Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Dry January and victim blaming

I'm not a massive fan of new year's resolutions, but this year I decided to give up drinking for the duration of January. I have a reputation for drinking too much on a night out; frequently the star of embarrassing snapchat stories and having to be told parts of the night which i don't remember. Apologies to any family reading this, I'm a bit of a mess when it comes to drinking.

Last night was January 30th so I didn't even technically complete the month, but as I go back to uni this weekend we were having a night out with people from work. I wasn't very hungry for some reason so after the gym in the morning I had salad for lunch and calamari and salad for dinner out with my friend. We got a couple of cocktails at a bar afterwards, and then I had some wine while my friend got ready to go out. I'd already made terrible errors by this stage; my stomach wasn't sufficiently lined and I was mixing drinks. I slowed down a bit at the pub and shared a cocktail pitcher with a friend, and, well, the rest of the night is a blur. I distinctly remember queueing to go into the club, mainly because I was falling asleep on my friend, but that's pretty much it until the next morning, when I woke up, fully dressed, on top of my duvet with one shoe on.

It was my fault. This was all self inflicted. No one force fed me the drinks. And I somehow came home on my own. I must have got a taxi, which I don't remember. And I know that that is stupid. But I also know it's not that uncommon. So many times my friends won't remember going home or a big chunk of the night, even one of my managers said 'been there, done that'. But I also know that if something had happened to me on my way home, some people would hold me accountable. Yes- drinking to the point where you don't remember anything is dangerous. It's a stupid thing to do because people can take advantage of you; I think I paid £25 for a taxi journey that should be £15. But at least all I lost was money. I could have been attacked on my way home, the taxi driver could have assaulted me or on my way to the taxi someone could have mugged me. And I would have been defenceless. I am a teenage girl, was wearing a lot of make up and a short, tight dress, and I was heavily intoxicated. But it terrifies me to think that some people think that someone in that situation is somehow deserving of being attacked or assaulted. If you leave your front door unlocked and your house gets robbed, then yes, you shouldn't have left the door unlocked, but they shouldn't have robbed your house. You're not asking to be burgled, and it's not your fault that it happened. It is the perpetrators of crime that cause it, not the victims.

Ultimately what I did last night was stupid, and I don't intend to repeat it any time soon. The drinks all hit me at once, I hadn't eaten enough and it was my fault that I got in such a state. But all I lost was money, I somehow got myself home and it makes a fairly entertaining story. But only because it ends happily. At 4pm today throwing up the toast I'd eaten I regretted going out at all, but I think I learned an important lesson: dry January wrecked my alcohol tolerance and sometimes "go hard or go home" is not the right attitude.

Laura x

Thursday, 12 January 2017

How to make life a little less overwhelming

With one week, one hour and 14 minutes until my first university exam, I am feeling just a little bit stressed. So I thought I’d share my top ways of making life a bit easier and more enjoyable when you want to curl up in a ball and sleep forever

1. Do some moving. Walk to the shops to buy yourself a snack, cycle to your friend’s house when you could drive, do some yoga, go to the gym. The endorphins will be worth it, I promise.

2. Plan your meals. Look at what foods you have, what you need, and write a plan for yourself. You don’t have to be rigorous in your execution of this; if you want what you’d planned to have tomorrow today that’s not an issue. But it reduces your chances of finding something mouldy in the bottom of your fridge and easier to eat healthily when you may otherwise be tempted to just make another portion of curly fries.

3. Wash your make up brushes. It’s my favourite way of combining procrastination with self care. It’s strangely enjoyable, too, watching all the foundation disappear down the sink.

4. Make plans for the future so that you have something to look forward to. Even if it’s something small and silly like “let’s go to that pizza restaurant we love soon” or much bigger like “let’s book our flights and worry about the details later”. It’s especially good if you make a commitment to it, financial or not, so that you know you’ll follow it through.

5. Say no to plans you’re not comfortable with, but only if your reasoning is rational. Yes, when it’s cold and raining outside it might be very tempting to just curl up and watch Netflix, but you’re not going to make any memories like that, are you? There’ll be plenty of evenings where you have no plans, so make the most of the ones where you do.

6. Tidy up after yourself. Rubbish goes in the bin, put things away after you’ve used them, wash your clothes. If the state of your room is a reflection of the state of your mind then you should try and keep it as tidy as you can. It’s a good place to start.

7. Take any meds that you need to. Birth control, anti psychotics, hayfever tablets. Whatever. If you need them, take them.

8. Look after you hair. Keep it washed and healthy. Everything seems better when your hair isn’t greasy, but also make sure the ends aren’t dead, even if it means trimming it yourself. And deep condition occasionally, it’s so worth it.

9. Read. Whether it’s Jane Austen or buzzfeed articles. Keep your brain working, learn some facts. Every wondered how painkillers work? Where birds sleep? Google it and find out. Keep learning even if you’re not in school any more.

10. Forget about the person who broke your heart. Unfollow them on Facebook, stop watching their snapchat stories and never stalk their new partner. You’re not together for a reason, and looking back nostalgically at the good times will change nothing. Have a bubble bath instead.

11. Overuse perfume. There are few better compliments than being told you smell nice so apply it daily and apply it liberally. People will be noticing that rather than the bags under your eyes.


Thursday, 5 January 2017

home and sales shopping

it's weird to be home. i thought i'd be bored and lonely and arguing with my family but now i'm back i love it. no grubby kitchen, no club blaring 5 floors below at 3am, no lectures... uh oh. I love uni A LOT when i'm there, but i'm somehow dreading going back. Which makes no sense, because when i was there I was dreading coming home...

Anyway, one major perk of being home is having money! I've been working 5 days a week since my return, and got paid for the first time today. It's so nice to see an increase in my bank account, even if my trip to the sales a few days ago has caused a massive dent in that already. I worked 11-10 on Christmas day though, which was strangely enjoyable, and I'm very excited for the (double) pay from that. Anyway, my life at the moment basically consists of eating, sleeping, watching tv (how good is christmas tv though?!), evening shifts at work and the occasional trip to the gym. Loving it. So I thought I'd do a post showing my sales shopping purchases. Enjoyyy

I realised that I'd almost reached the end of my foundation; a tragic moment in any girl's life. I really love this foundation and with primer underneath it stays on well for a full shift at work. This is my third time purchasing it and for some reason I've opted for a different shade each time, initially starting with the flatteringly named 'linen' (love being compared to bed sheets). This time I went for rose-vanilla which seemed to suit my skin in the shop, but on closer inspection I think I slightly resemble the annoying orange. Ah well. I had a quick browse of lipsticks after deciding against buying a MAC one, and found this shade which I loooooooove. It's so pretty!! I then went to buy my usual collection 2000 felt tip eyeliner which I swear by, but noticed that Maybelline were doing 3 for 2, so I thought it made more sense to buy my eyeliner from them and then re-buy my concealer which is also running low. Not sure this actually saved me much money but hey, gotta live that consumer life, eh?

After realising I'd spent £25 on make up when all I needed was my £9.99 foundation I retreated to primark. Within approximately 1 second of entering I'd picked up this black velvet top for £3. Kind of wish I'd got the red one too as I am velvet's number one fan and I just love the high necked design! My only issue is that as with much of primark's clothing they appear not to have designed it to fit a human body, as I am not blessed in the chest department and still struggle to get this over them. But for £3 which I had intended to spend on a coffee in caffe nero, who can complain?! I then got a £2 underwear set (what a bargain!). They had a rather limited number of nice patterns but it was just too cheap to resist. The one I went for is like a dark blue and just pretty standard! I practically live in pyjamas so got some £3 bottoms, not the nicest pair but by now I was in the primark zone and literally grabbing anything under a fiver. I finished the puchase with this water bottle for £4 which I do actually need. I had fully intended to buy a flask/coffee cup kinda thing to take to lectures, but after much deliberation I decided I don't quite hate myself enough to carry round a cup saying 'if in doubt, pout' and not sure a finding dory one was the way forward either.

I then headed to zara, at this stage still fully intending to go to h&m, topshop, lush etc etc. Within about 3 minutes my hands were full of things I'd manically grabbed, hardly even looking at the sizes, but with a bladder the size of a pea I had to abandon them behind some coats and sneak into costa for a wee. Fortunately they were there on my return and I headed to the fitting room. I spent a long time carrying out substantial deliberation; I knew I didn't need any of the stuff I was trying on but that didn't mean I didn't want it. I felt almost happy when one dress looked awful (the mustard one in the background) as it meant I didn't have to feel sad about not buying it. After spending long enough in the fitting room to probably alarm the shop staff, I headed to the tills and reluctantly handed over the £39.98 for the two dresses I didn't really need.

By now I was feeling poor but had satisfied my inner capitalist, and went to the bus stop. I didn't trust myself to go into any more shops but I think i did pretty well considering this entire trip took about an hour. Hope this inspires you to go to the sales!

Also just an added note happy new year! I picked up this coat in a charity shop for £20 (yeah need to stop spending so much lol) and also got these lovely bras from new look for Christmas, would 10/10 recommend!

Laura x