A little chat about my weight…

TW: talking about weight and some numbers and losing weight.

Hey pals,

 

It’s pretty unusual for me to post more than once a week but I’d started talking about this on twitter and just felt like I couldn’t go deep enough into what I’m feeling in a thread so here I am! This isn’t going to be a super put together post and is going to be a lot of how I’m feeling in myself due to a lot of things that have gone on recently.

 

So, to start, I used to go weekly to a bounce class with my mum and that was really fab and worked well for me. Absolutely kills me and we leave soaked in sweat, but because we are on trampolines I don’t have the impact on my joint that most exercises do, so it’s perfect for my hyper-mobility. A health professional did ask (with worry in his tone) if my joints were stable enough to do it, and I understand what he means entirely, but I’ve lived with this my whole life and I know where the line is between pushing myself and injury. He seemed satisfied with that, and the more I go, the more stable my joints are!

 

We had to stop going due to a family member becoming unwell. I’ve been trying to face my fear of going places on my own, but I still can’t motivate myself to go to an exercise class or gym by myself. So, we haven’t been for a good 4 weeks and you’d be surprised at how quickly your health deteriorates.

 

This class we go to helped me and my mum lose inches and pounds, and I was feeling pretty good about it and about myself. I’d lost a bit over 2 inches in my waist and roughly 5-7lbs on the scale. I say 5-7 because my weight fluctuates a lot up and down two to five pounds, and I’ve gotten used to that. However, I’d had a bit of a health dip myself during this time. One was IBD related that got me put on a high dose of steroids, and you can’t just come off steroids, you have to lower it pill by pill until you’re done (which is really annoying) but I’m now only 3 days away from finally being off them! The biggest issues that come with taking steroids are insomnia (which really hit me for the first couple of weeks on them) and weight gain/increased appetite, and oh my God, I couldn’t stop eating in the first two weeks. It eventually peetered off but I was still eating a LOT (and was horribly constipated sorry TMI but it’s all part of it!) and having cravings for bad food. I’ve been keeping a food diary since going onto the steroids, and it’s been really helpful being able to look at what I’m doing in my day and adjust it when I come off them. Part of the issue was that I couldn’t take steroids on an empty stomach and I was recommended to take them first thing in the morning (because of the insomnia), so I’ve HAD to have breakfast even when I didn’t want anything/wasn’t hungry.

 

I feel like coming off the steroids I’ll be a lot freer with when I eat, and I’m interested in trying intermittent fasting because I haven’t been super hungry first thing in the morning for a while. And the only restriction with it is the timeframe for eating, so that works for me. As you’re only supposed to eat two meals with this and some snacks, I think it’ll help restrict how much I eat coz I love having proper sized meals not little ones often through the day.

 

And I can’t forget I popped my rib on 10.06 at the Halsey gig, I’m still recovering from that one! It’s super debilitating because you can’t move, twist, sit up, lay down, lift things, bend down, etc. without dreadful pain! You just kinda gotta wait and try to do little things. Luckily I’m seeing my chiropractor on Thursday this week and he can help with anything left going on with it.

 

The weight gain may not seem like much to most people, and it’s not, and I’m pleased to say it doesn’t make me feel as bad as it would have in my past. But I know I’d like to try and find a new baseline weight and try to shed some fat from my body. Even if I end up staying around the same weight but have better muscle and be slimmer, I’d be fine with that. My brain has learned to grasp that weight doesn’t always equal fat mass or size. I want to try and gain some muscle to be stronger and maybe help my chronic health and pain conditions. If we are talking weight alone, I’d like to shed maybe 20lbs to get to a healthier weight, and I’d like to do it safely! Part of my issue is that I am really restricted on what I can eat because of my stomach issues, but I want to try and start eating more fruit and veg, even if I’m forcing myself. I’m just not a huge veggie fan. (says the vegetarian…)

 

I have exercises my chiropractor has given me and I’ve not been able to do due to being busy or in pain, so I want to try and fit this in everyday as my morning wake up! And we have a stationary bike at home (currently in storage whilst we have decorators in) and I want to try and do 30 minutes on that 5 days a week. It all sounds great and makes sense when I say or write it, but with chronic conditions, it’s not always possible to get up and do these things due to fatigue or pain. So, I forgive myself preemptively for not being able to do these things every day. But I do have hope that I’ll be able to start making these changes to give my health a bit of a boost.

 

I’ve also been recommended to try and walk more by the podiatrist. So I try to fit in walking around appointments like the chiropractor, I’ll go walk round town for half an hour after seeing him. And I’ve been travelling to London a lot recently for events and fun opportunities, and that tends to involve a reasonable amount of walking.

 

Anyway, there was no real point in this post, just wanted to verbalise things I’ve been thinking a lot about.

If you have any tips or ideas for me to try, I’d love to hear them so leave me a comment down below, or if you wanna have a chat you can DM me on my instagram. I might not see it right away but I’ll get back to you!

Now I have to go and die at this exercise class now!!

 

~ Artie

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Halsey @ the Electric Ballroom, Camden.

Hey pals,

 

I managed to get my hands on a ticket to see Halsey at the Electric Ballroom in Camden on the 10th. I’ve seen her once before (I think in Islington but don’t quote me on that…) and had a great time. Halsey really is a great performer, however, I was a little worried about how this performance would go as the video at Wembley, a few days prior, looked pretty wank. She had clearly put in so much effort on that performance but got nothing back from the audience.

I’ve always found smaller gigs to be more exciting and lively because we all feel so lucky to be there seeing our favourite artists, and I think a lot of performers feel the same way, like they are going back to their routes.

 

This was my first time as a disabled person going to a gig under an accessibility ticket so I got a pretty sick view from the elevated fire door and a handy stool to sit on (more on this experience specifically in another post).

 

I got to film the opening to the show, Castle. One of her first album songs that brought a lot of nostalgia for my first year of university. Immediately, the whole crowd screamed and sang along. When Halsey asked us to jump, we did. (Okay, I didn’t but emotionally I did.) The bass in her music was so intense I felt like I was at an underground rave, the laser lights in her show helped.

 

At the half hour mark, Halsey stops between songs, “I wanna talk to you about something for a sec, is that okay?” Everyone cheers hesitantly. Halsey is wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Melania and Chris, the lesbian couple who were assaulted on a bus in London at the end of May. It happened in the town we were all gathered in to see Halsey. Halsey is an openly bisexual woman and a lot of her fans are LGBT+. She asked us if we knew who these women were and talked about the viral new story that had haunted the internet since it happened.

 

But the sad reality is, after the pride parades are over, and after the bars close their pride nights, when the glitter is being swept out of the streets, a lot of people get on those trains and get on those busses, and they try to wash the rainbows off their bodies and peeling the stickers off their clothes. And when Pride is over, it’s not safe to be gay anymore, because they’re worried that someone is going to viciously assault them or viciously attack them. So when people around the world ask the question, ‘why isn’t there a straight pride parade?’ The answer is because, if there was one, you wouldn’t have to get on the bus and be terrified of being beaten or killed afterwards.” Everybody cheers. “That’s why there’s not a straight pride parade. Because every fucking day on public transport is a straight pride parade. So we need to take moments like this when we are all together-” Someone throws her a gay pride flag, her face changed from anger to happiness as she holds it up in front of her. “We need to take moments like this, when we are all together, to remember how lucky we are to have a safe space right now…” She drapes the flag over one of the speakers at the side of the stage. I could see all the people filming this in the audience, I was a little too busy trying not to cry. For me, this felt like a moment to be present in.

“If you are in this crowd and you are queer, you need to make a promise to me, I need you to make a promise to me right now, you need to promise me that you will not be afraid, say it, I will not be afraid!’ The crowd echo back.

Halsey shouts again, “I will not be afraid, I will not be afraid, I will not be afraid.”

The atmosphere in the room turned from your typical London gig to a room full of revolution. I couldn’t hold my tears back anymore, and as I chanted with everyone else, I looked out across the crowd. A thousand odd people chanting that they won’t be afraid in the face of homophobia, we vibrated with this rebellious energy.

 

Now I understood why a gay bar from home in Brighton is called Revolution.

 

I had been one of the queer people who removed their glitter and rainbows after LGBT+ events for fear of being a target. Being disabled as well, I felt even more vulnerable, that I wouldn’t be able to get away. But right here in this moment watching one of my icons on stage shouting ‘I will not be afraid’, I felt powerful.

 

Halsey then went into Strangers, her song about being in a toxic relationship with a woman. Her stage lights flashed rainbow. I sniffled and wiped my tears away as I sang along.

Halsey stopped the show at one point, to make sure a fan who had passed out got out of the pit safely before continuing. She made a point of telling us that if we feel weird or need to go, that we should because that is what’s most important. It was really endearing to see her so concerned for her fans. I’ve been to my fair share of gigs as a teenager, and I don’t remember many, if any, of the bands stopping like this and checking in with us to make sure we were okay.

 

When Bad At Love started playing, my bisexual heart filled with joy. This song in particular meant a lot to me, as I had always gone through turbulent relationships and also thought of myself as ‘bad at love, but you can’t blame me for trying’.

 

Halsey took a moment to talk about her emotional growth over the years and how one of her songs was about desperately wanting to love people but feeling unable to form a genuine human connection (at which point, I loudly declared, “SAME!”) and in the spur of the moment, she added Sorry to the set list. One of her few slower songs, she asked the crowd to turn their phone torches on and wave along to the music. She did this at the gig I went to in 2016, and turning around in the pit to see everyone’s lights was incredible, and it only got better from a slightly heightened point of view. As the instruments fell away, it was only us and her singing the final chorus in floods of white light.

 

She looks at us, a little bashfully, and asks if she can perform Nightmare again. She performed it near the beginning of the show, and the response was great. I love this song and was actually low-key glad she asked! No one in the crowd is gonna turn her down, so we got to hear Nightmare again. One of the reasons I loved that song was it (and the music video) reminded me of some good ol’ punk rock from the 70’s like the Runaways or The Sex Pistols, but with a bit of an early 2000’s emo sound. And seeing her jumping on that tiny stage, and the crowd moshing along with her, really brought that feeling to life.

 

THEN SHE FUCKING BRINGS OUT YUNGBLUD and performs 11 Minutes. I had my suspicions he might come on and I’m so pleased he did. To see them both perform together was incredible, they really had fun with it and were kinda disgustingly adorable. At the end of the song, Dom declared a lot of mushy shit explaining how much we mean to Halsey and how amazing the connection she has with her fans.

 

Halsey kicked him back off stage to perform Without Me, another song that hits me right in the feels machine and reminds me that I am way more important than my ex’s have made me feel.

Through this gig, I was reminded of why I fell in love with her music so hard. Having an emotionally unstable mental illness that manifests in having all these big, confusing and gross feelings I couldn’t put words to, until I heard her music. With each song, I understood more and more of myself and I had been lead to believe I wouldn’t love any music as much as the emo shit I’d listened to in my teenage years, thankfully that was wrong. As I sang these songs at the top of my crackly voice, I’d remembered each significant moment they marked in my life over the last four years and some of them really were the worst moments, but Halsey gave me power to pick myself up and carry on. I am sure I am not alone in feeling like this.

 

~ Artie

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25 Shows and Films with LGBT+ Rep on Netflix

Hey pals,

 

I thought I’d put together a little brief list of shows and films on Netflix that I have watched with LGBT+ rep in, give a brief overview of the kind of representation and my general opinion of the piece. If anyone wants a more indepth review of any of the below, please let me know!

The Good Place: undertones and side comments that make the lead, Eleanor, and Tahani seem more fluid than actually displayed. Really fun and interesting show. A good mixture of light-hearted comedy and a deeper look into humans as a whole.

How To Get Away With Murder: a murder/crime show based in a Law school. One of the set main cast is a gay man who dates around a bit and then has a set main partner. I love the couple here and I’m a sucker for crime shows.

Edit: the lead, Annalise Keating, is also shown as bi/on the bi spectrum as the series goes on! So a nice bit of rep here.

Valentine’s Day: bit of a spoiler but Bradley Cooper and Eric Dane are together in this (pretty iconic if you ask me) very limited rep. Eric Dane is a huge sports star and has to decide if he’s going to go public. Valentine’s Day is a film where many characters’ paths intertwine and over-lap. Light and fluffy.

Friends From College: a set of friends (kind of like a harsher more realistic version of ‘Friends’) One of the set cast is gay and in a long term relationship/gets married. Weird dynamic in the relationship, and both white dudes. Still enjoyed the show even though everyone is an idiot who make dumb choices.

You: creepy thriller-esque show. Spoiler alert, the best friend of the main girl is gay af and kinda shows bad rep of having a closeted gay best friend. She’s just as freaky and possessive as the main guy, and he is a literal stalker.

Sex Education: Obviously main character’s best friend is a black gay guy who likes to do drag! I love this representation and the look into his family dynamic. Spoiler alert, the bully turns out to be gay as well and it’s a bit of a trope-y ‘homophobic bully falls for the out gay kid he picks on’ but I’m kinda a sucker for it. There’s also a one of brief look into a lesbian relationship. Very typical British humour.

Grace and Frankie: it’s all in the main plot! Grace and Frankie’s husbands are gay and have been having an affair for 20 years and they finally come out and tell the wives. The show is about the wives’ relationship to each other as older women. Incredible actresses (and Lily Tomlin (who plays Frankie) is gay), really great comedy show that exposes a lot we don’t often think about or look at about being older. Highly recommend.

God’s Own Country: The whole plot is about being gay. Main character is a closeted gay guy in Yorkshire and the new farmhand from Romania developing a relationship that starts as a secret and develops into something really soft and sweet. A nice look at how UK countryside see/react to gay people. Recommend but you might cry a bit.

Alex Strangelove: I wrote a whole review on this in an earlier post on my blog so check that out for details!

Riverdale: Pretty lackluster in rep. Kevin is our resident gay guy who isn’t quite main character status but is around often enough. Has a couple of romances and does take a good look at why he sneaks off to the forest to get with other gay men and why it’s different for straight couples. I wish they’d given him more of a cute romantic arc. Also lesbian/bi woman rep. Spoiler, resident school bitch Cheryl is a lesbian and has been in and out of conversion therapy and falls in love with the cute mixed-race Tony who is out and proud Bi, but prefers women. They have a better, more developed plot.

Handsome Devil: All about being gay in Ireland. A film full of lovely accents, set in an all-boys boarding school (another trope I love) and the only two gays in the school are romed together oooooo! Don’t worry though, this is strictly about being friends which is a night breath of fresh air. Also features Andrew Scott as the only gay teacher about (he also plays a v. sweet gay Welsh bloke in Pride, I also recommend that but it’s not of Netflix). Bullying, homophobia, sports, friendship.

4th Man Out: group of dudes in their mid 20’s find out their mate is GAY! GASP! ‘But you don’t act gay?’ and ‘you don’t fancy me right?’ kinda dialogue. Quite funny, nice to see a different P.O.V. instead of the usual stereotypes. He’s very shy and struggles with finally starting to date men and has a bit of a falling out with his bezzie mate coz they got drunk and said some dumb stuff. A good light hearted film.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Finally some trans rep! Bit of a spoiler I suppose as it takes a little while for Theo to come out and start identifying as a man. This actor is very cute and plays the role well, a little bit of transphobia and a nice link to family history of a ‘female’ family member dressing like a man back in the day and having an affinity with this ancestor. A nicely weaved in bit of rep to a show that’s not solely about LGBT+ topics.

Edit: I knew I forgot something! Ambrose!!!!! bi spectrum character who visibly dates multiple genders and dabbled in a bit of polyamory. Queer poc rep, also I love him. Icon.

Once Upon a Time: very lackluster with their first attempt. Seems like someone said ‘hey we should put something gay in here’ so they put in a Dorothy and Red Riding Hood storyline. It was nice to have Red as a canon Bi woman and seeing a wlw relationship compared to most shows going straight for mlm. They did it better in their last series with Alice and Robin, more developed and actually relevant and weaved in with the rest of the plot compared to a one off episode where you never see them again. I did enjoy this show for the most part but felt very repetitive and very white which was a shame as it was a show about re-doing classic fairytales.

Intervention: three queer women in the main cast (I know WOW) one is a lesbian, one is bi and one is ‘fluid’. The plot is about everyone’s relationships and the toxicity within them that no one wants to face. Nice look into biphobia and the insecurities of lesbians who date bi women. Adult not YA.

Pretty Little Liars: I have conflicted opinions about the rep in this show. Emily tends to go for very domineering women (Alison and Paige) and though I loved her and Paige together, particularly when they sorted her closeted ass out, she seems to just forgive and forget a lot when it comes to Alison who I think is genuinely an awful person who did crazy horrible things to many people. Alison and Mia are some nice bi women rep, showing completely different characteristics outwardly and in personality and showing the fluidity of a bi person’s sexuality. Over all, hate the rep a lot and Emily ended up with the wrong person IMO!!! (it has been confirmed that Haleb, the actors anyway, are both bi which is nice to know)

Jane the Virgin: I really like this show as it’s very different from typical western TV shows as it’s inspired by telenovellas. We have a brief relationship between Jane and (some guy sorry I forgot his name) who is bi and they have a nice conversation about being bi and being in a relationship. Raffael’s sister is a lesbian (who dates her dad’s wife…?) though she’s not in it too much. Then our main gal, spoiler alert, Petra is out as bi!!! and dating JR. Petra’s character development is great and she’s much softer and loveable as an out bi woman because her character seems comfortable in her skin now and not so uppity.

The Umbrella Academy: I have many feelings about this show I love Klaus so much and I don’t know how they want us to believe Vanya is straight but whatever! Klaus is my son.

Mamma Mia!: Colin Firth plays the gay dad and I couldn’t have loved it more. That’s it though.

Like Father: they go on a cruise together and one of the couple’s they sit at the dinner table with is a white gay male couple. That’s all.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post: A film/book I’m pissed I didn’t know about sooner. Huge Trigger warnings for this, particularly for trans women. A nice selection of queer rep includng poc. Kinda sucks that it’s seen through white eyes (the main character is played by Chloe Moretz) but the other two main characters are Native American and mixed-race black and are very verbal about the differences. They’re at a gay conversion camp basically.

Someone Great: one of the main three women is a lesbian (and also black) who is dating a woc. About a third of the plot is about her relationship/commitment issues. The film is generally a very cute gal pal film with a nice mixture of representation.

To The Bone: Her mother is gay. There’s not a lot on this but there is definite homophobia from her father’s new wife trying to blame all her problems on the mother’s sexuality. Trigger warning for people with eating disorders.

Gossip Girl: Not a lot of rep considering how many hundreds of characters there are in this show! Serena’s brother, Eric, is gay and there’s an air of Chuck Bass being a little bi, apparently he was more clearly bi in the books but I’ve not read those but do headcanon Chuck as bi… I see it.

Special: the first show I’ve seen that involves a disabled and queer main character! I find his character frustrating but very lifelike. Though he is disabled and gay, he still shows a lot of male privilege and an unhealthy relationship with his mother that comes from ignoring the problem and not communicating. He acts a lot like a teenage boy. Still a good watch, and at 15 minutes an ep you’ll get through it quick.

 

These are what I have watched SO FAR, and if you guys like this format of short reviews/impressions of shows and films, I’ll carry on doing them!

 

~ Artie

I Went To A Holistic Fair

Hey pals,

 

I’ve been to my fair share of holistic fairs over the years but I definitely fell out of my spirituality quite a bit whilst at uni and 2019 is my year to try new things and go do things I know I enjoy! This was a very small fair in a little village hall, I do prefer the bigger fairs in conference buildings because then it’s more of a day out rather than a stop in a day of multiple destinations.

It was probably a good thing I went to a small fair first because who knows what I can deal with these days in regards to my health and it was just nice to be in a room of holistic crafts and services.

I spent a shocking amount on crystals because there were so many really unique ones I’ve never seen before (or never seen in person) so I don’t regret it. I am a crystal hoarder but don’t often buy them.

I was a little sad that it didn’t really smell like incense like they usually do, despite the huge stall of them by the door. And I don’t remember any music? I could have sworn most fairs I’ve been to had music, but I suppose it’s hard to do when it’s lots of little stalls in a small hall compared to the larger fairs where music is played from different stalls.

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I don’t usually buy much from the fair except some crystals and maybe something I wouldn’t find somewhere else. I often like to go and find local healers to try and some of them give a short demonstration/sample session for a lower price. I like to try these therapies before devoting myself to a full session, they can be quite pricey. But there wasn’t much there today and I don’t really believe in paying £30 to a tarot reader. (I charge low prices for my readings because I don’t think you should over-charge for a gift that is meant to help people. A bit like why I don’t like touring mediums…)

They also have some talks and group meditations that I usually like to participate in but I didn’t really like the sound of any of the ones they had on today, which sucked. But nevermind, I’m going to keep my eye out for other local holistic fairs that will hopefully be bigger!

~ Artie

Second-Hand Book Haul

Hey pals,

I wanted to talk about my little second-hand book haul from the other week, I went to my first village jumble sale of the year. We used to go to them constantly, but unfortunately the quality of items has gone a bit down hill since we moved to the area 13 or so years ago. I normally manage to find some books though and I did indeed!

These four books cost me a single pound, and that’s why I still go to the jumble sometimes! Really is the best place for a real bargain.

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There weren’t many books that peaked my interest but these four did.

The tiny book on top is Dark Days by James Baldwin, a book of essays about America’s division due to race and the vision of a new world. Obviously as the political little shit that I am, I was excited to buy this book. It’s pretty small and would be a quick and easy read, but with a very powerful story that I would love to know more of from the P.O.V of black people in America.

I had to buy the Greek Myths (parts one and two) because I’ve never actually read them all and I’d love to experiment with writing short stories re-imagining the Greek Myths some time and having a physical copy has always benefited me in these moments. Also, they were both hardback with really great covers!

The last book I picked up was No Room For Secrets by Joanna Lumley. Yes, another biography/memoir to join my ever growing collection. I loved watching Joanna in AbFab (who didn’t?) and I am always fascinated by ‘famous’ people and how they got to where they are now. This biography takes a different format where she goes room to room in her house and talks about the memories associated with each object.

 

Let me know if you like these book focused blog posts and I might just keep doing it!

Check out this video on my channel, it’s from a while back but it’s another second hand book haul and might take your fancy!

See you next week!

~ Artie

 

My TBR

Hey pals,

 

I’ve talked a little about my TBR pile on my instagram before, so I thought I would talk in a little more detail here. (plus, I think a few books have snuck onto the top of the pile since I last write about it.)

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We will go from top to bottom on this one to make it easier!

  1. Live Better: a book of spiritual guidance. by Sophie Golding. I think I got this free with a magazine (yes, I read those spiritual magazines!) and this one has snuck onto the pile recently because my 2019 has been all about taking care of myself, learning to better myself and my work, but also learning how to let go. I am a pretty low-key spiritual person, I have my beliefs and they’re a little eclectic to most but I have a lot of times where I stray so much from it that I’ve lost a lot of practices that have helped me mentally in the past. I’ve heard that you should go back to basics when you get lost so this little book introduces you to a range of traditions and practices. I’m also excited to read something I’ve never heard of before!
  2. 101 ways to clean out the clutter. by Emily Barnes. I picked up this book with the last of my dollars in the airport on my way back from LA in January. If you have followed me generally for a while, you MAY know that I live amongst hoards of crap that I have been trying to sort my way through. I’ve done quite well recently but got a little busy with things that I had to stop working on it and have since struggled to get back into it and lost my shine. Since it is a pretty handy size (i.e. is probably a quick read) I’d like to actually read it soon to spark my motivation and inspiration for organising my stuff! And sometimes, you just need an ‘expert’ to give you a kick up the arse.
  3. From Baghdad, With Love: a marine, the war, and a dog named Lava. by Jay Kopelman. I started reading this last year sometime, but it was a little intense and I wasn’t in the mood to read something like that. Another memoir to add to my pile of memoirs. Jay writes about his time at war and finding this puppy that he eventually takes home. I love to watch and read things about war, especially when it’s based on reality, but it does make it a little hard for me to read sometimes. Too many strong feelings. But I know that the dog makes it through the war back to America with Jay Kopelman, but I feel like there’s a sad ending?? Am I crazy? So, I want to go back to it but I’m not emotionally ready.
  4. Leah on the Offbeat. by Becky Albertalli. I like to try and read queer books by queer people, but sometimes it’s unavoidable especially if you’re looking for rep outside cis white gay men and women. I loved the film Love, Simon and I loved the book Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda, so I hope the book on Leah (a fat bisexual girl) is just as good if not better. I’m also excited about this book showing the relationship between a daughter and her single-parent mother, as this was my upbringing that I don’t often see in fiction full-stop. I’ve read a couple of other books about bisexual characters and one of them (in my opinion) was shit. Sorry. So I have high hopes for this.
  5. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. by Jenny Han. I have to say that the film is one my my favourite YA/teen films to come out recently, I liked it so much that I actually wanted to read the book. (This is rare) I love the Asian rep and I love that there is a single dad bringing up three girls, I’m obviously not ‘glad’ the mother died, but I’m glad there is also rep for that kind of family. I’m not sure that it is in the books? I hope it is, coz I’d like to see more of the family dynamic we don’t get in the film. This plot and character set up also gives me a little bit of Georgia Nicolson vibes but in an American setting, which excites me immensely.
  6. The Great Gastby. by F. Scott Fitzgerald. As we are nearly back in our own roaring 20’s, I’d like to give this a read. Dumbass me ended up buying the play version by accident but found a used copy of the novel in the Last Bookstore in LA! I thought the interpretation of the novel into film in 2011 (right??) was pretty cool, plus I love Dicaprio and McGuire and will be imagining them as I read. Plus, I’m not really a Classics reader and the most I’ve read is Shakespeare and Frankenstein. My attempts at reading Austin were futile and I can only hope that Gatsby won’t hurt my brain.
  7. The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One. by Amanda Lovelace. Another book I found in The Last Bookstore in LA, I’d seen the other book written by Lovelace but this one felt more me. As a poetry lover, I’m definitely more for the modern poetry we have been getting the last few years (though I do like some of the flouncy, flowery stuff too). The theme of this one is definitely up my alley and seems to be a poetry equivalent of Becoming Dangerous that I am currently working on at the moment. Anything witchy mixed with rebellion, oof, give it here.
  8. Biting Anorexia: a first hand account of an internal war. by Lucy Howard-Taylor. Another memoir on mental illness! As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and still struggle now with self perception and trying to maintain healthy eating habits, I like to read memoirs from people who have had a similar struggle. It can be triggering, but I am at the point that it’s manageable. Reading books like this remind me of how far I have come and that I am not alone in the struggle. I recommend these books to everyone unless you are easily triggered. Take care of you first.
  9. The Life Of Lee. by Lee Evans. Is this technically a memoir? Or is it a biography? I’m not too sure. I’d say biography as it’s in hardback and has his face on the front. This was another book I started then put down coz I wasn’t in the mood for it. But I do want to go back and finish it, even the sucky parts of his life he writes about with a light tone. I’ve loved his comedy for years and really admired his skill and I got to see his last tour before he retired (but it think he is un-retired now?) and would love to see where all of his comedy stemmed from.

 

Right there we go! This was a bit of a monster to write but I feel like you guys deserved something longer and something book related! I hope you guys enjoyed this, please go check out my YouTube channel, I sometimes make booktube videos! (I’m also trying to reach my first subscriber goal of 2019 which is 150 subs!)

I’ll see you next week!

~ Artie

Here’s a Natural Toner You can make at Home!

Hey pals,

 

As you know, I’ve been dealing with some skin issues for a little while now and it’s been quite the struggle because of the sensitivity of it as well! I’ve always been interested in more natural products and already have been using diluted tea tree oil for some time, but it didn’t seem to be doing an awful lot.

 

I’ve always heard a lot about the benefits of green tea. Unfortunately, I hate green tea. I’ve tried drinking it hot, cold, with honey, without… I can’t stand it. And I always seem to acquire boxes of green tea bags out of nowhere… I have been using the loose leaves as a facial and body exfoliator I have so much of the stuff. It got me thinking… how else can i use these tea bags?

So, I delved into my research and found quite a useful article ‘beauty benefits of green tea bags’. I’ve heard and tried using tea bags on your eyes before so I was hoping for something a bit more useful. The article said, ‘green tea contains tannin, an astringent that miraculously shrinks skin’, there are a few other recipes and suggestions for use but most seem a little too much for my skin type.

 

I had a thought, you have to dilute tea tree oil because it’s best for your skin, what if I dilute it with green tea water? So I gave that a try! Depending on the size of the container I’m using, I’ll plop somewhere between 10 and 30 drops of oil in. Then I will brew the tea in hot water and make it as strong as i possibly can. Pour into the aforementioned container, and shake well before use!

 

I use it after a shower, on days where my skin is particularly flared, when i fancy doing it again, or after I’ve washed/cleansed my face. You can use Q-tips, a face/cleansing pad, anything you prefer really. Make sure you moisturise your skin after it has dried, especially if you have skin like mine that is quite scaly and sad if it’s not moisturised enough.

 

That’s pretty much it! I’m probably not the first to do this, and I won’t be the last, but I’ve never seen it anywhere online before and wanted to write and share it with you all!

 

I hope this comes to some use!

 

~ Artie