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phone photography adventures and Easter laziness

Hey guys, long time no talk!

Lately I’ve been really missing blogging, art and just general hobbies I used to enjoy. That’s the annoying side of University life mixed with depression, it’s so easy to drop completely off the map when it comes to things that I really used to enjoy doing. Luckily I’m in the middle of a good 2-3 weeks off University and it’s been a mix of good and bad to my schedule. The first bad bit is that I’ve completely lost my sleeping pattern; maybe I didn’t have a good one in the first place but over the course of a week or two it’s definitely gone a bit tipsy. Although the bonus of being awake at 4am with your boyfriend watching Netflix and playing video games is you get to see how pretty the world is when it’s the dead of night. Especially in Manchester.

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I’ve been really enjoying taking photos lately. Now I’m definitely no photographer or skilled, especially with the fact all I have is my shoddy iPhone SE and editing apps/Photoshop – but it’s been something I’ve been doing a lot when I’m out of the house. Me and Will have been on three or four lovely walks during the Easter break which has given me a great chance to take some nice photos and it’s made me want to start doing photography again. Maybe fool around more with photo editing or even create some mixed media pieces if I can ever kick my butt back into art/drawing.

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Visiting Wythenshawe park provided me with a lot of lovely photos! We visited the Community Farm they have there so I got to see a lot of the adorable animals on the farm. Admittedly seeing the cows in their barn made me feel a little bit sad because it was hard to tell if they were happy or upset being there but a lot of the animals on the farm seemed very calm and were eating/just finished being fed.

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As well as picnics in parks and going for walks, I’ve been mostly lazing around playing video games. Persona 5 is my go-to game at the moment which I thoroughly recommend to anybody looking for a new PS4 game to play! It’s also available on PS3. It’s super unique and if you’re a fan of the Persona series, it’s definitely a step up from 4 and with a lot more gripping, darker storyline. The characters are super lovable and you’ll get instantly attached to them like I did. I’d also recommend it if you’re a fan of games like Pokemon or Final Fantasy because of the fighting and collecting monster themes but for anyone who enjoys games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age since they have a role-playing side to it where you can make personal choices to your game with some sides of it.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter holiday and I shall be back soon with another post!

Thanks for reading,

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21.01.17 – Central Vegan Festival

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Hello lovely world,

So today me and my gorgeous friend Natt popped into Manchester to visit the Central Vegan Festival that was taking place! Manchester was extremely busy today and I’m glad to know one of the many things going on today was the Women’s March taking place. Now I’m gutted I couldn’t go, mainly cause I left it to late in the day to make it and my anxiety was acting up a bit so I was wary about going into big crowds but I hope in future I can attend more marches. Of course, Manchester’s march wasn’t as massive as Washington’s but I am so proud to see how many people attended the march in my hometown. It makes me so proud and even feel a little bit more optimistic that I know so many women of all types – black, Asian, Jewish, Muslim, white, disabled, gay, bisexual, trans, cisgender, mothers, single women, elderly women, teenagers etc. etc. are standing strong and looking out for each other after the news of Trump coming into presidency in the US. All the images and videos of marches around the world fill me with hope that so many people want to fight against the despairing, patriarchal presidency taking place.

I recommend taking a look at the images and videos on social media just by searching #WhyIMarch or #WomensMarch. It’s truly inspiring.

The vegan festival also took place in Manchester today and it’s my first proper vegan festival that I’ve attended. It was quite small and humble but very crowded and well-attended! It had that festival feeling where you’re shuffling around slowly and taking everything in, but I really enjoyed it despite the slow movement! There was tons of food stalls serving fresh vegan meals and although I couldn’t eat things from every stall I managed to try a gorgeous slice of ‘pepperoni’ pizza from Vegan Pizza Co.’s stall and I also treated myself to a batch of loaded nachos from Mex It Up‘s stall.

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The staff at both stalls were also super lovely! Next up me and Natt had a lovely look around the other stalls, I recognised a stall for Wear Your Voice UK, who do really nice vegan and anti-cruelty prints on t-shirts and jumpers. I already own two that I’ve bought online but it was really exciting seeing them at a stall in person.

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There was also a very cute stall there from a shop named Rogue Gypsy who did crystals and crystal jewellery. Now I’m a sucker for anything with crystals on so I had to buy something and me and Natt ended up deciding to get matching necklaces (cause we cute)! The man at the stall was super lovely and even told us about the crystals on our necklaces, and gave us a little slip with facts about the crystal with our necklaces.

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Finally, of course, comes the snack haul – because I love food and I can’t help hauling vegan snacks. I managed to nab up some vegan sweet treats from Ananda Food‘s and Forgot the Egg‘s stall which was exciting, as well as picking up some other treats as seen below!

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From left to right: two ‘Wheaty chorizo spacebars’ (they remind me of pepperamis but way better), Raw Cacao Ombar Buttons,, Ananda’s Choca Mocha marshmallows, a Marshmallow pop from Ananda’s, a gingerbread man from Forgot the Eggs and V-Bite’s dairy free Fudgee bites.

All in all I am extremely excited to try some of the stuff I picked up today and fully recommend popping to a vegan festival in future, even if you eat meat and you are curious about the food and such!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day,

signaturejuly16

 

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20 feelings that make me happy I’m alive

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So I guess you could jokingly say this is one of my lazier posts since it’ll basically be a list however I’ve had it in the back of my mind for a while as I really love trying to cheer people and myself up some days, and on really, really crappy days I can forgot about some of these lovely feelings and scenarios that make me feel alive and grateful to be where I am in that moment. If you have any you’d love to add on, do comment on my blog post or share on Twitter!

  1. Waking up naturally on a Sunny day and seeing the bright blue sky through your windows.
  2. When you’re baking or helping someone bake and you get to eat the excess icing or mix.
  3. Finding the perfect song or playlist to listen to on a long train/bus ride. Here’s one of mine!
  4. Watching ASMR or Bob Ross and the relaxing, calm feeling you get. The sound the paintbrushes make on the palette when Bob Ross is mixing paint really makes me relaxed, is that weird?
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  5. Going to the cinema and seeing a trailer for a film you’re insanely excited for. (Lately the Suicide Squad trailer with Bohemian Rhapsody always gets me pumped up!)
  6. When you’re walking somewhere and a kind-looking stranger smiles at you when you make eye contact.
  7. When you’re walking somewhere and somebody’s dog tries to come and sniff you as they walk past. I want to be your friend too, small pupper.
  8. Seeing little bumblebees chill happily in a bed of pretty flowers.
  9. When a family member, friend or such shows you something and says ‘this reminded me of you.’
  10. Seeing a cute photo of a corgi butt on Instagram. Believe me.

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  11. Getting a massive hug of someone you love when you’re crying.
  12. The first gulp of a really cold drink when you’re dehydrated.
  13. Seeing a family of ducks in a river. Especially if there is a parent/adult duck and tiny ducklings.
  14. Getting a 99 whippy ice cream on a summer’s day. They’re my guilty pleasure – especially with all the sprinkles, flake and raspberry syrup.
  15. Finally getting an essay/homework piece done and knowing you can relax.
  16. Walking/cycling when it’s sunset and you get to see all the beautiful colours the sky can make.
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  17. When someone tells you randomly that you’ve made their day or you’ve been really helpful. Whenever I get a customer who says something like this to me when I’ve been working, my faith in humanity returns.
  18. Getting complimented randomly when out drinking. Especially going in the female toilets, you’ll get the occasional drunk girl saying they love your shoes or something and it’s the best feeling.
  19. Getting cosy in bed after a long day.
  20. When someone you care about says they’re proud of you. Even if it’s for something small like just passing an exam or even getting a high score on a video game. It makes me smile.

What things would you guys add?

Thanks for reading,

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How To Survive the Sun in Manchester

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So if you live in Manchester right now you’re probably thinking, what in god’s name is that massive glowing orb in the sky and where have all the clouds gone?! First of all, don’t panic people of Manchester – this is called sunshine, and god – it is BOILING.

And what’s even stranger is that Manchester has been blessed with a good couple of days of sunshine and rain-free days, which must be a sign the end is nigh, am I right? So get ready to see Piccadilly Gardens invaded with people in swimsuits as if they’re chilling in Spain, get ready to have almost all of the supermarkets on Market Street sold out of ice cream and get ready for a very crowded Deansgate and Northern Quarter full of day drinkers enjoying the sun. Although it can get annoying – it wouldn’t be a Manc summer without it all!

1.Get out the comfy shoes 

Honestly, I have only recently discovered how much walking I do when I’m out in town due to the heat. My feet get sore way faster and I pray that nobody can smell the sweat accumulating in my socks. Now you’ll see a lot of people whip out the flip-flops and sandals for this kind of weather but all in all, make sure your shoes are comfy. If you’re out in Manchester for a day out and don’t want to be wanting to sit down every 10 minutes; please put on your comfy shoes. Primark do thin cotton trainer socks for under £4, wear them and some comfy trainers and trekking all the way from Deansgate-Castlefield metrolink stop to Northern Quarter should be a bit less sore.

 

2.Be prepared for the pit stank on the Metrolink

Now, a lot of people who’ve grown up in Manchester know how ridiculously unreliable the Metrolinks are. But we still take them, right? They get you into Manchester, Eccles, Altrincham, Rochdale, Bury etc. a bit faster than some buses and the route map is pretty easy to understand. I can’t vouch that the tickets are cheaper than bus tickets (honestly, the amount of times I’ve collected my tips from work and just thought ‘ok that’s half of my tram fare for tomorrow sorted’), but I can imagine that I’d be pretty lost getting to places without the tram. However, busy trams in the hot weather are a good definition of nightmares. Especially if you have a massive pet peeve for B.O. This advice can go both ways; obviously if you’re gonna be travelling during a peak time on public transport – do yourself a favour and wash so the smell of your sweat isn’t getting up anyone else’s noses or prepare for the smell on the trams. When you jump on try and avoid standing under anyone’s armpit range; maybe even open a window on the tram to help cool the air.

3.Practice your resting bitch face mixed with power walk for Market Street

Market Street is probably the worst place to try and get down when you’re in a rush as there’s such a mess of different people on there you’re most likely going to stop every 2 minutes to quietly grumble and dodge around that one person that’s decide to stop dead in their tracks in front of you to check their phone. Don’t forget the groups of people who think they’re having a casual stroll down an empty beach, the people who see you coming towards them but then walk right in front of your path, the people who stop you and try to charm you into buying an overpriced magazine. The list goes on, if you haven’t experienced any of these, have you really been in Manchester? The best thing is always to just storm through the crowd, when people even come towards you with ‘hey, got a minute?’ go ‘sorry, going to work’ and quickly move on your way. Or you know, dive into BHS and use the Arndale as a shortcut.

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4.Don’t miss out on Manchester’s great places that serve ice creams, milkshakes and cold drinks!

At the end of the day, if you’re out for a shop or catch up with friends in Manchester – sitting down for a drink or some food is the best way to relax and chat in the sunshine. Of course there’s plenty of brand names chilling on Market Street including Starbucks, Costa, McDonalds, Nandos etc. But don’t waste the gorgeous day by hiding in Arndale’s food court queueing up for Mcdonalds. It’s just not worth it. There’s plenty of amazing places to stop by in Manchester – a good example for the weather is Ginger’s Comfort Emporium in Afflecks Palace; totally quirky and equipped with unique flavours such as Golden Syrup, Salted Caramel & Peanut Butter (a.k.a the Chorlton Crack) or even Apple Pie Sorbet! If you’re a fan of cold drinks, why not visit Mooboo in the Arndale and try a bubble tea; or head to Fuel Juice Bar located near the Arndale markets for a smoothie if you’re feeling fruity! Of course I can’t not mention my beloved V Revolution in this post – their milkshakes and soda floats are amazing. You can get milkshake flavours like vanilla, chocolate, raspberry and blueberry (you can also ask for a chocolate mix of chocolate with raspberry ice cream or chocolate and blueberry ice cream) which are all made in the cafe and made entirely vegan. Cruelty-free milkshakes for the win!

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But yeah, what do you like to get up to in the sunshine to survive the insane heat? Any places in Manchester or your home town you favour for ice cream and cold snacks?

Thanks for reading!

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A poem about rams, inspired by horoscopes – I guess

Have you ever stood before the ram?
Stared back into stern, dark eyes;
Seen the bold sun against it’s heavy, strong horns.

Have you ever challenged the ram?
The noise against the dirt when it stomps it’s iron hooves to the ground.
The aggressive glare because it will take you head on.

Have you ever approached the ram?
Watched it express it’s definitive independence.
Wallowed in it’s own competitiveness.

Have you ever touched the ram?
Known that the fire it possesses can be of both love and the fight.
Knelt beside it and let it lead you to somewhere new.

Have you ever known the ram?
Because the ram shines with more passion than the diamond it’s associated to.
Because the ram shimmers with primacy.
Because the ram is of Mars;
And will be out of this world like something you’ve never known.

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Small ideas to kick start productivity when you suffer from depression

This could be similar for people suffering with depression or people who have quite normal brain chemistry alike but a lot of days you just don’t have the energy to do anything. To me it makes me feel like my body is ill but there’s no symptoms I just feel drowsy and ready to nod off and you want to avoid everything. Sometimes on worst days, literally everything. Grossly enough, you might even avoid showering and feel content to just staying in pyjamas for a couple of days on end, making excuses not to see friends because you just don’t feel it’ll do you any good. You feel like your body is not up to it for some reason.

Anybody else feel this? It’s a bit of a pants feeling, but I promise you, some very small steps can help you boost your motivation and get you back on track.

  1. Wash your face – This is such a small step I know, but it will refresh you. There’s a good reason why it’s one of the first things you do to wake yourself up in the day. Doesn’t matter if it’s mid afternoon, evening or 2am, go cleanse your face with some water and exfoliate and then splash cool water on it. Your skin will feel clean and awake.
  2. Select a part of your room and clean it – Cleaning your room is a huge drain of energy when you feel like this, I understand. So pick a small part, this could be your desk, your bed, your bookshelf, wardrobe. Give it a good clean, for example your bed area: take your duvet off, sprinkle/spray a bit of essence or your favourite perfume on the sheets, make your bed again and then vacuum around it! Maybe even take it up a notch and budge your bed over if you can and vacuum underneath the bed! I’ll be proud of you even if you just make your bed!
  3. Shower – This speaks for itself. Take a lovely warm shower and use a nice smelling shower gel. If you have to go out and are in reach of a Superdrug you could pick up one of their shower gels for only 99p! Cruelty free and they will lighten up your mood with the delicious scents. The shea butter one will leave a sweet linger that will comfort you and make you smell as sweet as you are.
  4. Get dressed and take a walk – Taking even a small 15 minute walk burns around 60 calories and gives your body a good pump of blood circulation. You get some fresh air as well and if you take a walk in the day which is the best time for this productive walk – you’ll get some vitamin D from the sun which will improve your mood balance. Put on your comfiest, cutest jumper and take your music out with you and enjoy the scenery. Take a few photos of scenery you like for yourself. No need to put them on Instagram or get sad if they’re not good images. This is all for you.

So you’ve done all that? That is incredibly productive and you should feel proud. You should never force yourself to do too many things in a day if you don’t want to. Taking a walk, showering and cleaning is productive enough! I hope these small tasks make you feel a bit more motivated to do other stuff. Maybe invite a friend on your walk, maybe do some small exercises in your room or even clean more of your room!

Is there any small things you do to motivate yourself?

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

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Lucid Dreaming, possibly?

I’m quite proud of my dreaming memory sometimes. I’ve always been interested in dreams, nightmares and sleeping. (Especially sleeping – I’ll happily take a nap for research!) I love hearing people tell me about weird dreams they’ve had, I feel like it gives you a little peak deep in their mind. However a lot of my friends sometimes have a bit of a weak memory and tend to not remember their dreams.

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Lucid dreaming has always been intriguing to me too, I remember back in high school on social media people used to share this in particular photo describing how to ‘lucid-dream’, however I’m pretty sure I recall this photo be debunked and warned that it can cause sleep paralysis which is quite scary! Lucid dreaming can basically be the state of being aware of being in a dream state, being aware of the dream environment, being aware of your self inside the dream and awareness of your control and actions inside the dream. Sometimes I’ve dreamt and it’s been like watching a movie where I just watch what happens, I don’t choose or control what happens in this dream however lately I have definitely noticed patterns of being able to direct what ‘dream me’ does, almost.

I’m not sure if maybe I am wrong about my definition of lucid dreaming, maybe I believe I have more control over my dreams than I do and my memory is fuzzy, however last night I did have a series of spontaneous dreams that I found I had a lot more control over than usual and I thought I’d share them cause they were so bizarre to me.

Now I learnt this strange sleep checking technique off Teen Wolf admittedly. The great season of 3B where Stiles Stilinski has trouble figuring out the difference between sleeping and reality. You basically count your fingers and if they don’t add up/look normal, you are dreaming. I did this quite a lot during these spontaneous dreams.

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So first of all for some reason I was on my bed, texting a girl I used to be friends with in high school and we were talking about university and such however I was on a very old phone and my phone was starting to not let me text and it was frustrating to me. Suddenly I gave up and put my phone down and ‘went to sleep’. Then I was suddenly in my mum’s car and I got out to go get something and I was walking down this road, however I suddenly was confused as to why I was on this street, this late at night. I looked down at my hands and saw that one of my fingers was kind of halved almost, like it was a small nub and on the other hand, I’m pretty sure I was missing a finger. It hit me that I was dreaming and suddenly ran back to my mums car and jumped for it. God knows why, but as I fell very slowly the scene kind of disappeared.

Next thing I knew was being in my bedroom however it was daytime and I was in my bed. I decided to check my hands again to see I only had 9 fingers and thought this would be a hilarious time to tweet (not much difference between real me and dream me). I tweeted something like ‘guys I’m in some weird lucid dream lmao’ or something along those lines. Then a certain person from my past entered my room as if it was normal for them to be here, even though considering in reality I no longer speak to them or want to. They asked me to ‘hurry up getting ready’ and I suddenly couldn’t move. They spoke closely to my face and tried to ‘snap me out of it’ however I felt like I was asleep but with my eyes open. To try and wake me up this person, abruptly hit my cheek and it snapped me out of it. In a panic I ran to my bathroom and locked the door. The person shouted for me behind the door, apologizing and asking for me to come out however I refused. I sat on the bathroom floor which felt extremely warm and almost real like my actual bathroom. Suddenly the noise stopped and I walked out into my room, this part felt extremely real and I almost considered that I had slept walk until morning time and was now waking up. But then I looked down at my hands and I was missing a few and then BAM. I actually physically woke up. Yes I did check my hands again. (And my twitter, I almost kind of wanted to see if my tweet had made it from the dream world to real world.)

Now I’m no expert with dream analysis and not extremely interested in some of the meanings behind these dreams but I thought my awareness of these dreams was extremely cool and freaky!

 

Has anybody else had a dream like this before?

Helena x