Let’s start at the very beginning…

Hello again! Some of you may remember when I started this blog last August, that the main premise was to document when I did anything that was ‘new.’ Queue a revert back to form and the lowdown on my latest newness!

I have always wanted to try kickboxing. I always thought that my levels of internalised rage could have gone to a better home and been unleashed in a much more enjoyable manner. Just ask Stevie, I didn’t earn the nickname of Brunter for nothing….

Needless to say it has taken me to reach the age of 36 before I actually decided to investigate this further. I took to the Googles and researched local classes in the Belfast area and found one that called my name. The Beginner Ladies classes take place in Victory Martial Arts (formerly Fighting Fit NI) and I signed myself up for 4 weeks of training for the great value price of £39.

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My first class was on Saturday morning. I got up and got ready and then spent an hour talking myself into and out of going. Ohhh the excuses I can make are AMAZING. Luckily having realised that about myself (see last post) I got into the car and made my way to class. I was greeted by trainer, Les McMaster. This was the start of the 4 week programme, I had already missed the first night because of work but when I emailed prior to signing up I was 100% reassured that starting on the Saturday wouldn’t be an issue. I had all of the usual worries about going, what if I was the only new person? What if everyone else was super fit? What if I collapsed due to sheer exhaustion?

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When I went in there were another 2 girls also going to their first class! Huzzah! I was not alone! We all looked suitably terrified but this was soon alleviated when we all got chatting and Les showed us around.

The class itself was AMAZING. The warm up was enough to make me want to lie down in a heap but there is definitely something to be said about having someone actually instructing. I am one of the worst people when I go to the gym, I get easily distracted when I have no guidance so this was perfect for me.

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We then launched into a series of kicks, alone at first and then we partnered up. I almost squealed with happiness when the pads were produced and we got to practice with partners. Again, never be scared to go to classes like this alone, there is ALWAYS someone else who will be in the same boat and what better way to make friends than by kicking them (sometimes a bit harshly). The amount of “oh sorry’s” and “oops did that hurt” that were said that day probably went into double figures.

When it was time to cool down I can honestly say that I haven’t felt as good in a long time. When I fall off the wagon the first thing to go is my eating, closely followed by my exercise so when I started regaining control of the food beast, it felt like it was only natural to get back not the exercise.

My second class is tonight. I still can’t lift my legs above ankle height from Saturday so COME AT ME, SMALL PEOPLE!!

Have you started any new exercise routines recently? Have you ever wanted to give a specific sport a go but always decide not to at the last minute? I know I’m not alone here guys. If you have an interest in Kickboxing / Self-Defence then give the guys at Victory a call and see what they have to suit! There are classes for all ages and abilities so get down and check it out for yourself!

Until next time…..

I lost my way…

Hello earthlings et al! Ughhhh I did it again, I fell off my life plan and into the arms of the non-blogging, pizza munching dark side. From around the beginning of June things got insane. I was blaming EVERYTHING for my inability to stick to anything. Same old story with me to be quite honest. June was t.o.u.g.h.

On reflection though I have learned a lot about myself and my own negative coping skills and strategies and in doing so this has definitely helped me to break these down. I fell into the trap of the old, “work is busy so I have no time to do anything” and “I’ll start again tomorrow,” or “I’ll start again on Monday.” The only issue being tomorrow never came and Monday was easy to bypass.

Despite saying June was tough it was throughout then that I was able to take a step back and have a quick look at what exactly I had done to sabotage myself yet again. I was so lucky to be able to spend time with my Gemini sister, Bridget. She had come to the UK and Ireland from NYC on a 2 month trip – we had the best of times. We talked about anything and everything and more on top of that and in doing so I was able to identify certain aspects of my lifestyle that were unhelpful. And through communication with Bridget and others I was also able to admit that to myself, which as we all know is the first step to changing anything. I love you, B!! We also happened to go to the maze at Castlewellan and although we were lightheartedly talking about getting lost in the maze as a metaphor for life, some of the analogies were SO close to my reality that they really stuck with me…

I always used to apologise for myself. I thought that apologising would make things better for everyone. Yet apologising for the way I was wasn’t changing anything for me. I then spent a load of time in going through my old social media postings and in doing so I saw that I was repeating the same age old mistakes and never actually doing anything about them. I mean, of course I have changed some things. I have gotten rid of some toxic people who did zippity ZILCH for my self-esteem or for my nerves, however old habits die hard and I can see exactly where and how I was allowing myself to revisit old, unhelpful coping strategies.

I guess I just wanted to drop in and say hello, that I am still here and that I am working every single day to turn some of the more deeply ingrained traits around. I guess that is also why I have been so quiet. Sometimes it’s less about the talking and more about the doing. So I hope you are all doing well and that this post is in some way beneficial to those of you who maybe are stuck in a rut. You can always make the changes. We’re all human, we all have setbacks. But now is the time to truly put yourself first. I shall be back soon with a more light hearted post I am sure. Much love, Danger Hearts xxx

I have an addiction…

Well okay, truth be told I have more than one addiction. I am addicted to Curly Wurly’s and my phone BUT the one that I have decided to write about is my latest love. YouTube makeup tutorials. I have spent DAYS of my life watching endless videos on halo eyes, cut creases, Ulta hauls, Sephora hauls. You name it, I have watched it. I have lost entire DAYS in one sitting. I have always been interested in makeup but I always stuck to the basics, foundation, powder, mascara – BOOM. Maybe a sweep of shadow on a night out. NOT ANYMORE. Since I stopped smoking I have spent all of my saved money on makeup. I am now doing full face on a daily basis and I feel so much better for it. I’m still treading a fine line when it comes to my eye choices as I seem to only be able to go full drag or nude with zero in between….. I highly recommend YouTube for anyone who wants to get a bit more confidence up when it comes to doing makeup. Soooo, in honour of this I have decided to share my faves with you. (Disclaimer: I am not a YouTuber fact boffin so I have no idea if these people are loved / hated / whatevs. I don’t care either, I just like their videos. So sue me…)

  1. Nikkie Tutorials

GAH she is my absolute fave. She is as pale as the day is long, as tall as a tree and has makeup skillz that are second to none. Nikkie is based in Holland and has been a YouTuber since 2009. Her videos range from pop video inspired tutorials to product reviews – check out The Power of Make Up as a good starting point. It was through watching Nikkie’s videos that I happened upon the next 3 dreamboats.

2. Jeffree Star

I first happened upon Jeffree Star in a makeup guru way when he popped up in a ‘Get Ready With…’ video on Nikkie’s channel. This was not the first time I had heard of him though. Back in my drag obsessed days he was quite the name and had released some music that I actually really liked. After leaving the music behind, Jeffree started his own makeup line which has taken the world by storm. His Beauty Killer and Androgyny palettes are on my list to snatch – plus my obsession with his Velour Liquid Lip collection is beyond a joke. Jeffree’s channel consists of tutorials, reviews, collabs and reveals and it’s also interspersed with vlogs of international adventures. Subscribe and sail away!

3. MannyMUA

Manny is the most adorable of all of the adorable humans. He is BFF’s with Jeffree Star and he has mad makeup skillz. His channel description is the best…

"This beauty channel is where I teach tutorials, create favorites    videos, tags, shenanigans that go on in my life, etc.I hope you guys can join me in this crazy adventure that is Youtube and the beauty   world. I am constantly learning and growing with you guys I believe  that men can wear makeup, teach makeup, and vlog about it just as    much as girls can and I am fighting for that equality with my channelSo subscribe to my channel if you're into that too!"

4. Laura Lee

Oh how I love thee. Laura Lee is definitely not my skin tone of paper so the products she uses would not be of any benefit to me whatsoever BUT I just love her entire being. Over the past week or so we were treated to her, Jeffree and Manny on a trip TOGETHER to St Tropez with Jouer Cosmetics. I DIED.  I’ve included my fave Laura Lee video below…..

I read so many comments that are beyond bitchy about what these vloggers spend their money on, how they make their money etc. Here’s the thing, why does anyone care?? So what if Jeffree Star wants to spend his money on a Chanel tennis racquet? SO. WHAT??

Anyhoo, I am also really into the Kat Von D artistry collective videos and have bagged myself so much of Kat Von D’s cosmetics line that I need another face to work with it all. I just ordered the Alchemist Palette and am counting down the days until it arrives!

So, there you have it! My faves! Please tell me if I am missing out on any other vloggers that I need to have in my life!!! Leave me a message in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter at @lindslikedthat xox

Chained to the Algorithm…

Dear Instagram,

I love the internet. I love apps. I spend a majority of my life online whether for work or for leisure. I understand that things have to change at times. In fact, I don’t mind having to battle with algorithms and fork out the odd quid here and there to promote certain work related posts. But when you encroach on my “leisure scrolling” it becomes personal. I really only have 2 Instagram gripes but boy do they grind my gears….

1) How many times do I have to click ‘see fewer posts like this’ for you to get the picture about what I would really rather not see? Sidebar; don’t think I am in anyway overreacting here, I must have clicked that option a thousand times by now. Yet still the faces of my enemies and an abundance of melted cheese are the posts that are turning up in my suggested feed. I’m willing to forego the cheese (everyone loves cheese)

2) WHY oh WHY in my actual timeline of the people I choose to follow do you hold back posts from me??? Not entirely though, which would actually be more acceptable because at least then I wouldn’t know what I had missed, but NO you then slide them into my feed 17 HOURS LATER. What good is that to me SEVENTEEN HOURS LATER? How does this serve anyone well, 7TEEN HRS L8R?

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For example; Mother’s Day in the U.S. was on Sunday 14th May, last night (Tuesday 16th) at 11pm I was seeing some of my American friends’ Mother’s Day posts for THE FIRST TIME. This meant that not only did I spend most of Sunday in a constant state of terror that I had forgotten actual Mother’s Day – I was also retraumatised by the appearance of new Mother’s Day posts LAST NIGHT. I am talking cold sweat panic. Only to remember that it was Tuesday and Mother’s Day is NEVER on a Tuesday and then I looked at the timestamp and had apoplexy all over again….

I asked some of my friends what they thought of the Instagram algorithm;

“I’m thinking of making an image just saying Dear Instagram, I hate your algorithm. And tagging them in it.”

“I want to punch it in the face”

“It’s a pity. Algorithm is such a cool word for something so shit.”

One just sent me…..

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So, I know you probably have a reason for presenting things the way you do. I totally appreciate there is SCIENCE and NUMBERS and STUFF that you are following to increase performance and whatevs. But can you just let me see posts as they are posted? Even FB lets me do THAT….

Yours sincerely,

Lindsey

Ps. also the ease of accidental double tapping when you’re 6 months deep in someone else’s account – can that not be so easy?? #askingforafriend

I’m an Accidental Hugger

Well hello! I have been pondering over whether or not to tell you this story but due to events in the late part of last week I feel like I need to share. Consider it less of a blog post and more of a hazard warning if you are ever in my vicinity.

So, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a hugger. I LOVE HUGS. They are the next best thing to Hershey’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate spread. Due to the fact I am on Slimming World (5.5lbs down last week btw) I am banned from the spread ergo the hugs are getting a battering.

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My Easter egg equivalent (see, it’s a problem)

A number of years ago I was going to a training course with my then work. It was in Enniskillen and we were LATE. I am notoriously early to any and all appointments so I was pissed but worse than being pissed I was HANGRY. I had skipped breakfast as there was a promise of coffee and scones on arrival (note that at no time was I worried about missing ANY of the training content) and there was a massive risk that due to our tardiness these would have either a) been eaten or b) been cleared away. Needless to say I was past myself.

As we rocked up into the car park, I freed myself from the confines of the bus and bolted towards the reception area. Having never been to the hotel in question before I had zero idea where I was going but when I looked to my left I saw the table of scones and coffee. Score. I ran (yes, ran) towards the table only to be greeted by my senior manager who placed herself between me and the scone table with arms held out, palms up. Even in writing this I can now see how this was CLEARLY a SLOW DOWN gesture. However, I translated this as HUG (which was strange for someone so IN CHARGE OF MY CAREER PROGRESSION) so I continued to run towards her, threw my arms around her, and sort of swung her around to make sure I tended to her uncharacteristically huggy needs yet also moved myself closer to the scones (priorities). It was only when I had done the ‘turn’ manoeuvre and was facing the rest of the bus who had come in behind me did I realise that something was amiss. Obviously as they had been coming in behind me they had witnessed the entire episode unfold and had correctly translated the gesture as SLOW DOWN so needless to say they were HORRIFIED at my lack of social skills as I more or less PICKED OUR BOSS UP AND SWUNG HER AROUND. I put it down to hunger induced mania. We still talk about it to this day. What astounds me is that I can’t remember within 2 seconds of leaving the house if I locked the door but I can remember every detail of that event in glorious technicolour.

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Actual me – ps follow @medievalreacts

The reason I bring this up is because I had a similar incident last week. My friend introduced me for the first time to her boyfriend and as he was leaving I think I may have misinterpreted his ‘hand shake’ gesture as a hug invitation. Needless to say all my social cues were thrown out the window and I gave him a squish. Again, it was only when I turned to look at my other friend that I realised I may have once more completely disregarded any prior knowledge of body language. It was one of those ‘time standing still’ moments that lasted for the entire 12.5 hour shift I was about to start, overnight, with no one else to compare notes with apart from the only other human who had seen the incident and remains #TEAMHANDSHAKE.

I text my friend in all caps and asked her to apologise to her BF if I gave him an accidental hug and also felt the need to say “IT’S A PROBLEM I HAVE” which now, on reflection, seems a tad extreme. She sent back many cry laughing emojis but I have now realised that this did not say whether or not I had actually misinterpreted….. It shall forever remain a mystery as too much time has passed for me to ask again without looking like I have been having cold sweat flashback concerns….

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So there you have it. I just really felt the need to share that with everyone. Please let me know in the comments if you have ever had an episode where you have accidentally hugged another human. I need to know that I am not alone in this plight. I’ll be right here going through a catalogue of all of the hugs I have ever given to reassure myself that 99% were reciprocal. Accidental Hugging #thehuggleisreal……

Where have you been?

Hello again my buddies! I must apologise for my lack of communication. Sometimes real life gets super hectic but I MUST get better at not neglecting my blog. I’d like to start off first of all by thanking everyone involved in the DANI Awards 2017. To be shortlisted with Siobhan, Gemma and Emer was an absolute dream and a huge congratulations to Siobhan for a well deserved win!

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In that vein I have decided to get back on the blog horse and ride it weekly. I am making a commitment to myself and to you to update at least once a week. Ooof speaking of commitments, I kinda reneged on the old Body Coach plan. I gave it a good go, but my issue is that I truly cannot see myself sticking to that plan forever – I need just a little bit more flexibility. The good thing is that in starting the plan I was made super aware of how horrendous my eating has been and just how huge a change I would need to make to actually become a ‘healthy eater.’ I didn’t want to give up altogether so, I went back to Slimming World. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to become all about “my journey” because that would bore me to write so I can only begin to imagine how it would feel to read. But in saying that if anyone wants to hear more about how I am trucking along, you can always contact me or hit me up on the old Twittery Twat @lindslikedthat!

I’ve been working on quite a few different projects, all of which are equally as exciting and each one is completely different. My real life job is settling well and I am enjoying working with lots of new faces. I know I have said it before but, for real, it is AMAZING how different things can be if you only give yourself some time. So many good things have happened and I am surrounded on a daily basis by the most amazing and inspiring humans I have ever known. Plus, did I mention that my blog was SHORTLISTED FOR A DANI AWARD?? I mean, I would have NEVER imagined that to be possible. Plus I would never have started the blog had it not been for my insanely talented friend Lynne (she’s kind of a big deal)

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I know how horrible it is to be in the dark place with no sign of any form of light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, but believe me, it comes. Sometimes you have to do the things that scare you the most to get out of it, but it’s all worth it. I promise. Let me know what amazing things have happened for you since I have been away? Leave me a comment or tweet me! I’m off work today so I’m about to lose myself in an internet black hole of witchery and make-up tutorials. OMG I HAVE BOUGHT SO MUCH MAKE UP. I’m gonna do a blog post on that alone….. L xx

Beyoutiful NI Launch Event

OMG last night was an absolute DREAM. No one can overestimate the levels of joy I experienced when I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the VIP launch night of Beyoutiful NI Hair and Beauty. If anyone has followed my blog you will know that I am a relative amateur when it comes to pampering of any kind however I could think of nothing I needed more. A night of luxuriating in gorgeous surroundings with fab company and  a professional yet approachable team of beauty professionals? Count me IN!

Beyoutiful NI is in it’s 6th year of business and has been the product of the dedication and hard work of owner Jenny McCalmont and her team. Their newly refurbished boutique is one of the few salons in the East Belfast area that offers both hair and beauty to both male and female clients and with it’s prime location at 137 Holywood Road (directly facing The Strand) it’s ideal for anyone in and around Belfast to have a visit.

I was accompanied by the lovely Lynne (Eating Ideas) Crowther and we were past ourselves with excitement by the time we got there. We received such a warm and friendly welcome from Jenny herself who explained about the growth and development of the boutique and also the taster treatments which they had on offer for us. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to get my nails done. This is something that I looooove to do yet never take the time to make an appointment, plus, I really didn’t know where I would go to get the best treatment suited for me. After Jenny talked me through my options I decided to go for the OPI Gel Break manicure treatment which restores nails and keeps them healthy and strong.

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I opted for the gorgeous pink colour which really makes my nails look healthy and I can feel the difference even after a day! I love having a bit of length to my nails but have found that they can be super brittle and bendy so this has blown my mind.

There were so many treatments to choose from including braids (not even kidding, Gemma is an absolute whizz at braiding) wash, treatment, cut and blow drys, taster facials, hot stone back massages and a make up artist from Ciara Daly on hand to work her magic and answer any burning make up related questions that we had. Living the dream!

The boutique itself is amazing. I had a wander around and was really impressed with the treatment rooms which made me want to cosy up and settle in. I could most definitely imagine myself having a dream Dermalogica facial in there and possibly having to be removed by force due to wanting to stay forever.

Not only that but the pedicure room is to die for. The chair is one of the huge American professional models and although I didn’t go for a foot treatment the smell of the salts from the foot soak were out of this world.

Beyoutiful NI also offers a vast array of products from the most recognisable names in the beauty business such as OPI, Dermalogica and Lauren’s Way so you can be assured that you are taking home the best of the best.

Having been a long time sufferer of ‘salon fear’ the team at Beyoutiful NI made me feel at ease from the offset. The launch night was a great opportunity to spend some time getting to know what’s what, meeting some gorgeous Belfast Bloggers including The Village Girl, Retrosnowflakes, Katie Andrew The Blog and Eyeliner Flicks and asking those burning questions that have been on my mind. Not to mention the gorgeous catering from The Bluebird on the Cregagh Road!

Thank you so much to all the team at Beyoutiful NI and to the lovely Laura for the invitation. I think it is safe to say that I will be back. Prep the pedicure chair as I may be there for quite some time…..

Follow them on socials:

Wednesday 9pm-10pm using the hashtag #BeautyHourNI

Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat – @beyoutifulni