Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

Why I’m A Feminist.

Why am I a feminist? I get asked that quite often, especially since February/ March time after the whole a shirt that says feminist business. So here’s a simple explanation from me as to why I call myself a feminist.

For decades women, especially women of colour have been oppressed and denied basic human rights. Rights involving their own bodies, futures and educations. And why were women denied these rights? Well, because they were women. I’ve never thought this was fair, and I was so naive for such a long time, thinking that oppression to women only exist very far away. Little did I know, it’s still extremely close to home. I’m a feminist because I believe women deserve just as much as men. If we do the same job, do the same thing, live the same life – why do the people with the boobs and vajayjays get denied privileges, rights and even a free life? It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m a feminist because I want to live in a world where individuals, despite the sex between your legs, despite which gender (if any) you identify with, I want a world where we can all live a free life, with the same rights, human rights.

Thinking back on it, I’ve faced some pretty heavy sexism and it’s only just hit me that the shirt incident wasn’t the first time I experienced someone mocking me for my beliefs or gender. I used to work in a night club and I knew that there would be some obviously sexist experience whilst working at the club but looking back on my time there, I had many sexist experiences. Before I go further, I just want to add that my experience at the club wasn’t an overall bad one, and none of my colleagues or employees were sexist. Just in case anyone got the wrong idea…
One instance, a guy wanted to be served asap despite him only just joining the extremely long queue on an extremely busy night. I didn’t serve him because I didn’t respect his attitude and his name calling to myself and my colleagues. We always were told not to serve anyone we didn’t feel comfortable serving. So that’s the advice we took. However, on my break I went outside for a drink and some fresh air. As soon as I got outside this guy was there and the harassment instantly started. Trying to ‘flirt’ with me to get me to give him free drinks and shots and so on. When I tell him to get lost, he tried to grab me. But as soon as one of the bouncers came out, his attitude completely changed. Why was it not okay to act like a completely crazy arsehole in front of a dude that could have easily squished him into a pulp? The answer: he was a dude. I told my bouncer friend what happened, and I didn’t see that guy ever again.

Another instance whilst working there, I had two female customers come to me behind the bar and tell me that they were scared. I immediately asked why and what was happening. They replied that a man was stalking them and that he followed them from one club to this one. I told them to go to the women’s toilet and lock the door of a cubical and I’d be right back. I had to find someone to let them know what the situation was, but before I could even get from behind the bar, this man walked into the female toilets. Those poor girls screamed as if they were about to be murdered. I got in the middle of him and them and told him to leave, but he just wasn’t having any of it. No respect was shown for me, for the girls, or for the fact that where he was, was specifically for those that identified as women – a place for them to have some private time. He tried to grab them and push them out, but thankfully the bouncers (my heroes) came to the rescue and chucked him the hell out of there. The poor girls left soon after and they were probably shaken up extremely badly.

Why did this guy think it was okay to violate a space that was designed for women to pee, do their makeup, have some relief, be in an environment where women are vulnerable? It seemed as if he didn’t care that it was a space for us. He wanted those girls to go with him. He wanted to be in there, thus he went in after them. Nothing mattered until another man stepped in and stopped him. Even an employee of the club telling him to get out didn’t matter, because I’m a 5’’3 female, who at the time was very blonde, and had a very soft personality. Even after threatening to cal the police, this man didn’t care. He wanted what he wanted and it took another man to get him away from the girls and myself. I don’t understand why you can respect the authority of 50% of humans but not the other 50%. I don’t understand what made me telling him to get lost different to having the bouncers telling him to get lost.

Those were the major incidents that I can think of that happened in the club. Not even going into detail about the minor names, touches and other gross thing people tried to get away with calling me and other girls behind the bar. And granted, I know not everyone will see these as being sexist incidents. I know some people might have answers. But for me, every single incident that happened got resolved by a man in the same position of power as me telling another man to piss off. I don’t want to come off and sound as if I’m saying ‘all men are pigs’ and ‘I was sexually harassed because I’m a girl’ – I’m just recalling some experiences that looking back on, are inexcusable.

Even during my time at university that’s slowly but surely coming to an end, I’ve faced a lecturer telling me that I cannot be a director because I’m a girl! Oh and don’t even think about me becoming an actress, I’m just not pretty enough for TV or film. I have the perfect face for radio. Yet everyone else, everyone else that’s a guy I mean, had high praises, had support and encouragement from this tutor. Now, if I wasn’t talented, if I hadn’t had praise in my production work, if I hadn’t had experience and proof of my talent and passion for directing and creating content – then I’d have been like ‘okay, no worries. Maybe it’s just not something for me to do’. But no. He told me quite openly and in front of a friend that I was unable to be successful in a role due to my gender. I was shocked. I couldn’t believe he could say that to me. But then I listened ever so closely to what he said about women’s work in general. I can honestly say, he did not like women who were better than him in his own field of work.

Those are just some of my experiences with sexism and trying to get the credit I deserve and the respect needed to live and carry on with my life as a woman. But there’s countless other reasons too. Women of colour are far less likely to get paid equally or to even come close to narrowing the wage gap between men and women in the US alone. Now if that’s happening in a leading country like America, then what kind of message is that giving to us in the UK? Or people over in Australia? Europe? It sends a very weak message and a very poor quality of life for many women. So I stand up and fight for equal rights. I stand up and demand that the ‘Tampon Tax’ exists no more. I demand that we get recognition for the work we do. We are all human, and I just don’t understand why in 2017 that women are still fighting a fight that started long, long ago. I am a privileged person due to being white, but I’m going to use that privilege and the platform it gives me to inform others on the hardship other women, my friends, my family, go through every single day.

I’m a feminist because everyone should have a right to an education. Man or woman. It doesn’t matter if you are a male or female, gay, straight, bisexual, pansexual, transexual etc. You deserve an education. I’m a feminist because I not only stand up for women’s rights, I stand up for human rights. I campaign for gay rights. I campaign for a fairer system in the work place, in education, in health care. I campaign for people to live happier, healthier and free lives. I’m a feminist because I stand up for fathers getting custody of their children if the mothers are unfit to care for the child. I’m a feminist because I welcome everyone openly into my life, and I will forever support human beings that deserve to be supported.

I’m a feminist because without other feminists, who knows where I’d be without them? Would I be writing this? Would I even be alive? Would I have had an eduction in Welsh? Would I even have had an education? What would my mother be like without feminists? What would my brother be like? My friends? My world? It’s such a simple movement that started off purely for women’s rights, but now as time has gone on, the movement has developed into campaigning for every person’s right to live as an equal human being. We’ve kept the name ‘feminists’ because it nods to the struggles and hardships the women who wanted equality for all went through. It marks the death, the struggle and the continued fight women face. It marks the taboo that even being labeled as something close to a female or a femme is frowned upon. But we’re not just fighting for ourselves. We’re not just fighting for our sisters, our sisters that are of colour, our sisters that were brought into the world in the wrong body, our sisters who are disabled, our sisters that are smart, poor, adventurous. Our future children and their sisters. We’re fighting for the humans. We’re fighting for love and peace. We just want equality. We just want respect. We just want to live a free life that no man or woman can control. So that’s why I’m a feminist. Because I want equality and respect for everyone despite their gender, their sexuality, their education history, their past, their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone is a human being, it doesn’t make sense to try to control one half of the population with oppression and bizarre rules that allow men to do one thing and women another.

I get ridiculed for not accepting apologies from Carl who took my photo without permission, who tried to tear me down. I had death threats because I voiced my opinion on MY situation. I had rape threats because I didn’t take the shit-storm sitting down. I’m a feminist because I get belittled for being a woman that supports other women, and men, and everyone in between. Does that make sense? No. It doesn’t. But that’s the way life is right now.

I appreciate that not all of you will be feminists, and you’ve got your own reasons and ideas and beliefs to support. And I’m so thankful that we can voice our opinions and express our beliefs in a safe environment without being ridiculed or judged by others. Thank you for letting me express my opinions and my beliefs. If anyone has anything horrid or belittling to say to me or anyone that comments, just know your comment will be deleted and I’ll know you’re a bit of a dick for trying to make others feel bad for sharing their beliefs with others.

I know this isn’t a usual post for me, but I’m really happy I finally had the chance to share this! It’s been playing on my mind for such a long time it’s been driving me crazy. Go forth and have an awfully big adventure and stand up for your rights, for me!

blackbird-3

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

50 Good Deeds Anyone Can Do.

I know it’s been a while, and I’m very sorry it’s taken me this long to get back into the swing of things. I’ve had a lot to process and deal with, as you can probably tell. And i’m very thankful for your continued support and love throughout it all. So with the love and kindness that you guys have shown me over the past few months, I’ve made a list of 50 Good Deeds anyone can do to make someone else’s day and help them when they’re down.

1. Smile at someone. 

2. Hold the door open for someone. 

3. If someone drops something, pick it up for them.

4. Compliment someone.

5. Make tea or coffee for a friend or a family member. 

6. Donate to a charity/Church/Temple/Mosque etc.

7. Take time to talk to an older person.

8. Do the washing up.

9. Make dinner.

10. Buy your mother or grandmother flowers – just because. 

11. Donate clothes you don’t wear anymore to a homeless charity. 

12. Give someone you love a hug

13. Text a friend or family member randomly to say you love them

14. Recycle.

15. If you see rubbish on the floor, pick it up. 

16. Spend time with a friend or a family member when they’re feeling down and blue. 

17. Support local events. 

18. Make double of something and give it to someone who needs it. 

19. Pay someone you love but haven’t seen in a while a visit – brighten their day! 

20. Validate someone.

21. Stand up for someone if you see they’re getting a rough time from others. 

22. Forgive someone.

23. Write a letter or a thank you letter. 

24. Give someone an unexpected gift (big or small).

25. Do chores without being asked to. 

26. Donate old books to a school or a hospital that needs them. 

27. Volunteer your time in a place that needs you. E.g a local charity, a local event and so on. 

28. Ring your grandparents / family members that can’t get around as much anymore. 

29. Pay for someone’s meal/ drink beforehand. 

30. Give up your time to talk to people you meet at random, you never know who needs a chat.

31. Take shorter showers and save water. 

32. Remember your manners! Say please and thank you to those helping you. It makes a difference, trust me. 

33. Write a lovely message to a stranger. 

34. Let someone with less shopping than you jump in front of you in the queue. 

35. Let a shop or company know how great their employee(s) work and what they did to make your shopping experience top-notch. 

36. Give your pet or an animal you see on the go some extra love and a wonderful belly rub!

37. Turn off all electricity when leaving the house (if you can). 

38. Make someone a handmade gift.

39. Buy some colouring books and come crayons and give them to a young family on your street. 

40. Keep some fresh water outside for animals, especially in warmer weather. 

41. Listen to someone who needs a shoulder to cry on

42. Make someone else laugh if they’re having a bad day. 

43. Be especially kind to someone you don’t normally get along with.

44. If someone’s short of change, make up the difference with some of your loose change. 

45. Buy a homeless person a warm drink and / or a meal. 

46. Donate to an animal shelter.

47. Help the people you live with by doing simple things like emptying the dish washer. 

48. Take canned goods to a Food Bank. 

49. Help a non-profit organisation that helps a cause you’re passionate about, in any way you can. 

50. Remind anyone suffering that they aren’t alone, and that things will get better. Just be kind.

Once again, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone that’s been supporting me recently. I know I suck at updating my blog, but I think I’ll be getting better. At least soon anyway. I hope these ideas for good deeds inspire you to spread some love and positivity around your local community. You never know who might need a little bit of kindness in their day, and a great place to start giving that kindness to them is by you making that small gesture. As always, have an awfully big adventure for me whilst you’re doing your good deeds and spreading the love!

blackbird-3

Posted in Lifestyle, Personal

7 Easy Vegetarian and Pescatarian meal ideas.

Thank you so much for your patience during this crappy time in my life. It’s been a horrible few days and the funeral is next week, so I don’t think I’ll be up to posting too much over the next few weeks. But I’ll do my best. However, the point of this post isn’t to be sad and down about my Grandfather’s passing. It’s to show you guys 7 quick and easy vegetarian / pescatarian meal ideas that will also relieve your bank account of any unnecessary stress. I’m not a cook nor am I chef so I can’t give advice or instructions to you guys on how to make these recipes, I’m just here to give you ideas and rough guidelines on how to make them. It’s so easy being green, and here’s how you can eat healthily on a budget!

1) Scrambled egg with smashed avocado on toast. 

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So this one is super-duper easy to make and you can literally make it in under 15 minutes. All you need for this delicious meal is: eggs, milk, bread and avocado. You can also add some cheese and chopped onions to the mix to create an even tastier meal! I feel patronising if I tell you how to make scrambled eggs and how to smash an avocado, so I won’t do that. I trust that you guys know how to make scrambled eggs, but if not, fear not, it’s super easy and you can find tutorials on it on YouTube!

2) Tomato and mozzarella tart. 

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This is one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made, and it’s beyond delicious! It’s like a healthier, more delicate version of a pizza. To bake this incredible dish you need: 1 puff pastry ready rolled sheet (this can be found in any and all supermarkets), 2-3 tomatoes to slice, mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, beaten eggs (to place the pastry with) and finally tomato puree. You can make it your own by adding other toppings or changing the idea completely! Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours and textures in this delicious dish.

3) Rotini with pesto, chickpeas and creamy spinach. 

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This light pasta dish doesn’t sacrifice flavour. With earthy beans, gorgeous greens, and sharp Parmesan cheese (or any cheese of your choice) you’ll have a 100% yummy meal and your wallet/ purse won’t feel a thing! Again, I don’t want to sound patronising by telling you how to cook pasta or anything that is quite basic. There are so many fun ways to create this dish, and many recipes are out there if you want exact guidelines on how to make this beautiful meal.

4) Salmon fillet with mash containing garden peas, cheese and chopped onions and tartar sauce. 

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I recently had this meal and I can’t tell you enough how delicious it was! We fried the salmon and whilst that was cooking, we mixed some garden peas in with our pre-made mash (you can of course make your own mash, we just had some pre-made in the fridge) and cooked that for a few minutes. Once the mash was done, we added the cheese and chopped onions to give it that added flavour. By the time that was all complete, the fish was finished so we plated up, added a nice drop of tartar sauce and we ended up with a beautiful meal that hardly cost us anything!

5) Halloumi mixed grill. 

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This can mean anything you want it to mean! I personally love adding grilled Halloumi with sliced avocado, toasted sourdough, grilled mushrooms and juicy tomatoes and sometimes even mediterranean vegetables to give it that added flavour. You can copy this simple and delicious idea in any which way you like!

6) Sweet potato burritos. 

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Don’t worry! It’s not as boring as it sounds. Instead of adding meat to your burritos, replace that with everyone’s favourite – sweet potato slices! This gives it a brand new twist to the burrito. Add black or white beans, guacamole or just chopped up avocados, and some tomatoes / salsa topped off with some cheese! To add extra spice or flavour feel free to pop some herbs or spices into the mix. You can also make this meal vegan by obviously reducing any ingredients that contain animal produce. How simple and beautiful is that?!

7) Spicy Thai peanut sauce over roasted sweet potatoes with rice. 

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Again, this recipe is completely accessible and affordable for everyone! It’s super delicious and gives you a little something different to eat during the week. I adore meals like this, because you don’t need much to make it (ingredient and money), and it takes hardly any time at all to make as well! What more could you want? You are most definitely welcome to experiment and try this idea with other vegetables and sauces. You won’t be disappointed by this spicy treat!

So there we have it! We’ve got 7 beautiful dishes you can indulge yourself in throughout the week without making a huge dent in your wallet or purse! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these before and if you plan on having a crack on any of the ideas above. Also, feel free to share any other meal ideas that you can make quickly and cheaply. I’m forever grateful to you guys for being supportive and beautiful human beings to me, let’s go on an awfully big adventure together and get through crappy times together, because Lost Kids stick together, always.

blackbird-3

Posted in Lifestyle, Mental health, Personal

Any Happy Little Thoughts?

Welcome back to my piece of Neverland, Lost Kids. Recently a few friends of mine have told me how incredibly down and off they’re feeling these days. That truly breaks my heart. To see the people you love around you suffering and you can’t really do much to help them absolutely sucks. I wish I could take their pain away and give them the chance to see what a bright future lays ahead of all of us. This month is especially hard for me seeing as I lost five friends over the period of March in 2015. One of them sadly took his own life. So not only does this give me the strength to stand up and help others in a disheartening situation, it gives me the motivation to go out and talk about mental health and encourage more people to talk openly about the problems they face every day. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, not at all. It’s something we should embrace. Be proud of. It’s not a glamorous thing to live with, it’s not a fashion statement that might change in a few months time. It’s a type of illness that will be with you for as long as you live. And you should be a proud and brave warrior to have gotten this far in life without giving up. I’m proud of you for doing that.

I just want you guys to know that no matter what negativity you may be facing right now, life gets better. No one will 100% understand what you’re going through or how you’re feeling, we all experience everything differently. But know the people who are making an effort are there for you. You are loved and you are cared for. Every period of darkness ends when light cracks through. The light in your life could be anything, your friends, family, hamsters, dogs, a book, a TV show, a band and so many other things. It’s up to you to find that source of light, and never let go of that love and passion you have for it.

If you’re feeling worthless or that life isn’t worth living, please know that death is irreversible. You can’t cover up a death with long sleeves or tattoos. When I wanted to end my own life, I heard this incredible quote from Frank Iero (of My Chemical Romance) which was ‘the world won’t be a better place without you’ – no one will be happier or better off. A cure for cancer won’t magically appear. Bullying won’t stop. World peace won’t happen. Famine, poverty and sickness won’t be things of the past. The only way that you can actually make a difference in the world is by sticking around and being you. You never know, you might be someone’s reason to live. Even if that someone is your dog. Because think about it, without you, who would they have to take care of them? It would break them if you left now.

I am completely inspired by everyone that wakes up every day and thinks ‘I can’t do this anymore’ but carries on, braves those demons for another day and lives to see another sunset and another sunrise. It’s incredible that despite those demons attacking your mind and your thoughts, creeping in at every opportunity possible, YOU are STILL HERE! What a great achievement for the day! You didn’t give up, you made it! That in my eyes, is a very successful win against any Mental Health demon trying to destroy you. You’re winning this battle, man! You got this!

Take a moment to think about all the things in life you love. Even if it’s stars, space, Doctor Who, Supernatural, reading, music, tattoos, writing, nature, animals, photography, drag queens, history – it can be anything you love and want to spend your time doing/ watching/ being in or around. Now think about all the times you felt like everything was just too much. Wouldn’t you much rather go watch the stars from your back garden with a warm cup of hot chocolate before you go to bed at night? Wouldn’t it be fantastic to stay in a cosy blanket and binge watch all of those Doctor Who episodes with your pet sat beside you? To listen to music full volume with your bedroom windows wide open singing your heart out along with your favourite band? Imagine doing the things you love the most instead of doing something destructive. When you feel so bad and awfully and that life is a pile of shit, why not go to your favourite spot in the park? Or go watch a film in the cinema. Camp outside and have your own adventure. You’ve got nothing to lose by going to a place that brings you happiness, comfort and more than anything, hope.

There’s so much more I could say, and so much more I want to say. But for now, I think the points made here are enough for today. If you have anything you’d like to talk to me about, or even if you just need a friend / stranger to rant and vent to. Never, ever hesitate to contact me. You can comment on my posts asking for my social media and I’ll gladly give it to you and we can chat there. If you need any advice for yourself or others and aren’t sure where to go, again, please feel free to message me if you feel like I’d be of help. I won’t ever let anyone stand alone in this war we have between our mental health. You’re never alone. Not even when you feel lonely. You’ve got a girl in South Wales that would be heartbroken if you felt like you had no one around to talk to, or to care for you. Even if she is a lost girl, she cares for you. This post is for anyone that needs to hear the validation of their existence in this cruel world. This is for my friends. For Chris. For anyone suffering and needs to remember that they are what makes this world beautiful and interesting and worth living for. The negativity will end, just please don’t end yourself before you see that beautiful sunshine at the end of the darkness. And for me, please, have an awfully big adventure with your life.

blackbird-3

Posted in Books, Lifestyle, Reviews

Red Queen – Book Review.

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For all that know me, it’ll come as no surprise that I’m here reviewing a book. Books are magical and are such a brilliant way to escape real life and become a queen, an adventurer, a supernatural expert and so on. I started reading this book towards the end of February, and honestly I enjoyed it so much, I didn’t want it to end. So I tried to prolong reading the rest of it, until it got to the point where I couldn’t hold myself back any more. And DAYUM! It was so good!

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, Red Queen is most definitely the best dystopian book I have ever read. I was hooked immediately and wanted nothing more than to spend every second of every day with Mare, Cal and Maven. If you imagined it how I did, you’d see some elements of Divergent to it, but also with a historic twist. The gowns, the dances, the royal family – it was perfect. Red Queen brought together everything I adore and tied everything in nicely. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see characters you’d find in historic tales have these incredible powers and become even more terrifying and powerful than they would have been without them?! Take me to this place, immediately!

If you’ve not read this beautiful book yet, don’t worry, I won’t be posting spoilers! So for those of you that are just sat at your computer screens wondering what on earth Red Queen is about, let me tell you. Red Queen follows a young girl, Mare Barrow on an epic and terrifying journey no one thought possible. Mare is a Red, a person of red blood, just like you and I. However, in Mare’s world, there’s a dominant blood type, and that’s Silver. If you were Silver, you had everything. You were royal, you were worshiped, but most of all, you had powers. After meeting a mysterious and intriguing young lad, Mare gets whisked off to the Castle to work for the royal family made of Silvers. However, that’s just the beginning of Mare’s world as she knows it disappearing before her eyes. During her first day at the castle, it becomes clear that Mare isn’t like the rest of the Reds. Her blood bleeds red, but she has an extra spark to her. Mare possesses the ability to control and create electricity which is unheard of among Silvers, let alone Reds. In order to keep their eyes on Mare and hide her abilities from others they decide to hide her in plain sight and parade her around as one of them. A Silver. In the middle of all the excitement and terror, there are such strong senses of love, family, betrayal, hurt, anger, freedom and hope throughout the whole book and I couldn’t put it down. Not willingly anyway.

Mare’s story took so many twists and turns and honestly, the entire thing had me shocked. I had a really lovely ending planned out in my head, and then WHAM! The real ending happens and you just sit there thinking ‘WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!’ – the last chapter or so  made me so mad. I literally became crazier than ever reading the last few pages of the book. Honestly, if you figure out what’s going to happen, then, you must be really great at finding out ‘who-dun-it’ in murder mysteries! I couldn’t believe it. I felt exactly like Mare felt. I felt sick, cold, doomed. Were these incredible characters that I grew to love just going to be snuffed out?! Would it be horrible?! What was going to happen to them if they escape?! Would they escape?! It drove me insane thinking about everything. I just didn’t see it coming. I felt too engrossed in what Mare was thinking, seeing, hearing, feeling to even piece together anything other than that. That’s all I’m going to say about the ending. You just have to read it to find out what happens, and believe me, you’ll be hooked.

The characters were complex, interesting and somewhat different from others in the dystopian world. Yes of course we have the stereotypical heroin/villain situation going on and the fight for a better and more equal world. However, these characters aim to achieve the same things essentially. However, the way they choose to do so may be a little bit different to one and other’s plans. If you’ve read the book, then you’ll notice I’ve kept the characters’ descriptions fairly vague as to not give anything away. So please don’t burn me alive if you see something that turns out to be wrong either later in the book or the series.

Mare – Mare was annoying and stubborn in the best ways possible! She knew what she wanted, she knew how she felt, she knew how to play the game. And I absolutely loved the fact that she wasn’t motivated by love, or a selfish need. She wanted her people, the Reds to be free of their tedious and practically slave-like lives. She wanted a change. And she was going to die for it if she had to. She joined a rebellion and worked as an ‘insider’ to give them the best possible chance of winning the everlasting war they’ve been fighting. Now Mare has these abilities, she’s capable of anything and everything…

Cal – Cal is one of those characters that you kind of want to fall in love with, kind of want to smack him over the head with a chair, but would totally marry him if he asked you. He’s got his heart in the right place, however he can be easily persuaded. He’s got such a soft spot for Mare and Maven (his younger half-brother) and is extremely loyal to his family and close friends. Cal of course wants a change in the way things are, alas he feels like he cannot be the King (when it’s his time to be king) to do that. He foresees a lot of bloodshed, a lot of tragedy and more heartache. He wants to be tactful and careful when planning a future like that. There’s another thing about him too that pulls at your heart-strings and makes you want to tell him it’s okay, he’ll be okay, he’s scared of letting his family down. Of his father somehow being dishonoured by his decisions. I loved Cal so much and I just wanted to smack him and then cuddle him for the rest of my life. Still do if I’m honest. I just can’t wait to start reading the next book so I can be with Cal again.

Maven – Okay so Maven is literally a babe! He takes Mare in, loves her, cares for her and ultimately protects her from the darkness of the Silver’s world. Especially when it comes to the royals and his mother, Queen Elara. You get the impression that Maven is a lost little boy with no purpose, until he finds his purpose and passion with Mare. He embraces Mare, admires her for trying so hard, for being so strong and wilful. He’s the type of guy that would probably be super shy if you met him in person, but then when someone starts giving you trouble and making you uncomfortable, Maven would swoop in and protect you like the Prince Charming he is. I’ve got to say, I think I’m leaning more towards being a Maven girl than a Cal girl. But who knows?! I loved them both so much I’d be chill with whoever really.

Elara – Queen Elara is the second wife of the King. His first wife committed suicide and thus came along Elara. She has this ability to read people’s minds, to control them. Torture them. She is what’s typically seen as a vindictive and evil Queen. Her entire plan for Mare is never entirely clear. Does she want her dead? Or does she want her to be around for something much, much worse? She is also a mother. Maven’s mother. And the contradiction between mother and son is crazy. She is strong, confident, her heart full of greed and want. Forever wanting more for Maven and herself. Forever leaving Cal to fend for himself. Elara was an interesting character because she was just so spiteful. She was wicked. And I loved her. I’d never, ever want to cross her. But at the same time, I’d want to smack her in the face with a shovel. The fact she’s fairly stereotypical and evil as you’d expect makes it that much better when you get to the ending. Her character has so much potential and so many paths she could do down. But alas, we will have to wait and see what happens next for our queen.

I could list all the character names in here and write a little bit about them all if I had the time and patience. But I guess there are some things you really do have to find out about when you read the book. Those would be the four main characters I’d say are key in this story. There are of course, others involved just as they are, but again, I’m not giving anything away. I honestly can’t describe how I felt reading the book. I fell in love with reading over and over and over again, with every page I felt as though I was there with them. On this journey into an unknown future. It was beautiful, hopeful and most of all, it betrayed everything I thought I knew about the book.

I’ll leave things here for now, because I really could go on and on about this book for such a long time, and I feel like you’ll hate me if I continue to ramble. If you’ve not read Red Queen then please, please, please pick yourself up a copy and enjoy an incredible read with twists, turns and back stabbing. You can take my word for it, but in the words of a very important character ‘anyone can betray anyone.’ Until next time, have an awfully big adventure!

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Posted in Books, Lifestyle, Mental health, Personal

Quotes To Get You Through The Day.

Keeping with this years theme of being positive and keeping those thoughtful vibes flowing, I decided to create something a little bit different on my blog. I decided to collect some quotes that my friends, family and myself adore that help get us through the day when we’re surrounded by negativity and darkness. I hope you enjoy this new kind of post on my blog! Here are the quotes we believe help get you though the day.

1) 

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2) fall-in-love-with-yourself

3)

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4)

impossible

5)end-the-violencebreakthe-silence

6)

once-you-make-a-decision

7)

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8)the-darkest-night

9)

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10)

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I hope you enjoyed these beautiful quotes! I even had the chance to design a few of them! What were your favourites? Let me know in the comments below! If this is quite popular then I’ll definitely be doing another post similar, and your favourite quotes could end up in the post! If you liked the designed of pictures 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8  and wanted to use them- please let me know as I designed them! I’ve yet to design a water mark or logo thingy for myself so that’s why there’s nothing on them currently. Either way, I hope you enjoyed and saw my nod towards Peter Pan/ J.M Barrie towards the end, and in the boy’s words himself, have an awfully big adventure!blackbird-3

Posted in Lifestyle

Tinder Taught Me…

This is one app I swore I’d never get. Why would I get an app that is renowned for hook-ups and one-night-stands? I’m the kind of person that can’t do immediate intimacy, I have to get to know someone and to suss their intentions out first. Even then, I’m still not a huge fan of intimacy. But there came a time when an essay idea for university popped into my mind and downloading Tinder was the only way I’d be able to get the resources I needed to complete said essay. If you’re wondering, I set my essay question as ‘Do the current generation of young people rely solely on apps such as Tinder to find intimacy and security from others?’ – feel free to let me know what you think about that one!

For me now, Tinder is a great source of entertainment. Battling with those ‘fuck-boys’ and, just plain rude lads that can’t seem to understand what’s socially acceptable to say to people they’ve not met in person, it’s become a hobby to wind them up and to laugh at their stupidity. Don’t get me wrong, not every person I encounter on Tinder are idiots. Most are. But not all. Tinder has taught me quite a few things that I believe are quite valuable lessons. Things from how to be a decent person, to how to deal with the crazies, this is everything Tinder taught me.

1) It really is perfectly acceptable to say NO.

If you’re not into him/her as much as you thought you were going to be initially, then don’t be afraid to say no thanks. Especially if it gets creepy and you feel uncomfortable. This skill comes in handy in every aspect of life, ‘no’ isn’t a bad word. Don’t feel ashamed to use it.

2) A lot of men don’t take rejection well.

If saying no doesn’t work and he’s still persistent that you MUST like him, then he’s probably the type of guy to call you ‘fat’, ‘ugly’, ‘bitch’ or whatever other pathetic insults he can think of to try get back at you for not liking him. Don’t take it personally, people deal with rejection differently, as long as you’re not a dick to others, then I’m okay with it. Don’t let those undeserved egos get you down.

3) Needy comes off as creepy. 

If you ask them what’s brought them to Tinder and they bring up an ex, cuddling, or call you ‘cute pet names’ that make you feel uncomfortable, just know it’s not just you that finds it creepy. Personally, it makes me cringe whenever someone brings up any of those points mentioned above within the first couple of messages. Don’t get me wrong, it’s okay to be dependant or independent, just don’t make someone else feel uncomfortable with the need to be liked. It can be overwhelming. And scary. Very scary.

4) Words can pain a thousand pictures.

The way he/she speaks to you can say a lot about them as a person. If they’re straight up gross and ask you for sex then they probably aren’t the ones to be talking to. Unless you’re into that. In that case, go for it! However, if you receive a message you’re not okay with, you don’t have to continue that conversation or even pursue that relationship. It’s up to you to see the picture those words are painting.

5) Being funny ALWAYS wins – as do dogs, dogs Always win!

Opening with a witty first liner is a great way to get a conversation going, and usually a really great way to make everyone feel at ease. Making someone laugh is probably an essential part of getting them to like you. However, if on the spot humour isn’t for you, just talk about your dog or their dog and all should be well. I mean, who doesn’t love dogs, right?!

6) You’ll learn how to deal with the Fuqbois of Tinder. 

Dealing with the fuqbois (of fuqgirlz) of Tinder actually comes in handy. Those awkward and sometimes nasty situations can give you thick skin and really prepare you for those face-to-face moments when/if you clash with a stranger over something in the future. Think of it as a practice to better your sass and come-back game. That’s how I went about it, and look at me now. A sass machine ready to explode.

7) Did you guys know, I’m a bitch?! 

The Tinder go-to insult is ‘YOU BITCH!’ and there is no rhyme nor reason behind it. I think people reckon it’s offensive to many others? However, they fail to realise that the insult they lob at you is really a reflection on themselves. And it shows you how in desperate need they are to widen their vocabulary and up their insult game. I would rather be known as a bitch, than someone who is gross, unsympathetic, and just a loser in general. Plus, I OWN THAT WORD, bitch.

8) ‘Hey! How’re you? 🙂 ‘
‘I’m good thanks, you? 🙂 ‘
‘I’m honry, let’s fuck 😉 ‘ 

Woah slow down there! This will be the type of conversation you’ll have at least 10000 times on Tinder. There’s no class behind it. No passion. No romance. Just desperation. You’ll probably have to deal with awkward situations in the real world, where someone thinks they’re Gods Gift to humanity and you’ll have to tell them to get lost. Of course, if you’re into that then, go for it! But remember how your messages come off, do you want to sound desperate or casual?

9) I am a joke to most guys on Tinder. 

As someone who is chunky yet funky, I am a joke to most guys on Tinder. They will talk to me, act sweet and then hit me with the punchline ‘did you really think I liked you?’ *cue uncontrollable laughter* Honestly? I didn’t think you liked me. I’m not that confident when it comes to guys, and I never will be. I’ll forever be seen as a joke, but that’s never going to put me down or stop me. It’s a reflection on their attitudes towards women and especially bigger women trying to find someone new to have in their lives. ‘Nevertheless, she persisted.’

10) My name isn’t Lily… 

So according to 99% of the guys I meet on Tinder, my name isn’t Lily. It’s Babe, Baby, Hun, Wifey, Boo, Princess, Beautiful, Sexy (that is a key give away when I’m going to be the focus in a cruel joke) etc. Even after asking people not to call me by any of those pet names, or send me a thousand xxxxxx’s at the end of every message, it still happens. I question why my parents even bothered naming me if guys are going to disregard my name and call me something I despise.

11) People are shallow.

We’re all guilty of being shallow to some degree. Some more than others. There’s no shame in having a type, and if you accidentally swipe right for someone you didn’t mean to, or your friends swipe right for EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN YOUR FEED then you just have to explain. Remember not to be offended by people’s decisions, thoughts or opinions. They don’t define you. You are you for a reason. And just because you’re not someone they want to see or sleep with, it doesn’t mean they don’t think you’re cool, you just might not be their type.

12) Personalities are a thing of the past.

Everyone these days has the same interests, ideas, travel plans, likes, dislikes and so on. No one really shows their personalities in their tinder profile. Sometimes not even when you start messaging them. Sometimes people will remake themselves so they please others. But honestly, just be yourself! Be you, everyone else is taken.

13) No one knows how to start a conversation. Ever. 

Conversation starters can be a hit or miss with some people. But honestly, no one really knows how to start a great conversation. If you feel awkward to start with, they probably do too. Just be kind, patient and see how things go. Unless they creep you out or make you feel uncomfortable straight up, then unmatch straight away.

14) Cyberpersonalities are real. 

This is something not many people believe, but trust me on this, some people really do have cyberpersonalities. AKA personalities that are reserved only for online purposes. So if someone is harassing you, sending you inappropriate messages, making you feel uncomfortable, then just take a step back before reacting and remember they’d never say this to you in person. Use that opportunity to think of what you would say in response to those messages in person and then rip them to shreds.

HOWEVER! Cyberpersonalities can also be sweet. Some people find more confidence and comfort through talking online first. So always bear that in mind if you think someone’s acting a bit off. We’ve all been shy in one situation or another, just don’t be a dick.

15) Tinder gives you a chance to meet rad people. 

Not everything to do with Tinder or ‘online dating’ / ‘dating apps’ is bad. A huge plus is you get to meet some really cool people who live not too far from you. Friendships can occur from just a random right swipe and that’s pretty awesome to me. I had a friend from Tinder and he was the sweetest guy! Sadly we lost contact, but it was really nice while the friendship lasted. Also, people do find relationships via Tinder, so if it doesn’t work for you, don’t knock it. I live by the saying ‘good for you, not for me’ – if it’s good for them, then great! But if it’s not for me, then it’s cool, I’m not going to be a dick about things.

16) Don’t take Tinder or life seriously. 

Some people who use Tinder are trolls and they aim to get a reaction from you. But don’t take it seriously, they aren’t. A lot of people wouldn’t dare dream say half the things they do say on there, in person, so why take those silly meaningless words to heart? If you’re looking for a source of entertainment and a giggle then Tinder is definitely the place to go. I think it’s hilarious some of the things I see on there. Never take anything too seriously if anyone tries to insult you. You’re so much better than petty insults.

17) Tinder helps with confidence. 

This is very true. Tinder provides that sometimes much-needed space for a shy or introverted person to make the first move without that stress or awkwardness surrounding it. The more you use Tinder, the more you’ll see how people interact on there and you’ll soon discover what you like to hear/ say when flirting. Sometimes you do need space when talking to someone new for the first time, and the internet is perfect for giving you that space. Use it wisely and responsibly and you’ll be alright. I’ve never been great with guys, but since having Tinder, at least I’m not afraid to admit to being in love with Panic! At The Disco’s front man Brendan Urie anymore.

18) There’s no experience like Tinder. 

Need I explain anymore? Tinder is a social world of its own and there is only one way to experience anything like it, and that’s by downloading Tinder. It can be fun, weird, creepy, but it can also be really cool and really great. There will of course be pros and cons to everything you try, Tinder is no exception. Enjoy the experience and learn from it. Even if it’s really random lessons like the ones I’ve learnt. I’m sure you could learn a thing or two from Tinder.

Well there you have it! Those are some of the lessons Tinder taught me. I guess we could all learn a little something from our experiences from Tinder or any other dating app/ site. Please remember to stay safe online and don’t give out personal information if you don’t want to meet this person in real life. If you do meet anyone offline then please take a friend or someone you trust with you, even if they just sit a few tables away sipping coffee, it’s better than nothing. If you want to talk to me about anything, or you’re concerned about things on Tinder, then please do reach out to me on my social media and I’ll do my best to help and support you and guide you in the right direction if further help is needed.

I’ll stop being the serious motherly figure right here… Anyways! Have you guys learn anything from Tinder? If you have let me know in the comments below! I’d love to hear from you. If you have any Tinder tips, feel free to drop those down below as well! Until next time, have an awfully big adventure for me.

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