Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why You Need To Vote Yes on May 22nd.


The original title of this post was "Why You Should Vote No on May 22nd" - but I've had feedback from some people who felt uncomfortable sharing it because of that title, and others that were annoyed by it. So the message still stands, but I've changed the title of the post.

On May 22nd in Ireland, we're having a Referendum on whether or not LGBT people will be allowed to get married. Here's why you should vote no:

If you will be paying for their weddings from your own personal bank account.

That's it, really.

Otherwise, I implore you to vote yes. I wasn't even going to do a post on this but there's so much I want to say that I get muddled and flustered and annoyed - really annoyed.

I live in a very rural area in the Midlands. LGBT people don't make up a huge percentage of the population, but they are here, and for the most part I have always assumed that they're accepted - that might be incredibly naive of me, going by recent "revelations" from people I thought would know better.

On May 22nd, we are voting on whether or not a woman can marry a woman, or a man can marry a man. That's it. We're not voting on whether they can adopt a child or on their parenting abilities. Every single argument against this vote that I have heard in my locality has mentioned children. One argument included the sentence "but listen to me, if they get rights, they'll want more. They'll want to adopt and it's not right, children need a mother and a father." This was from someone who didn't raise his own children, by the way. I'll be sharing this post on facebook, so if you happen to see this and recognise yourself - tough. Shame on you. SHAME ON YOU.

Considering everyone is so concerned about children and about same sex parenting and traditional parenting - I'll say this. I was born to a married couple, and raised without a father. Two women raised me. My mother and my grandmother. My mother did not make good choices all the time. I had no male influence. I think I turned out alright, if you'll excuse the ego. I may not have gone to University and gotten a degree, and I am a little bit fat, but would a Dad have changed that? I'm not mean, I'm not a racist or a bigot, I'm married, and have three sons now. I think I do a good job with them. I don't get pissed, I don't do drugs, I don't abuse or neglect them. I think I'm a good wife. Being raised by two women didn't mean that I was afraid of men or I didn't know what to do around them or how to deal with them. I've never felt uncomfortable around men. Did I miss out on a Dad? Maybe. But I had a mother, and sometimes I feel like I missed out on a mother.

We are voting on marriage. Only marriage. On whether or not two people should be allowed to stand in front of their family and friends and tell them, and each other, how much they love and care for one another. In a society like the one we live in, so full of hatred and fear, so full of evil and badness, why on earth would you want to be responsible for denying someone of doing that?

Buy your badges at voteyesbadge.com.
All proceeds to the Marriage Equality campaign.

I often look at those wonder kids who can do things like play Mozart on the piano at 4. Or those people who, at aged 22, have done more in their short lifetimes than I've done with a ten year head start. I often think - "I have done nothing in my life worth anything except have my children". If you can identify with that feeling, here's your chance. Change lives. Change the course of history. Stand up and show people that we are not as backward and as ignorant as we are sometimes portrayed. You can be a part of something amazing, something that will lead to true equality - or you can be a part of destruction, pain, prejudice. Unless you are a member of the LGBT community, this isn't going to change anything for you personally. Nobody is going to knock on your front door and declare your marriage invalid or any less important just because others will be given the opportunity to marry. As far as I'm aware, my wedding ring still means something.

Stand up for your future gay sons and lesbian daughters/friends/nieces/grandchildren. Those who feel strongly that the definition of marriage should not be changed have already lost - because it has been changed. Women no longer have to give their jobs up after they marry. More and more women don't take their husbands names. Sometimes (like myself), we have a child first and then live together for a decade and THEN get married. Some people bring children from previous relationships into marriages. It has already changed. THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE HAS ALREADY CHANGED.

The people who are against this are really against it, and they will vote No. They will vote no, because they are afraid of change. Some will vote no because they don't understand what they're voting for. Please, please vote Yes on May 22nd and show solidarity with those who just want to be able to get married.

I'm all for balance and hearing both sides on most issues - but I can not wrap my head around the reason for denying two people a marriage. What effect does it have on you? NONE. Absolutely none. Think about it. NONE.

If your argument involves children, firstly go and tell all your childless married friends that their marriages are invalid. Then, think about all the children born to alcoholics, drug addicts, prisoners. Those children are already on the planet. They need help right now. The hypothetical children that some think will be handed out across the hatch at the HSE office along with the marriage certificates do not. If you feel that strongly about the safety and welfare of the children of Ireland, get off your arse and do some volunteer work for Childline, Barnardos, Temple Street, St. Vincent de Paul, or some of the other charities who would be only too grateful of your assistance.

This is your chance to sit back with that smug grin on your face at the end of May and think "I did that. I was part of that. I helped change history." Do the right thing - all you're voting on is whether or not two people who love each other should be allowed to get married. That is it.

Make sure you're registered to vote - check www.checktheregister.ie to find out if you're registered. You still have time to apply for a postal vote - the deadline is April 25th according to the website. Deadline to register for voting at your local polling station is May 5th.

Visit yesequality.ie for more information on the Yes Equality campaign.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Swatched - Essie Resort Collection 2015

**No PR Samples Featured**


Every year, Essie releases a "Resort Collection" around this time. It's a capsule collection of four polishes, usually bright pastels or spring colours that all compliment each other. This years collection is no different - four staple colours that will go with just about anything.

Once again, I decided to go for the mini polishes because I'm not getting value from the larger bottles - I've never finished a nail polish. With these, there's much more of a chance of me making a dent in them. On to the swatches!

First up is Suite Retreat, and it was a one-coater. It's a lovely dusky blurple that I thought was similar to a Sleek polish I have (it's not) or Essie Butler Please (it's really not). It can look blue or purple depending on the light, it's almost grape under artificial light. Formula was perfect, no issues.

Up next is Cocoa Karma - a lovely light coffee coloured brown. This was also a one-coater, and is a gorgeous dusty light brown that looks like a strange choice for this time of year, but I'll show you in a minute why it's probably my favourite. No application issues on this either.

This goes with so many colours and is the perfect compliment to the blue and white striped combo that seems to crop up every Spring:

Next is a great coral colour with an even better name - Stones n' Roses. This was a little harder to work with, I found it a little streaky and it needed three coats to even out properly. But it was worth it, it's a great colour.

Lastly is my least favourite of the bunch - Time For Me Time is a sheer pink with slight shimmer in the bottle that barely transfers to the nail. It's hard to build up, I still had visible nail line after three coats. It was reminiscent of the O.P.I NYC Ballet collection from a couple of years ago. It would make a nice bridal polish, or a great layering polish with glitter, but it's not my cup of tea at all unfortunately.

I bough mine from CBNailstore on eBay (my second trusted Essie seller after Beautyzone2007) - it was around €17, the Dollar and Euro are pretty much neck and neck at the minute which is a bit of a nuisance. I couldn't find this mini set for sale in Ireland, but the full sizes are available at Boots and Pharmacies nationwide for €9.99 each.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Glossybox April 2015 - Iconic Hollywood Edition


I was really looking forward to April's Glossybox. It had been revealed last month that the theme for April would be "Iconic Hollywood", featuring a special illustrated box that comes in four colours - pink, blue, yellow and green. All boxes feature a picture of Marilyn Monroe on the front and a quote from one of four Iconic Hollywood actresses on the lid -  Marilyn, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.

I got the blue box, and it's beautiful to look at.

Let's see what's inside!

When I opened this box, I will admit to thinking "is that it?!" because the five products inside were quite small. But, having looked around at other reviews, I think I got a really good box - others got a nude nail polish or bath pearls - I'm really glad I didn't get either of those.

Lord & Berry Lip Crayon in "Kiss". - Full Size, £10/€13.83
A bright orange-toned red lip crayon that applies really smoothly and dries to a soft not-quite-matte finish.

Pop Beauty Kajal Eyeliner Pen, Black. Full Size, £6.50/€8.99
A standard soft kajal eyeliner with a smudger on one side. Great for lining the waterline, but found it difficult to create a flick with this, also not as black as it looks in the stick.

ModelCo Bronze Shimmer Bronzing Powder. Sample Size, £5.71/€7.90
This is a decent sample size, the full size has 0.35oz of product and this has 0.12oz. The shimmer isn't as scary as it sounds, it's actually a lovely colour. It's a very warm powder.

Nougat London Luscious Lip Balm - Cherry Blossom. Full Size, £6/€8.30
This is the fourth Glossybox in a row in which I've gotten a lip balm. I'm not complaining, particularly - I do love them, but it'd be nice to see a gloss or treatment next time instead. This is lovely, the packaging is so pretty and it's a nice balm that feels lovely on my lips. The cherry scent isn't overpowering either.

Astral Original Face and Body Moisturiser. Sample Size, £0.97/€1.34
A decent sample, 50ml. The full size product is only £3.89 for 200ml though - so not necessarily a luxury product. This is a thick, greasy moisturiser that has been used for years and supposedly removes makeup too, I do remember a couple of pots of this floating round the house when I was younger but I've never bought it myself. I will probably keep it as a hand cream because it feels too heavy to use on my face.

Swatches on my face of the liner, lip crayon and bronzer - when applied with a Real Techniques multi tasking brush, the bronzer blends beautifully and it's not glittery. It can be built up too - I'm on a bit of a bronzer kick at the minute so this will be used!

Overall I do like everything I received, I probably won't get much wear from the lip crayon as I think it's too orange toned for me, but everything else will be used.

Total Cost Including Delivery: €18.71 (60c dearer than last month's exchange rate)
Total Value: £29.18/€40.36
Verdict: Win!

If you want to get your hands on the Iconic Hollywood Edition, there's still time to subscribe. If you don't want to subscribe, you can take advantage of a Spring Bundle offer - two Collectors Edition boxes for £22/€30 (post included) - the Hollywood box and the Andy Warhol-inspired Pop Art box. Details here.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Books I Read in March


Oh lads. March was an awful month for reading. I got addicted to Dawson's Creek DVDs and I broke out a Dimensions cross stitch kit that I got for Christmas (this one) - there was no time at all for reading, unfortunately! I only managed to finish four books this month, a pitiful total for me. As usual, I managed to make time to buy more books - I bought at least 20, when I'm going to read them is anyone's guess!

Here are the ones I finished in March.

Book Club

Takashi Hiraide - The Guest Cat
A beautiful story translated from Japanese about a cat that comes into the life of a young American couple living in Japan. Slow moving and descriptive, I found it inherently boring and couldn't wait to finish it. I feel like a bit of a heathen because the writing was so pretty, but the main character drove me nuts. He never even bothered to give his wife a name, yet obsessed over someone else's cat. I know that there was a lot going on under the surface - it was probably more about the couple than the cat but my god, no. Didn't enjoy it at all.

David Sedaris - Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls
I've had this a while so I was delighted when it was picked as a book club read. The first half didn't win me over - sometimes I don't get David, and it takes me a while to just relax into his stories, but when I got to the "Obama!!" chapter it really took off for me. With great observations on people at airports, rants about how long it takes for official paperwork to be sorted out, and how hard it is to find a decent taxidermy owl - the second half of this book was very funny. It also contained this brilliant quote:

Books Sent to Review

Sheena Lambert - The Lake
I was lucky enough to be invited to read a couple of books this month - this being one of them. This is set in Ireland in the 70s, and surrounds the discovery of a body in a small rural town. It was really good and I hope that the author revisits the town and characters in the future. You can read my full review of The Lake here.


Hugh Howey - Dust
The third and final installment in the Wool trilogy, Dust brings us back to where we were at the end of the first book. We're bang up to date with what's going on back at Juliette's Silo, and we know that something big is afoot. This was brilliant - fast paced, everything was tied up, and nobody underwent the major personality change that sometimes befalls characters in the third book of a trilogy. I thoroughly recommend this series - it's fantastic.

And that was it. Agh! I need to get back to reading and stop buying, my TBR pile is ridiculous at this stage.

I'm going to take this opportunity to check in with my reading challenge:

I'm trying not to double up on challenges, so that means I have 14/50 completed. I'm looking foward to seeing all those boxes go green!!

So - that's it for March, hopefully I'll be able to tear myself away from Dawson & Co long enough to make a dent in my ridiculous TBR pile during April.