The Anti-Resolutions 2017

hi-guys

k

How have you all been? It’s been a while… You know, I only had one resolution for 2017 and that was to start posting regularly every week this year. Needless to say the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ thing hasn’t been working out too well.

But then, it is that time of the year again –  the last week in January when everyone’s given up on their unrealistic goals and are slowly reverting back to their original, lazy, unmotivated selves. Naturally, being the artistic person that I am – I drew inspiration from my surroundings and decided to combine all these sentiments of disappointment and regret into what I am calling the ‘Anti-Resolutions’. (Now admittedly, I haven’t exactly figured out what the exact definition of an ‘Anti-Resolution’ is, but it’s a working title.) Anyways, it’s just a bit of fun as always 😉 , so enough with my rambling and without further ado, here are The Anti-Resolutions 2017…

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I feel like the New Year hasn’t even officially begun until everyone you know has started some weird diet that involves fasting for 12 hours a day and drinking pureed salad. And quite frankly, I find the whole thing very upsetting. See, a diet just entails  removing something beautiful (ie. food) away from one’s life – why would any one want to start off their year with that kind of negativity? I think you should do just the opposite. Going to the gym? Bring some chocolate cake to work out those jaw muscles. (Alternatively, skip the gym altogether because why be fit, when you can be filled with regret instead.) Going to get a coffee? Bring another cup of coffee along with you to drink while you’re waiting for the coffee you ordered. Thinking about giving up on sugar? Well, how would you feel if sugar gave up on you?

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What better way to ring in the new year than changing up your style, right? Wrong. You’re already broke after treating yourself over the holidays and then society tries to tempt you to buy more stuff with “January sales”? Don’t just go giving into consumerism. In fact, stand up for your rights. Don’t buy anything ever again. Find a nice bin bag, cut a few arm holes in it and then wear it for the rest of your life. It’s unique, water proof and black works for every occasion. Problem solved.

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You guys know I love to travel, so I would definitely encourage everyone else to do some travelling this year. When it comes to travel, there are only two things to consider. 1) How are you going to pay for it? 2) What are you going to wear? The first question can be easily resolved by either winning the lottery or marrying rich, and the second can be answered if you follow the steps outlined in my last point. You’re welcome.

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I know what you’re thinking. The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to start all those projects you’ve been dreaming about. Write a novel, start a blog, learn how to dance the flamenco… But the thing is, that’s what everyone is going to be aiming to do this year. You really want to be creative? Embrace your laziness. Motivate yourself to stay in bed just one hour longer. Actively ignore any responsibilities or opportunities that come your way. Make an inspiration board with pictures of all the things you want to achieve, instead of actually achieving them. Trust me, it offers a totally new perspective on life. I’ve tried it.

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Finally, are you tired of the same old routine, day in, day out? Do you wince when your alarm goes off in the morning? Have your weeks begun to blur into one? Fear not! You can fix this – just be incredibly impulsive and disregard any of the consequences it may have on your future! That’s right, quit your job, pack up your stuff, move to Peru and become a llama whisperer. Life will never be boring again!

. . .

Well, that’s all I have for you guys today! Let me know what your resolutions/ anti resolutions are in the comments below :). All jokes aside, I do hope you all have an amazing 2017 and achieve all your goals this year!

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5 Types of People at New Year’s

hi-guys

I hope you’re all  enjoying the holiday season! Personally, I had all these plans to be super productive but so far have just been eating a lot of chocolate and accomplishing little else. Though I mean, is it even the holidays if you don’t spend 90% of the time watching Netflix and 10% of the time regretting all the time you’ve wasted?

That being said, in between my excessive consumption of ferrero rochers and  candy canes (because I’m classy, but I’m also like five), I did manage to put together this little end-of-2016 post for you guys. Though naturally, I procrastinated as per usual and waited until the very last day of the year to finish it ;). Let me know in the comments below what type of person you are on New Year’s Eve – because clearly everyone in our society falls into one of these 5 categories ;).

Hope you all have an amazing New Year! Of course, being the social butterfly that I am, I’ll be spending tonight hanging out with my family in my pajamas, struggling to stay up till 12a.m. Do you guys have any more exciting plans?

Now, without further ado, here are 5  types of people you’ll see at new years…

1. The Party Animal

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This is the person who’s biggest challenge of 2016 is going to be deciding which party to attend on December 31st, followed by which shoes go with their sequins-covered dress. And I’m not going to lie – I’m basically the total opposite of this person, but I know they exist because these people document everything on social media. In fact, I don’t even feel like I need to go to parties because after a few minutes scrolling down my facebook timeline – I feel like I’ve been to all of them.

2. The ‘New Year, New Me’ Guy

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We all know that one person that come January 1st, just feels a sudden urge to reinvent themselves completely – and tell everyone about it. Now we’re all guilty of coming up with one or two delusional new years resolutions – but these people just take it to the next level. Because let’s be honest, we both know that you won’t be getting fit, eating healthy and learning to speak mandarin chinese… You know why? Because you say this every year, and it never happens. So stop with this ‘turn over a new leaf’ nonsense and come over here and enjoy this pizza like the rest of us.

 

3. The TV Friend

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This is the friend who’s spending New Year’s Eve in their room, with some snacks, watching the New Year’s celebrations happening around the world on TV. Their thinking is,’who needs to go outside, when you can see the fireworks on your screen?’ And actually, I feel like this person may be on to something… food, comfort, wi-fi? What better way to ring in the new year.
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4. Clueless Chloe

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Okay, first off if you’re reading this and your name is Chloe, please don’t be offended I was just stuck for a title and needed some  kind of alliteration. Anyway, this is the person that just has no idea that it’s New Years Eve, and to be honest they probably don’t know even know what year it is at all. The rest of us will be doing the whole count down till midnight thing and they’re probably sitting somewhere with an old advent calendar counting down the days till last Christmas.

5.The Sleepyhead

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And finally, everyone knows the one rule of New Year’s Eve is to stay up till midnight. But, without fail, there’s always that one person who – every year – just falls asleep at like 10p.m. and wakes up the next morning all confused they missed the fireworks!
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The Blogger Symptoms: 15 Things ALL Bloggers do!

hi-guys

I hope you’re all having an amazing week :). Can you believe it’s already December 1st? Time flies when you’re spending too much time on the internet and not enough time doing your homework. Personally, I’m just happy about the  whole advent calendar tradition starting up again. Seriously, why isn’t that an all-year round thing? I mean I think I deserve a little chocolate every morning to make up for all the sport I don’t do.

Anyways, about today’s post…The Blogger Symptoms. Very dramatic sounding, isn’t it? Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying blogging’s a disease – you guys know Ilove being a blogger! But, I’m sure all my fellow bloggers can agree that there are some things we all do that are pretty crazy. Last month was my one year blogiversary and I wanted to write something fun to celebrate an amazing year of Artsy Teening! I know a lot of my followers are also bloggers, so I hope you guys can relate to this list (or alternatively if you don’t have a blog, I suggest you sit back, relax and laugh at all us crazy people who post stuff on the internet 😉 ).

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1 – Taking a million slightly different photos of the same thing, because you need to get the angle just right!

2 – Constantly checking your blog stats has just become part of your daily routine.

3 – Spending more time replying to the lovely comments from your followers than you do replying to texts from your friends.

4 – Having that one drink/snack that you like to have when you’re writing a post.

5 – Double checking to see if the post you scheduled was actually published on time!

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6 – Suddenly remembering that a twitter chat was happening, but you’ve just missed it!

7 – Always having a bunch of post-its lying around.

8 – Trying to think of synonyms for the same word so that you can have as many tags on your post as possible.

9 – Always randomly jotting down ideas for potential blog posts.

10 – Basically having a nervous breakdown when there’s no Wi-fi connection nearby.

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11 – Sunny days are an excuse to take plenty of pictures while the lighting’s good!

12 – If you’re blogging and someone asks what you’re doing, you say you’re “working”.

13 – Making decisions solely based on the fact that “you can blog it”. Seriously, the amount of times I’ve only baked cookies for the sake of a decent recipe post!

14 – Always having a hundred tabs open at once.

15 – Getting super excited every time you change up your blog’s layout!

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Blogging Symptoms from Other Bloggers!

Another great thing about being a blogger is becoming part of an amazing blogger community…So I decided to ask a few of my blogger friends to send in some of their own ‘Blogging Symptoms‘!

“You accidentally bring blogging up in your every day life. You make little updates to the layout of your blog all the time and can’t seem to stop. You forget to reply to comments. You follow way too many sites, but unfollowing them would make you feel guilty. Whenever you receive a lovely comment from someone, you can’t stop smiling!”

“You struggle with bloggers’ block at some point. Or hate automated comments!”

Sanna

 “All bloggers make their significant other take photos of their outfits for OOTD posts!”

Lynell Marie

“All bloggers openly stress about how hard it is to grow instagram :(.”

Lisawww.thechinadolldiaries.com

“For me it would be.. Forgetting there’s an outside world! I sometimes get so wrapped up in blogging and all things digital, that I forget to take a breather haha!”
 
“I am crazy about emails. Every day, (almost 😀 ) I will open each one up with excitement, replying if necessary or just reading them with a great big smile. Emails are just so exciting to open. Before it used to be the tearing of snail mail, and now it’s the clicking of online mail!”
Train of Thought, www.mybookylife.wordpress.com
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So, have you caught the Blogging Bug? Let me know in the comments below!

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DIY Halloween Eyeball Necklace

It’s almost October 31st and so in celebration of All Hallow’s Eve, I thought I’d share this fun necklace tutorial with you guys. Because nothing screams “Halloween” like an eyeball hanging off your neck, am I right?

The other day I was trying to think of something Halloween-related that I could post (I’m a pretty big Halloween fan – like the annoying type who plans their costumes a year in advance), when suddenly the idea of making eyeball jewelry just popped in to my head. I know what you’re thinking, these are the kind of innovative ideas our generation needs. What can I say, I’m just destined for greatness.

So once I got this idea (or should I say eye-dea 😉 ) in my head, I searched my house for any bits and pieces lying around that might be useful. I ended up with an old keyring, a chain from one of my many broken necklaces, a few nail polishes, a marble that I stole from my brother and, of course, my faithful glue gun. (Oh and on a side note, I really think I should give my glue gun a name…leave any suggestions in the comments below!)

Anyway, several glue gun burns and nail polish spills later (I don’t know why I choose to do so much crafting when clearly my coordination skills were not meant for DIYs), I managed to come up with a pendant that was relatively eyeball-resemblant if I do say so myself.

And I don’t want you guys to feel like you have to limit yourself to wearing this necklace only on Halloween by the way. A class presentation, a wedding, a job interview…I mean I’m pretty confident that eyeballs are appropriate for any situation. So, without further ado, I’ll get on with this tutorial. Make sure to like, share and comment below letting me know what plans you guys have for Halloween! Are you the kind of person who goes to a bunch of wild costume parties, or are you the type that stays home and eats the trick-or-treater’s candy? (I think we all know which category I fall into 😉 ) I hope you all have a great weekend and get a chance to try out this DIY!signature

 

 

What you need

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a keyring, with a jump ring attached to it

a large white marble (that’s slightly bigger than your keyring)

blue, red and black nail polish

a glue gun

a chain

Method

  1. Carefully glue the marble onto the rim of the keyring, making sure that the jump ring is sticking out at the top.
  2. Next, use red nail polish to paint little squiggly lines around the marble to look like veins. To make sure the lines were really precise, I dipped a needle into the nail polish and used that to make the designs.
  3. On the top of marble, paint a blue circle for the iris and a smaller black circle for the pupil.
  4. Once the polish has dried, slip your chain through the jump ring on the eyeball pendant and you’re done!

 

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DIY Modern Geometric Wall Art

hey

How are you guys doing? I know, I know…I haven’t posted in two weeks. I’m a mess. An embarrassment to bloggers around the world. But honestly, I actually have a valid(ish) excuse this time! See, on top of schoolwork, piano practice and not going to the gym, I’ve been spending most of my free time working on putting together a portfolio to go to design college next year. I’ve also been spending a lot of time watching  cookery videos on Youtube, but we can just ignore that part. Seriously though, on a side note, if any of you guys are putting together an art porfolio or have done so in the past  please comment below and let me know if you have any tips/advice to share!

Anyways, now that I’ve wasted one paragraph defending my inability to stick to a blogging schedule, let’s get back to the DIY, shall we? A few weeks back I made this cool geometric wall art but never got around to editing the photos and writing down the tutorial. It’s just been hanging on my bedroom wall staring at me accusingly ever since, so today I finally got around to finishing the post and sharing it with you guys! It’s such an easy and inexpensive way to add a modern, trendy touch to your room. Plus, you guys can personalise it by experimenting with different coloured crepe paper and triangle sizes to suit your own style! I’m so happy with how this one turned out – I think the the colour scheme is perfect for autumn and the combination of PVA glue and crepe paper creates a really interesting texture and visual effect on top of the card.

Oh and by the way, if you guys enjoy my DIYs and want to see more of them make sure to check out my Instructables account  where I have a bunch of other tutorials that haven’t been posted on my blog! And now, without furder ado, let’s make some Triangle Wall Art!

What you need

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PVA Glue

A3 sheet of thick Card paper

Crepe paper in 3 different colours

Scissors

Gold Paint *optional

Steps

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  1. Cut out three large triangles from the crepe paper (one in each colour).
  2. Arrange paper triangles onto the card in an overlapping vertical pattern.
  3. Carefully glue down the triangles with the PVA glue.
  4. Leave to dry and you’re done! I also painted on a few gold designs  to make the wall art a little more exciting.

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Book Review: ‘Beautiful’ by Naomi Katz

hey

So today’s post is going to be a little different. As you can tell from the title, it’s my first ever book review!

A few weeks ago, I was sent a copy of Beautiful‘ by Naomi Katz to review on Artsy Teen. You guys know how important my blog is to me and so I’m very particular about what I post and promote on it. But, when I read ‘Beautiful‘ I knew I wanted to have a part in spreading it’s positive message.  I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively confident person. Granted, maybe not ‘super-outgoing-and-strikes-up-a-conversation-with-a-random-stranger’ confident, but I’ve always been pretty confident in who I am and my ability to achieve my goals, which I think is something everyone should feel. And that’s exactly what ‘Beautiful‘ is all about, promoting female empowerment .

I think what I liked most about the book is that it really felt like Naomi Katz was sitting right next to me and telling me her story. It wasn’t like reading a fictional novel or fact-packed textbook, but more like a friend telling me about her life. She starts off the book with a brief introduction titled ‘Why I Wrote This Book and Why You Might Want To Read It’, where she talks about her experiences as a middle school teacher in New York that inspired her to speak up about the problems that were affecting teen girls.

In the ten chapters that follow, the author explores the everyday struggles young women have to face in today’s society, from peer pressure at school to the negative influences of the media. Naomi Katz offers her own advice and insight on how to deal with issues like the objectification of women, difficult relationships with friends and family, body image, mental illness and more. Some topics I could relate to, others had never effected me, and I’d imagine that everyone who reads the book identifies with each chapter differently.

Together with short narratives from real teenage girls, Naomi Katz tells an honest story of the confusing and challenging lives of young women. I mean, how many girls do you know that refuse to go out in public without covering there face in make up? I know a few. When did expensive face painting even become socially acceptable? In a world where ‘beauty’ is too often defined by Photoshop, ‘Beautiful‘ aims to inspire women and girls to have confidence in who they are.

If you want to buy your own copy of ‘Beautiful’ click here and make sure to check out Naomi Katz’s website www.beautifulproject.netAnd don’t forget to like and share this post and comment down below if you want to see more book reviews!

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Pros and Cons of Having NO Social Life

  hey

I’ve been on Summer Break for the past couple of weeks enjoying the lack of homework and remaining in denial of the fact that next year is my last year of school. But you know one thing that holidays tend to do is emphasise the fact that I really have no social life. I mean, of course when I’m at school I socialise, but when I’m at home there are just so many other important things I have to do. Like eating…and blogging…and eating…

Anyway it got me thinking, maybe this whole social life thing is overrated. Maybe being antisocial is where it’s at. So, like the logically minded person that I am, I decided to figure this out by putting together a list of the Pros and Cons of Having No Social Life.

Let me know in the comments below if you can relate, or if you actually have friends and just feel sorry for me ;). Also, comment if you have any suggestions for future ‘Pros and Cons of…’ Posts.

I hope you guys like it, as always it’s just a bit of fun! Now without further ado, here are the Pros and Cons of having No Social Life…k

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Pro Your phone isn’t buzzing all the time with notifications.

Con That feeling of disappointment when you finally get a text and it’s from the phone company.

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Pro You don’t have to waste money buying new clothes because you’re always at home

Con You literally wear the same three pieces of clothing over and over again.

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Pro You don’t have to deal with all the drama that comes with socialising.

Con The most exciting part of your day is finding out what the latest google doodle is.

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Pro Your parents don’t have to drive you everywhere.

Con Your parents start worrying as to why they don’t have to drive you anywhere.

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Pro You can take part in marathons…reading and movie marathons that is.

Con The lines between reality and fiction begin to blur…

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Pro You don’t have to share your food with other people.

Con This results in a pretty unhealthy diet, but you’re OK with that.

2000 followers

Pro You have more time to be creative.

Con There are none! Okay so maybe I’m not a social butterfly, but if I was I probably wouldn’t have this blog and all my amazing readers! And on that note (awesome segue),  Artsy Teen just reached 2000 followers so I wanted to take a second thank all of you guys so much for reading my posts every week, and encouraging me to keep up my creativity!

. . .

Enjoy the rest of your week 🙂

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What posts do you want to see this summer?

 

hey

I hope you’re all enjoying the sunny June weather – even Ireland has been (relatively) warm over the past few days. If you read my last post about my Summer Bucket List 2016, you’ll know that I’m on holidays at the moment! No studies means that I have plenty of time to dedicate to blogging and eating chocolate (usually simultaneously 😉 ). I already have lots of exciting summer post ideas, but I really want to see what you guys are interested in reading over the holidays. So,  if you could take a minute to vote for your favourite post idea (or let me know if you have any other suggestions ) that would be amazing!

I look forward to seeing what you guys think!

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The Ultimate Summer Bucket List

hey

How are you guys? I know, it’s been a while :/ I’m so sorry I haven’t posted in ages – I’ve had exams and bad wi-fi connection over the past few weeks, which really aren’t the best combination for blogging. But excuses aside, I am now off school for the next few months which means I can at last focus on my blog again! I’ve got tons of exciting posts planned for you guys this summer, and I’m kicking things off with the ultimate holiday bucket list!

I don’t know about you, but every year I have so many amazing plans for the holidays and then before I know it, summer’s over and all I’ve accomplished is spending three months binge watching Netflix. But this year, I’m determined to be productive, try new things and visit new places (ok, and maybe binge watch Netflix just a little). Let me know in the comments below what plans you have for the holidays and if you have an recommendations for a good TV series I can get addicted to over the summer. Now, without further ado, here’s 20 ways to have the best summer ever 🙂

1. Have a Campfire/BBQ

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Nothing screams ‘summertime’ more than having a barbecue with your neighbours (I’m pretty sure they only do that in movies, but who knows) or roasting smores over a campfire. Just make sure you don’t burn your house down!

2. Have a picnic on the beach

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I’m pretty sure it’s an unspoken law that you have to go the beach at least once during the summer – or if you don’t live near the coast, a pool or lake or something. Either way, having a picnic by the sea with some friends and family is an inexpensive outing that is always fun and memorable!

3. Travel the world!vw-camper-336606_640

Whether you’re flying abroad or going on a roadtrip with some friends, discovering new places is an essential part of summer time. This year, I  saved up to go with some friends on a trip to Germany, Italy and Slovenia – I can’t wait!

4. Embrace your inner bookworm

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I’m not saying that everyone loves reading, I’m just saying that if you don’t you need to reevaluate your life choices. I used to be an avid reader, but recently I’ve noticed I haven’t been reading enough. This summer, I plan to raid the library and get back into the joys of literature!

5. Bake some cookies

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Well, not necessarily cookies – any food will do (though if you are a cookie fan, make sure to check out my super easy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe 😉 ). If you guys like cooking/baking as much as I do, I’m sure you also have a few recipes that you’ve always wanted to try out, but have never been brave enough to! Well, let’s make this the summer where we face our culinary fears and attempt to cook those complicated recipes.

6. Go to a concert

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Concerts and music festivals are always something I want to do over the summer, but never get around to attending (usually because I’m broke). But for the first time, this year my friend and I are going to see Beyoncé perform live up in Dublin on July 9th, which will no doubt be amazing!

7. Get crafty! 

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You guys know I “get crafty” all year long, but in my mind three months of holidays is just an excuse to spend even more time diy-ing! I got this tie dye kit for Christmas (like two years ago) and I’m definitely going to be trying it out this summer.

8. Learn a new skill

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Summer is the perfect time to learn new skills, whether that’s trying out a new sport for all you strange athletic people, learning how to drive or taking up an unusual hobby. Personally, I’m going to look into taking part in a photography course this year.

9. Eat ice cream

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Forget Romeo and Juliet‘s love story. A few years ago I went on holidays to Florence, Italy and tried gelatos. I have loved ice cream ever since.

10. Dye your hair

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Admit it – you’ve always secretly wanted to dye your hair some crazy colour. Well, I think this is the year that you should woman up and do it (just ask your parents first). I tried getting a purple ombré look last year, though instead of the vibrant, violet locks I’d hoped for I was left with was half of my hair having a barely noticeable maroon-y tint. This year, I think I might just go for some highlights. If you don’t want to damage your hair, colourful extensions are a good alternative too.

11. Make a smoothie

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Or get someone else to make you a smoothie. Either way, summer is the perfect time for cold, fruity drinks and smoothies are way healthier than a can of coke.

12. Have a movie night

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Instead of spending money on overpriced popcorn and tickets at the cinema, invite a couple of your girls over to spend the night. Just open up Netflix, grab some snacks and let the movie marathon begin!

13. Celebrate an obscure holiday 

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Everyday of the year is dedicated to a different, unusual holiday and most of them you’ve never even heard of! So this summer, why not research a few ‘obscure’ holidays , choose one (preferably the most bizarre) to celebrate and go all out. Personally, I love any excuse to celebrate, so I’m definitely going to be trying this out. I mean, when something as wonderful as ‘corn on the cob day’ exists, how could you not celebrate it?

14. Take photos

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Now I’m not saying act like one of those infuriating tourists who just take pictures of everything, but I do think its really nice to take few photos to keep as souvenirs. At the end of the summer, you can even put together a little scrap book.

15. Learn Origami

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Cause I mean, why not? It’s such an underrated art these days.

16. Have a henna tattoo party

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A fun way to spend an afternoon is to invite a few friends over and give eachother henna tattoos. For those of you who don’t know, henna is a plant-based dye that is used in various Cultures (notably in India) as a sort of temporary body tattoo. Now, it’s starting to become a trend around the world! You guys can check out my step by step Henna Tutorial to learn the basics.

17. Play a board game

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As a kid, I used to play board games all the time with my brothers and things would get pretty competitive! This summer, I think I’ll spend a little time reminding my family that I’m still the undisputed Champion of All Board Games ;).

18. Focus on a project

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During the rest of the year, there’s so much going on that sometimes we tend to avoid getting involved in big projects. Summer’s the perfect time to really focus on a larger task that’s a bit time consuming. As I said, this year I want to dedicate a lot of time to blogging and also to working on my portfolio for art college (by the way, if any of you are making/ have made a porfolio, please leave any tips in the comments below! They’d be much appreciated).

19. Be Spontaneous

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When I’m at school, my life tends to become a routine and the weekdays all start to blur into one. Even though it can be nice to have a plan, it’s also fun to just be a little spontaneous once in awhile, like randomly going out to lunch with your friends or suddenly deciding to visit somewhere new!

20. Watch a sunset/sunrise

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Even a cynic like me can appreciate a beautiful sunset or sunrise. Hopefully I’ll see one this summer (if I manage to wake up early enough) and maybe even take some nice photographs!

all photos are courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com

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My Holiday in la France!

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So as some of you probably know already, I recently(-ish) spent ten days in la belle France, which is why my posting schedule has been a bit all over the place lately. I say recently-ish because I actually came back about a month ago (and I also just love massacring the English language with my made up words 😉 ).

Anyway, I was meant to post this ages ago, but only just got around to writing it this week. I know what you’re thinking… “How is some sixteen year old who spends

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Here’s a not-so-accurate-but-good-enough-to-give-you-a-vague-idea map of where Navarrenx is.

most of her time surfing the internet sooo busy?” And the answer to that is: I’m not. I just love to procrastinate. Also, it’s likely that you weren’t thinking that at all, but in my mind everyone else is as judgmental as I am.

Moving on… my travels abroad! Back in 2010, my family and I moved to a little medieval village called Navarrenx in the South-West of France. We lived there for a few years, and  moved back to Ireland two summers ago. As we hadn’t returned since, we thought we’d make a trip down, enjoy the sunny weather, eat some baguettes and see how the old town was doing.

 

 

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Enormous stone ramparts built hundreds of years ago surround the village.

Now I’m going to skip over the whole taking-the-plane-slash-renting-a-car part of this trip, but being the pessimist that I am, I did write a whole post about the 10 Things I Hate About Travelling, where I outline the more tedious aspects of travelling in detail. We arrived in Navarrenx on a slightly-overcast Tuesday afternoon. Despite the weather, it’s hard not to be impressed by the 16th century Ramparts that greet you upon your arrival. The town has about 1000 inhabitants and was recently named one of the ‘Plus Beaux Villages de France‘ (i.e. one of the most beautiful villages of France). Navarrenx’s 500 year old stone houses with pointy roofs and shuttered windows certainly don’t disappoint the “quaint french town” stereotype.

Of course, the first thing we did after entering the village was head straight to Carrefour Express – the local supermaket – and buy cheese, baguettes and a personal favourite of mine, cigarettes russes (which literally translates to Russian Cigarettes, but are really just super tasty tuile biscuits).

The next day, like every Wednesday since the 1800s, was Market Day. The Marché is held in the town square next to the Mairie (the town hall) and church, where farmers and artisans from around the area come to sell their goods. Now in general, Navarrenx is a pretty quiet village – and I’m talking ‘they could shoot a zombie movie there’ quiet – but Market days are the one time people make the effort to come out and support the local produce.

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You can find everything at the market from seasonal fruit and veg to cheese, jewelery and woodwork. There’s also the ever popular poissonier, a.k.a. the fishmonger. Let’s just say the aroma of his stand really adds to the ambiance in the town square

 

Now one of the things that takes some getting used to in France – especially inthe countryside – is that businesses have very specific opening hours. Shops have half days on Sundays, are closed on Mondays and have a ‘lunch break’ from 12am-4pm for the rest of the week. Naturally, it’s always a disappointment when you run out of bread for lunch and realise its 12:01am. Luckily, since I’ve left, the Navarrenxians come up with a solution to this problem; vending machines. And not just any vending machines. A pizza vending machine and of course, a baguette vending machine (we are in France after all) serving fresh bread all day long. How great is that?

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The amazing ‘Pizza des Remparts’ vending machine, Ladies and Gentlemen. Fresh Pizza 24/7. Though it is to be noted that you do have to idiotically stand outside the machine for 3 minutes before actually getting each pizza. After the fourth pizza you start to get a bit board.

On Friday, I went to get my hair cut Chez Gizelle, the hairdressers I used to go to when I lived in France. One thing you learn when living in a French village is that there are two businesses that are always incredibly successful and that’s hair salons and pharmacies. I mean if the French President announced that the world was ending, I guarantee that half of the population would go to the pharmacy and quickly purchase as many medicines as possible, while the other half would head to the hair salon to make sure they looked a la mode for the apocalypse. The tiny village of Navarrenx alone has three hair salons and three pharmacies – and they’re always packed. Another, lesser known fact outside of France is that hairdressers are in fact secret intelligence agencies – or in other words, the rendez-vous spot of every gossip within a five mile radius. Seriously, you go in there wanting to get a hair cut and come out knowing that the photographer has a gambling problem, the baker used to work for the C.I.A. and that the mademoiselle across the street may or may not be related to the Queen of England.

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The Pyrenees Mountains (my photography definitely doesn’t do them justice, but hopefully it gives you an idea of how impressive they look)

After spending a few days in the quiet village, I decided to meet up with one of my french friends and take a trip up to the nearest city, Pau. Unlike Navarrenx, the old streets of Pau were filled with people. We walked along the Boulevard des Pyrénées, where as you can guess, we had a great view of the Pyrenees. The mountains were still covered in snow, and my dad and brothers actually went up skiing one weekend during our stay (I didn’t because I tend to avoid doing any form of physical activity). We then walked passed the impressive chateau of King Henri IV  and around the city centre. The weather was lovely and my friend brought me to what was apparently rumoured to be the best ice cream place in town (a.k.a. an ice cream van in the town square). To be fair, she wasn’t completely exaggerating – I bought a litchi, rose and raspberry flavoured sorbet, and she bought a licorice flavoured ice-cream – both were pretty delicious 🙂

So all in all, I have to say the trip was a success. I think because I’d already lived in France so long, the holiday didn’t really have that ‘wow’ factor that comes with discovering someplace new. But I got to see old friends, eat croissants everyday and binge-watch french Netflix, which of course is the really important thing to do when on holiday abroad. In retrospect, it probably would have been a smarter idea to go during the summer time when the local swimming pool’s open and its a bit busier, so remember that if you plan on visiting that part of France. Still, it was a really nice break!

I love traveling and it’s something I really wanted to try and include in my blog as much as possible. Are you guys planning any exciting trips away? Let me know what you guys thought of my first Artsy.Teen.Travels post in the comments below!

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