Sunday, 20 July 2014

life cleansing

This weekend has been a tough one for me on an emotional level - there has been no shortage of tears and stuffy-tear-induced headaches - but I feel as though I'm coming out the other side with weights off my shoulders.

On Saturday night, I quit the job I've hated for months.  I get along with all of my colleagues and the place itself has a nice atmosphere, but regardless of all of that I've always found the place to be stifling and it got to the point where I felt so crushed I would feel a knot of dread in my stomach at the thought of going in to work a shift.  That's not a healthy way to live, and it's much better for them, too, to have someone who wants to be there.  I'm not ashamed to say I broke down in front of my manager - he and I have had a clash or two during our shared tenure there, but we parted amicably.  The journey home that night felt like walking towards the future.

This morning I left a website that has held such a dear place in my heart for the last two years.  It was an easy decision to make in the end, in light of everything that had transpired over the previous couple of weeks - namely a falling out between myself and the administrator of the site - but it became such an online home for me and was such a haven for everything I needed and wanted that I missed it within minutes of closing the tab.

But the weight that had settled in my stomach after the first few cross words were exchanged has gone almost completely.  Sometimes, walking away and starting anew is a good thing.  Sometimes it's what you need.  Sometimes the right thing is the hardest thing, and sometimes we don't even realise that until we do it.

Don't be afraid to walk away when things become toxic.  If you recognise the spiral, don't be afraid to walk away before it reaches critical.  You're worth more than a toxic environment.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

summer shopping: accessories

For those of us in the UK, school and college are beginning to wind down and holiday season is drawing near.  Nature has already blessed us with plenty of sunshine and with the hope of more forecast over the coming weeks and months... I went shopping.  I've been telling myself I don't need to buy things for my holiday this summer because I'm 'only' going to the Isle of Wight for three nights so I won't exactly need six bikinis and eight pairs of flip flops - but bright colours are my downfall and as a consequence, I am poorer now than I was before I left my house this morning.

The first thing I bought was a pair of sunglasses - I made the leap from glasses to contact lenses today so I needed something to protect my eyes.  These ones are cheap and cheerful but definitely cute - they were £3.99 from New Look and do the job perfectly!  Whilst I was in New Look, I couldn't resist the gorgeous flower crown headband adding a splash of colour to the photographs.  It's so bright and happy and I can't wait to wear it this summer!

I hadn't really bought any nail polish for a while - in fact, I haven't painted my nails for weeks now because I'm not allowed to wear polish at work.  Now that uni is over for the summer I'm spending most of my time waitressing - which pays for more polish but doesn't let me wear it!  I sense a flaw in this plan.  I bought Pacific from Barry M's Aquarium Collection, and Promenade and Seaside, both of which are Superdrug limited edition polishes.  I also found Synchro by Orly in TKMaxx and in the bottle it's a gorgeous pearlescent pink - I haven't tried any Orly polish before so I'm excited for this one to be my first!

I can't wait to start packing for my holiday now - my accessories, at least, will be perfect for the season!

* top photograph edited with 'coffeeshop vintagram 2' action.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

loom bands, or 'how i'll be spending summer'

photo from instagram; collage created with the a beautiful mess app

These tiny, bright elastic bands have been everywhere lately.  They caught my eye a whilse ago but I didn't give them much thought until I was delivering some drinks at work and found one of our regular customers teaching my colleague's young daughter how to weave bracelets from elastic.  She gave me a super-quick tutorial and the idea stayed in my mind until the following afternoon, when I caught sight of a pile of bags of bands sitting on a market stall table.  Naturally - like a moth to a flame - the bright colours and prospect of new, handmade jewellery attracted me and I forked out a handful of coins.

That was Friday.  I'm now rocking two wrists full of bracelets with a small pile beside me and one on my husband's wrist, too - like the thread bracelets I've been making forever, the process of creation is bizarrely cathartic and addictive and I can see my summer lost to plastic.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

a change of scenery

Things have been a little on the quiet side around here lately - and by 'here' I mean 'on the blog', not at all in my life.  Now that uni is over for the summer I've been working like crazy trying to earn a little money to pay the pesky bills that seem to plague adulthood.

Whilst I've been working at jobs which aren't even slightly related to my degree and hopeful-future-career, I've been dreaming up ways to move myself further into the industry I want to be in and I came up with - you've guessed it - blogging.  I wanted to keep it separate from the things I post here, which tend much more towards the 'personal' aspect of my life, so I've created a portfolio blog (of sorts) which you can find HERE (and on bloglovin' HERE) to document some photography and some of the work I've been doing for uni - and hopefully, beyond.

Don't worry - I fully intend to stay blogging here at the pigtail pixie - although my posts are somewhat sporadic, it's very much an integral part of my life now and I wouldn't dream of giving it up.  On that note: any advice from those of you who hold multiple blogs would be very much appreciated - I feel overwhelmed already!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

american speedfast ii: brands hatch

image from my instagram

I've never really been a big fan of motorsport.  My parents have never watched it at all so it wasn't until I met my husband that I experienced it at all, and the only one I really enjoy is MotoGP.  Today, however, may have been a bit of a turning point.

A few months ago, my husband bought tickets to an event called 'American Speedfest' at Brands Hatch racing circuit in Kent.  The event's main attraction is a pair of races in the NASCAR Euro Series, but it also boasted pickup truck  and silhouette racing, classic car racing and parades, classic car displays, monster truck demos and a whole lot of fun (including a BBQ, and we are both absolute suckers for BBQ).  The event ran all weekend but our tickets were only for today (yesterday's track events were just qualifiers for today, for the most part).  We arrived around the same time that the gates opened and stayed for the best part of the day.

The cheerleaders at the entrance gate gave me a flag! // Dodge Charger with bullet lights // Dodge Charger (not the same car)

It was a lot of fun.  The circuit was decorated with American flags, which looked fabulous against the clearest blue sky of the summer (so far), and everywhere we went we were assaulted with the sights, sounds and smells of classic cars (and barbecues!).  We watched the NASCAR Euro Series elite race (which featured a pretty spectacular crash - luckily, no one was hurt!) as well as a silhouette race and  a V8 (American Classic & GT) race and I loved every single one.  I can't wait to go back next year!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

a letter to my nineteen year old self

Dear me: nineteen and lost,

Things suck right now.  I'm not going to lie to you (because you hate that and I still hate that): things will get worse before they'll get better.  Right now you're directionless and floating, treading water and it's getting deeper by the day.  Don't panic.  This is your year.  Apply to university.  Apply for work placements.  Apply for everything, and try not to beat yourself up too much when the answer is no.  Say yes to everything you can.  I promise, by the end of the year, you'll reap the rewards.  Spoiler alert: he grows a great beard and he'll treat you better than you could ever have imagined.

The next few years will be tricky and there'll be some hard times, but don't give in, even though you want to.  You'll miss him like crazy and you'll say some awful things and feel sick to your stomach with guilt, but I promise it'll work out for the best.  Take that afternoon to wander around town with your phone turned off: you need it to clear your head.  When he drives you home with a half-packed car, make him turn around.  It's not time yet.  You'll know when it is.

And when that time comes, you'll be home, safe and warm where you belong and you'll have everything you need to start over with new faces, new places and a new name to boot - it's like all those daydreams you used to have, but better - because you'll meet some people you'll never want to leave and you'll never forget.  Don't let those first few months get you down.  Big changes need adjustment periods, and sometimes ours can be a bit of a bitch to handle.  Everything will be fine.  Make this your mantra and make it happen.

Make everything happen.  Say yes.  Be proactive.  Take that drummer's advice when he comforts you in the corridor after a breakdown, because even though it's not what you want to hear, it's what you need to hear - and he's right. (He's almost always right and you'll learn so much from him your head will be full and your knowledge-seeking heart will crave more.  Reach for it.)

Do the events you can do.  Learn from everyone, even if you feel you should be teaching them.  Ask questions.  Take notes.  Let nothing go unnoticed and no question go unanswered.

Things aren't perfect, even now, but this is the best time of my life and when you get here, you'll know it too.  I'll leave the light on.

Love, me - you - us,
twenty three and in love with the world.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

covering myself in (knickerbocker) glory

This weekend my niece spent the night and as a Saturday afternoon treat, she and my mother in law made knickerbocker glory - one for her and one for my husband.  I thought this would be the perfect time to give my new camera lens a whirl and I'm really pleased with the results - 100% manual shooting will take some getting used to, but for a first try I think these pictures are pretty good.  I have it on good authority that the knickerbocker glory was excellent, too!

In other news: I'm one exam down now and I have two more to go in the second half of the upcoming week.  The first one went really well, I think; I wish I could say I'm as confident about the forthcoming exams as I was about the previous one.  Nonetheless I shall be there, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and give it my best shot.  What is life if not for giving it your best shot?

Cover yourself in some glory. I dare you.