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