I turned 23 on the 18th of August 2017. My 23rd birthday was a true joy. I spent the day with my nearest and dearest friends and family members. I woke up early and watched The Breakfast Club by myself, a new birthday tradition that I’ll continue to do, even when I’m old and grey. I went wandering around bookstores and ate gluten free cake in my favourite cafe with my Chummy. I spent time at home with my parents, who reminisced about the day I was born and spoke about how the past 23 years flew by. I chatted to my Nanny and my Mam’s best friend over warm cups of tea at the kitchen table. I met my bestie and fellow Gossip Girl enthusiast in the city where we drank cocktails and gossiped and giggled over foolish couples in a bar that played tacky chart music. I ended the day at home, where I shared a bag of chipper chips with my parents in our living room.
Birthdays mean a lot to me, and not because of the presents, but because it marks a fresh start, a brand new year. My birthday is like my own mini New Years celebration. There may not be a countdown in Times Square and fireworks don’t light up the sky above Sydney, but every year on August 18th I am filled with a sense of joy and relief. I let the mistakes and regrets and difficult memories of the past year wash away, and focus on the year ahead, my 23rd year on the planet. I become a more motivated and ambitious person once the clock strikes 12 and August 18th rolls around.
My 22nd year was pretty special. I traveled a lot more. I completed my studies in college. I wrote for even more publications. I started drinking coffee and reading more and dyed my hair auburn. I grew closer to my parents and went on solo cinema trips and took part in the mini marathon. I became happier and a tad bit chubbier and more determined to succeed. I made new friends and cut ties with toxic people. I became features editor of our college newspaper, I fell in love with La La Land and drank pina coladas in the city. I achieved many goals, but failed too. I learnt a lot and grew as a person (but sadly not in height, I’m still 5″3).
So, here’s to 23; the year where I hope to find a job I adore, the year where I want to travel alone, the year where I’ll meet new people, and visit new places. The year where I’ll read so many more books and watch stories unfold at the cinema. The year where I’ll go to concerts and to the theatre and to the sea. The year where I’ll spend quality time with my friends and family. 23 will be the year of improvement and determination, but most importantly the year where I’ll be content and carefree.
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust
This month has been a joy so far. I took part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon, received my final college results and had many adventures with my dearest pals. Expressing gratitude for the little things is something I try to do as often as possible, so I wanted to scribble about three things that brought a smile to my face this week.
1: The VHI Women’s Mini Marathon
On June 5th I took part in the mini marathon on behalf of the Make a Wish foundation. The mini marathon is such an empowering and emotional event. I loved every single second of it, even when I was struggling to run when I got to the 9km mark. Born To Run by Bruce Springsteen played as I crossed the finish line in the rain, it was such a great moment. However, the best moment was singing along to Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves at the start line.
2: Tea with Nanny
The simplicity of sipping on a warm cup of tea and chatting to my Nanny never fails to make me smile. Life has been awfully hectic lately so I haven’t had the chance to visit her as much as I’d like to, but I popped down to her house on Thursday, which brightened my day. We watched Fair City, ate too many biscuits and she told me about how she used to be very good at writing stories.
3: Taylor Swift on Spotify
To celebrate 1989 selling over 10 million albums worldwide and 100 million song certifications, Taylor Swift added her ENTIRE back catologue to Spotify. You can now listen to all of her albums on Spotify- 1989, Red, Speak Now, Fearless and Taylor Swift! I’ve had Red on repeat, which is my favourite T-Swizzle album. (State of Grace, 22 and Begin Again are the best) Music makes everything better, especially Taylor Swift’s music. If you need me I’ll be dancing around my room to Shake It Off for the foreseeable future.
What made you smile like the Cheshire Cat this week? Tweet me and let me know @katkatkatt
The sun may be shining, but I’m not feeling too great today, thanks to PMS! I feel gloomy and moody and unmotivated, but one thing that always cheers me up is reading through the quotes that I scribbled in my journal. The power of words will always outweigh the negative feelings. I thought I’d share some of my favourite quotes with you today. If you aren’t feeling sassy or cheerful, these quotes will help brighten your day and widen your smile.
1: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
2: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
3: “With the new day comes strength and new thoughts.”
Here’s to brighter, happier days.
Happy New Year! I am so glad that 2017 is finally here. I’ve made a tonne of goals for 2017, but my main mission for this year is to focus on self care which I’ve failed to do over the last few weeks.
When you’re feeling low it is important to acknowledge your feelings. I am currently suffering from seasonal affective disorder which is a certain type of depression that is related to the changes in seasons. Some of the symptoms include tiredness, lack of energy, weight gain and oversleeping. Personally, I tend to suffer from the disorder after the excitement and huge build up to Christmas dies down. I tend to wallow in self pity like a grumpy little gremlin and find it extremely difficult to make myself feel better. I let the disorder take over and mope about all day. However, I am determined to take better care of myself thanks to a video by Lucy Moon and Rosianna Halse Rojas where they discuss self care and share their tips on how to make yourself feel better during these darker times.
The video reminded me of how great I felt during last summer when I was really invested in looking after myself. One of the main things I did was taught myself to enjoy my own company. I think it’s extremely important to be comfortable with who you are and to feel content by yourself. Some of my happiest days were days I spent alone, for example my solo day trip to Galway or the day I spent in a local cafe reading. So I’ve set myself a few self care goals for the month of January and will continue to do so because 2017 is the year I take care of myself. It’s the year I put myself on a pedestal.
1: Go to the cinema by yourself
2: Get a haircut
3: Spend more time outdoors
4: Drink more water
5: Go on a solo day trip
Have you got any self care tips that you swear by? Share them in the comment section or tweet me @katkatkatt
Now that Christmas has passed I’m suffering from a major case of the blues. The week between Christmas and New Years is a strange one isn’t it? I feel very lost and down this week. However instead of letting the negativity take over I have given myself a kick up the arse (and my wonderful friends have sent me the most encouraging messages too) and I’m determined to beat this case of the winter blues.
Something that has always helped me is escaping into the magical world of movies. There’s nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa and watching a timeless classic like Jurassic Park or The Breakfast Club. If you can spare a few bob I’d highly suggest going to the cinema for a bit of escapism and most importantly butter popcorn.
Another thing that helps is dancing; and don’t worry you don’t need to be as talented as the professional dancers on Strictly Come Dancing. One of the greatest things Grey’s Anatomy taught me was to “dance it out.” Whenever I’m feeling down I channel my inner Meredith and Cristina and dance around my room. It is goofy and you may feel silly as you prance about the place, but it will make you feel full of spirit (and slightly sweaty)
Finally, another thing I plan on doing a lot to beat this horrid case of the blues is embracing my creative side. Being creative helps me feel very fulfilled so I’ll definitely be working on a few little projects over the next couple days, whether that’s redecorating my bedroom or writing a short story. You can be creative in whatever way tickles your fancy. For me, writing a short story gives me a huge burst of happiness that I want to store away in a jar and hold onto for these dreary days. You could channel your inner baker and make some cupcakes (and then bring some over to my house) or you could pick up one of those snazzy adult colouring books from Easons and doodle to your hearts content.
The most important thing to remember is that this case of the blues will eventually bugger off and will leave you with a calm and clear mind again. It takes a lot of patience, but you’ll feel better again in no time.
My life has been crazily busy lately. I’ve barely had a second to myself between working part time, travelling, being features editor of the college newspaper and tackling assignments. It’s been a stressful time and there have been moments where I’ve cried and where my stress levels were through the roof and when I’ve completely run out of energy.
I love being busy. I love having plans. I love working on exciting projects. I love how fun life has been lately. However sometimes we need to take a break from the hussle and bustle. We need to find a place of peace, tranquility and calmness, whether that’s at your home or at a local cafe or a library.
It is so important to have a place where you can unwind and relax. A place where you can breath out any stress and focus on you. I feel like us milenials are constantly rushing about, but rarely take time out to sit still and focus on life and absorb it.
That’s why I’ll be spending the next few days reenergising and taking it easy. I’ll be snuggled up in the fairy light cavern that is my bedroom, where I will read and drink peppermint tea and listen to music and breathe.
And when I’m ready and rejuvenated I will go back to my hectic lifestyle and I’ll be able to handle it with ease and most importantly I’ll be able to appreciate it and enjoy it.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
– Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
I’ve been feeling very down lately. My spirits are low and I’m running out of positive vibes. However, unlike my past self I now have the strength in me to make myself feel better. We all have our down days and one of the most important things I’ve come to realise is that it’s completely normal to feel bad and to cry from time to time.
On these bad brain days I often find myself focusing on the negative parts of my life. I sit in my bedroom and mope around like a grumpy little oaf. I isolate myself and do as little as possible. I basically do everything you shouldn’t do when one is feeling glum. Thankfully I’ve realised there are so many things that make me smile like the Cheshire Cat on bad brain days. So, I thought I’d share my list with you and hope it helps you too.
- Disney: I love everything about Disney. It fills me with so much joy. I cannot get enough of it. If there’s something that’s going to make you smile from ear to ear it’s gotta be Disney related. Visit the magical Disney shop on Grafton Street and try not to spend all your money on the soft toys (I’ve currently got my eye on Lucifer, the sleepy Eeyore tsum tsum and the little Flounder soft toy. They’re just all too cute!) A trip to the Disney store or a Disney movie marathon will always make me feel better. Day dreaming about visiting Disneyland is another favourite of mine; I’ll visit one day, soon!
- Friends: I tend to shut people out during bad brain days, which is the silliest thing to do. It’s something I’m working on fixing and I think I’m doing a grand job at it so far. I’ve started speaking to my friend Laura on the phone which is the ultimate pick me up (even if our late night phone calls are ruining our sleeping patterns) Chatting about light topics like what TV shows we’re watching or what we did during the day has helped so much. Our light, relaxed & goofy conversations have kept my anxiety at bay and have made me laugh like an absolute loon at 2am.
- Volunteering: I adore being a volunteer, it’s one of my favourite things about who I am. I wish I had more time to do it these days, because my family over at the volunteer shop never fail to make me feel better, especially Sally and Tracey who are two women that I really look up to. They are some of the greatest people I have ever met. They make me smile and laugh until my sides ache. They also believe in me and support me so much. Working in the charity shop is a great way to get out and meet all kinds of characters, both good and bad. It’s also a nice way to give back to the local community. Pottering around the shop and fixing the book shelves and steaming clothes on a Saturday makes me feel so motivated and gives me a much needed confidence boost. Knowing the work I do is helping others is the best reward of all.
- My Journal: I’ve got at least fifteen journals under my bed full of thoughts, memories, fears, hopes and story ideas. I try to write in my journal at least once a day. There is something so therapeutic about spilling all your thoughts onto the pages of a journal. Pick up a journal in Primark or splash out on one from Paperchase. Writing is one of the best ways to get things off your mind. Embrace your inner Bridget Jones and start scribbling away in your diary.
- Travelling: I have a part time job now which means I now have money for the first time in forever. I visited Amsterdam at the beginning of the summer and since then the travel bug hasn’t left me alone. I’m constantly scrolling through booking.com dreaming about staying in the swankiest hotels in London. I’ve recently traveled to Cork and Louth by myself which I am so chuffed with. Last year I could barely get on a Dublin bus without having a panic attack so being able to travel solo is a huge achievement for me. I’m hoping to visit London within the next couple of months. I cannot wait to hop on a plane again.
Let’s hope the bad brain days stay away and that July is a positive month.