Thursday, 25 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 1 Picture of Me!

Sad times people! The last day of my 10 Day You Challenge and today I will share one picture of myself with you all. It's a photo (I believe) I have shared on my blog before and it is also a photo that I am immensely proud of...


This is a picture of me while I was abseiling (read: dangling!) 165ft from underneath the Forth Rail Bridge, raising money for Scottish Autism. I like this picture a lot because it shows what I can do when I put my mind to something, that it pays off to try new things and how it felt so good doing something for others. I always look at this photo and smile :)

Christina xo

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 2 Songs

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Hey there readers :)

Today's part of the 10 Day You Challenge involves me sharing 2 of my favourite songs with you. This is a pain in the hole considering I love my music and find it hard to pick 2 favourite artists, let alone songs! But, in the spirit of the challenge, I shall give it a go... in my own way of course. I'm going to pick 2 songs that make me laugh and hopefully you'll like them too!

1. Game of Thrones - Key of Awesome.


This is what I actually hear whenever someone plays Payphone by Maroon 5. I love anything by Key of Awesome, search for them on Youtube and enjoy some of their many hilarious parodies!

2. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop


Yes I am incredibly late to this song's party. I love it though, a funny tribute to the joys of thrift store/vintage/charity shop trawling. I used to get laughed at for going charity/vintage shopping, but where I stayed in Glasgow you can find some real gems :) and thissong reminds me of the fun of shopping there!

(Interestingly, Key of Awesome actually has a parody of this:)

 

Hope you enjoy my random song choices!!

Christina xo

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 3 Films



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Hi there everyone!

Today I'm going to share 3 of my favourite films with you, and why I love them so much. I'm not that big on movies really, so picking 3 was a bit of a struggle, but here we go...

1. Up. I love anything from Pixar, but Up is a particular favourite. I can't watch it too often though, because I literally cannot stop crying for the first 10 minutes of the film. It's my favourite scene because it's such a beautiful glimpse into a love story, but I always cry because it's so sad. Even though it makes me cry, I love that it illicits such a strong emotional response from those who watch it.


2. 500 Days of Summer. I love Joseph Gordon Levitt in this, he's so funny. Normally I'd love Zooey Deschanel too but in this her character is just annoying and so horrible to JGL. But that's why I love Zooey Deschanel as an actress; she's versatile and able to play different roles. This is my favourite scene from the film and it always makes me giggle.


3. Princess Mononoke. This is one of my favourite anime films so far. It's about forest spirits and Gods vs the encroaching civilisation and developments of society, but visually it is stunning.


Hope you enjoy these 3 films, so what are your favourite films?

Christina xo

Weekly Spending Ban Update

Hello Spending Ban fans!

Last week I did a bumper update detailing how badly I broke my ban when I was in Glasgow at the beginning of the month (in my defence, Kirkcaldy is piss poor for shopping and Glasgow is the biggest shopping city outside of London... go figure.). This week I have been much better... because I'm completely skint! Which is good because I can't spend money if I don't have any.

This week I'm lusting after B. Pure Micellar Water from Superdrug...

B. Pure Micellar Water 150ml

Mainly because I'm about to run out of my Clarin's Water Purify that I use for removing make-up, and do not want to shell out £19 when I could be getting something as effective for a tiny fraction of the price. So my wish-list currently stands as follows:

1. Dior BB Cream
2. Chanel VitaLumiere Aqua.
3. Dr Jart Premium Beauty Balm.
4. MAC Lipstick in Chatterbox.
5. Lancome Genefique Youth Activator.
6. Illamasqua L'Imperfection Nail Polish in Fragile.
 Marks and Spencer's Limited Collection Multi Blush. - I bought this last month.
 Sleek Aqua Collection.  - I bought this when I was in Glasgow last time. 
7. B. Pure Micellar Water. 
 
What products have you been lusting after this week then?

Christina xo
 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 4 Books

Hello readers!

Today's part of the 10 Day You Challenge is a good one: 4 Books. Although having to choose just 4 is really difficult; I love books too much! I'm going to choose 4 books that have made an impression on me through life and my studies and share them with you...

1. Tennessee Williams - A Streetcar Named Desire and Other Plays. I studied this in my final year at school and discovered the brilliance of Tennessee Williams. His plays are absolutely brim-full of imagery and symbolism and focus on the death of Southern values in America. My favourite is A Streetcar Named Desire, but I'd recommend reading any of his plays. If you're feeling particularly lazy, there's a film version of A Streetcar Named Desire starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh which is really great.


 

“I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And it that's sinful, then let me be damned for it!”

2.  On Beauty - Zadie Smith. This was one of the novels I wrote about for my dissertation and it follows the lives of the Belsey and Kipps families. It focuses on issues of race, the clashes between liberalism and conservativism and also looks at what we consider beautiful. I loved reading it, made my dissertation (slightly) more enjoyable.



“Stop worrying about your identity and concern yourself with the people you care about, ideas that matter to you, beliefs you can stand by, tickets you can run on. Intelligent humans make those choices with their brain and hearts and they make them alone. The world does not deliver meaning to you. You have to make it meaningful...and decide what you want and need and must do. It’s a tough, unimaginably lonely and complicated way to be in the world. But that’s the deal: you have to live; you can’t live by slogans, dead ideas, clich├ęs, or national flags. Finding an identity is easy. It’s the easy way out.”

3. Lanark: A Life in Four Books - Alasdair Gray.  This is one of the best novels to come out of Scotland, and it's bit realist and a bit dystopian fantasy. The books are out of order in the novel; we start with Book 4, then books 1, 2 and 3 follow. Books 3 and 4 focus on Lanark, who exists in a dystopian fantasy city called Unthank, while Books 1 and 2 focus on Duncan Thaw, an artist living in Glasgow (The idea is there's supposed to be parallels between the 2 characters and their stories.


“You suffer from the oldest delusion in politics. You think you can change the world by talking to a leader. Leaders are the effects, not the causes of changes.”

4. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte. This is my favourite romance novel, in that it's not very romantic in a lot of ways. Mr Rochester is a total arse for large parts of the book and before Jane finally stands up for herself I found myself shouting at her: "Say something! Speak up ya big jessie!" But that's the joy of a great book, it pulls you in and makes you feel strongly about what happens to the characters. Jane's passionate speech to Rochester is one of my all-time favourite scenes in literature.

 

“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you. I am not talking to you now through the medium of custom, conventionalities, nor even of mortal flesh: it is my spirit that addresses your spirit; just as if both had passed through the grave, and we stood at God's feet, equal — as we are!”

Gets me every time. P.S. Don't watch the film Jane Eyre, the Michael Fassbender one. It's awful. If you want to watch a decent adaptation, the BBC adaptation with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens is brilliant and has me in tears every time.


Are you like me and have 4 books that mean something to you? Share them with the world!

Christina xo

Saturday, 20 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 5 Foods

Food glorious foooood!

Hey readers :) today's part of the challenge is about sharing 5 foods and I'm assuming it's my top 5 favourite foods, so I really hope you've eaten today, because I'm probably about to make you really hungry...

1. Bacon. Preferably crispy smoky bacon. I love it on sandwiches, in fry-ups on burgers, and especially with pancakes and maple syrup. Nom. This reminds me of a song...


2. Blueberries - Blueberries are my favourite fruit, always so juicy and refreshing. I love them on their own, but also in muffins, in porridge and especially in my speciality cheesecake: Blueberry and white chocolate mascarpone cheesecake on an amaretti biscuit base, with a blueberry and amaretto reduction. God bless Masterchef...


Some of my famous blueberry muffins :)

3. Steak - Sorry vegetarians, I am a bonafide red meat-eater. Direct your moral outrage elsewhere. Preferably at Morrissey, he likes that sort of thing :P I like my steaks medium rare (i.e. still bleeding a little in the middle), in a mushroom and red wine sauce with some chunky chips. That would probably be my death-bed meal.



4. Cream cheese - Random one, but I love cream cheese, especially now that most companies have made different flavours too. Sandwiches are a lot more exciting with some nice cream cheese instead of just spread or butter (and a bit healthier too). Om nom nom...





I haven't tried the chocolate one yet, but it looks pretty good...

5. Pizza - I love pizza in all its forms. Dominos, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns - they're all pretty naff compared to a real Italian pizza, although I also find when I'm in Spain they make excellent pizza too. At home, I like ordering from a little takeaway on Kirkcaldy High st called Elevenses (they're great when you have the drunk munchies.) and my favourite kind of pizza is a Frutti di Mare (i.e. a seafood pizza.)




Oooh... really want a pizza now... damn...

Those are my top 5 foods, what do you think? Any fave foods we share or do you think I'm just weird?

Christina xo

Thursday, 18 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 6 Places

Hey everybody!

Sorry for the short hiatus with my 10 Day You Challenge; I was staying at my parents' on Tuesday before heading to an exciting work-related meeting on Wednesday. I'll explain more later, as both places I went to feature in my post.

Today is all about 6 places and I'm taking this to mean that I can talk about 6 places that are important to me. Not necessarily favourites, but places that have some meaning for me. And now my 6 places are...

1. Glasgow - I harp on an awful lot about how much I love my home city. But there's the clue: it's my home. It will always be my home; where I was born, grew up, educated (both in school and in life) and where my family and friends mostly live. It's just where I want to be :)



I grew up somewhere just outside the middle left of this picture, in Glasgow's West End. That's where I was on Tuesday, having a girly pub-crawl with my mum around the West End.

2. Puerto Mogan, Gran Canaria - Last year, the lovely folk that deal with taxes realised that Kris was due a tax rebate... to the tune of £1300! And Kris decided that the best way to spend was to book our first holiday together and we settled on Puerto Mogan on the southern tip of Gran Canaria. This place has a lot of significance in Kris' family; Kris' dad remarried here (on a boat in the Atlantic, mega romantic :P) and we could see why; it's an absolutely gorgeous little fishing town. I would love to go again, Kris and I had such a relaxing time and we loved every second.

 

Sorry if this picture shows up huge, couldn't find a better one!

3. Home - The little flat I share with Kris in Kirkcaldy may suffer from the fact we live in, y'know, Kirkcaldy, but it's ours and it's a lovely flat. I will be sad to leave it when we eventually move, but I see it as the first place Kris and I started to build a home together and a symbol of the stage in our relationship where we became even closer and stronger together as partners (in crime haha!).


This was Kris in our kitchen sharing our first Christmas together alone (I had to work Christmas Eve and Boxing Day so we didn't get to go home but we still had a fab Christmas together!)

4. Crianlarich - Kris' dad and step-mum live in Crianlarich, where Kris' dad runs a guest house. It has to be one of the tiniest towns in Scotland (but it's signposted everywhere) but it's played host to a lot of great memories for Kris and I. My first weekend away with Kris was here, the same weekend we decided we were officially a couple and also when I got my degree results (a 2:2 in English Lang and Lit!!). It is also where Greg and Charlie (Kris' dad and step-mum) had their blessing ceremony for family and friends after their wedding in Gran Canaria.


This is the blessing party outside the Crianlarich Hotel (I believe it's a Best Western, and it's well worth a stay if you want to explore Loch Lomond) and that's me in the flowery pinky/reddy dress behind the beautiful bride Charlie!

5. New Struan School, Alloa - Yesterday, I visited the specially-designed school for autistic children which is run by Scottish Autism (charity I work for), New Struan in Alloa. I'd been invited after meeting Scottish Autism's Director for Education at a conference (nicest guy ever and loves going to gigs :P) and he gave a tour of the school and I met some of the 40 pupils at the school. It is an amazing place doing fantastic work; these are 40 pupils with the most challenging cases of autism in the country and all the children there are well supported. The staff are passionate and the work they do is fantastic; it made me see how much difference a great support package can make in someone's life, and I can imagine it helps families and siblings as well. It's made me realise I want to do even more to support Scottish Autism, so fingers crossed I get that chance!

If you want to find out more about New Struan School, please click here :)

6. Barcelona - My first holidays abroad were spent in Cambrils, a fishing town outside of Salou (which is now a horrible 18-30s hole). One of the trips we went on was a tour of Barcelona, visiting the zoo, the Nou Camp, Las Ramblas, La Sagrada Familia and the fountains. It's a beautiful city and I would love to go back again as an adult to explore. :)


So those are my 6 places :) I would love to see what your 6 places would be, feel free to take part in the challenge if you wish!

Christina xo

Monday, 15 April 2013

100 Day Spending Ban: Extended edition (Weeks 13,14 and 15)

Hi spending ban fans!

It's been nearly 3 weeks (oops) since I last updated everyone on how my spending ban is going. It was going very swimmingly until I went home to Glasgow and brought my friend Kirsty as well. We went shopping and I bought things. Bad, BAD spending ban blogger...









I'm sorry, been massively bad this month. Thankfully next month I can't afford to since I have 3 birthdays next month - my brother's and then Kris and his dad share the same birthday and his dad is going to be the big 50. Eeep, no purchases for me except the absolute essentials, e.g. I'm about to run out of make-up remover so will have to get some more.

On the plus side, I did win this fantastic Area H2O set from Look Fantastic!


And Kris' mum gave me this gorgeous Marc Jacobs necklace as a belated Easter present. It's a locket which contains solid Dot eau de parfum! Awesome :)


So yeah, you can see why I've decided to extend my spending ban since I've been pretty crap at sticking to it. I'm not the only blogger extending their ban; I know the lovely Marvelle is extending hers over at the Blog of Shadows. So at least I have company :) Let me know if you're extending your ban!

Christina xo

10 Day You Challenge - 7 Wants

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Hey there readers :)

Today is a much cheerier part to the 10 Day You Challenge - 7 Wants! I'll share with you 7 goals or things I want to own or achieve, so on with the show...

1. A job in Glasgow - This is the thing I want the most at the moment - a job that means I can move back to my home city of Glasgow. It's difficult because I want to keep working for the company I'm with just now but they don't have any positions I can apply for in the West of Scotland, so I'm stuck applying and hoping to other companies and agencies in the mean-time. Boo hiss...

2. To eventually get through all the episodes of Bleach so far - I've started watching an anime series named Bleach. There are 366 episodes and I'm about to start series 5 at episode 92. It's all about a teenager named Ichigo who gains the powers of a Soul Reaper (or Death God). The job of a Soul Reaper is to safely deliver souls to the afterlife (in this case it's called the Soul Society) and to defend people from Hollows (evil souls). It's funny and dramatic in equal measure and involves possibly the coolest talking cat since Salem.




3. To own a dog - I'd love to have the time and patience to train and properly look after a dog, preferably a lovely little black West Highland Terrier like the one below. Most likely if we ever did get a dog it would be a Jack Russell since it's one of the few breeds I know of that don't shed (Kris has asthma and allergies to long animal hair).




4. To go back to uni - I know I'm being greedy considering I already have two degrees (one in English Language and Literature and the other in teaching) but I have my eye on going back to uni - I want to study Autism Studies at Strathclyde University's Centre for Autism Studies. Just need a few more years experience and I might sneak in :P

5. To meet Grumpy Cat - Sorry, but Tardar Sauce is just so feckin' cute!


6. To stand up for myself more - Last night I tried to be honest about my opinions on storage during the #bbloggers chat, then received a slightly rude reply from the chat's host. I should have said "Well pardon me I thought this was about sharing opinions, no need to be rude." and instead I whimpered and apologised. I have a friend who's treating me like shit at the moment and I wish I had the guts to stand up and say "Stop being an ass". Actually I would do that but I suspect they're avoiding me. Possibly for that exact reason. Oh well...

7. To live happily(ish) ever after - I'm relatively content with my life as it is, bar trying to get a job in Glasgow, and I would love it to stay that way.

7 things I want - done! What 7 things do you want most then?

Christina xo

Sunday, 14 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 8 Fears

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Hey there lovely readers!

Today's part of the 10 Day You Challenge is a really cheery one - 8 fears. I will start by saying I don't really have any truly deep and penetrating fears (such as agoraphobia or arachnophobia) - they're more "Things I Don't Like Very Much." so here are my top 8 fears/"Things I Don't Like Very Much"...

1. Ladders - I really don't like going up ladders. They're really unstable and I'm always scared I may fall off. Irrational but true. I will go up ladders but only if someone is in the near vicinity. Strangely I'm fine with heights, it's just wibbly wobbly ladders I don't like.






I lol'ed at this. Was looking for a picture to illustrate my dislike for ladders and found this. No, I have no idea why he's holding a cat either...

2. Bees and wasps - I generally hate any flying insects that buzz about. I hate wasps because they're vicious wee blighters that sting you without provocation. I hate bees because they literally defy physics. Seriously they're technically too fat to fly in proportion to the size of their wings. The way in which they beat their wings essentially generate mini hurricanes, and the eyes of these hurricanes essentially keep them aloft. BEES DEFY PHYSICS THEY ARE NOT NATURAL!! For more information, read this article.



All the pictures of actual bees gave me the creeps so here's a happy-smiley one instead!

3. Getting old - not in a vain kind of way. More in a "I don't want to develop dementia, forget who I am and have to get help to use the loo" kind of way. I see people in their 70s/80s all the time who just don't look happy and I don't want that to happen to me. That's probably the closest thing I have to a fear actually, of getting old and dying alone.

4. Loneliness - I'm not much of a lone wolf, I like doing things with friends and people around me. That's about it really, nothing too deep!

5. Not being good enough - I'm always worried that I'm not good enough for people: not a good enough friend/girlfriend/employee/neighbour/human being in general. Which is silly, because I imagine people would tell me if I wasn't doing enough and being abit of a let-down. I try not to think about it too much and I'm lucky that Kris is good at noticing when I worry about such things.

6. Being home alone after dark - Kris never understands why I get so grumpy when he goes away without me. It's because I hear every bump and creak in the house and immediately surmise that it's a serial killer trying to get in to kill me. I'm sure everyone has a similar fear, but thought it was worth mentioning.

7. Speaking up - I make out like I'm some mega confident public speaker. I'm bloody well not, I'm just tremendously good at acting it :P

8. Living in Kirkcaldy forever because no-one in Glasgow will offer me a job - At the moment I'm applying for jobs in Glasgow and not really hearing back, and I really really REALLY don't want to live up here forever and end up as miserable and dour-faced as some of the locals. So if any care charities/agencies happen to be reading: please hire me! I'm awesome! etc...

Like I said, these aren't quite fears, more things that worry me or that I don't like much.

Do you have any fears? What worries you most?

Christina xo

Saturday, 13 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 9 Loves :)





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Hey there readers :)

Today's the 2nd day of the 10 Day You challenge, and today I'm sharing 9 things/people/places I love. So without further rambling...

1. Breakfast - my favourite meal of the day is breakfast. I love bacon sandwiches, fry-ups, smoked salmon with scrambled eggs, pancakes with maple syrup, even Shreddies or porridge. I just love a good brekkie to start the day!


2. Anime - I've recently started watching anime films and TV series thanks to Kris. My favourite so far has been Spirited Away. Spirited Away is about a little girl, Chihiro, who moves house with her family and they discover a fantasy world with spirits. It's a little bit of a love story too and it's completely beautiful, so I urge everyone to watch it!



3. Chanel make-up. I only have a few items of Chanel make-up in my collection: an eyeshadow duo, an Illusion D'Ombre shadow and my beloved Rouge Allure lipstick, but I love them all and I want more! I think Chanel is synonymous with complete class and beauty. I've (kinda) made peace with the fact I'll never own a 2.55 handbag (unless I win the lottery or get a huge tax rebate) so I like treating myself to their make-up since it's reasonably affordable.



4. Gin - I absolutely love gin and it's my favourite alcoholic drink. It's so refreshing if served correctly; for example and Hendricks and tonic with cucumber is fantastic on a summery day. And my most recent discovery is a Thai Orchard cocktail from a bar in Glasgow, Bar Gumbo. It might sound like an old-lady drink, but I think gin's lovely.


5. Glasgow - I love my home city and I cannot wait to move back (just waiting on somebody giving me a job down there!) There's always something going on or somewhere new to try; it's just such a vibrant city. Gets a bad rep which is a bit unfair since we Glaswegians aren't all drunken louts who get a bit stabby. If you want to find out more, come visit!


6. Tea - I love tea. Green tea, breakfast tea, apple tea, all tea! I'm drinking some strawberry and blueberry green tea as we speak (from Whittard's - it's very tasty, I highly recommend it!) Below is my tea collection...


7. Literature - I love reading and it's something I need to get back into. My favourite writers are Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan (If you've never read Strawberries then you need to NOW!), The Bronte sister (if you're an idiot Twi-hard or obsessed by 50 Shades of Grey then I advise you to read "Wuthering Heights", "Jane Eyre" and "Tenant of Wildfell Hall" and then tell me Stephenie Meyer and EL James aren't plagiarising lying cows.)

8. Runrig - I get slagged off for liking these guys, but I think they're awesome! I'm a Bruce fan rather than a Donnie fan (Runrig fans will know what I mean) and honestly think their drummer Iain Bayne is the best drummer ever. Have a listen and see if you like:


9. Kris - I know I know. Really soppy but if we're going to talk about loves I can't not mention Kris now can I? I do live with him after all :P We'll have been together for 3 years at the end of this month and I still think he's as awesome and lovely (if not more so) as the day we met for the first time in Rab Ha's in Glasgow. He keeps me on the straight and narrow, he's funny, intelligent and utterly brilliant and I love him so much it's terrifying. I'll pass you the sick bucket now...




So those are 9 of my loves :) what things/people/places do you love?

Christina xo

Friday, 12 April 2013

10 Day You Challenge - 10 secrets


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I saw this challenge over on Jess's blog, Lovely Jubbly and I really enjoyed reading some of her posts as part of the challenge so I decided to give it a go myself! The first day involves sharing 10 secrets, so here's 10 soul-baring secrets from me:

1. This isn't much of a secret but I really hate living in Fife. I have met some lovely people here and made great friends, however Kirkcaldy seems so small compared to Glasgow (where I grew up) and there are so many small-minded and ignorant people here that it drives me crazy. I know not everyone is like that, but when people stare at you for dressing smartly, time to get the fuck out.


This is Kirkcaldy town centre on a "busy" Saturday night. Cue tumbleweed...

2. Although I hate living in Kirkcaldy, I do think it's been such a valuable learning curve. I've learnt that teaching in mainstream schools wasn't my bag, I found that I love working with autism and want to learn more and I think it's also strengthened my relationship with Kris. Not that we would have struggled if we'd stayed in Glasgow, but I think making such a big move together has brought us even closer together (barf).

3. I didn't enjoy mainstream teaching at all, but I wouldn't say no to working in additional support needs roles in schools.

4.My pet hate is when my friends let me down. I've been let down by a few friends recently and it sucks. I do my best to do right by everyone I know, so not being treated with the same respect riles me immensely.

5.Another loathing of mine is public displays of affection. In all their myriad forms; excessive tongue wrestling in the street, holding on to your loved one like the world will end if you don't, calling your other half snookums or baby in public and sucking up to one another on social networking. Seriously get a room, with steel doors, padded walls and no connections to the outside world. Evolution will thank you.

6. I'm not always such a misery guts. Sometimes I just need a bloody good vent.

7. I secretly love my cheesy club tunes. I used to be a complete hipster and pretend that I thought such music was total guff. Now I realise I was a pretentious wee nyaff and just listen to whatever I want. Which is often Ke$ha and Calvin Harris.

8. I still really really want to throw a steak at Morrissey, just to see how he would react. Badly I would imagine.

9. I prefer Twitter to Facebook.

10. The slightest thing makes me cry. Seeing someone cry during an emotional scene in film and TV means I am guaranteed to start blubbing. Even the ending to Mass Effect 3 (a computer game) has me in tears. (For many reasons that are obvious to anyone who has played it :P)

So those are my 10 (sort of) secrets. I tend to be quite open about things anyway so secrets aren't really my bag.

If you want to do the tag, join in and send me the links to your posts!

Christina xo

A Rare FOTD: Inspired by M&S

Hey there loyal readers!

I'm not normally so inspired by something randomly, but when I've been in Marks & Spencers of late, I keep seeing this lovely face by the make-up counters:


I thought I would give it a go myself and see how I got on, so here's my take on the look:



I've never been very good at getting the eyeliner flicks right, so I kept it simple and just did a normal line. As for the eyes I used my Sleek Glory palette and just used a gold/cream shade on the inner corners instead of green all over (I was going to work after all).



As for the pink lips, it's my much-loved Chanel Rouge Allure in L'Exuberante. :D

Sorry the light isn't very great in these, it doesn't really show off the green from the Sleek palette well; in reality it's a pretty emerald shade which clashes well with my hair (if that makes sense...)

PRODUCTS USED:

Face: Dr Jart+ Recover Primer
Benefit That Gal Primer (for under-eyes)
GOSH BB Cream in Sand.
Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer in 001 Ivory
Guerlain Sun in the City Compact (Highlight)
Marks and Spencer's Limited Edition Blush.
L'Oreal True Match Powder in Rose Beige.

Eyes: Urban Decay Primer Potion
Sleek Glory Palette (shades used: Overground, Tube and District)
Guerlain Sun in the City Compact
Bourjois Liner Pinceau Noir
Max Factor Clump Defy False Lash Mascara
Rimmel Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara.

Lips: Anatomicals Banana Lip Balm
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lip Colour in L'Exuberante.
Lipcote.

Let me know what you think!

Christina xo

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

World Autism Awareness Day - Raising Awareness

Hey #bbloggers :)

Today I'm bringing you something a bit different. Long-time readers of my blog will have read my posts about my job, but I wanted to talk about it today in particular because 2nd April (since 2008 at least) is known as World Autism Awareness Day. And since I'm an Autism Support Worker, I figured it's part of my job to spread the word and raise awareness about what has been referred as: "The Invisible Disability" and try to dispel some of the myths about Autism and ASDs.

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1. What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong, pervasive developmental disorder which affects people in three main areas: communication, social imagination and flexible thinking. These are known as the "Triad of Impairments" (I have a bit of an issue calling them impairments but we'll get to that later...). People with autism may also have sensory processing difficulties, e.g. a dislike of bright light, difficulty seeing certain colours, auditory processing problems and more. It is usually (and I mean USUALLY, but not always) diagnosed in childhood and will be a part of that person's life for their whole life. The conditions were first outlined by Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger in the 1940s in their respective research and research is contributing to our growing knowledge of autism all the time.

2. Isn't autism just a childhood disease?

In short, no. As I said above, if you have autism as a child, you will have it as an adult. It's not something a person can 'grow out of' or 'recover from'. Also it isn't a disease. Fun fact: in France, autism is classed as a disease (again, I will go into why I rankle at the use of the word disease in conjuction with autism at the end.) In childhood, with support from family, friends, medical professionals, schools and charities such as Scottish Autism and the National Autistic Society, you can seek help and advice, look into what support would improve communication, enhance development and give your child the skills they need to live the life they want.

In adulthood, the needs are the same. They also need support with communication and development; it's not just about teaching coping strategies. People with autism shouldn't have to just cope or struggle through life. I work for Scottish Autism, and our motto is:

"Enabling people living with autism in Scotland through the whole life journey."

As a charity we look at ways to support children and adults to become as independent as they possibly can. It's about teaching people with autism the skills they need to be themselves, their own person.

3. Aren't all people with autism geniuses like that guy in "Rain Man"?

No, not all people with autism are 'savants'; people with autism are more likely to have moderate learning needs (I refuse to call it a disability. Again, refer to the end...). However that is not to say that people with autism don't have their own talents and skills to offer. For example I work with a person who can look at any coastal view in the UK and tell you exactly where it is and know all about said view, lighthouses and surrounding places of interest. I also work with someone who loves musicals and can sing any song from a musical you name with great gusto. These same people are good cooks and bakers and are great with crafts. They might not be savants but they are uniquely skilled and talented and these are things which should be nurtured.

4. I thought autism was caused by: MMR vaccines, bad parenting, genetics, [insert cause here] etc.?

At the moment, autism has no known cause. It's generally known that autism is caused by developmental abnormalities in the brain; something in the brain chemistry affects the person's communication, social understanding and flexible thinking. Because autism has a tendency (though not always) to run in families, a lot of people think autism is genetic, yet researchers have never found conclusive proof of one gene etc. causing autism. Others think environmental factors in childhood are a cause; I once heard a theory that children growing up in cluttered, busy homes were more prone to autism (I have no idea where, I'm just reiterating this theory!). My personal opinion is that it's a mixture of factors that it's going to take years to figure out.

So that's some of the main myths surrounding autism clarified, but just one more thing...

Remember how I said I had an issue with the words: impairment, disease and disability? There's a reason I really hate these words being used in relation to autism. This is because they all have negative implications; impairment and disability imply that you are hindered by your condition, that you as a human being are somehow defective. With disease, this gives people the false impression that autism is something wrong that has to be cured to help someone. In my experience in working with adults ith autism this is simply not the case; everyone has the potential to learn and to contribute their skills, all they need is a chance so I think using words like disability and impairment just tries to write them off.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this blog post and that you now know a little more about autism. However I would advise finding out more on your own because what I've told you today is just the tip of the iceberg; there's so much to know about autism so go have a nosey!

Some further reading suggestions:

Books:

Asperger, H. (1944/1991). Autistic psychopathy in childhood. Translated in U. Frith (Ed), Autism and Asperger Syndrome (pp37-92). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of affective contact. Nervous Child, 2, 217 – 250.
Grandin, Temple: Emergence, Labelled Autistic.

Websites:

Debi Brown: www.aspiedebi.com
Scottish Autism: www.scottishautism.org
National Autistic Society: www.autism.org.uk 

Today, the Independent newspaper in the UK has an insert all about autism and charities supporting people with autism throught the UK. I highly recommend giving it a read!

*NB - I don't pretend to be an expert on autism, these are just things I've learned/realised along the way!*