Happier

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I have a love/hate relationship with the On This Day feature on Facebook. It reminds me of my secondary school days where I was free and the only thing I had to worry about was passing my geography class test, or having enough money to go see the latest Twilight movie with my friends. However, it also reminds me of my progress. It shows me photos of my past self. I was young, naive and sheltered. I had not yet discovered who I was, the real me, my true self. But today, as I write this post on a train to Galway, I’ve realised that I am happier than the girl in those photos, and that I have changed a lot.

I no longer watch Twilight movies. I finished school and passed my Leaving Cert. I got that B2 in English that I worked hard for. I have new friends. My skin has cleared up. My mousy brown hair is now copper. I’ve developed stretch marks and scars and cellulite. I’ve ran marathons. I’ve studied both creative writing and journalism. I’ve had work published in newspapers and on websites. I’ve read tonnes of books and watched many new movies. I’ve drank tea with my grandparents and pina coladas with my best friend. I’ve danced at concerts and cried at concerts. I’ve hopped on planes, trains and buses to new cities. I fell in love and I’ve had my heart broken. I’ve battled with anxiety and depression and I won. I discovered an unknown love for coffee and The Clash and Hygge. I wear red lipstick and often buy clothes because they remind me of The Bratpack. I daydream about living in Canada, Cork and Copenhagen. I worry about my grades and my family and my friends. I sing along to Radio Nova with my Dad in the car. I call handsome actors dishy just like my Mam does. I adopted a cat. I’ve had one tooth taken out. I have fallen in love with the simplicity of spending time by myself. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with John Hughes movies. I’ve sent a message in a bottle and heard back from the person that found it. I’ve fallen both in and out of love with my life. I’ve experienced euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows over the past twenty two years.

But most importantly, I am happier and stronger and wiser than the girl in those photographs from the past.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

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Galentine’s Day

Happy Galentine’s Day to all the wonderful ladies around the world. Galentine’s Day is the third greatest day of the year (my birthday and treat yo self day are the other two). Galentine’s Day was created by my spirit animal/hero/queen Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation. This day is all about empowering your lady friends and celebrating the sisterhood you share. Here are some Galentine’s Day ideas for you and your gal pals.

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1: Host a movie night

The weather has been dreadful over the past couple days, so why don’t you gather up your friends and host a ladies movie night, where you can avoid the snow, rain and wind, trust me, your hair will be grateful for it. The essentials for a successful movie night are: microwave popcorn, malteasers, wine, all three Bridget Jones movies, snuggly pjs, tissues for your tears and fluffy socks. You’ll have far more fun watching Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver fight over Bridget, rather than waiting on a bus into the city in the pouring rain.

2: Go on a coffee date

“Coffee and friends make the perfect blend” is one of my favourite quotes, because it’s too true. There’s nothing better than nattering away with your bestie and sipping on cappuccinos in a dinky little cafe. Why don’t you potter over to your local cafe with your mam, your best friend or your sister and chat over warm cups of coffee. Text that school friend you haven’t seen in months and organise a coffee date. What better day to reunite than on Galentine’s Day?

3: Dance It Out

Meredith and Cristina always danced it out in Grey’s Anatomy, so why not follow their lead and do the same. Get the girls together and attend a zumba class in your local community centre. Stick on Beyoncé’s greatest hits and shimmy around the kitchen with your closest gal pals. Head into the city and go to an 80s club night and dance your troubles away.

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The main thing to do this Galentine’s Day is to show the women in your life just how much they mean to you, whether that’s your sister, your cousin, your granny or your college friends. Galentine’s Day is a day where we can share the love with the women who mean everything to us. Always remember that the ladies in your life will always be there for you and in the wise words of Leslie Knope, ovaries before brovaries, right?

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

 

A Love Letter to La La Land

Good morning!

City of Stars is playing, birds are tweeting in the trees outside, there’s a hot cup of tea to my right in my favourite yellow mug and I feel happy, but it’s a new kind of happy that I’ve never felt before. Yesterday I went to see La La Land and it has made the most magical impact on me.

I love movies, they’re the most perfect escapism from everyday life. I’ve been itching to see La La Land since the day I watched the trailer. I didn’t want to wait around and try schedule a cinema outing with friends or family so I hopped on the bus after college and went to see La La Land by myself (*sings Independent Women*). La La Land was everything I wished for and more. There were 101 different things I loved about La La Land. The overall theme of dreams was inspirational, Mia’s clothes were heavenly, the music was out of this world, Sebastian’s charm warmed my heart, the set was just mesmerizing (who knew LA could look so pretty?) and the honest portrayal of love and relationships healed my heart and broke it at the same time.

I love how honest La La Land was when it comes to love. I adored how they showed Mia and Sebastian’s relationship change throughout each season. They made me believe in true love and faith and all those cheesy, lovey dovey things again, but they also reminded me how hard love and relationships can be. They didn’t sugarcoat love and that’s what really hit me hard. They didn’t stray away from the brutal side of being in love. I said to my friend that I feel like La La Land has a bigger impact on people if they’ve been through that harsh, gut wrenching heartache. I’m so grateful that they showed Mia and Seb’s struggles and the arguments and the lonely nights. The raw honesty of it all really gets to your heart.

I’m so happy that they showed love in it’s true light, but mostly I’m just so happy that this movie exists. La La Land made me cry and laugh and smirk and grin. It has lifted my spirits and inspired me and made me feel a kind of happiness that I haven’t felt since I first watched The Breakfast Club. La La Land has put a spring in my step and a twinkle in my eyes again.

Go do your heart a favour and see La La Land.

“Here’s to the fools who dream”

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

 

12 Valuable Things My Mam Taught Me

My Mam hoovers the house three times a day. We argue about missing socks and my cluttered desk. We share a love of white wine and are both madly in love with Patrick Dempsey. I like to remind her that I’m just that little bit taller than her because I know it drives her mad. She’s taught me a lot over the past twenty two years that I will always treasure.

This blog post is for you Mam, thank you for teaching me so many wonderful things.

1: Be generous in whatever way you can. Helping the ones you love will always send good karma your way.

2: Always be wary when you’re considering giving somebody a second chance.

3: Never let people walk all over you. We may be small, but we are so strong.

4: Put white lemonade in a vase of flowers. It helps them bloom.

5: Never spend the money that somebody put in your purse for good luck.

6: Your heart will always know who your true friends are.

7: Strictly Come Dancing is always a lot more enjoyable after drinking a glass of wine.

8: Always buy your cards from Mr.Price or the Pound Shop.

9: The best time to go to town is on a Thursday evening.

10: Using the word ‘dishy’ when referring to a handsome man is the best.

11: Listen to Sunshine 106.8 on a Sunday afternoon.

12: Wipe away your tears, put your shoulders back and lift your head up high, especially during the hardest moments.

Mam, if you ever read this (even though you won’t because you have no idea how turn a computer on) thank you for everything. I may not know how to use the washing machine properly, but you’ve taught me how to be the best woman I could possibly be. Your strength is admirable and you have the kindest heart. I’m so glad that you’re still here for me to tell you that I love you every single day, even if I have to shout it over the noise of the hoover.

All my love,

Katy

 

To The Ladies Who Marched

Saturday January 21st 2017 is a day that will go down in history. Hundreds of thousands of women united across the world and marched together for their rights. The Women’s March was about pride and empowerment and fighting for what we deserve. Women marched together in Washington, Prague, London, Dublin, Sydney, Paris, Vancouver, Chicago and LA and so many other places. Today I wanted to write a thank you letter to them. 

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To all the women that marched yesterday,

Thank you for showing the world how strong us women truly are.

Thank you for fighting for our rights.

Thank you for empowering every single woman on this planet.

Thank you for showing the world that we aren’t afraid to stand up for ourselves.

Thank you for making women worldwide feel hopeful.

Thank you for representing the women that couldn’t march.

Thank you for helping women feel uplifted and not defeated.

Thank you for showing the world how beautiful feminism is.

Thank you for the impact this day will make on younger generations.

Thank you for your passion and power.

Thank you for showing women that they are not alone.

Thank you for making me feel proud to be a women.

Thank you for showing us that our worldwide sisterhood is stronger than ever.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat

 

 

Love Yourself: How To Boost Your Self Worth

There’s a photo on my bedroom wall of me when I was eight years old. In the photo I am smiling alongside my Nanny, Uncle David and my cousin Emma. What I love about this photo is how care free and happy I look. One of the biggest things I adored about being a kid was how little our appearance mattered. I was missing teeth, I had a crooked full fringe and chubby cheeks that made me look like a squirrel with a mouth full of acorns, but I was still smiling from ear to ear.

When my teenage years came around I suddenly became more worried and concerned about how I looked, how others viewed me and whether or not I looked ‘perfect’. I felt the pressure to look like the celebrities that graced the covers of Ireland’s KISS magazine back in the day. I wanted to have clear skin like Taylor Swift, a toned figure like Vanessa Hudgens and wavy, blonde hair like Lauren Conrad. I was hypnotised by the media into thinking that these women were what I should look like. I certainly didn’t look like them back when I was 14. I had acne, dodgy hair cuts and I was extremely chubby due frequent purchases of chocolate donuts from our local shop, the Kokonut. But what I wish I knew back then is that it is okay to have flaws, it is okay not to look like that celebrity on the front cover. I wish I knew what I know now and that is to love who you are.

One of the best things I’ve done in all my 21 years on earth is to teach myself that I am good enough. Like everyone else there are things I don’t like about myself, I’ve got flaws just like every other person on the planet, but what I’ve done is learned how to accept my flaws and to love me for me. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard was from my aunt Joan who told me and my cousins to, “look in the mirror every morning and say I love me.” It’s an easy thing to do, but it makes a huge impact on how you view yourself. You may feel a tad silly saying this, but it’s so beneficial. If you do this simple task every morning you will feel better about yourself and it will give you a positive outlook for the day ahead.

Another tip that helps you embrace who you are is to make a list of things you love about yourself. I often find that when I’m feeling glum I tend to focus on my flaws, so to beat that I list the things that I love most about myself; my curly hair, how my eyes change colour from time to time, my quirky sense of style. It’s a great way to push the negative thoughts away by simply thinking in a positive way. Next time you’re feeling down in the dumps about yourself make sure to focus on what you love about YOU; whether it’s your freckles, the gap between your two front teeth or your pasty pale legs.

Finally, the most important thing that made me love who I am was to stop comparing myself to others. As you scroll through your Instagram feed you’ll see photos that trigger thoughts like, “I wish I was as skinny as her”, “I wish my hair was that long” and “that dress would never look as good on me.” I’ve been guilty of doing this in the past and sadly I’ve witnessed so many of my younger relatives doing this and it breaks my heart. These negative thoughts will destroy your confidence. The best thing to do is to focus on positive thinking and to stop comparing yourself to others. You are fueling self hatred by comparing yourself to others. What you need to do is to focus on the self. Do what makes you happy; wear green jeans every day, cut your short and dye it blue, wear bright pink lipstick to college- do what will make you feel good about you!

What matters most is that you feel comfortable and good in your own skin. Boost your self confidence, don’t be afraid to be who you are and remember to love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye, hehe!

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind, and those that mind, don’t matter.”  -Dr Seuss

Kat