me too. The truth is though, when we find out our results it might not work out for us. That's okay though. Do not panic. You can still resit some exams and there are a stack full of other options and opportunities you can explore. Maybe it's what is best for you and don't be discouraged if you don't get what you had hoped for. We all have our limits and at least you can still say you tried your best right? I have had to resit exams in the past and it isn't a sign of failure! Your exam results will help guide you to do what is best suited for you and there will be teachers there to offer you support and guidance. They know and they understand. So don't be afraid to speak up and ask for some help!

5. Focus on the Positive. 
Before and after just try to adjust the situation to a more positive one. You are only getting an envelope. You don't actually have to do anything other than that. It's not the same as going into an exam, it's actually a much more relaxed environment if you think about it! When you get your results look at the positives. So hey, maybe you didn't do as well in chemistry as you would have liked but I mean would you look at that geography score! You can deal with the negatives tomorrow but you have had enough stress for today so just celebrate and relax for now!

I hope those tips helped, I'm just going to have to now learn to follow my own advice! Just remember that at the end of the day, your results do not define you as a person or predict your future. I wish everyone getting their results get what they deserve and what they worked hard for. 

The best of luck! 

Thursday, 23 July 2015

It's Only a Sparkle

You know that warm tingling feeling you get when something just makes you so happy? When a movie is just too amazing that you end up crying at it's finale or when you are in the middle of laughing so much you can barely breath. I call that little tingle of happiness a sparkle. How very fairy tale and soppy of me. When I was younger I had this whole theory in my head that those sparkles were the reason we all worked the way we do, those little sparkles worked like magic and little grubby chubby me truly, hands down, believed that those little sparkles were the answer to anything I didn't understand.

"How was the world created Holly?"
"Oh, Sparkles burst everywhere and then built it from magic!"

"Why is the sky blue?"
"You see, the sea has sparkles that reflect onto the sky!"

"What happened to the cat? Why is he wearing a princess dress?"
"He wanted to feel sparkly Mummy."

I thought the more sparkles you felt, the better a person you were and the more people you could make sparkle the more sparkles you would receive in return. In my little brain, among the two times tables and the rhyme that helps you spell "because", this seemed a very logical explanation. I wasn't a completely crazed child though because in a way, it does even now make reasonable sense. I mean surely if you make others happy, they will make you happy in return right? If you show kindness they will show it back to you because that's how it works. That was a sparkle rule, unspoken but always obeyed. It worked for ten year old me anyway and I lived by my rule for a very long time. I could have probably lived by it for longer, maybe even forever, if I had just ignored my curious consciouns. Yet, curiosity got the better of me.

The older I grew, the more I became aware that people didn't return my little sparks back all the time. I'd hold a door open and get no thank you or I'd smile at a passerby in the street and be ignored. This probably had been going on for a while but I was so busy living in my own sparkle run world that I just didn't see it. Then one day, I was told by someone that I was just too nice. I didn't fully understand, I mean how can someone be too nice? After a while though, I finally got it. I had gone through my whole life constantly putting other before myself, making sure I made everyone happy, going out of my way to be nice to people. That's not a bad thing but it is when people realise that is who you are and then start to take advantage of your kindness, treading over you and making you do what they want without consideration for your emotions. In some ways, I am still letting this happen, but I'm learning that although I can do anything, it doesn't mean I have to do everything. I can always just say no. I've learnt that it's okay to say no every now and then. If there is something you don't want to do, something that you think will make you unhappy. You can say no. Who knew?

Although I may have grown out of my sparkle theory, I still feel the sparks. Every time someone goes out of their way to smile at me, when someone compliments me or when someone actually makes an effort to make me laugh or get to know me, I'm reminded of the little sparks that once ran my world. I still try to share my sparks with everyone and sometimes I fail but I never gave up. You should all give it a shot sometime and just try to make someone who you don't even know that well laugh or smile. You might look a bit of an idiot but you could also make it happen. It can make a huge difference to a person and even to your own life! I, for one, would truly appreciate your effort.

It's only a sparkle but it's enough to keep me going. One spark is just enough to make a fire glowing. 

The Perfect Wedding

Now I'm not really one of those girls who dreams about their wedding day and their life with their future husband. I'm only sixteen and those things are quite positively the least of my worries and dreams. I didn't even know I had wedding goals until I saw this video and now I am completely utterly hooked!

Colleen and Joshua bodyroll down the aisle. 

Just in case you have been living under a rock these past few years and haven't heard of Miranda Sings, she is a youtuber who has some hilariously bad singing videos, the biggest red crazy lips you have ever seen  and seems to basically be everything annoying and irritating in a person. I just so happen though, to completely adore her! Unfortunately, (Or fortunately I suppose, it depends on your perspective!) Miranda is only a character and is played by the beautiful Colleen Ballinger  who unbelievably actually has an amazing singing voice!

Miranda Sings
A while back, Colleen tied the knot with her now husband Joshua Evans and the whole day was filmed on camera and edited to the most beautiful video I have ever seen. Lucky lucky us! I've had to say goodbye to my original relationship goal of Troy and Gabriella and say hello to this new little bubble of joy. Something is very satisfying knowing that such a cute relationship actually exists in the non-fiction world! I have never cried so much over something so romantic and soppy but it's very hard to try and keep the tears at bay. It's just so perfectly pretty *sigh*. If you haven't seen it already, check it out! It's worth the watch! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts and let me know if you let off the water works too! Congratulations to the new Evans Family. I hope you are doing well!

P.S So just a bit of bad news.. my laptop has broken! I've had to upload from borrowing someones computer but its really not ideal. I'm struggling to keep up with other bloggers and I don't want you to think my support has been abandoned from your blogs, because it's not, I'll always still be here! On the upside, I have some really exciting stuff happening over the next few weeks that I can't wait to share with you guys, but sadly until my laptop is fixed I am in a bit of a pickle. Please bare wirh me guys, I'm going to try my best! Thank you so much for your on going support, you will  never know how much it means to me x

Thursday, 16 July 2015

The Faults of Love

Love is truly a many splendored things. It's actually such a powerful word as it stands for so much emotion and feeling. Love is definitely more than just a word. Love is so unconditional and it can come from just about anybody. Your Family, your friends and that one special person you focus a lot of it on. As a sixteen year old, I can't really relate to a romantic love relationship. I mean, sure, I've read my fair share of romance novels and most movies and plays these days have some sort of romantic interest in them but that's not really the same as a true experience. However, despite this fact, I still have a pretty strong perspective on love and why it is currently, in our society, being rejected, denied and misused. This isn't the way it has to be.

First of all, many people seem to reject the love given to them simply because they don't believe they are good enough. It's like that famous line from Stephen Chbosky's novel, "The Perks of Being Wallflower." :-

"We accept the love we think we deserve."

Many people in this day and age, especially in the teenage generation, have such low self esteems that we struggle to reach our full potential. By that I mean, we struggle to believe we are pretty amazing... and amazing people deserve to be loved! Not only does our lack of belief that we aren't good enough for someone or even something, restrict us from happiness but it also mighty sucks on the receiving end. Imagine giving your love and affection to someone who feels YOU are too good for them and then being completely rejected. It would be pretty humiliating and distressing but it happens. The person might even feel the same about you but they are just simply too afraid of getting hurt and heartbroken. We all need to start communicating and being a bit more fearless. I'm not saying hearts won't be broken but why not step out of your comfort zone and share a bit of love? Why not just go for it and find out? You never know until you try!

However, love is also constantly being denied. I'm not talking about your partner or your friend leaving you, or you pulling apart from a love you once had. I'm talking about other people restricting YOUR right to love, because they don't believe it's "right". Everybody deserves to love and be loved. Love has no labels and love isn't restricted to just "certain types of people". It doesn't matter what gender, skin colour, race, religion, age or ability you have or are, we can all still love one another. We are all the same - just normal human beings and love brings happiness no matter who is receiving it! If you want to love someone of a different ethnic group or someone of the same gender then that is your right. Never let anybody tell you that your love is wrong. Love can never be wrong. It's the only thing we can be certain on in this world!

Finally, I feel like the heavy word of "Love" is often misused, especially in my generation. We seem to throw the word love around like its a simple "Hello" these days. I'm not saying that throwing love in every direction isn't a bad thing. Quite frankly, if everybody showed love to everyone, the world would be a happier place, but love is much more than a word. I feel the word love is so strong and important that when it's used too often, it loses its important meaning. Saying "I love you" to someone should be from your heart. It should mean something to you. You can't just say the word, you need to continually show your affection, you need to be sure you will be truly dedicated to that person. You don't even need to use the word, you can share your love by simply making someone smile. There is so many different arcs of love, it's actually pretty breathtaking if we sit back and admire the view. Some people say love comes with a lot of baggage and in some ways that's true. There is probably going to be hardships and lots of ups and downs. It's the journey that counts though. Love can make you weak but it can also give you strength. All you need is love. It will always be something we find complicated but that's what makes it great. It's an unexpected adventure that's just waiting to happen!

Wishing you all find the love and happiness you deserve!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Ahoy to the Tall Ships Belfast!

Ahoy there me hearties! Okay, let's just quickly accept the fact this is the perfect post to make pirate puns. I mean, they arrrgh pretty hilarious! (See what I did there eh? eh? I'm sorry.) Last weekend was a very exciting one for the wee city of Belfast in Northern Ireland. As a tiny country that doesn't usually have a place on many maps, it was a delight to many people for us to hold the beginning of the Tall Ship Races 2015. For those of you who aren't familiar with the tall ships, it is a race between many magnificent tall ships and is Europe's largest free family festival. The ships often attract many visitors for obvious reasons but there are many other attractions at the festival too - street performers, carnivals, fireworks, food, drink and crafts. The list goes on. It is an amazing experience for everyone in the family and I am so pleased Belfast got to hold such a stunning event and also proud that the weather managed to actually, for once, keep its water works under reasonable control!

The last time I saw the tall ships was way back in 2009 when I was just ten years old. I lived in England back then and was visiting family in Dublin at the time. Other than shaking hands with a huge built up sailor man with hat and drinking a Capri Sun, the day is pretty much a blur. When I went to Belfast on Friday to see the ships, I don't know what I was expecting... but it definitely was not the huge festival I was met with. I do not remember there being so many crowds and so much stuff to do! It was completely insane and it was pretty much impossible to ride my bike through the crowds. I ended up giving up pretty quickly.

I visited on board an amazing ship called the Equador, which I believe is one of the most popular ships there. It is crazy to think people stay on these ships day and night for months on end. It would be such an amazing experience to just be out at sea with nothing surrounding you but water. I imagine it is a huge roller coaster of a ride with it's ups and downs but one completely worth it with no regrets. I have always dreamed of being a sailor, I just need to get my ship together first. (OHHH! That was a pretty fine pun, I'm not even apologising for that one.) On Sunday, when the ships were setting off to start the race, I was sat in front of a pretty magnificent class a ship called the Gulden Leeuw. This particular vessel was from the Netherlands and I noticed that many of the crew on board were around my age. You could tell by just glancing at their faces that they were simply thrilled for the adventure ahead of them. The vibe they gave off to the crowd was one of excitement and it just made the atmosphere so much more enjoyable. I really hope this particular ship does well in the races and according to the leadership boards they are about 9th overall at the moment, but 3rd in their category. Everyone on board just seemed like they had this team spirit among them and they hadn't even started the races yet! 

Despite the time I wasted pining over the fact I couldn't actually travel on the ships with all of the crews, I did take advantage of the actual festival that although was chaotic and completely overcrowded did have many hidden gems. The Titanic Quarters was completely packed with street performers that were so amusing and talented. I could have sat for days listening to the actors, telling tales of what it was like to be on board the titanic or  laughing at the hilariously inappropriate acrobats. All of this entertainment, including the live music was completely free to watch and enjoy, this includes actually going on board of the ships and having a good little nose! I was also practically rolling in the freebies and food testers. I didn't even need to buy lunch, I just had to hang around the food tent for a good fifteen minutes to get a free three course menu out of testers!
Great Atmosphere!
I find prices at festivals like these to be quite expensive and I tend to avoid actually buying anything. Chances are, if there is a stall I really like, I will see it another day at a different Belfast event when the time eventually comes around. By then, I will have money saved and be ready! However, after walking around the dock market with my mother dearest, we bumped into a lovely lady running a stall called The Scented Thread. Imagine you are at a Lush store but it's much more prettier and daintier - that is this shop. The Scented Thread is run by a lovely woman named Laurie Curran and all the soaps and bath products are completely homemade, skin friendly and SLS free. Even the bags she gave out are completely eco-friendly and support street children in India who have an income by making the newspaper bags. After browsing, we purchased the St Clements Bath Salts and the Creamy Poppy Seed Soap. Both products feel amazing on the skin and smell absolutely delicious, I'm so excited to keep using them! It's quite brilliant what you can find in your local town or city if you just open your eyes and actually see! There are so many quirky and pretty local businesses surrounding you and I urge you to try some of them out! You will be surprised with the amount of amazing unique products that have all along been right at your doorstep!

The Tall Ship Festival was overall a huge success for Belfast and I hope that if you live in Europe you will one day get to have the experience too. I'm hoping that in the future I will be able to be on one of the magnificent ships and actually compete in the races too! But, until that day arrives, I will just have to keep on dreaming!

Til next shore leave, 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Taylor Swift #1989TourDublin

I am currently suffering from post concert traumatic stress. It is extremely severe, contagious and very very real. Trust me, my family didn't even go to the concert but I can tell they are distressed by me replaying every Taylor Swift song on the 1989 album, either they are sharing my pain or they are just sick of hearing me emotionally cry out the lyrics to "Wildest Dreams". I swear, I literally spent the majority of yesterday having an emotional breakdown, I just miss it so much! On Tuesday, I saw Taylor Swift in Dublin, Ireland on her 1989 World Tour! It was her second night playing in Dublin but her last night playing on her European tour. It was completely utterly amazing, exciting and breathtaking. The sold out concert was understandably sold out for a reason!

En Route to Dublin
Even her supporting act Vance Joy was off the charts. I went in having a low expectation of him. I've always loved his music but I just didn't think his voice or his acoustic sound would be thrilling live. However, I was proved wrong, he was honestly perfect! He has such a stunning voice and he did an amazing job warming up the show for Taylor. Not that she needed the crowd to be warmed up, they were crazy and out of control as soon as we arrived! I went with my friend Emma, who is the ultimate Taylor Swift fan, so she kind of put me to shame when it came to singing the lyrics from the new album but I did give it my very best shot and by the end of the night my voice had practically vanished. I think even if you are not a huge fan of Taylor Swift, you would still have enjoyed the concert. It had such a variety, from crazy dancing, to rock versions of old songs to beautiful ballads that could honestly make you cry. I just truly loved everything!
Being in the 3Arena (On the hottest day of the year might I add!) did take its tolls! There was no air conditioning and a few people even fainted from the heat. It was VERY hot and I think even Taylor as the performer was struggling, yet she still managed to put on an amazing show with a smile on her face. Despite the heat, it was so nice to just sit back, let my hair down and have fun! Her dancers and musicians were all so talented and the whole concert pieced together so well.
Watching her concert made me realise she is so much more than the infamously spoilt pop princess which I had always originally assumed. You know, just someone who gets fun from dating guys and breaking up with them just so she has inspiration to write her next song. Although many of her songs are about break ups, many of them are also about magical moments and romance. Some of the things she said in her concert could be seen as simply "filling in time" but it honestly wasn't. She spoke about so many different topics, so briefly yet they meant so much. She spoke about how everyone in the room turns to music during hardship, how we all need to learn to let our worries and painful experiences go every once in a while and just enjoy and live in the moment and how the world would be a better place if we learnt to give straight answers. No more telling others "maybe" or "I don't know". We need to either take the moments we are handed to us with a yes or turn them away with a no, because if we don't make the decision fast enough, those special moments will have past, simply because we let them linger on too long. Looking around the arena, there were so many young girls there with their parents. It made me so pleased that they have an inspiration and role model like Taylor Swift, despite the image the press paint of her, I truly believe she follows some true morals and her confidence is something many girls could find comfort in.

Obviously, many people don't go to the concert just because they find Taylor an inspiration, it's her music that many people were eager to her. I am so pleased to say her voice was utterly stunning! I don't want to ruin the tour for anybody else who may be going but one of the most amazing moments of the whole night was when Taylor sang an acoustic ballad version of "Holy Ground" from the RED album. Taylor's RED Tour didn't come to Ireland and as it was the last night of the European leg, she wanted to do something a bit different. She honestly blessed us with such beauty. I personally wasn't very familiar with the song but it didn't even matter. The lyrics were easy to sing along to and it was a truly magical moment. The whole room was lit up like stars and the lyrics were just echoed throughout the arena. It was one of those moments where you had to sit back and just admire what was right before your eyes. I've never been to concert that had ever properly done that to me before. It was simply breathtaking.

There is nothing I would give to take away the memory of that concert. As I said in my first blog post, this summer I have really been trying to immerse myself in each moment given to me. I know it sounds soppy down on paper but it's so true. I didn't take many photos of the concert and I only briefly recorded one song for you guys. It doesn't matter that I don't have those visuals to look back on because everything I need will always stay with me and that makes me feel more than simply content!

I hope you have all had that amazing experience of a concert and if not, I hope one day you will because it's something we all should be able to connect with! 

P.S, I want to just send lots of love to all of you who have supported this blog so far, it means so much to me! You are all truly wonderful! x

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Lost in Beautiful Venice Venice on Water
Venice from the Water...
Okay, can we all just take a moment to admire this place? I could gaze all day long! Last October, I literally visited one of the most beautiful cities I have ever laid my eyes upon, beautiful Venice in the soul of Italy. Visiting Venice is possibly every dedicated wanderlust's goal and I have honestly never felt so fortunate in my life. It is truly a city of captivating mysterious beauty, every street is cobbled, some silent, others crowded with unknown people, living the lifestyle we could only dream about. I could happily get lost in the ornate like film set that's suspended on water for endless hours. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, do jump at the chance. I got the opportunity to travel there with such amazing friends and being immersed into its thick city walls was a total dream come true. Venice Canals and Tower
Simply Breathtaking. 
I could honestly bubble on for another few pages and a half simply describing the place, but I think I will just let the photos speak for themselves. I took a lot of photos, and just looking back at them makes me want to buy a plane ticket and fly straight back into Venice's loving arms. It is after all well known for its romance! Although, I must admit, the only romance I experienced on my visit was with its very large supply of ice cream... Ah, I do dig a good scoop of coconut cream!

Venice has lots of architecture and I mean, beautiful buildings?Surrounding depths of glistening water? A photographers dream! There was so many quirky allies, and I just loved that each building was constantly entwined in endless canals! Marco Square and Friends on Tower
Beautiful Places with Beautiful People. 
 One thing I did notice however, was that all the smaller buildings seemed ... dead. They all seemed to be crumbling and nobody seemed to live in them. It just felt odd, that these were people's homes, yet they weren't very homely. They just looked empty and lost. Venice will always be stunning and captivating but I only visited for the day. Yet, I feel like that was enough. Venice seems like a place you can't really stay the night because you don't wish to intrude, but also, there doesn't seem much else to do. In some places it felt too crowded and overwhelming, like in and around the Rialto bridge. Don't get me wrong, I completely adored the city but I feel like Venice has so much going on that nobody knows or cares who you are. It didn't have that friendly tourist vibe and something I really adore about traveling, is getting to know the people and their culture. from Rialto Bridge
Views from the Famous Rialto Bridge. 
When I visited Italy, I feel comfortable that we did it right! We stayed out in an amazing location surrounding Lake Garda, the largest lake in Italy, and only visited Venice for the day. We got a good taste of the city, without overdosing on it and I think this way I appreciated it more. Although I do wish I could have had the time to explore the restaurants and the cute little cafes, I don't regret anything about the trip. Venice Italien Sunset
Venezia Sunset.
Visiting Venice should be high on everybody's bucket lists, it was truly an experience of a life time and one I will never forget. Signature Pink Handwriting

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Beginning Those Summer Vibes

Ah, So here we are at last! The end of school, the end of exams and the blissful beginning of summer! Like every other sixteen year old in the country, I have just survived the mass terror of taking my GCSEs and now it's all over... and I'm a bit lost. It's so strange waking up each morning without having a list of formulas to learn or a geography case study to revise. I have just spent the last two months cramming my mind with textbook facts and figures and now my life is free from all education. I can actually sit down and watch a movie, or take a walk to the park without that nagging feeling in my mind that I need to get work done. I can literally right now do ALL the things I have dreamed of doing for the past few months and the list has piled so high, I don't even know where to begin!

The relief is honestly overwhelming yet, it's also quite scary knowing that now there is nothing I can do to help me get the grades I need. Everything I could possibly do is done and all I have left to think about is that terrifying results envelope, lurking in the month of August. However, instead of contemplating my unknown fate, I have decided its time for a change! It's time to begin those "Summer Vibes". Festival Themed Summer Party
Festival Themed Summer Party.
As it was the end of the year, a good friend of mine held this amazing festival themed party, to celebrate the end of the school year and also to allow us to say farewell as technically this is our last year in compulsory education. How scary is that?!? Lots of my classmates were at the party and it was honestly pretty epic. The whole place was decked out in fairy lights, candles and hay stacks surrounding this cute little campfire. Although my clothes did suffer from the smell of smoke, it was honestly totally worth it. I had so many laughs and spent a good chunk of the time eating all the pretty party foods. at a Photobooth Party Friends Having Summer Goals
Some Classmates and Moi. 
It was one of those parties where looking back, I should have been photographing everything, I mean, there were LOTS of potential Instagram and Tumblr moments. Yet, I was truly enjoying myself that much that most photos came out as nothing but a blur. Outside Party Friends
HD Quality and a Whale. (Because why not?)
Sometimes though, I think that's what a good time is about. It doesn't matter that I lack photos but that I actually lived in that moment, I will never be able to re live that moment and so I made the most of it, while it was still there. I've decided this is what I'm making this summer about. I'm going to start properly appreciating those special moments of magic around me and begin to properly live. I want you to share that journey with me and hopefully by the end of summer, we will all look back and say we had the time of our lives! On the final day of summer, we can all look back and say the sunset was as vibrant as our happy little souls! (Okay, I really need to lay off the cheese but c'mon, that was kinda cute!)

Here's to beginning those summer vibes! Signature Pink