My first Pride

On the bus back home from the most exciting day of all Sunday’s with my bestie, I mention how I should write a blog post about pride and she said I should. It’s not going to go into a ‘talk’ instead I am going to tell you about my experience. & sometimes that the best thing you can do.

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I never been to the Pride weekend events or saw the parade. My friends always went-I either was out of town or busy. So when I saw I wasn’t out of town or busy I had to go. I wanted to go and see it for myself, I wanted to be there to support. And experience what everyone talked about but you never really knew what it was like until you went.

Of course, I did my research, only taking a few woman’s studies that touched on LGBQT subjects, friends and hearing other people talk about it, I still want to be respectful. I didn’t want to be shocked than have my oh so expressive can’t hide it face be shocked. But I am 25 years old I know not to point and to be respectful. And I was told that MN pride festival is family friendly, just with more boobs and bums–which when there it felt normal, it felt right. More on this later.

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My favorite part was the parade, it took awhile to start there was a protest (for black lives matter-respect). The people in the parade were still pretty entertaining. It allowed you to see more, get more out of it and even get up and dance with them (still standing on the side).  Who was there: EVERYONE it seemed!  Both our senators were, sadly only one party (to my knowledge, there were a lot of politicians there who I didn’t know). It is such an MN thing to be nice and with all that has been happening in MN and around the world (read the news) it’s nice to have that to know we are still MN nice and welcoming. All the different organisations, businesses, groups including religion and politics come to the parade. Showing their support that it is really about the people and who you are, not who they or anyone else wants you to be. I was sitting on the side having a ball, screaming sticker me, I fly DELTA, dancing along and just embracing it all. Years ago, I might not even think about going to the event like this or screaming out; I’d stay to myself. I was still was too scared to ask the cool girls with balloons on them for a picture or get a picture with Al Frankin.  But it still was enjoyable.

After the parade we went to the park were booths, shows and events were happening. We walked around the park, taking it all in. We were not going to any the events or doing any of the things, we were the go with the flow, let’s sit and watch this show, eat some mini doughnuts, chit chat, and walk around collecting stickers; people.

I am someone who likes to people watch, look around, and notice things; take in stories, learning, and wonder. And there was plenty of things to see that I’ve seen before or never seen in my life. But what I did see were people being who they are, not feeling uneasy or scared for who they are; because they knew this was a safe place so many others were doing the same that no one gave a shit! That’s what acceptance is. Sure some of it was a bit out there, but you looked shrugged it off and kept on cause they were being them–I loved that. I love that person shoes, their hair, the drag queen shows. I love how different everyone was, different groups from church to bikers to sex workers to recovering drug attics to gay men choir all in one place. This was what it was all about.  And I was so happy see all those people, all the colour around showing nothing but love.

I am straight I don’t know what it is like to be LGBTQ but I always try to understand, I am always welcoming. And here they were letting me into their community that was so colourful, wild, funny, glamours, and 100% love for who you are. Honestly, you had to be there. Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

 

A City Girl Update: New hair, new focus, new point of view, new composition…

I’m just naming photography terms. I thought I write a little city girl up date focus on inspiration, instagram and creating cause I’ve been feeling very unease and uninspired which I wanted to explain.

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There are two things that has formed this brick wall blocking my creativity. I’m a creative person but lately I’ve been feeling uninspired. I have nothing to write about and  it isn’t cause I can’t focus. I want to take my camera out but I’m having trouble shooting and its not cause my batter is low. It’s for the reasons I’m going to explain here.

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The first one is privacy, fakeness, and spam that has popped up too many times. If you follow me on twitter you will know my hate for spam especially phone calls so when I get spam/scam/fake accounts on instagram and then comments on my blog I get unease, I get mad. I get scared.That’s why I take notice and always try to make some friendly connections.  There are block buttons, mark as spam; which I am not hesitant to use. But there are those accounts that are–so bloody fake and trying to sell you something–we know them–seeing your stuff and it can feel unease. I’ve always shared little details as possible even in the most personal post I’ve written. I hardly ever do selfies on my public accounts. But, now with things like instagram stories you have more ability to share and there are things I want to share; I want to talk to people CAUSE I LOVE TO TALK. That’s exposing myself more; which I’m not a fan of. So, for awhile now I’ve been unsure what to share on instagram.

Second, I feel like I’m put in a box when it comes to photography. On my own of course, because I want to post what people will appeal to, what people will like and is “blogger fitting” (new term I created). I would never consider myself an art’s but I’m creating pieces for people to read, find something in and inspire. I’m creating stories. Even through blogging. But I feel like it has limited me into this box of blue. I don’t really know what I want, I see what others do and be like. I want to create that but I’m not seeing it; I look out my window I see the shadow of lights on the house next door and think that could be a photo but how do I create that photo?

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I find myself pulling away from instagram like Facebook its become over rated, it becoming too much. I hate that cause I love instagram! Personally, there is shit going on that has consume my thoughts and that has formed a wall too but creativity has always been my escape. However, that too is suffering, cause I have nothing, I feel unease and I want to grow.  But I don’t know how or where to go, I’m stuck.

What can you do when your blocked and can’t see it? Well I know what I need to do. So, I am doing some clean up, I plan to really challenge myself as a writer and photographer; get some deep shadows and feelings (haha). I’m going to write more thoughtful, flash fiction pieces, throw some more artistic photographs in there, maybe even some lace, and really grow. I have a project for a book to self publish by end of summer!  Getting myself out of this box that’s too comfortable. You always want to grow. And I so badly want to grow.

IF you follow me on instagram you might know where i got the inspiration for my title 😉

 

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A City Girl Guide: What to do this Summer

A city girl guide to what to do for your Minnesota summer 

I haven’t had a proper Minnesota Summer in a long time. This one is going to be different not only is it my first summer back and I’m trying to find the best places; I’m still experience culture shock and trying to find where I  belong. But also I personally have some big decisions to figure out. So far I’ve done a few different things to make it the best summer it can be. Which I’ve shared on Instagram.

The best time to come to Minnesota is Summer; we spend about 6 months of the year inside that those summer months of being outside we use it up; there are events to movies in the park to concerts in the park to so much more. So if your coming to Minnesota plan to come to Minnesota with an empty suit case cause we have the biggest mall in Northern America–Mall of America and there are no tax on clothes! (selling it!)

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But really there is a lot more to do then shop. This list can be applied anywhere really.

What to do in Minnesota?

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  • Minnesota State Fair: its at the end of the summer but its probably the biggest most anticipate event of the whole summer. With food stands, food on sticks, music, horses, horse shows, pigs, cows, chicken and ducks, concerts, more food, rides, different booths with a lot of free stuff, car shows, tractor shows. Then there is the people watching; its a Minnesota event that you don’t want to miss.
  • Lakes: sure you can go on your boat, go tubbing, jet skying. But I live in the city and really getting thrown off or hit by a wave (from a boat) isn’t really ideal–i’d do it if I was invited; but more like hit those city lakes or rivers. Go sailing, paddle boarding, tube down the river is something I want to do. Minnesota is NOWHERE near a OCEAN we are the land of 10,000 lakes with dirt. But on those hot summer days. Lakes are what you got and time to enjoy before there is ice on them!
  • Parks: there are a lot of state parks around Minnesota to go and spend a nice afternoon; hike, have a picnic. Enjoy the outdoors. And for me a day in the outdoors is just fine.
  • ROAD TRIP: take a road trip to a small town; doesn’t have to be too far, could be a 20 minute drive outside the city (like Stillwater)  take the day, go somewhere small. Walk, sit in a pub, outside, have some food, a beer and some good conversation. Find the most random small town. I want to go to New Ulm cause they say its like Germany I been to Germany, lets check it out!Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
  • Brewers or Roof top bars: Brewers are big here; and really summer is a good time to enjoy yourself. So going to the brewers sitting on their decks; going to a roof top after work is a great way to spend the evening and enjoy the nice weather after being inside all day.
  • Spend a weekend up north: I loved when I went somewhere especially Galway or Killarney for the weekend. Here we have up north (Duluth) near lake superior. Rent an Airbnb and spend a weekend there; your even near a city there is Duluth.
  • Movies in the Park: I would spend a lot of my summers in Minnesota going to the movies in the park. They would have them all over the city parks a movie for the whole summer. Its a bit buggy, but so fun to have an evening out in the park watching a movie. There is also music in the park too.
  • Baseball game: If you every in America there is nothing like going to a baseball game. its something you have to do at least once maybe twice a summer.

And that’s the list. I plan to do more about guides to Minnesota esp. Twin cities of places and things to do. This is a BIG city, not as big as New York but bigger then Cork. Kind of why it can be overwhelming and feel lost at time. But I plan to do it by area so look out for those. My goal is to convince you  to come to Minnesota if your going to come visit the states. cause what I figure out not many tourist attractions or a place people know expect for Fargo but thats in North Dakota.

Spill it out: I don’t want to be a good influence.

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I don’t want to be a good influence because that’s too much pressure for me.

We all want to find something of ourselves in someone else, we find inspiration but we also find jealousy. I’ve had my experience of both.  We can’t help it but I think we should find more inspiration from others vs jealousy. Staying on track with how I don’t want to be a good influence. No one wants the there daughter to be dropping f-bombs but maybe they want someone their daughter can talk to, can give them advice. Giving inspiration and determination. And that is me.

No one is perfect, and I am far from it. I am 25 years old, not only do I swear, but I drink, I’ve gotten myself into situations I regret, I don’t eat my crust, I don’t listen, I’ve driven over the speed limit, I show more skin in winter & in summer and I talk back. I am a 25-year-old woman who is going to be a 25-year-old women. However, despite that I am someone girls can look up to. I understand my platform, I understand that people look up to me from the little one to my cousins to my peers. And I want them to. Because, as I grew up I didn’t really have that. I had a few but there was more I had to learn on my own or through friends that would be GREAT to have someone older to be there. Through blogging that’s my goal.

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There are topics I wanted to talk about on here that I stepped away from; like this post was going to be something completely different but I deleted out of fear of what people may think. Not about me more out of consideration of how others may react, and opinions, negative ones. I never want to offend. There are topics and subjects that are hard to talk about, one’s that are seen shameful or make people bashful. I personally, don’t mind talking about the topics but I feel more awkward when I know others don’t. I also 100% worry of being called names or opinions from outside voices just cause of a topic. Which just makes me more want to talk about it.

This is life, these things are happening in our lives; and the more we don’t talk about them the more we will either feel shame or there won’t be a change. They won’t be a lesson learned or even understatement.

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So, I’m going to talk about some things; you might not like them you might not agree with them. Hey, thats how the world works and that is fine. But don’t shame or be mean to someone because of that. We hear/see it so often people comments, people being opinionated towards who we are, what we do etc in life and online.  Great fantastic– like the random people on the beach when I was having one of the most frustration moments of my nanny life with a dog and a ball telling me what to do–I will tell you what I told them–go away. I won’t be a good influence cause I will never meet others standers nor will I want to.

When I nannied the best feeling in the world was knowing that I impacted her (&him) vs verse to me as well. The moment she says she learned it from me even if it was “probably shouldn’t have taught her that” like “that’s my name don’t wear it out.” That honestly was the best feeling. I know I’m no one, nor do I want to be, but if I can change (impact) girls in a way that makes them into empowering, driven, independent girls who have no fear of being who they are. Then I will be happy.

What I will be isn’t a good influence but I will be someone to look up to.

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Self Tanning routine

I have never been one to go to tanning salons it wasn’t until I was living in Ireland and putting on tan before a night out that it became a thing.  I didn’t or will never do the tanning beds for all I can think of was my Professor telling a girl “you tan, well you’re going to be my built” Horrible but true. And spray tans just were a risk of orange.  And it was one of those things that I could do myself. I also enjoy doing it. Now that I’m back stateside with hot summers to lay out and be in a suit all day there is really no need to use self-tanner but I’ve been meaning to do this post for awhile so here it is.

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Products I use:

Note: self tanner is expensive here its a luxery not a necessary

My top Tanner I love is the Rimmel Mouse in Mediam dark–not sold in America-its what I used a lot. Before I used Sally Hansen spray for legs; which only lasted for the night. Mouses last up to 7 days. When I got back to the states I wasn’t willing to spend 20 or more on self tanner–we know how I feel about spending money on products. So Target did have self-tanner in Sally HansenJergens. 11.99 is still a killer compared to the 9 euros you spend on tanner in Penny’s. The Jergens (picture below) is alright probably my least favourite mouse I’ve used.  I got “light” and its hard to know where the tan is going; so when it drys and time to wash off there are spots I’ve clearly missed. And it can go orange real fast which I haven’t experience ever before with mouses. My new favourite up there with Rimmel is Coco brown. NOT SOLD HERE! If you saw my instagram you would know the story about me and coco brown and why I’m so behind. But I bought it and I actually loved it. I don’t know if it beats Rimmel for me but its up there.

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The reason why I like mouse better then a spray or a lotion is how easy it apply’s. You can (usually) see where you are applying it, it sinks into the skin nicely, it last 7 days, it easily builds.  And it does have extra that after it settles you have to wash it off–which sometimes I do forget. I have applied mouse tan on hours before I went out and didn’t wash it off–and I looked fine. Its only when I do it the night before and sleep is usually when I have to do it; but thats cause I’m a hot sleeper.

I do use a scrub from Soap and Glory along with their body butter. I like the scrub cause I feel like it does a really good job and makes my skin soft afterwords; hardly a mess. And the body butter OMG this stuff sinks in the skin and I wake up with the smoothest skin. I LOVE SOAP AND GLORY!

Routine

For putting on tan you really have to plan at least three days in advance. Because you really don’t want to shave the day of putting on tan; its not good it stings. Usually if I was going to go out…

  • Wednesday: shower like normal and shave
  • Thursday: touch ups on spots I’ve missed, use the Soap and Glory scrub and body butter after.
  • Friday: Wash, scrub no body butter. Apply tan after dry off And let it sit while I do my make up.

 

 

 

I recently learned that if you put lotion on spots that really don’t take tan well like under arm, knees, elbows hands; that really helps.

Usually I don’t reapply unless there is something important happening in middle of the week. But I usually let the 7 days go; and either the day before I’m going to shave I start to scrub the tan off. And then start the routine over again.

That is pretty much it. I actually love putting on tan and getting ready; it so relaxing, its fun. When you put that effort and time in you really putting time and effort in yourself! Which brings happiness and love. Like I said I used self tanner a lot more in Ireland and now in winter. But now that its summer state side and the sun in bowling hot like!  I rather have a natural tan and I really don’t feel like I get that when I put on self tanner.

Let me know if this was helpful or you would like more what I do like how I study, what’s my make up routine, etc. Comment below.

 

A City Girl Review: Asking For It by Louise O’Neill

A book you should be reading….

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In Asking For It, Louise O’Neill explores a topic that most people would rather not talk about. She brilliantly portrays a young girl who has been raped and the subsequent psychological trauma she’s forced to endure. O’Neill has us confront the reality of sexual assault, victim blaming, and consent, and what it is like to go through these things as a victim. She also touches on generational differences, the impact of social media on society and modern perceptions of women.  

O’Neill, from West Cork, Ireland, is an Irish novelist who is no stranger to diving into controversial social issues in her writing. Her first novel Only Ever Yours is a dystopian story in which girls are bred to please men. Asking For It focuses on 18 year old Emma O’Donovan, an unlikeable young woman who craves attention and isn’t nice to her friends. She flirts with all the boys, even her friend’s boyfriend. Emma goes to a party and  wakes with no idea what happened but feels uneasy. Then photographs start to surface of her and it comes clear of what happen. She was raped by a group of boys. Instead of being seen as the victim she is called a liar, slut, a girl who asked for it.  

  I first came across O’Neill’s book while at graduate school in Ireland. My friends were talking about a novel they had to read for class called Asking for It. As they told me about it I thought about how a book about such a sensitive topic would never have been assigned in a class in the states. A few months later, I finally picked it up the book and wasn’t ready for what was about to come.  

The book progresses through Emma’s life before and after she’s raped and we learn her thoughts and experiences what she is going through and how the assault affects her physically and emotionally. We come to understand what Emma is going through; she feels,​“My body is not my own any more. They have stamped their names all over it.”   

Emma’s story is hard to read but its one you need to read.

 O’Neill did extant research on Asking For It to make sure the story she was writing was real one. And it is very real, sexual assault, rape and the culture that enables it is real. And it is something every culture needs to address.  O’Neill continues to speak out about the topics she explores in Asking For It. She wrote a documentary, Asking For It?: Reality Bites, which aired on RTE2 on November 1, 2016. Asking For It has been placed on many best-selling lists and was the Irish Times Book of the Month in September 2015; The American Library Association awarded it a Michael L. Printz Honor for excellence in literature written for young adults and it is included on many college must reads.  

Even though the book takes place in Ireland, its themes are universal. It is critical that we open up dialogue about what factors contribute to rape culture,causes sexual assault and what can be done to change it from happening. We need to talk about rape and consent and affirm that women are treated better as victims of sexual assaults. We need to understand how rape affects an individual’s physical and emotional well being. We need to recognize and attempt to understand the conflicts that will arise within friendships and families.  And this novel does just that.  We need more books like Asking For It.

I actually got to meet Louise during my placement it was such a real experience. She informed me on so much with advise and you can see her passion and drive. Also met Lisa McInerney (pictured below). I was so nervous and excited about my internship especially when the Tuesday would come and fiction writers would come! 13653187_10154230644803463_8092185432130690256_o

 

 

 

 

A day in life of a city girl living in a big city.

I wanted to write this so when someone stubbles on my blog they get a little more. Also this is in relations to a out of blue post I did called “Today was a good day”. This post really focuses on the contrast of life abroad to here. 

I wrote this post Today was a good day, after having this best friendly experience in Benefits and Only. I am someone who is just trying to find her place and feel important, like anyone else. and while living in Ireland I got a lot of that, while here not so much. It’s so go-go there is no time to learn someone’s name.

 

Like the other day I walk into Sephora and they were friendly but they weren’t going to sit down and be like lets do make up. Or booking something was so many hoops-two weeks in advance I understand but when asking to book it–honestly it didn’t feel easy it felt like a hassle basically. Compared to when I did it in Benefit after buying something it was like “how about this day” no problem. And even when one time it did screw up–I felt this unease frustrating, “not worthy” feeling and walked out. When I came back they felt so bad, they sat me down right away. And I was right back to feeling like this girl was my BFF again.

 

There was this sense of friendship and connections I made while living in Ireland like every place I went was “my place” (not in a childish that’s mine) but there was a sense of belonging.  While here I can’t tweet a local pub (bar) and even get a response, the person at a counter is trying to sell me something or spray perfume in my face. I go into coffee shops and they smile, but they smile at me. While living abroad having the bar tender know my name; or even have a conversation with me, being in a store and chatting with me, making friends on twitter or even having the library and Rearden’s interact with me on social media, not only made me feel good it is what made me go to them.   Now here it seems it’s just a place and I’m just a girl. Read Tody was a good day.

 

After living abroad, my mind really open up not only seeing what others saw but also experience other ways of living life. And I learned something. Here stores open at 10 and close at 9; stores abroad open by 9 and close by 6; you catch the bus, travel by train. Going to the local pub on a week day at 8 pm is normal.  Not saying Ireland or any place is perfect; what I’m saying is maybe they have the right idea of how to live and do life with being easy going and on the whole not tipping thing. What I’m really saying is….We are always in crowded places, stuck in rush hour traffic, trying to be the first one of  something or off the free way. Such a hustle and bustle. And that really is the main thing.

 

adayinlifeIt’s time to take our time, really have a conversation with the bar tender, get to know the person you randomly sat down next to, close down shops early, and really focus on what is important. I’m a city girl trying to find her place in this big place.