thoughts

Thoughts

tw: homophobia


Hello people. I would wish you a happy Sunday but at this moment in time that just doesn't feel right to me.

Once again I have to sit here and write on my blog that I'm sorry about and saddened by the state of the world. Not only for the people currently in Charlottesville, but for the people who have to live in this violent reality every single day. I wish there was more to say, but seeing as I don't think I would be able to do any justice to it, I won't.

I also want to apologise in advance for my writing today. I have something in my head I just really need to vent. Today probably isn't the best time to do it, and I am torn about doing so because I in no way want to present what many people may see as a non-problem when there are such scary realities happening right now. I in no way face the same oppression as most people in this world, and I hope I don't present myself as such.

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You may have noticed (or not) that I haven't written in a couple of weeks, and there is a very specific reason for this. If you read my "Pride" post, you will know my romantic… situation, shall we call it? If you haven't, I'll very quickly break it down: I'm polyamorous, which means I don't believe love only has to be between two people, and I don't think monogamy is the only viable relationship option. I'm in a relationship with two people, one of whom I'm married to, and the other I've been in a relationship with for about 8 months and who lives 1.5 thousand miles away.

Last week, I flew that distance to go see them in person for the first time.

We spent 5 days together, and it was one of the best periods of time in my entire life. I was, and am, ridiculously happy about us. After all the frets from others (and the lesser but still existing niggling doubts of myself) of whether it was 'real' or 'safe' or whether everything would be okay, it was perfect.

I'll point out here that since that last aforementioned blog post, I have had discussions with several people about my 'other' relationship. Almost every single person has reacted the same: a little concerned, needing explanations, and in the end, happy so long as we are all happy (and then having a separate conversation with my husband just to double check that he is, in fact, "okay"). I am so incredibly lucky that I have such supporting friends and family, especially when others (my partner included) are not afforded the same.

So, I spent five days away and it affirmed everything I already knew: I was completely in love with them, and they with me. And for the alleviation of doubt, because I know this is what everyone wonders: no, it does not change the way I feel about my husband, and no, it does not change the way they feel about theirs (they are also married).

I was incredibly upset about leaving, and then I missed my transfer flight on the way home, which, on top of already being hormonal and emotional, just made me a fit of tears for the whole day. And then, something completely unexpected happened.

I was with a family member, who didn't yet know about the situation, and whom I actually hadn't even come out as bi to because I just assume people know… and they became the first person who reacted negatively to it.

On a day when I was already upset, coming off the back of one of the happiest times of my life, I was told the following:

 

"I knew there was more to this"

"You've always been so weird"

"I always knew there was something wrong with you"

"I can't believe you've just flown thousands of miles to fuck some girl"

"Does [my husband] have gay tendencies? Actually don't tell me, I don't want to know"

"I can't believe you"

"It's just fucking weird"

"Well I guess it's better you went there than [my daughter] waking up to some bird in your bed"

"So you're gay? I was surprised when you married a bloke"

"So… what? You all just share a bed?"

"It's weird that [my husband] is straight. I could understand it if he liked blokes too. Then you could have an arrangement"

"I knew there was something weird when I saw you with some girl on facebook. Actually I didn't even know if it was a girl or a boy. Whatever."

"I'm over it now. Can we go gay clubbing? I love gay clubbing. Guys buy me drinks and then I let them down after."

 

I'll say it again: I don't expect everyone to understand. I don't expect everyone to be okay. I don't expect everyone to want to discuss it and ask questions and get to know them. I don't expect everyone to change their world view to fit mine. I don't even really expect people to even take an interest, for the most part.
At the end of the day, this relationship directly affects exactly five people: me, my husband, my daughter, them, and their husband. And yes, that may be "weird", but to us it feels absolutely normal and absolutely right. We love each other. All of us. I may be in love with them, but I absolutely love and consider their husband part of my family too now, the same way they feel about mine and my daughter.

However

That doesn't make the things I had to hear hurt less. To know that deep down it's nobody else's business doesn't help ease the stabbing feeling in my gut to once again be told in my life that I am weird, that there is something wrong with me. Do you know how many times I've had to hear that?
And yes, I've always known there was something different too, and as I said previously, I have been so happy in finding my identity because it helps me come to terms with that. It helps me understand my past actions, it helps me understand my feelings. It helps me feel that there is somewhere I fit in. And now? I'm back to not knowing.
I still love the person who said those things, because although I was upset, I was not entirely surprised, and I know that somewhere inside it comes from a protective and caring aspect of their personality. I know they love me. I know they are concerned for my safety. I know that my worldview is completely different to theirs.

But If someone felt comfortable enough to say that to my face, what are people saying behind my back? I am so, so, so lucky. I have the entire world in my hands. My husband is perfect, my daughter is perfect, my partner is perfect. And yet…

Here I am. My stomach in knots. Fourteen years old again. Too weird. Something wrong with me. Not worthy of the love I have.

kirsten-xo

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Working on (My) Fat Positivity

tw: talk of mental illness, body issues


Good morning all 🙂 I hope you had a marvellous weekend, and the beginning of the week hasn’t been too rough on you.

Today I wanted to write about something that seems to be a constant topic in my life, because of the online community I surround myself with: fat positivity. Note that I say fat positivity here and not body positivity, which I think to be a different beast entirely now.

Sometimes it feels like I’m dealing with very opposing sides of my brain in the way I approach life. I have the side of my brain that I see as the “actual me” and the side that I see as purely my mental illness. Distinguishing the two can be hard.
Some people choose to accept the mental illness side of them and amalgamate it into one version of themselves, and although to a certain extent I think that can be very positive, I frequently choose not to do this, because – in my own opinion – I see it as normalising abnormal behaviours I don’t like about myself that are a result of my mental illness.

The “actual me”, for the most part, is the me you see here on this blog. The “actual me” is opinionated, happy, weird, loves their body, loves themselves, loves the world, and is motivated to promote and use positive behaviours in their approach to life.
It’s the me that looks at a picture of themselves and says, “wow I look hot”, “look how great my makeup is”, “look at that cute belly roll”. It’s the me that wants to encourage other people to love themselves so wholly and entirely that they don’t feel the need to participate in the performative art that is “fitting in” to societal expectation, whether it be regarding clothing, makeup, weight, sexual or gender identification.

I don’t want to go into what the other side of my brain is like, simply because I don’t want to trigger anyone, if anything. But if you could imagine the very worst things you could say to someone, that’s what my own brain does/says to me on the daily.

(I’m obviously, not at all saying that people who don’t suffer with mental illness don’t suffer from insecurities, have bad days, days where they don’t like themselves or their bodies. All of that happens and all of that is valid too.)

The reason why I point this out is because it makes writing and promoting fat positivity hard, and I very often feel like a fraud. Because the “negative me” is the one I live with most often on the daily, I have to try really hard to push through and find the part of me that is authentic to be able to write, to be able to interact with people, to be able to look at myself in the same way I look at others online.
I’ve seen many people try to use this mentality to negate fat people’s existences before. To negate their own existences. I have seen people say, “well, you feel this way because you know it’s not right/normal”, “if you’re that unhappy, why don’t you do something about it?”
It’s very hard to try and explain to people that are in that mindset that I am not unhappy because I am fat. I am unhappy because I have depression, and yes, that infiltrates every part of my personality, including my fatness. My mental illness tries to blame my unhappiness on everything, and I mean everything, but itself. But I am not unhappy because I am fat. I am not unhappy because I am fat.

I went on a night out last month. I had had a hair crisis the night before, but I had kind of rectified it, was liking the new hair colour, was feeling alright.

IMG_3366 kkkkk copy

When I tell you that I had spent hours looking at outfits that day, I mean it. Literal hours. Just to find something, just to find one thing that I liked the look of on me. Those days happen to the best of us. So it goes.
I had this sheer top I bought from Asos last year, but I hadn’t worn it because the sleeves were a little too tight, and I didn’t really like how it looked with a vest under it. I chopped the sleeves off (because why not?) and tried it on by itself and loved it. My partners breathed a collective sigh of relief at the fact that I had settled on something, and I was feeling good.

IMG_3337 kkkk copy

But after getting ready, after that smile you see above, after feeling happy and excited to go out with my husband, my daughter got ill, and I was having to go out alone. That’s when the anxiety kicked in.

Suddenly I hated everything again. I hated the outfit, I hated my hair, I hated my makeup, I hated myself. I hated myself with such deep and ferocious intensity that had it not been so close to when I had to leave, I would have not ended up going. But that wouldn’t have been fair. It wouldn’t have been fair to my friend on their birthday. It wouldn’t have been fair to myself.

I want to take a little aside here to point something out: obviously my husband usually takes photos of me for this blog. On this day, I wasn’t taking pics with the intent on blogging them, but simply because I feel like my body dysmorphia is so bad that I don’t get an “accurate reading” of myself when I look in the mirror, and so I make my husband take pics of me in an outfit, before every single time we leave the house, just so I can see myself through someone else’s eyes, as it were. That’s why the pic above was taken, and that’s why the pic below was taken.

IMG_3347 kkkkk copy

My genuine smile of excitement and happiness, me stood there confident in my bare feet and leggings, turned into genuine fear. I was convinced I couldn’t go out like that, and put on a kimono to cover myself up a bit more (knowing I wouldn’t be able to find another top I liked in time). Obviously the kimono ended up looking boss, cos it looks boss with literally everything. But check that difference in my face.

The point is though, that I still did it. I still went out like that. I still had a nice night. I still spent barely any time clutching my cover around me. And I still saw it as a victory.

It’s not easy to love yourself when you have a voice that tells you literally every day that you’re better off dead. It’s not easy to be positive when you have an illness that tries to strip every bit of light from your life. And yes, when it comes to myself and m body, it is a process. It’s a struggle. It’s a constant fight for self-acceptance. But let me reiterate this one more: I am not unhappy because I am fat.

I am, and always will be, unequivocally, fat positive.

kirsten-xo

p.s. lipstick is the metallic Happi by Lime Crime. Isn’t it wonderful?

IMG_3356 kkkkk copy

P R I D E

Note: CW for identity struggles, specifically relating to bisexuality and polyamory. I will be using the terms bisexual/bisexuality as those are the terms I use to self-identify, and I am on the side of discourse that does not see bisexuality as an exclusionary term. Because I am attracted to all genders and not an outdated binary, you may find it easier to see this as being about pansexuality.


It’s now been over a year since I last had a post relating to sexuality on here, the last one being this blog post I wrote about the Pulse tragedy and what that meant to me as a bisexual. But seeing as it’s PRIDE MONTH once again, I felt it necessary to take the time out to write once again about the pride and privilege I have in my own identity.

The thing about sexuality is, that it’s fluid. People can identify one way at one point in their lives, and as something completely different at another. And I feel like this is often an under-represented aspect of the LGBTQ+ spectrum; that it is just that: a spectrum.

Gender and sexuality are not binary. They never have been. They have just been perceived as such in history’s eyes. It is not as simple as gay/straight, male/female… and despite all the shit that’s going on in the world, and the oppression that those who do not fit into this binary mould still face, I’m pretty proud to be part of a world that is starting to realise this, and part of a community whose voices interweave as one to shout for representation and the pride we have in our identities.

As I discussed before, it took me a long time to even realise I was bisexual, and even once I had, there was a feeling of “too little, too late” because I was already in a long-term relationship, and thus there seemed like no point in “coming out” or anything.
This can be a very jarring feeling.
My bisexuality is very inherently a part of my personality, and shapes who I am as a human being. I think that that can be a difficult concept for straight people to understand, and it’s something I was struggling with at the time of that last blog post, which I think is evident. I am simultaneously part of a community, and yet excluded from it at the same time. I have even seen posts this year saying that bisexuals in “straight relationships” shouldn’t even be allowed to attend Pride events.

I’m not going to go into a breakdown of a disagreement with that statement. It’s clear I disagree with it, however I do also understand the thoughts that go behind that from the people who would say such. As I have addressed, there is privilege that comes with my identity, and I guess that means that many LGBTQ+ people do not see a cis girl in a “straight” relationship as contributing to the community in any way.

I have thought about bisexual erasure and invisibility* a lot.

As with last year, it hurts, it really hurts, if I feel anyone is in any way trying to strip me of my identity. And I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this is. Although I can acknowledge and understand a criticism that comes from other LGBTQ+ people as to why my identity is objectively less important as a cis girl in a relationship with a cis guy, it still feels important to me, and I still feel passionately, intensely, emotionally invested in matters that affect the LGBTQ+ community. Whenever I am made to feel like I’m not allowed to care about these issues, it feels like someone is ripping out a part of me.

Bi erasure/invisibility isn’t always about the under or lack of representation of bisexual (or pansexual) identities. Sometimes it takes the form of erasing someone’s identity completely from themselves. Being married made me feel very excluded from the LGBTQ+ community because lots of people made me feel like I had “made a choice”, and this did not sit well with me.
If you’re bisexual and enter into a relationship, you have not made a choice about your sexual identity. You’re not straight if you’re a bisexual who enters into an opposite-sex relationship, and you’re not gay if you’re a bisexual who enters into a same-sex relationship. Bisexuals are not confused. In either of those relationship forms, we still exist as bisexual individuals.

It wasn’t until this past year why I realised why this sat so uncomfortably with me.

There are plenty of people in relationships, plenty of people in marriages, who are attracted to others, and who do not have a problem with their partner being attracted to others. There are also a lot of people who do. And there are even people who claim not to have any attraction to others when in monogamous relationships.
My husband and I have always been in a relationship of complete and utter honesty. There is nothing I don’t share with him. And I truly mean nothing. I’m not presenting this as in ‘ideal’ model in any way by the way; relationships exist in a dizzying variety of models and this is just ours. But what this means for our relationship is a complete honesty when it comes to this particular subject.
I am completely and utterly in love with my husband, and I also always have and always will be attracted to others simultaneously, regardless of gender. I don’t like to label my relationship by things I am allowed to do, because our relationship is a partnership and not to do with ownership, but the easiest way to describe this is to say it is permissible by my partner for me to be actively attracted to others, and vice versa.

Because I am always actively engaged in attraction to others, I feel like my sexuality is not passive. I’m not a bisexual woman in a relationship with a man and not attracted to anyone else. I’m a bisexual woman in a relationship with a man who is actively attracted to other people, including those of other genders.
Obviously I am in no way saying that if you are in a relationship that sounds more like the former that you are not bisexual, or that your identity is not important. But I do feel that it has an impact on how you are going to react to certain things.
The reason why I bring this up is because I thought this was the way it was for everyone: that active attraction to others was normal, and permissible.

And then something else happened which threw my own identity into a completely different light: I fell in love with someone other than my husband, and entered into a polyamorous relationship.

…. that might be a lot to process; I’ll give you a minute.

 

 

You good? Good.

 

Writing in full details about my other relationship isn’t something I’m ready to do completely at this time. That isn’t because I’m not proud of it, and it’s certainly not something I am ashamed of in the slightest, I just don’t think it’s time.

But what has happened in the past 7 months that I have known this person, is that I have had to acknowledge and accept another part of my identity… and in several ways that has been completely affirming, and completely terrifying.

I am so incredibly lucky that all parties involved in my relationships have made this year so beautifully easy. Granted, it is a long-distance relationship, which in a sense makes things easier to adjust to, but coming to terms with polyamory as an identity, especially when you have never been in a polyamorous relationship before, is understandably a confusing time.
It’s a time where you question yourself, your relationship with your existing partner, your relationship with your new partner, and even your relationship with your friends and family. Polyamory is far from “the norm”, and you dissect every relationship you have with someone to work out whether it’s “okay” to tell them.
Once again, this doesn’t come from a place of shame in your relationship, but rather an acknowledgement that you are “deviating” from many peoples’ moral compasses. It’s nobody else’s business to judge another person’s relationship/s, but first and foremost one must think of their own safety: mentally or otherwise.

Something that many bisexuals have to deal with is questioning their own identity based on the prejudices others have of them. As I already spoke of, the common misconception is that bisexuals are confused, and this is not helped when people want to break down your relationship history.
If you’ve only ever been with someone of the same sex, then surely you must be gay. If you’ve only ever been with someone of the opposite sex, then surely you must be straight.
It doesn’t work like that. You are bisexual if you are bisexual, regardless of the genders of the notches on your bedpost or any short-term or long-term partners you’ve had.

It can feel very affirming, as a bisexual, to find someone of another gender to one that you are used to dating.

That might seem like an unusual thing to say, and in a sense it is rather sad, because you don’t need to be “actively fulfilling” your preferences by actively entering into a relationship with someone.
But the sad truth is that the criticism can bog you down. You can start to feel like you are not who you thought you were, not part of the community you thought you were. Because surely if you really were what you thought you were then you’d actively be doing something that somehow proved it? And surely if you’ve never done that and then marry someone you’ve picked a side and your identity is then inconsequential for the rest of your life?
It’s sad, it sucks, it hurts.

And if you’re in that position, I want you to know that your identity does matter and is valid.

But without lying to you all, when I met my other partner, it was affirming.
I got to a point where in my head I thought maybe, just maybe I was wrong. Maybe all these feelings I’d had for as long as I could remember were aesthetic-based, maybe I just appreciated all genders visually, but not romantically or sexually.
To then meet someone who was not male, who I fell for, who I was attracted to emotionally and physically, was like a revelation. Even though I’ve known it half my life already, it truly was an “aha! I was right!” moment.

The past seven months have been an eye-opening time in my life.

I have learned what it means to be me again, and to have all the things I hated about myself for so long validated.
I wasn’t making it up or imagining it: I like other genders, I am capable of loving more than one person at a time, non-monogamy is okay. And it really is okay. It’s more than okay: it’s fantastic.

But more than anything else, I now feel so truly confident in my identity again.

Hi 🙂 I’m Kirsten, and I’m a mother, a wife, a girlfriend. And that, I say to you now with pride.

kirsten-xo

*bisexual erasure/invisibility: the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or reexplain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media, and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists. [source]

DONALD TRUMP

Okay, I’ve been up since 4am. I’m tired. I thought maybe I could sit down and write a blog post about my thoughts on Donald Trump, but then I decided not to.

Something I’ve been seeing a lot of today are false quotes. In particular, I’ve probably seen the fake People magazine article about “dumb Republican voters” 30 times. It’s probably a bit disappointing to some that that quote is fake, but actually the reality of some of the things he says outweighs it. At least in my opinion.

So instead, I decided to compose some real quotes for you, the sources of which I have tried to find for every one as accurately as possible (and this took a hella long time, trust me). Some of them are offensive, some of them are hypocritical, and some of them are just downright bizarre. [They’re also explicit at times, so be warned.]

The scary thing is, that this is by no means comprehensive. This is just a bunch of the ones I’ve found today to give you. If you have more, throw them my way and I’ll edit it. Enjoy!

70s-80s-90smusic-1

“When I think I’m right, nothing bothers me. Nothing gets too much under my skin.” – 17 November, 1985

“I don’t even consider myself ambitious.” – 17 November, 1985

I’m more popular now than I was two months ago. There are two publics as far as I’m concerned. The real public and then there’s the New York society horseshit. The real public has always liked Donald Trump. The real public feels that Donald Trump is going through Trump-bashing. When I go out now, forget about it. I’m mobbed. It’s bedlam.” – September, 1990

“No, I’m not into anal.” – 2004

“I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.” – 17 May, 2005

“That’s one of the nice things. I mean, part of the beauty of me is that I’m very rich. So if I need $600 million, I can put $600 million myself. That’s a huge advantage. I must tell you, that’s a huge advantage over the other candidates.” – 2011

“My fingers are long and beautiful, as, it has been well documented, are various other parts of my body.” – 2011

“When people don’t tell the truth, I go after them, and I don’t like that. For instance, there have been many bad things said about me over the years, and in some cases they’ve been true. It doesn’t bother me. If I have a fault and somebody exposes that fault or talks about that fault, you won’t hear me complain. If I make a mistake and somebody brings it up, you won’t hear me complain.” – April, 2013

“Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,it’s not your fault” – 9 May 2013

“I will be so good at the military your head will spin.” – 2015

 “I had some beautiful pictures taken in which I had a big smile on my face. I looked happy, I looked content, I looked like a very nice person, which in theory I am.” – 2015

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot people and I wouldn’t lose voters” – 23 January, 2016

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“The point is that you can’t be too greedy.” – 1987

“Rich men are less likely to like me, but the working man likes me because he knows I worked hard and didn’t inherit what I’ve built. Hey, I made it myself; I have a right to do what I want” – 1990

“I could be happy living in a studio apartment.” – 1990

“I made a lot of money and I made it too easily, to the point of boredom.” – September, 1990

“I don’t need anybody’s money. I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.” – August, 2015

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“Sometimes you sound like a Presidential candidate stirring up the voters.
I don’t want the Presidency. I’m going to help a lot of people with my foundation–and for me, the grass isn’t always greener.
But if the grass ever did look greener, which political party do you think you’d be more comfortable with?
Well, if I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican–and that’s not because I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.” – 1990

“Perhaps I shouldn’t campaign at all, I’ll just, you know, I’ll ride it right into the White House.” – 8 October, 1999

“Do you identify more as a Democrat or Republican?
Well, you’d be shocked if I said that in many cases I probably identify more as Democrat. And I think you’d probably be shocked…
On social issues?
You know, it’s interesting, I’ve been now around long… you know, I think of myself as a young guy, but I’m not so young anymore. And I’ve been around for a long time. And it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.
Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats…” … “But certainly we had some very good economies under Democrats, as well as Republicans. But we’ve had some pretty bad disaster under the Republicans.” – 21 March, 2004

“I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far. Nobody’s ever been more successful than me. I’m the most successful person ever to run.” – 2 June, 2015

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“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – 16 June, 2015

[Responding to questions on the accusation that Latinx people bring crime and rape across the border]
“Well, someone’s doing the raping, Don! I mean, somebody’s doing it. Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?” – 29 June, 2015

“First of all, I want to build a wall. A wall that works; it’s so important, and it’s a big part of it. Second of all, we have a lot of really bad dudes in this country from outside, and I think Chris [Christie] knows that, maybe as well as anybody. They go, if I get elected. First day, they’re gone. Gangs all over the place: Chicago, Baltimore, no matter where you look. We have a country based on laws. I will make sure that those laws are adhered to. These are illegal immigrants.”
“We have a country of laws. They’re going to go out, and they’ll come back if they deserve to come back. If they’ve had a bad record, if they’ve been arrested, if they’ve been in jail, they’re never coming back.” – 16 September, 2015

Chuck Todd: “But you haven’t told us how you’re going to make Mexico pay for this wall.”
Donald Trump: “Oh, it’s easy!” … “”I’ll tell you right now. We have a trade imbalance of 40 billion, 45 billion with Mexico a year. We spend billions of dollars. We give Mexico billions of dollars a year. The wall is going to cost 6 billion or 7 billion…”
CT: “So, tariffs?”

DT: “No, I’m not saying that. No, I think Mexico. I’ll get Mexico to pay for it one way or another: I guarantee you that.” – 8 November, 2015

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“And I do know what to do, and I would know how to bring ISIS to the table or, beyond that, defeat ISIS very quickly. And I’m not going to tell what you it is tonight.” – 25 May, 2015

“Hey, I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”
“There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.” – 22 November, 2015

“Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population.” – 7 December, 2015

“Look, we have to stop with political correctness. We have to get down to creating a country that’s not going to have the kind of problems that we’ve had with people flying planes into the World Trade Centers, with the — with the shootings in California, with all the problems all over the world. I just left Indonesia — bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb.
We have to find out what’s going on. I said temporarily. I didn’t say permanently. I said temporarily. And I have many great Muslim friends. And some of them, I will say, not all, have called me and said, “Donald, thank you very much; you’re exposing an unbelievable problem and we have to get to the bottom of it.” And unlike President Obama, where he refuses even to use the term of what’s going on, he can’t use the term for whatever reason. And if you can’t use the term, you’re never going to solve the problem. My Muslim friends, some, said, “thank you very much; we’ll get to the bottom of it.”
But we have a serious problem. And we can’t be the stupid country any more. We’re laughed at all over the world.” – 14 January, 2016

“Well, I’ll tell you what: in the Middle East, we have people chopping the heads off Christians, we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before – as a group, we have never seen before, what’s happening right now. The medieval times – I mean, we studied medieval times – not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.” – 6 February, 2016

“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” – 12 June, 2016

 

 

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“If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” – 16 April, 2015

“She is playing the woman’s card. She said… everything she says is about the woman’s card, and frankly all I’m doing is bringing out the obvious. And without the woman card Hillary would not even be a viable person to run for a city council position.” – 28 April, 2016

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Vladimir Putin

“The man has very strong control over a country,”…“he’s been a leader far more than our president has been a leader” – 7 September, 2016

Barack Obama

“He doesn’t have a birth certificate, or if he does, there’s something on that birth certificate that is very bad for him. Now somebody told me – and I have no idea whether this is bad for him or not, but perhaps it would be – where it says “religion”, it might have “Muslim”. And if you’re a Muslim you don’t change your religion, by the way. But somebody said maybe that’s the reason he doesn’t want to show it.”
“I just don’t think he has a birth certificate. And everybody has a birth certificate. When you’re born in a hospital you have a birth certificate. There’s something fishy.” – 30 March, 2011

“What a convenient mistake: issued a statement for Kwanza but failed to issue one for Christmas.” – 28 December, 2011

“An ‘extremely credible source’ has called my office and told me that ‘s birth certificate is a fraud.” – 6 August, 2012

Muammar Gaddafi

“I dealt with Gaddafi! Excuse me! I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for the whole year, or for two years, and then I didn’t let him use the land. That’s what we should be doing. I don’t want to use the word ‘screwed’, but I screwed him! That’s what we should be doing!” – 21 March, 2011

George Bush

“I like George Bush very much and support him and always will. But I disagree with him when he talks of a kinder, gentler America. I think if this country gets any kinder or gentler, it’s literally going to cease to exist.” – 1990

Mitt Romney

“Romney — I have a Gucci store that’s worth more than Romney.” – 2 June, 2015

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“A well-educated black has a tremendous advantage over a well-educated white in terms of the job market. I think sometimes a black may think they don’t really have the advantage or this or that, but in actuality, today, currently… it’s a great… I’ve said on occasion, even about myself, if I were starting off today, I would love to be a well-educated black because I really do believe they have an actual advantage today.” – 5 September, 1989

“I think Eminem is fantastic, and most people think I wouldn’t like Eminem. And did you know my name is in more black songs than any other name in hip-hop? Black entertainers love Donald Trump. Russell Simmons told me that. Russell said, “You’re in more hip-hop songs than any other person,” like five of them lately. That’s a great honor for me.” – 2004

“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.” – 2011

“I am the least racist person that you have ever met. I am the least racist person.
Are you bigoted in any way?
I don’t think so, no. I don’t think so.
Islamophobic?
Not at all.” – December, 2015

[addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition]
“Look, I’m a negotiator like you folks; we’re negotiators” – 3 December, 2015

“Well, I am not a racist, in fact, I am the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered.” – 10 June, 2016

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“I hate it. I am a traditionalist. I have so many fabulous friends who happen to be gay, but I am a traditionalist.” – 2011

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“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” – 6 November, 2012

“It’s freezing and snowing in New York–we need global warming!” – 7 November, 2012

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“I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?” – September, 1990

“I want five children, like in my own family, because with five, then I will know that one will be guaranteed to turn out like me”  – September, 1990

And you’re going to have more kids?
I think so, yeah.
Really?
Yeah, sure.
What do you need that headache for?
Because I like kids. I mean, I won’t do anything to take care of them. I’ll supply the funds and she’ll take care of the kids, right? It’s not like I’m going to be walking the kids down central park.
Do you feel like you have an empty nest or something?
Well, Marla used to say, “I can’t believe you’re not walking Tiffany down the street in the carriage.” Like I’m going to be walking down 5th Avenue with a baby in a carriage.” – April, 2005

“No. I don’t [change diapers], it’s not my thing.” … “It’s up to the women. There are a lot of women up there who demand that the husband act like the wife, and there are a lot of husbands who listen to that.” – 2006

“I’ve said if Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” – 6 March, 2006

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“[Leona Helmsley] set the women’s movement back fifty years. She is a living nightmare, and to be married to her must be like living in hell.” – 1990

“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”  – May 1991

“They said, “how are you going to change the pageant?” and I said “I’m gonna get the bathing suits to be smaller and the heels to be higher”.” – 1997

“There are basically three types of women and reactions. One is the good woman who very much loves her future husband, solely for himself, but refuses to sign the agreement on principle. I fully understand this, but the man should take a pass anyway and find someone else. The other is the calculating woman who refuses to sign the prenuptial agreement because she is expecting to take advantage of the poor, unsuspecting sucker she’s got in her grasp. There is also the woman who will openly and quickly sign a prenuptial agreement in order to make a quick hit and take the money given to her.” – 1997

“Often, I will tell friends whose wives are constantly nagging them about this or that that they’re better off leaving and cutting their losses. I’m not a great believer in always trying to work things out, because it just doesn’t happen that way. For a man to be successful he needs support at home, just like my father had from my mother, not someone who is always griping and bitching. When a man has to endure a woman who is not supportive and complains constantly about his not being home enough or not being attentive enough, he will not be very successful unless he is able to cut the cord.” – 1997

[Basically this whole gross conversation linked, but particularly the following]
“I never get this thing with Lady Di.
I think she’s magnificent. Lady Di was truly a woman of great beauty.
Would you have slept with her?
Without even hesitation. She had the height, she had the beauty, she had the skin – the whole thing. She was crazy, but these are minor details.” – May, 2000

[A conversation in which he discusses rather having sex with Whoopi Goldberg over Pamela Anderson due to her Hep. C] 2002

“All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” – 2004

“Nobody cares about the talent. There’s only one talent you care about, and that’s the look talent. You don’t give a shit if a girl can play a violin like the greatest violinist in the world. You want to know what does she look like.” – 2005

 

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married.”, “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture, and I said I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.”, “I moved on her like a bitch. I couldn’t get there, and she was married. And all of a sudden I see her and she now has the big phony tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”, “I’ve got to use some tic-tacs just in case I start kissing her. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful… I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet.”, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” – 2005

[About Nicollette Sheridan]
“Solid four” … “I like the way she used to look.” … “A person who is flat-chested is very hard to be a ten.” – source1
“Would you go out with Marcia Cross or would you turn gay, Howard?
She’s got a good body, just put a bag on her head.
Solid four to five.” – source2
[About Eva Longoria]
 “She’s really cute, I have to tell you, she’s really bouncy, really cute, She’s about 5-foot-1. Do you like girls that are 5-foot-1? They come up to you know where.”  – source3
[About Carmen Electra]
“The boob job is terrible. They look like two light posts coming out of a body.”- all September 2005

[About the Miss USA pageant]
“If you’re looking for a rocket scientist, don’t turn in tonight. But if you’re looking for a really beautiful woman, you should.” – 2005

[A conversation “rating” Hollywood women including Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston] – 2006

“[Angelina Jolie]’s been with so many guys she makes me look like a baby, OK, with the other side. And, I just don’t even find her attractive.” – 9 October, 2006

“You can’t make false statements”… “Rosie [O’Donnell] will rue the words she said. I’ll most likely sue her for making those false statements, and it’ll be fun. Rosie’s a loser. A real loser. I look forward to taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.” – December 2006

[On Rosie O’Donnell]
Do you think you could beat her up?
I think it would be close. She’s pretty big. If she ever fell in the wrong direction I wouldn’t have a chance.
She came to your wedding!
She came to my wedding.
Which one?
Marla.
No kidding.
She was at the wedding and I got extremely angry because she ate almost the entire wedding cake.
You know, I didn’t get any wedding cake when I showed up.
That’s because there was nothing left!” – 2007

[On Angelina Jolie]
“I don’t think she’s good-looking. I don’t know what it is. I never thought she was good-looking. I don’t think she’s got good skin. I don’t think she’s got a great face. I think her lips are too big, to be honest with you, they look like too big.”
“I don’t think she’s good-looking. You talk about a transformation. Now the United Nations is honoring her as this great, wonderful — I remember three years ago she was frenching her brother at the Academy Awards. She was walking in with Billy Bob and she was saying she got screwed in the car. Now they’re saying she’s a lady of the peace. I mean, give me a break. I never thought she was good-looking.” – October, 2007

[On Madonna]
“You don’t think you could get it up for her?
I think I’d have a hard time.
Wow.
No, I don’t find her attractive.” – 2008

[This whole disgusting conversation]2008

“You’re disgusting” (to the opposing lawyer during a court case when she asked for a medical break to pump breast milk for her three-month-old daughter) – 2011

“. is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.” – 28 August, 2012

“While is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.” – 28 October, 2012

“.–I don’t wear a “rug”—it’s mine. And I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries that didn’t work.” – 13 November, 2012

Is [Kim Kardashian’s] ass too big?
Well, absolutely. It’s record setting.
Are you attracted to that?
No. In the old days they’d say she’s got a bad body.” – 2014

“I mean, we could say politically correct that look doesn’t matter, but the look obviously matters… like you wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful. It’s very sad, isn’t it?” – February, 2014

Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?
The answer is that: there has to be some form of punishment.
For the woman?
Yeah. There has to be some form.” – March, 2016

“Nobody respects women more than I do” – 28 April, 2016

“Number one, I have great respect for women. I was the one that really broke the glass ceiling on behalf of women, more than anybody in the construction industry.” – 6 June, 2016

 

 

 

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“A young rapper named Mac Miller just did a song called ‘Donald Trump’ and I’ve just been told it hit over 54 million… 54 million people. I want some money, Mac. Give me some money. I’m entitled to 25% at least. Mac, I want money!” – 20 April, 2012

“I have never seen a thin person drinking Diet Coke.” – 14 October, 2012

 

 

 

 

My Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is now just 5 days away now! As I grow older I encounter the same thing that I think a lot of people do: I care less and less about my birthday.

It’s not that I don’t like my birthday. I love my birthday. I’m not someone who is actually that phased at getting older: in fact, I welcome it. Every year I learn more and more, and try my best to educate myself on cultural issues, and generally just grow as a person. My birthday, to me, is a chance to celebrate that fact. It’s also (cw) an opportunity for reflection of all those times I thought that I wouldn’t make it another year.

But for the past few years, I have been too preoccupied to give it much thought. I had a young child, and I was working on my birthdays as well (I shouldn’t have, I won’t in the future, and I don’t really recommend that anyone else does: book it off).
I was also in Scotland, where although surrounded by family, I had very few friends. This meant that my birthday was generally an afterthought for Elliot and I, and we would just spend it together having a nice meal or something.

This year, I’m back down in England, and the most important aspect of this is that I share my birthday with my sister. We weren’t born in the same year, but on the same date, so we consider ourselves to be like twins 5 years apart! So we’re gonna do something together. No plans set in stone yet, but as I said, as I get older I seem to care less about that part. I’d be happy just going for a lovely lunch and then maybe for some drinks with friends, or even just Ell, in the evening.

My ambivalence toward my birthday generally also factors into presents. When we are younger we will see things we want and beg and beg and beg our parents for it. As we get older, presents seem to be less of a big deal, and something that you’re incredibly thankful to get.
This makes it extremely difficult when it comes to being asked what I want, usually by my parents. You’re far more likely to get money or vouchers for your birthday when you get older, and that’s usually fine by me. But with the startup of this blog, I encounter things that I covet far more, and they’re usually makeup and skincare (of course).

I still don’t have a list of a million items I’d like to receive, but this year I have managed to compile a list of things I generally have taken a shine to. Obviously I don’t expect to get anything, from my parents or Ell, but this is more of a list of things I like at the minute. More of a dream birthday wishlist, if you will.

Makeup

Of course there’s bound to be some makeup on my birthday wishlist. I have actually received a sneaky couple of presents already which fall under this category, but you’re going to have to sit tight for another blog post to see what those are (or, alternatively, you could follow me on my other social media feeds or on Snapchat @kirakirst)!

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Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Collection Palette

I’ve had my eye on this one for a little while now. I love it because the palette itself has a beautiful gold design, and the shadows in it are circular, which makes me feel like you get a bit more bang for your buck than their usual rectangle design (à la Naked).
It has a good mix of matte and shimmery neutrals, and then some amazing sparkly shades for when you really want to jazz it up. My favourites in this palette are those two sparkly peach colours in particular: Baby and Pop.

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Too Faced Sketch Markers Eyeliners

As soon as I saw these, I knew I wanted them. I absolutely adore how they look like felt tips you would use to colour in as a kid. I’m a real fan of felt tip eyeliners, and I think they are a really easy way to do winged liner, and get a sharp line above the lashline.
These are just the most incredible daydreamy rainbow colours, and I want ALL of them. My heart really tells me to go with the mustard yellow – I’m attracted to all things mustard yellow – but in reality I don’t know how well that would show up. In any case, I am obsessed with these liners.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette

A palette with cult beauty status, and one I am totally buying into the hype of. This palette is so beautiful and has so many beautiful colours in it I am drawn to. I love the rusty orange colours like Raw Sienna, Burnt Orange, Red Ochre and Realgar, and just want to dive into Venetian Red and Love Letter.
This would have been the palette I asked my Mum to buy me, but unfortunately there are only a couple of online sites that sell it for the UK, and both are currently on Waitlists for this item.

Lonely Planet Co Liquid Lipsticks in Donna and Nolita

I mean, just look at them.
I haven’t tried any of the items from this small Etsy-based company, but they have fantastic reviews and their lipglosses and lipsticks have a real 70s disco vibe, and are all so shimmery and sparkly. The beauty world seems to be moving out of a matte block colour phase and back into the world of metallics, and I am all here for it.

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Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette

I do have a slight obsession with eyeshadow at the minute. I’ve looked at Too Faced palettes before but never bought one, but they are all so cute. They all have really quirky designs, but of course everyone raves about the chocolate bar palettes, as the shadows are made with cocoa powder and smell like chocolate… I mean, who wouldn’t want that???
I prefer the colours of the Semi-Sweet palette over the normal Chocolate Bar palette, which is probably fitting because I do prefer milk chocolate over dark.

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The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil

You’ve probably heard me drag on about this one before, as I received a sample of it before I went on holiday, and it was a lifesaver for my skin. It is just a really luxurious facial oil that smells amazing, and doesn’t make your skin feel greasy. I wasn’t sure if a facial oil would suit me, even though I have really dry skin, as I get a lot of breakouts. I don’t feel like it worsened my spots in any way, but actually made my skin feel so much better and less sore.
The best way I’ve found to use this is to apply it directly to your clean face when it’s still warm after getting out the bath or shower. You can also mix it in with moisturiser if preferred, but I don’t think it mixes with mine very well so I prefer to use it on its own.

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Lush Fresh Farmacy Cleanser

Warning: I’ve got quite a few Lush products on this list!
This is a cleanser I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I still don’t have my skincare routine down, and lately my skin just feels like it’s been getting worse and worse, but I don’t know if there’s a specific product causing the problem or whether it’s just environment! For this reason I want to start transitioning into using all-natural skincare, and Lush are obviously the experts in that. They’re also vegan and cruelty free which is obviously perfect for me.

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Lush Sakura Bath Bomb

It’s been a while since I’ve had a bath bomb from Lush, as I usually prefer their bubble bars, which I find to be more softening on my skin, and also… bubbles.
I saw some people that were disappointed in this product because it doesn’t make the water change at all and I’m just like???? I mean, I guess that’s what a lot of people buy bath bombs for, and I’m just the odd one out who buys them for their purpose, which I find is similar to bath salts in that they can be really relaxing and fragrant. This one may not change the water, but it is a very pretty one to look at before going in the water, and seems to have a lot of soothing ingredients to make for a nice, calm bath. And I’m all about that.

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Lush Cupcake Fresh Face Mask [image credit here, as I couldn’t find a decent pic from the site]

As you know, I’m all about face masks, especially mud one. This is a mud face mask, and it includes chocolate and mint?! It’s like putting an After Eight on your face… why wouldn’t I want it??

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Arran Aromatics Bergamot and Ginger Shower Gel

I already spoke about how amazing this shower gel is in this post, so it’s going on the list as I’d really like some more of it. I’ll probably just end up buying this by myself to be honest, especially considering that it’s currently on offer!

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Lush Yuzu and Cocoa Bubble Bar

As I spoke about above, I adore Lush’s bubble bars. My old favourite used to be Creamy Candy as I’m a sucker for sweet scents, but I tried this one after my last Lush shop and it’s become my new favourite. I can’t even describe how beautiful this is. It smells beautiful even before you put it in your bath – leave it on the side in the bathroom and your whole bathroom will smell wonderful. I’m not sure how to describe it’s scent; it’s kinda tropical and chocolatey at the same time. I also found this really, really moisturising on my skin.

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Only a few items on here – shocking, I know!

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River Island Plus Lace Back Top

I always end up picking patterns and bright colours when it comes to clothes, and barely end up wearing them. I’m a jumper and jeans/leggings kinda girl, I just am. And I’m trying to buy more black items I can wear on multiple occasions without being boring or completely compromising beauty for comfort.
I don’t know how this plus size model is going braless with this, but I’ve got a couple of pretty bras I wouldn’t mind showing off through this.

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ASOS Wrap Cami Top in Velvet

You know how I said I’m a sucker for mustard yellow? I’m also a sucker for velvet and velour. This top is just one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. I don’t even know how it would look on a body like mine, as obviously I’m fat and have huge boobs, but I’m willing to give it a go! Props to Grace Victory for this find via Twitter!

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River Island Plus Bardot Top

Okay, so it may be an obsession. You can tell why I love this. But I have also been wanting a bardot top for a while, too.

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ASOS Clip Front BackPack

I really need a backpack. I am rubbish with handbags and hate taking them anywhere, so you’ll very rarely see me with one. I love that backpacks – especially grown up backpacks on women – have become something we can wear as a smart item now without being frowned upon. This one from ASOS is just everything I’d want. Neutral, smart, classic.

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Q&A a Day Five Year Journal

I’m rubbish with journals. Something happened in my past that caused me to loathe them, but I do wish that I had somewhere I could stash memories and tidbits of information about myself that I can look back on in the future. What I love about this one is you only have to write very little, and you don’t have to think much about it. The book asks you a question and you answer it, possible differently, each year over five years.

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Spaire Makeup Mirror

There’s not much behind this one. I just really need a vanity mirror. I live in a small house where I don’t have room for a whole vanity table to myself, so my makeup gets done sitting on my bed or at my desk, but I just moved my desk to a less than desirable lighting position. This one has a built in LED ring light which would make doing my makeup so much easier.

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Fineway Acrylic Makeup Display

Everyone seems to love clear acrylic makeup storage at the minute, and I totally get why. My makeup is currently stored in a really nice big black leather makeup case, but as my collection grows, it’s outgrowing the case. These drawers are bigger than a lot of the ones I’ve seen, and would be good for storing larger items in the bottom like palettes.

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Nikon Coolpix L340 Camera

Again, this is one I’ll probably end up buying for myself at a later date.
I don’t currently own a digital camera. All of my photos are taken on my iPhone. But I’d love to be able to have a better camera not only to take better photos of my family, but to use for pics on this lil blog right here.

And that’s it!

I could’ve gone on about a bunch of furniture and homeware stuff I want, cos that’s the stuff I’m really attracted to, but it’s been drilled into me by numerous members of family that I’m not allowed to ask for sensible homeware stuff for my birthday… ugh.

In any case, despite everything listed above, there’s only one thing I really want for my birthday, and that’s to be surrounded by the people that I love. I know it’s cheesy, but it’s true ❤

Any of you have the stuff above and can give feedback on it? What would you wish for?

Kirsten xo

My Pursuit of Chillness & Happiness

TW: Talk of mental illness.



I have anxiety and depression.

That’s me, folks. Those are the big things. Those are the things that hang over me on the daily, keeping me alert and startling me into action the second that I feel some semblance of happiness or relaxedness.

I have a lot of privilege in my life, I do. And I constantly try to be aware of that and how I can use my privilege to speak up beside those who may not have such. Sometimes these are on issues which do not personally relate to me, and sometimes they are. Mental illness is one of the latter.

This isn’t going to be a post about my mental illness[es], however it is directly related.

My anxiety, in particular, is something that has been swallowing me recently. I might talk another time specifically about living with mental illness, but now is not that time. One thing I will tell you about my anxiety however, is that it never lets me rest, mentally.
Some days I spend hours on my sofa, but I never feel relaxed because I can’t get my brain to shut. down.

But I know that I am not alone in this.

Whether or not you have GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder), I am very aware of the fact that we all now live in a world of pressure. Pressure to work, pressure to conform, pressure to excel. Some people can come in from work, have their dinner, sit in front of the telly and shut off. I can’t do this.

I work very hard on chilling out.

That may be a foreign concept to so many people, but it’s true. If you are a parent or work a lot you may know that feeling physically, of not being able to have time to do it. This isn’t the same. This is having the time, but not being able to clear your brain. This is the pursuit of white noise, static, thoughts that take you away from the million other things you think about during the day. If you have mental illness, it’s chasing away the demons. Clearing your cache, if you will, of all the negativity that floats over you constantly.

Recently I have been chasing this.
I want to be able to just relax, even for a brief moment during the day, and either not think at all, or only think about the one specific thing I’m focusing on in that moment. And what I do not want is to read another article on “How To Relax” with bullshit cliché suggestions such as “read a book”, “listen to some music”, “have a bath”. Look, I’m not hating if those things work for you – I love all of those activities, but they don’t take me out of my head, and I’m just bored of those being the same suggestions over and over. The things I’m about to suggest may sound bullshit to you, too. But if you’re like me and just looking for a release, just for a little bit, then I’m just sharing with you some of the things that are helping me.

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Hold up, hold up, hold up. I know that this is stereotypical, but I’m really trying not to be.

I just discussed how articles about relaxing often talk about the same things over and over, and yes one of those things is “get out for a walk and enjoy nature!” but I’m not necessarily advocating that. For 1] I fucking hate walking unless I’ve got somewhere to be, and 2] it’s pretty ableist to suggest that someone has to “go for a walk” to be happy. That’s definitely not what I’m trying to say.

What I am trying to say is that nature is beautiful. Cliché, I know, but it is. And you don’t have to be out and about to experience it.

When you’re in your house, as I am almost constantly, you get into your funk of being indoors. Of doing whatever tasks you’ve got to do, of watching tv, of sitting on your phone, your computer, working, or whatever it may me. Just continuing on with your indoor life doing your indoor things. This is fine for me, usually. But it’s not relaxing.

Something I do do, which usually warrants my husband taking the piss out of me for, is staring out the window into our garden a lot. And I’m usually looking at birds. I have a bird feeder and put bird seed out everyday, and just sitting watching them peck away at the seeds, or even pulling worms up [usually the Starlings] is just really chill to me.
I don’t do it for hours on end, but even just taking the time to focus on that one thing for a couple of minutes, clears my mind, even a little bit, and then I continue with my day.

Doesn’t have to be birds, though. You could just sit with a cuppa and watch the rain for a bit. Or you could just spend a few minutes marvelling at how beautiful the sky is during a sunset [even if you’re spending that time tryna get the perfect photo on your phone].

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If you’re fascinated by astronomy and are lucky enough to live somewhere you can see stars, then you could download the Night Sky app & learn what you’re actually looking at up there, when certain planets are visible, and track the ISS.

Just take a minute to look out your window, look up, look around. Or just buy/plant some windowsill plants and watch them grow.

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Like I said above, I never usually walk for pleasure. Walking to me is stressful. I’m almost always with my daughter, we’re almost always trying to get somewhere quickly, and I almost always wish I was at home. Even when we’re on our way home I’m thinking about what needs to be done when I get there, and that’s why just looking around is important to me.
That may seem silly. I’m sure it is. But when your brain runs at 100mph most always, sometimes just turning your head and going “wow that flower is beautiful”, or looking at the sky and seeing a cool flight pattern can be relaxing.

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It doesn’t have to be rural, either. If you live in a City, you can often find cool artwork on walls and stuff, and some really unusual quirky architecture dotted about.

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Look, I’m not being one of those people who’s all “get your head out your phone and look at the world”. I just mean, if you see something cool and you have a sec, just stop and take a wee look. It’s pretty cool how relaxing it can be just to stop and smell the flowers – GEEEEEEEZ, okay I’ll stop with the clichés now.

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This will probably be a weird, divisive one, but one of the things I really find relaxing is to have a task in front of me, with something or someone laying out what needs to be done, and doing it to completion. I’m intentionally being vague because this comes in many, many forms: my favourite of which is baking.

Baking used to be something I did every few days, but these days it has lessened. This is for a variety of reasons: more time spent chasing my child around, more time spent on housework now we live in a house instead of a flat, more time spent on things like blogging. BUT it is still something I enjoy doing, and will do when I have the opportunity to, funds to, and more likely, reason to.
I’m a pretty good baker, but I started challenging myself last year to start using only vegan recipes, which has been difficult because I have not found any as good as my non-vegan ones. However, what this has given me the opportunity to do is follow instruction again. I will find a recipe that looks good, look through it and make any adaptations I think would be good as I bake. And I find this really relaxing. It means that my focus is only on doing that particular task [“okay what do I do next? Where did I put the vanilla essence? Can I substitute this?] as opposed to doing something mindless where everything else still has the chance to make itself ever-present in my brain.


In a similar vain, I also enjoy cooking. Cooking isn’t something I’m great at, hence I have to follow recipes pretty meticulously for that. In a similar way this allows me to focus only on that and what’s happening in the pan or pot in front of me.

[and yes, I photograph my cooking and baking a lot. For more food snaps check my insta]

Maybe the weirdest tasks I like doing to relax are construction based ones, but of different scales: I love building Lego sets and also building flat pack furniture.
In a way, these tasks are similar to cooking and baking in that you follow instruction and complete a task. That’s pretty much it. I like focusing energy onto things like that, and obviously it’s pretty nice to see the end result of completing tasks in that way.

I don’t do the things in this section on a daily basis and that’s for two reasons, specifically: energy and money. I don’t always have the energy to stand over a cooker for ages, or to build something, and I certainly don’t have the money. But when I can  do these things, I like to.

If you don’t have an interest in these tasks, or aren’t physically able, then the next may be a bit more appropriate.

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In the past I probably would have said this would be a divisive subject, but nowadays I really don’t think it is. Like it or not, gaming is now so pervasive in society that we are all gamers to some extent. Sometimes this is pretty “passive”, like doing a puzzle game on the tube to work, or playing Candy Crush when you’re bored. Sometimes it’s a bit more intensive, like MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft. Either way, it can be relaxing as fuck.

Gaming is something that actually changed my life. Don’t judge me.

I was pretty into gaming when I was younger. My first forays were floppy discs on my Dad’s computer of Tomb Raider demos and the original Grand Theft Auto.

[oh, how things change]

I also had a Sega Megadrive, which I loved playing Alex Kidd and Sonic on, and then got a Playstation which saw a lot of Spyro and Crash Bandicoot action. In terms of handheld systems I had an original grey Gameboy, on which I only had Tetris, and then a Pokémon Yellow edition, which I –obviously- played Pokémon, on.
As I got older I didn’t pay much attention to gaming anymore, except for the Sims, and occasional small RPGs, usually via Facebook. But that changed when I met my husband. He was, is, and always has been a big gamer. He didn’t try to make me play [which I know so many people do to their partners], but rather I watched him playing and tried them out for myself. Soon I was experimenting in finding games that I liked, and discovered that my tastes were the opposite of what I would have expected. I learned that I hated non-threatening, non-intensive story games such as Kingdom Hearts, but actually loved intensive, immersive RPGs such as Skyrim. I came to love RPGs with puzzle-like elements, and do to this day.

These days I have learned I enjoy certain games: Assassin’s Creed, Fallout, Skyrim, LA Noire, but really my biggest vice is Final Fantasy XIV. As many people state with these typed of games, it transports me to another world where I get to be another version of myself [her name is Luna]. But it’s not all fighting. There are also lots of other elements to the game which are based on gathering and making things, and I like to do these to relax. You can even fish in the game, and the scenery is stunning, so you really feel in that moment like you’re in another place.

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[actual gameplay screenshots captured by myself. If you, by any slim chance, are interested in more you can check out my husband’s FF twitter here]

Obviously I’m not suggesting that everyone go out and start gaming more. Some people just don’t have time for it in their lives. Some people just aren’t interested. But let us take, for example, a recent gaming phenomenon:

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Pokémon Go is something that everyone and their mothers are getting in to, and for good reason. Whether or not you have played Pokémon in the past, it’s an immersive gaming experience which suits both the casual and intensive gamer. You might just happen to pass a Grimer on your way to work, or you might go out looking for an elusive Pikachu. Either way, it seems to be benefitting people.

If you’re not into all that, or just want to switch off and not think about a plot-riddled lore-type game, then you could download Two Dots, or 1010 [my personal mobile faves for just taking some time out].

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Something has come to my attention recently that I didn’t think was all that important: I feel infinitely more relaxed when I am in clutter-free, relaxing spaces.

Duh, Kirsten.

Well, I knew that obviously it feels nice to be in a clear space. It always feels nice to be in spaces where everything’s clean and in its place and clutter free. But what I didn’t realise is how visual I am as a person, and how even the places where things are supposed to be will affect me if they are very visually “busy”.

I feel like I am not expressing myself very well. I’ll use some photographic examples to help.

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We live in a small house with very little storage space. This is our living room, clean and tidy, as it looked last week. It’s where Emmie and I spend the majority of our time, and where my husband spends the majority of his time when not at work.

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And this is our living room as it looks today [complete with snoozing dog]. I decided on a whim the other day to move several pieces of furniture about in our house, moving two bookshelves upstairs, a chest of drawers for one room to another, and a Kallax unit and a desk downstairs. What I did not anticipate was how much more relaxed I would feel in my living room once all this was done.

I didn’t quite realise how “visually noisy” our living space was before, and how all it would take was to move a few key pieces around to make the space feel bigger and so much lighter. Now, instead of looking at hundreds of books when I watch TV or game, I’m looking at a pretty picture, an aloe plant, and some mood lighting :]

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It took a little bit of time and effort, but it is so much worth it. The visual space and the lighting makes me feel relaxed, so I am.

The same goes with out bedroom. The one thing we try to do every single day is make the bed and remove clutter. Now, clutter is unavoidable in our house. I have a three year old daughter who causes mayhem, and I almost always have washing piled up or hanging in a corner. That I can deal with. But your bedroom, like your sitting area, is a place to relax, to crawl into bed and settle down. And that’s why we try to keep it as clutter free as we can.

If you live somewhere where you don’t get much autonomy over decorative choices, for example if you live with your parents, or with a roommate, or if you’re renting somewhere fully furnished with questionable decor, there are still things you can do to give yourself a bit of chill. Just make sure you have an area that you look at frequently that you can make clear and pretty. Maybe just clear a windowsill. Buy yourself some flowers. An indoor plant. Some candles. There are little things that can make an area soothing.

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I’m not an interior decorator. My home isn’t perfect because I don’t have the money to invest into making it how I want it to. However, my point is that you can make it feel a bit more relaxing using things you already have, or just moving things around or having a clear out.

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It’s all about you.

No, really. It really is.

You’re important. You deserve to relax.

The things I’ve spoken about here are things that help me clear my head a bit, but obviously the choices out there are infinite and will be completely dependent on what you like. Maybe gaming doesn’t take you out of your head at all. Maybe you like being surrounded by clutter. Maybe you hate cooking. If you find something that helps you relax, make time for it.

Please don’t scream at me that you don’t have time for things you like. Try and make time. Because I’m gonna reiterate this:

You are important. Your needs are important. Your mental health is important.

Go read a book. Go take a bath. Go do some crossfit. Go do some Yoga. Go eat a ginormous cheeseburger. Go eat at a fancy restaurant. Go for a picnic. Go to a nature park. Go swimming. Go to a concert. Go make your face as beat as it can be.

Whatever your thing is, make time for it.

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I have a lot of thoughts, but I don’t keep a diary. I have issues there.
But I do keep this little thing going. It helps me get out some of the stuff in my head. It gives me the opportunity to explore makeup and clothes and put some time into me, which can be quite hard to do for a SAHM.

And if you’re reading this, thank you for sharing in this little time I help to relax and focus on me.

 

I hope some of this will help you. Maybe it won’t at all. I’m still trying to work on finding things that help me chill. I’m thinking of starting yoga. But I hope that all of you can go forth and find your chill.

Kirsten xo

BEING FAT ON HOLIDAY

*NB: I will be talking here about fat bodies, specifically my own. If the word “fat” offends you, this post is not for you. As with all other posts, opinions are my own. Your body is YOURS to do what you please with, and I encourage you to make choices that are right and comfortable for you. These are just my own experiences and things that helped me be comfortable in my own skin.*

If you currently live in today’s society, particularly if you are a woman, then I do not doubt that you have experienced the gut wrenching pain that is worrying about your weight and your looks.

To live in 2016 is still to live in a society wherein we play compliant pawn to expectations thrust upon us by media and our peers. To know you’re fat if you’re anything 12+. To know you’re ugly if your skin doesn’t look as smooth as a porcelain toilet bowl and your hair doesn’t glisten with the shine of a thousand suns. To listen to and watch and read advert upon advert upon advert that tells you that you need to work on your “summer body” (as if you are not fully whole in your existence year-round), that you need to get “bikini ready”, that you need to wax and exfoliate and put makeup on and take makeup off and have a BMI of exactly 18 to be classified as societally acceptable.

A year and a half ago I decided that I didn’t want to be party to it anymore. I decided that I didn’t want to have my life dictated by others and whether or not I fit into their brackets of socially acceptable, and it has been revolutionary for the discovery of my self. I am the size that I am and no longer worry about food, I wear makeup because I like it, and I wear the clothes I feel most comfortable and happy in. This has led to me being fatter and happier than I ever have been.

But there are certain times when I am forced to think about my fatness.

I still have privilege in my size. I can fit comfortably into most chairs, airline seats etc… seatbelts still fit me fine… I can even sometimes walk in and buy something from a straight-sized store. I am aware that fats bigger than me have many more obstacles in daily life. However, there are things that have changed for me being the size I am now compared to what I was. It’s not enough to make me want to diet (I doubt there’s much that could put me back on that path), but sometimes certain situations have to make me think about how I’m going to comfortably get through the day. My biggest obstacle with this yet was going on holiday.

So here’s my list of how to cope with being fat, and making yourself comfortable, on holiday:

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This is priority numero uno.

When you’re fat you have more folds than the regular person to keep clean and dry and cool, and you also have more body parts rubbing together. Couple this with the fact that fat people tend to have a higher basal body temperature than thin people, and things can get pretty hot and sticky. The best way to deal with this is to find a way to keep yourself cool.

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Now I know there are a lot of sun-worshipping and tanning fatties out there: I am not one of them. So one of the easiest ways I found to keep cool was to seek shade. When by the pool and on the beach, I always sought the comforting shade of a parasol. This obviously helps keep your body temp down by being out of direct sun, but you can still enjoy everything that’s going on around you and enjoy the relaxing scenery from your sun lounger. Plus, you don’t have to worry about turning yourself every 10 minutes!

Another super important thing, for all people but especially helpful for fats, is to be drinking a lot of water. If you’re in a country where drinking tap water is not recommended, then make one of the first things you do on arrival to be buying gallons of drinking water from a nearby supermarket or local shop. And never leave your hotel/villa/wherever you’re staying without water. I know there’s a lot of you health nuts who do this anyway: it’s even more important on holiday.
A cold beer or cocktail is always tempting to escape from the midday heat – and go for it! You’re on holiday! But always remember to rehydrate yourself as a follow up, especially if drinking during the day.

The last thing – which was my saviour – was to be taking cold showers at least once a day, sometimes twice depending on what you’ve been doing. This not only cools you down, but it gives you the opportunity to rehydrate through your skin, hair, etc, and you can follow up straight away with your sunscreen (in the morning) or after sun (evening/night).

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This kinda ties into the first point about keeping cool. What better way to keep cool than to be in the water? (With sunscreen thoroughly applied, of course).

I am a fat water baby. I love being in the pool. Not the swimming part so much, but I do like to wade around in the shallows like a hippo, or float and doggy paddle around the depths. To me, being at the pool is part of making a holiday a holiday, as opposed to a city break or something.
I am not one to lie around the pool all day every day, reading and tanning and swimming, but I do like to spend some time there after spending a day walking about, or to take a few hours to chill. On this particular holiday my aunty and uncle were teaching my daughter to swim, and it was so nice to get into the pool and swim around with her doing her first “mermaid kicks” in her little rubber ring.

But with a pool, of course, comes swimwear.

You could do what I used to do, and wear T-shirts and kaftans when actually swimming. If you’re doing this to cover up from the sun then yes, I fully recommend it, but if you’re doing what I was doing and using that as an excuse because you just wanted to hide your fat body, then I implore you to spend some time finding swimwear you love.

If you are not at that stage yet, I get that. If you feel best covered up, then you do you, honey. I fully support the decisions you make regarding your body. But I didn’t want to be covered up anymore. I wanted to swim and feel water on my arms and legs and… BELLY.
I managed to do a weekend away with friends last year that involved a hot tub by being fully covered by a bath sheet right up until the steps of the hot tub, then putting it back on straight away when getting out. But this year I wanted to walk about in a BIKINI. And guess what?

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Look at this fat water baby.

And my number one advice for having the confidence to do this is: find swimwear you love. I am still definitely not at a stage where I can wear a low-rise, spaghetti-strapped little number, but the transition from a one piece to this high-waisted and halter-topped Forever 21+ bikini was quite easy. Of course I had some hang-ups, and it took a little encouragement from those around me to do it, but once I was there and wearing it I felt invincible.

I actually took 3 swimsuits and 2 bikinis on this holiday, but I decided I didn’t feel confident in 2 of the swimsuits once I got there, and because I just did not feel confident in them at all, I decided not to wear them, and instead chose my old faithful which makes me feel amazing:

[Unfortunately this one is going into retirement now as the fabric has thinned too much :[]

My point is this: if you find it difficult to wear swimwear, take your time, and find something you love which makes you love you.

When I was on honeymoon, I told Ell I wished there were more fat confident women around me to make me feel more at ease in my swimwear. This year I told him that I wanted to be that fat, confidant woman.

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I want to reiterate that this is a personal opinion post on what helped me this summer, and this is one of the greatest for me.

Reclaiming my bingo wings has been a hard-fought battle for me. I actually don’t really care about having a fat ass, legs, tummy… but my arms took more getting used to. I’ve always thought they have been disproportionately large, even when I was thin (they’re not) and I have sweated my way through many, many summers because I refused to take my cardie off. The cardigan was one of the last hurdles I faced when it came to taking ownership of my body.

do love a good cardie, and wear them near daily, but the difference now is if I get hot, I’ll take it off. It seems so simple to those without body hangups, but for me, even now, removing my cardie heightens my anxiety. But I did it! And I am really proud of myself for keeping it off during the day this holiday, even if my demons scream at me a little when I see photos without it, and I recommend everyone to do the same. I didn’t know what a breeze felt like on my arms, and my pits (!) and it is wonderful.

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In a similar respect, I’m gonna talk about my boobs. I have big boobs. They’re 34GG and as well as being big, they are saggy. Funnily enough, this isn’t something I have a particular hang-up about. My boobs have always been saggy, from the moment they started growing. And then I breastfed a kid, and now they’re saggier. It’s genetics. I come from a line of saggy boobs. My nipples prefer to have conversations with the floor than whatever’s in front of me. Most of the time I keep my boobs reigned in with overpriced bras, which they look really great in. But I have a confession: I hate bras.

If I’m not leaving the house, there’s no way in hell I’m putting on a bra. If I’m just popping to the shops, I’ll have a debate in my head on whether I think the time/weather/outfit begets putting one on. If I’m going to be around people, I always will, simply for the piece of mind that they will be conversing with me and not thinking about the large gravitational pull on my chest.

I went on holiday with the intention of wearing bras. I took all three of mine (yes, three: look up the price of well-fitting bras in my size) and I lasted approximately 3 hours. My bra came off in terminal 3 of Heathrow airport before boarding the plane and I said BUH-BYE for the entirety of the holiday. I did try them a couple of times when there, but I NOPE’d out of that within 5 minutes of putting it on.

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Was I self-conscious of my tits? Sure. A bit. But I quickly got over it when I thought about wearing a bra in the heat.

Look, if wearing bras is your deal and that’s what makes you comfortable: go for it. I’m not here to tell you what to do, just give some tips on what helped me. And for me, talcuming under my boobs and suffering some saggy boobs in photos was 100x better than sweating under back straps and having thick shoulder straps digging into sunburned shoulders.

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Fat people: you know what I’m talking about.

I’m talking chub rub, swollen limbs, spots and sweaty folds.

Yep, this may not be a particularly appealing thing to read about, but it’s reality. Come on, even if you’re skinny you know you’re gonna get a bit sweaty and sticky in summer sun on holiday: just know the reality is so much worse when you’re fat. But all you gotta do is be prepared.

Take this photo for instance:

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Not the most fashionable look I’ve ever sported, but it served a purpose.

On that day, Elliot and I were going a 3 mile walk around the coast up and down several stairs, and around hilly and rocky paths. Maxi skirts are a great thing to take to keep you cool on holiday, but as a fat person, they just do not work for walking great distances. Wearing trousers or leggings on holiday may not be particularly cool, but I’ll take the extra heat these leggings gave me over chub rub any day. I’m also wearing braids so that my hair would stay out my face and keep me from getting sweaty, and wearing flip flops because my feet had swollen up in the heat :))))

The best thing I chose to do was wear leggings on this day, and also when I went to Barcelona, which would have been a nightmare for me in a maxi skirt. If leggings are just too hot for you, swap out for some linen or cheesecloth trousers.

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On days I did wear flowy skirts to keep cool and knew I wouldn’t be doing much walking, I was armed with talcum powder to keep the chub rub at bay, and stop the sweat from forming under my boobs, and deodorant to keep feeling fresh. Noice.

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If you’re anything like me and don’t cope with heat particularly well, going on a summer holiday can leave you feeling like a hot, sweaty mess. The best advice I can give to counteract this to have things on hand to make you feel good about yourself.

I had to deal with the fact that I was sans bra and cardigan a lot of days, and not always feeling my best about my outfit choices, so I counteracted that by making myself feel good with makeup. That’s my comfort zone. I can go without a perfect outfit if my face is on point.

I took a lot of makeup on holiday with me and was glad to have it there. It’s something that makes me feel good.

As you can tell, I walk around like I don’t own a single hair product, but if hair is your thing, then spend time making your hair nice on holiday. Whatever you can do to make you feel a bit more like you in coping under different conditions.

On the same note, if you’re able to go out for an evening take clothing for then that makes you feel amazing. For me this was on the evening of my Mum’s 50th birthday, when I wore one of the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever owned.

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It may look simple, but it makes me feel cool and confident, and basically, like a badass bitch. To feel as hot as I did then, even for one night, made all my woes fade away.

But finally,

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I know, I know… you’re on holiday, you want to look nice. And you can! But do you want to sacrifice having a good time over worrying about every single photo that’s taken of you?

This is something I confront in every day life generally, but it becomes even more relevant when you’re on holiday and likely to be taking loads of photos. I get through this on the daily because when my husband takes photos of me, he either doesn’t allow me to see them or he lets me see while he’s holding the phone. This is because I either send myself into a tizzy of “I look awful in ALL of them” or just straight up delete them from his phone, which infuriates him because he likes them and wants to keep photos of me on his phone.

I’m not saying that I don’t pick out flattering photos to share on social media; we all do. But what I am saying is this: don’t be like me and freak out over the photo even being taken. It’s your holiday, and you want to create some memories through pictures and not be deleting your memories because you look weird or fat or you hate your hair or your clothes or your face. Especially if you are with family and friends who want to treasure those memories as much as you.

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In this social media world sometimes we forget that not everything has to be shared with everyone. The photos we take are filed away for memories for us, and for our families, potentially even future generations. You’re probably just going to end up ruining your own – and other peoples’- good time by complaining about how you look in every photo.

Plus the fact that – sorry to break it to you – but the way you look in what you deem unflattering photos is probably how you look to other people around you in reality. Selfie culture allows us to curate those photos that we like, that help us feel good about ourselves, and show ourselves off a bit (something I am unapologetic about), but you are more than a selfie. Allow yourself to be seen through someone else’s eyes.

 

These are just a few of the things that helped me this year. I went on holiday with my family and it was one of the best weeks I have ever had, shared with people who I love and who love me. I count myself as lucky to have reached a point where I spend far less time caring about how I look than I used to, or I should say, caring about it in the right ways.

Fat or not, holidays are little slices of luxury that are there to help us relax. And there is just so much more to worry about in the world than buying into what the media tells you to. YOU HAVE a “summer body”. YOU HAVE a “bikini body”. If you choose to wear one.

Sure there’s some things I have outlined here that may be minor hurdles to cross when it comes to living in and with a fat body, but I would choose that any day alongside my own health and happiness.

Kirsten xo