Friday, 30 September 2016

Smile, breathe and go slowly

"Smile, breathe and go slowly"
1926, Thich Nhat Hanh

I practise minimalism and therefore, I am a minimalist. My goal over the past year has been to rid myself of excess stuff with the intention of finding lasting happiness, becoming more grateful for what I do have and feeling content. This year has been a roller coaster that only goes up (to use a terrible metaphor) and has opened my eyes to a whole new way of life that before I could have only dreamt of. I have changed so much that it's unbelievable yet in my heart I know that these changes are an incredible thing. 

It's come to my attention that I've never actually talked at length about how these new decisions have actually shaped me as a person and helped me be at one with myself. I'm positive that makeup (or lack of) is something that I've touched on over my blog before but I thought I'd give you an update. It's been roughly a year since I've worn any kind of cover up on my skin. Lately, I have been wearing mascara every so often, purely because I'm comfortable wearing it. It doesn't give me any extra confidence, it doesn't affect the way I see myself and I don't feel like it's something that I need to wear. I've just been wearing it because I wanted a change, because I like to mix things up every now and then and because it makes me seem even more dark and sexy ahaha, jokes. 

 My skin is a canvas of blemishes and discolouration. I have very little to offer in terms of eyebrows and naturally red lips. A year or so ago, I would see all these things as imperfections. They'd be things that I felt uneasy about and wanted to cover under makeup. But do you want to know something incredible? I've come to like how red my lips are and how they make my teeth look pearly. I've come to accept my eyebrows and realised how much I hate the look of drawn on slugs. My blemishes and dark circles show people that I'm not perfect and that I'm perfectly fine with acknowledging that. The thought of covering up these imperfections (or qualities) up with an expensive beige substance that is only going to make me feel like I'm not worthy without it is not something that I wish not to participate in again.

This leads me on to money. Like material possessions, money itself is not at all a corrupt concept. It's the greed, envy, selfishness and power that comes with it for many people that is why money has ruined our society. The media is constantly telling us that we need this and that we must have that when really, we absolutely do not. Money puts barriers between social classes and can often ruin relationships. It sickens me that people can live their lives knowing that people are homeless with absolutely no money or family to help them out for whatever reason and get their dinner from supermarket waste bins while they come home to an exploding bank account and their dinner put on the table by a maid. I know how hard people strive and work for the money they have and I completely understand how important it is to some people. I just think the world we live in would be a much nicer place if we all helped each other out and nobody had to starve.

I don't have an awful lot of money. For a start, I'm fourteen and have been relying on my parents for money until I got my first job in May. I'm going to be straight and tell you that I earn £4/hour and usually work anywhere 5 and 7 hours on random Saturdays. I put all of this cash on my bank account and hope to keep this habit up for years to come. Then, when I'm old enough to have a good idea as to what I want to do with this money, and who I want to help with it, I shall take it out. Until then, I am doing my best not to touch this money and by having the motivation to do something great with this money, I'm finding it easy to  indulge rarely yet thoughtfully.

Finally, I'd like I talk about a few hobbies and new interests I have developed on my journey through minimalism. I've realised that my love for words and English can be used in aid of others. I can reach out to people all over the word and share experiences and advice whether this be via pen and paper or simply a few words published on the Internet. I have rediscovered my passion for books and enjoyed experimenting with new and exciting genres such as horror and fantasy. I have uncovered which friends are true and which aren't, whilst gaining more on the way.
I have a strong understanding of what is real, lasting happiness and what is superficial. I've discovered that I no longer need as many material possessions to be happy, nor do I need people who are getting in the way.

Useful Links:

All the pictures included in this post are of my beautiful big sister Jay. She hates them but lets show her that she's gorgeous!
Health and happiness,
Marti xx

Friday, 23 September 2016

So many things I'm grateful for

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” 
― Epicurus

A little while ago my beautiful friend Rosie wrote a post that really touched me, a post that make me think and a post that inspired me. That post was one where she talked about greed and gratitude and why we should appreciate all the small things we so often take for granted. I feel like in modern societies where we are plagued by consumerism, selfishness and the constant desire for more material possessions, it is so important to take a step back and be grateful for what we do have.

  1. The library
  2. Free healthcare and schooling
  3. My family
  4. My hands
  5. My feet
  6. My friends
  7. My lungs
  8. My heart
  9. My mind
  10. My teachers
  11. My job
  12. My immune system
  13. My good heath
  14. Fear and pain
  15. The sun
  16. Snow
  17. Rain
  18. Sunrise
  19. Rainbows
  20. The earth
  21. Oxygen
  22. Animals 
  23. My house
  24. Our postal system
  25. Love
  26. Laughter 
  27. Heartache
  28. Grass
  29. Trees
  30. And finally, the internet for connecting me with some of the best friends I've met.

Health and happiness,
Marti xx

Friday, 9 September 2016

Audrey Hepburn by Chris Rice

I don't tend to rate audio books, mostly because it doesn't occur to me to buy them or loan them from the library, but also because I get irritated by their borrrrrinng voices and the pace they read at. Though whilst perusing the quick reads section of the library on Saturday, the beautiful cover of Audrey Hepburn caught my eye. When I took it home and chucked it on my bed, a matching CD fell out. To my horror, I had taken out an audio book..
Debating whether to just read the book or play the CD at the same time, I decided on the latter. In all honesty, they did read a bit slow for my liking but it's something you can get used to. I'm not sure if I shall take out any more audio books in the future but I think that they would be great for people who are often busy and don't have the time to pick up a paper book. Or maybe it could be a good replacement for the radio during long car journeys. The book itself was very interesting though worded a tad simply. The narration tells us about Audrey's life and her journey into the Hollywood world. What I found the most interesting was the story line of her part as Eliza Doolittle in the production, Breakfast at Tiffany's and how they 'had' to use a different vocalist as her voice wasn't 'strong' enough . There are only 20 (ish) pages to the whole book which is a bit of a letdown considering the fact that the text is large and there are plenty of images. These images however, were so beautiful that I shall let Penguin off.

All in all, I would recommend only to lower level readers or as an audio book for background noise. It's such a shame as I find that Audrey is such an interesting character and I hope that I find better books about her in the future.

Heath and happiness,
Marti xx

Friday, 2 September 2016

A kitty update

Avril and Ziggy Stardust, partners in crime and a rather tedious pair. They have been part of my life since last October and I can honestly say that I've never been so...covered in cat hair! Ziggy is the biggest, and the clumsiest and not to mention the one who malts the most. He's black and white with green eyes and whiskers sprouting where his eyebrows would be. That's not to say that Avril is any more graceful. She may look a darling but she's the one who starts off all their mad adventures. Imagine her as Margo from Paper Towns and Ziggy as the awkward and clumsy Q. She purrs like a steamroller all the time and has a habit of trying to climb up the chimney. 
The two of them are either all or nothing. You'll find them asleep on a blanket at the end of a bed or asleep on a chair in the conservatory at one point in the day. In Summer they love to sunbathe and as the conservatory is the hottest spot on sunny days, they could be flaked either straight on the floor or on the table! In Winter their spot is in front of the fire. We have a coal fire next to my kitchen which they love to bake in front of. We let my rabbit, Hampy, inside sometimes and the three of them get along fine. They form gang together and lay down side by side. Then there's the points in the day where they have a mad half hour. Chasing each other from room to room and attacking their own tails. 
I also forgot to mention earlier, the two of them are house cats. Avril may seem like a daredevil but the few times she has found herself in my garden, she's slunk back slowly and had to be carried back inside. Ziggy has only been carried out, but clung very close all the while. They love being wherever we are and are never very far away. At night they often join one of us in bed though they don't do this as much as they used to. Ziggy hates being under covers and settles well on top of a blanket. Avril however, is bound to be right next to you, purring under your duvet. 

And voila, those are my cats, as I know lots of you have been asking about them. They are brother and sister and were teeny, tiny kittens when we picked them up from the house where their mum lives. I love them so very much, no matter how many times they spill water over important papers or chew the corners of mum's sofas (sorry!). As for other pets, I also have a rabbit called Hampton who is approximately 10 years old. He has the shaggiest and softest fur I have ever seen on a rabbit and is our favourite old man. If you'd like a post on him in the future, let me know. ;) He is very partial to literature and biscuits. 
Health and happiness,
Marti xx