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?


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…..


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,


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.


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.


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….


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!


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)


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.


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

Bye bye January

Hello you lovely lot, sorry things have been quiet over here in blog land. I have been working on a few EXCITING projects which I can’t wait to share with you all! But alas, wait I must. They are VERY EXCITING though. It will be worth the wait….

I just wanted to drop a few lines to say that January wasn’t actually all that bad on a personal level tbh. I hope you can say the same? I say on a personal level because if we go GLOBAL then the state of the world right now is terrifying and that does not a good January make. Thank goodness for Winona Ryder though. #LEGEND


I am however extremely excited that February has arrived for a few reasons. February marks a very special time in my life. I have decided to refer to this February as ‘Independence Month.’ I can remember being distinctly blue and down in the dumps around this time of year on a number of occasions. I also made some extremely difficult (at the time) decisions which I thought I would never return from. Yes there were difficult days, I doubted myself on many occasions BUT I know I did the right thing for me and my sanity so I guess I just wanted to say that if there is something in your life right now that is holding you back or someone who is dimming your light then CHANGE IT. You will get through it and you will come out the other end a stronger person with clarity of purpose like you would not believe. At least that is what has happened for me. I plan to celebrate this as much as possible this month and forever because WHY THE HELL NOT?


So, I cannot wait to get back to you all with the latest excitement I have a brewing. I am currently mainlining FRENEMIES; Loyalty Turned Lethal on the ol’ Netflix and have decided that my goal in life is to become one of the reconstruction actors on one of these shows. So if you happen to know any casting directors then send them my way.

That’s all folks! All of the loves xoxo


The universe is crying and we’re all going to need an umbrella…

Yesterday I sat as I am sure many of you did, watching the television with my head in my hands. Donald Trump was sworn in to be the 45th President of the United States of America and it wasn’t a cheese related nightmare. This is real life. I listened as he made his speech and my heart sank. I was momentarily relieved from this pit of despair by internet memes because if we didn’t laugh, well….


Today when I got up and looked at the news the reality hit home even harder. Climate change has disappeared from the U.S. Government website. Like, gone. It hasn’t been fixed or anything, it was just deleted. Much the same way as it would seem President Trump would like to delete anything and anyone he doesn’t believe in or agree with. Which is terrifying. A man with access to codes to unleash the most destructive nuclear weapons in the world and an inability to stop himself from acting on impulse. I mean, what could go wrong?

I know I don’t have to go into detail about the things he has said and done – we heard about them all repeatedly on the television, in the newspapers and on the internet for the past year when he was on the campaign trail. I also am not going to point fingers and blame voters and electoral colleges because there is no point. The deed is done.


Today I attended the sister rally of Women’s March DC at Belfast City Hall because I felt like I HAD to do something, ANYTHING. I’m not American. But I am human, and that is what today was all about. Yes, it was called the Women’s March. Yes, it was lead by women. Strong women, hurt women, women with a fire in their belly to actually BE the change. But this was not a ‘man hating women’s club’ despite what Piers Morgan (bleurgh) would want so many to believe. This was about human rights for ALL.

Jennie Carlsten set about organising the event 2 weeks ago when she realised she would not be able to be at home in the U.S. to attend the march there and she wanted to show her solidarity – in doing so she also provided the people of Belfast with the opportunity to do the same and that is a gift that I for one will never forget. As the crowds gathered, Jennie explained how she had expected a turn out of around 40 people based on social media – however the turnout was estimated to be around 1200 in total. Men, women and children united for one cause. To uphold our rights as humans and to maintain the safety of minority groups within our own communities and around the world. This was unity despite diversity. This was a resistance.

We were addressed by speakers from Belfast Feminist Network, Housing for All, Climate Change, Gender Jam NI, Black Lives Matter, Chamindra Weerawardhana and Amnesty International. It was a privilege to hear them and it was a privilege to be heard.

I was standing beside a mother and daughter and we were speaking once the rally had ended. Her daughter was probably around 2 or 3 and was an exceptionally well behaved first time demonstrator. Her Mum told me that she just felt that she needed to do something, to take action. That in 15 years when her daughter is old enough and she asks her, ‘Mum, what did you do about it?’ that she will be able to say that they were there and that she didn’t just sit back and do nothing. We then began to discuss the impending election in Norn Iron (imagine that? being able to discuss politics with a stranger in Belfast  and not worry about them finding out what foot you kick with)

What I took away from today was that things are not how they used to be. Somethings are worse (Trump) but some things are better. We were able to hold a peaceful demonstration outside Belfast City Hall, united despite diversity for one greater good. Equal rights for ALL. Who you choose to vote for in #AE17 is 100% personal choice. I will however advise you to make sure you find out what the party you choose to vote for ACTUALLY stands for. Patrick Corrigan from Amnesty International put it best when he said, “there is no point in praying for an earthquake and then panicking when you have to deal with the rubble.” Make an informed choice. Be the umbrella the universe needs right now. May the force be with us all….


Photo courtesy of Ms Ana Matronic via Instagram

Everyday’s a school day…

Hello my lovelies! How are things? As usual I have been doing some thinking and in this internet driven world we live in, if I don’t blog about it who can say whether it really happened or not.

Let me paint the picture. I took today as a ‘me’ day which involves doing very little other than the things I like to do which include walking,  having a bath, watching Parks and Rec and keeping a bag of Maltesers in the fridge until I can no longer take the temptation (1 hour) but the entire day I was agitated. Even when walking in my bath and eating Maltesers while watching Parks and Recreation.  Like unsettled to the point of rage. The reason I took the ‘me’ day was because this has been happening on and off for a few days so I thought that this would take it away. Needless to say it didn’t so I was forced by my brain (thanks, brain) to think about what was annoying me. I identified the issue in seconds because I knew EXACTLY what was bothering me. Then came the hard part, what to do about it.


My actual brain while in the rage

So in an earlier blog post I talked about the ability to let things go and how I find that difficult. I read the post back to myself and got even more angry because I wasn’t doing what I said I would do. That was helpful (can you hear my eyes rolling?) I then sat on and on and on and seethed the day away which as I am sure you will agree was exceptionally healthy and productive.

I always put a lot of pressure on myself to resolve my own issues, probably based on the fact I was heavily criticised in a previous life for being too dependant but I always thought that’s what friends did for friends. One friend feels bad/needs help and the other friend does what they can to try and help build them back up and the roles switch and vice versa. Y’know like give and take. So instead of reaching out, I continued to seethe. The old critical tape still playing in my head with the unhelpful messages all coming through loud and clear. “Roger that, I’m worth nada, best not bother anyone with anything stupid like how you’re feeling.”



Then I realised, hang on a minute. That critical tape? The one that seems to be stuck on repeat at times? That is NOT TRUE. How do I know that? Because of PEOPLE. The people in my life who I choose to have around me on a daily basis and who enjoy me being in their lives too (possibly because of my Maltesers) but most likely because I am me. The give and take thing IS what friends do for friends, DUH. So I bit the bullet and I reached out. No tip toeing around the topic, just plain and simple text saying what I was angry about and why and y’know what? It stopped the tape. I wasn’t looking for Hallmark verses about how wonderful I am (which was lucky) but what I was looking for was honesty, from the people who know me and who care enough about me that they would take 5 minutes out of their day to talk me down. And they did.

Sometimes we spend so long beating ourselves up about things that we coulda, shoulda, woulda blah blah. It’s not worth it. Believe me. I didn’t even enjoy my Maltesers (ps this is not an ad for Maltesers, I just really like them) Sometimes we make poor decisions on who we let into our inner circles and that can ricochet through every future relationship. Not everyone is a snake in the grass. Take the lessons and put them to good use – don’t let the words and actions of someone who hurt you at one time, impact you forever. What use is that to you?  Every person we come into contact with will teach us things. It is up to us how we put those lessons into practice. Learn to identify when your critical tape is on a loop and show it who is boss by pressing your own stop button however YOU want to. Better still, convert to MP3, it takes up way less space.


So there you have it. My thinkings of the day. I’m glad I recognised what was happening and did what I needed to do to break the cycle. Everyday is a school day, right? I’m going to go out there and do what I need to do to make ME happy.  I don’t know about you but I feel a trip to the shop coming on (Maltesers are 2 bags for a £1……)