Wednesday, 29 April 2015

My Thoughts on Politics

If you live in the UK I'm sure you're WELL aware that there is an up and coming election in just a few weeks time, I wanted to share with you my personal view of what I thought about the whole thing!
I’ll be honest, before March this year I didn’t really understand or care about politics – shameful I know! I thought all politicians were the same and that none of them seemed to do anything, so thought that voting seemed pretty pointless. 

I spoke to friends and family about the upcoming election and it was soon apparent that a lot of first time voters like myself have so many unanswered questions and things we just do not understand: why do we have to vote for ‘seats’?  Why can’t we just vote for the parties as opposed to a local MP? Why is voting for some parties a ‘wasted’ vote?

A fair few people said they wouldn’t vote at all this year – me being one of them – and the main reason was simply because they just didn’t understand how the system worked. It’s also evident that not many people actually trust MP’s due to deceit and lies in the past from the members of parliament. One infamous example being Nick Clegg pledging to oppose any university tuition fees before the 2010 election and then being one of the MP’s to support the proposals to raise the tuition fee up to £9,000 a year. 

Political jargon is another reason I was never really interested in politics, I didn’t understand what was being said so I became bored and disengaged – a feeling I’m sure many have experienced. However, I have decided that I will vote this year because when you consider that people had to fight and protest for women to be able to vote in this country, and that people in other parts of the World don’t have the right to choose their leader democratically, it’s almost a waste not to vote. 

Whilst researching parties and their manifesto promises, it became obvious that a popular pledge was to lower the voting age to 16 and 17 year olds. This very much surprised me after my experience with politics – or lack of it. It’s something that has been debated over the years but after the Scottish Referendum where 16 year olds could vote, it is now something that could become a reality before the next election.  

A poignant point for lowering the voting age, was the fact that a sixteen year old can join the Armed Forces and make the commitment and brave decision to fight and serve their country but is not currently allowed to vote for matters which could directly affect them. 

Speaking in the Scottish parliament Mr Salmond said 16 and 17 year olds had shown themselves to be "serious, passionate and committed citizens" in the referendum. Labour leader Ed Miliband also addressed the issue, saying that it was “time to hear the voice of young people in our politics." 

However, it was pointed out by Philip Cowley, a professor of parliamentary government at the University of Nottingham, that people should be very wary of trying to draw lessons from the Scottish referendum, saying "What we had in Scotland was very high-octane, very simple, an existential system where the stakes were incredibly high on both sides. You don't get that in general elections," he says. It is doubtful as to whether 16 and 17 year olds would vote in the mass they did in the Scottish Referendum in a UK general election where turnout is normally only about 60% anyway. 

Like all things in life, in this election anything could happen so it’s worth considering what you would and wouldn’t like to happen in the World of politics and vote accordingly – if your age permits it! 

Abi :)

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Sexual Objectification

Hey chums,

A more serious tone compared to my other posts but I felt it was something which needed to be written!

After watching a video by Laci Green about this topic, my mind was exposed to the overwhelming reality we actually live in. For clarification, the definition of objectification is “the viewing or treatment of people, usually women, solely as depersonalised objects of desire instead of as individuals with personalities and desires of their own.”
The more I thought about it, the more I began to realise the extent to which society depersonalises women and the inevitable negative effects this has. One example of this is on TV shows, be it The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother or Two And a Half Men, where it is the norm for women to be portrayed as something pretty to look at or something to try and have sex with. Laci also pointed out that in many of these TV shows (and even movies) men of all different body shapes date women of just ONE body type.

As stated above sexual objectification can also be seen on the front of women (and men’s) magazines, which are littered with airbrushed female celebrities pouting provocatively, with their cleavage screaming for attention while wearing shorts that barely cover their derriere. Even TV adverts can’t resist selling yoghurt, perfume or jewellery without somehow incorporating a woman’s sexuality or body into the mix – sometimes it’s hard to work out what the product being advertised actually is!
This constant portrayal of women as sex objects is something which is very much manufactured and is not without consequences; Laci says that we’re so heavily exposed to this imagery that scientists have found that both men and women see women’s bodies as a bundle of sexual body parts while we see men as whole people.

One issue we’ve probably all heard about is breastfeeding in public; on the one hand we are bombarded with ‘sexy’ cleavage from magazines, films, music videos and posters, but on the other hand we have people saying that breastfeeding in public is obscene and that those mothers should be ashamed.
Due to the fact that females are subject to constant thoughtless criticism, they learn at a young age to self-objectify. The American Psychiatric Association reports that self-objectification results in low self-esteem and anxiety towards body image which could go on to result in to depression or an eating disorder.

It’s strange to think that we live in a society where sexual objectification is so normalised that until it’s pointed out that women are treated so differently to men, we aren’t even aware of how bizarre and unequal society can be.

What do you think?

Abi :)

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

My First Missguided Purchase

I have loved playsuits ever since I stumbled across one in New Look a few Summers' back. As much as I love them, up until a week or so ago I only ever had two and they were both black...

With the weather getting warmer I wanted my wardrobe to begin reflecting the seasons instead of the greys and blacks that welcome me when I open it! After browsing for a fair amount of time I came across two that I really liked, both from Missguided!

Here they are:
When buying them I thought the blue one would look best on me as I loved the colour and the neckline, but I'm definitely more comfortable wearing the nude one and I think it would be easier to dress both up and down.

Overall I was really happy with my first purchases from Missguided!

Have you ever bought anything from there?

Abi :)

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Another Five Dinners!

Hi chums!

I thought I'd do another post sharing with you the types of meals I usually have for dinner. I am always interested to see what other people eat so I hope this provides some inspiration for you when it comes to mealtimes!
Abi :)

Thursday, 16 April 2015

REVIEW: Lush Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment Bath Melt

This was one of the Lush products my beautiful boyfriend got me for my birthday, I was very excited to try it as it was one of those products I'd seen in the shops and online but had never actually got round to buying it!
Firstly, I love the colour - it's a very vibrant pink and it works well with the sweet smell (which comes from the Cocoa Butter). 
This lasted a long time before it completely 'melted' in my bath which I liked, as although I love their bath bombs they're quite literally a one hit wonder! Having said that, the bath bombs are a little more exciting than something which lazily rolls around spreading pink in your bath like this product!
Like all Lush products, it left my skin feeling super soft and smelling gorgeous. I think I will try more of their bath melts in the future as they do help to relax the body and who doesn't want a baby pink bath which smells so sweet?
Abi :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

My Fish Pond!

The other day I helped my parents clean our fishpond which contains fish, newts and frogs (and I'm sure many other creatures!)

Here's some photos of the process!
 Sludgy bits from the bottom of the pond!
 Our fish in water butts while their home gets a spring clean!
 One happy frog in the small pond (not the one we're cleaning) 
 A newt! 
 One empty pond! 

 Happy in their new home!

Abi :)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

5 Dinners!

Hi chums!

I thought I'd do another post showing you the meals I've been enjoying over the past few days!
I hope this gives you some inspiration for your dinners!

Abi :)

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

RECIPE: Easter Cake

I have wanted to make an Easter cake for many years and this year was the year I finally did! I followed a Mary Berry recipe which I followed for the cake but I bought the icing in a tub as it was faster and meant less washing up!
3 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
175g softened butter
1½ level tsp baking powder
40g cocoa powder
4 tbsp boiling water

I preheated the oven to 180 degrees and put all the ingredients (but the cocoa and water) into a large mixing bowl and used an electric whisk to whizz them all together! Next, in a separate bowl I stirred the cocoa and the water to make a thick paste which I then added to my mixture. 
Once all stirred and mixed together I put the mixture in two round cake tins making sure they were both even and level, before putting them in the oven for 20 minutes.
Once cooled I cut off any peaks I had so that the cakes would sit nicely on each other and spread my icing over the top of the cake with the back of a spoon. I then used some mini eggs, white chocolate buttons and revels to decorate as well as an iced flower!
 We made this for my boyfriend's parents as an Easter surprise, here it is with our Easter 'card'!

Abi :)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

My First Asos Purchase

A week ago I was an Asos virgin, I had heard about Asos  and a lot of my friends had bought things from there before but it just never really appealed to me... 
I have wanted a lined denim jacket for a LONG time, I had already bought my leather jacket which I knew would last a long time but now that the warmer months are upon us I wanted a denim jacket which would look more 'spring-like' but would also keep out the chill of the shade - this is Britain after all.

After scouring the entire internet for AGES I found one I liked, it was £55 but it was when the 20% discount was on so I managed to get it for £44! I don't usually spend much money on clothes (especially one item like this) but I thought it could be an investment and hopefully it will last me for several years!
I am usually a size 10/12 but a size 8 in this was still a tad big, it's meant to be oversized but the size 12 drowned me and I looked like I could have been wearing one of my Dad's jackets!

I really like this jacket, I love the lining (although I wish it had lining in the sleeves too!) and the pockets, as well as the shade of blue denim! Buy it HERE!

What do you think?

Abi :)

Thursday, 2 April 2015

REVIEW: L'Oreal True Match Foundation

Funnily enough I bought this foundation by mistake thinking it was 'Match Perfection' by a completely different brand! I realised this as soon as I was home and it was a tad too late though! The reviews online were pretty negative on the whole, I'd read about it not being very long-lasting and how it highlighted oily areas of skin etc.
As you know I have been using the Clinique Anti Blemish Solutions for a while but at around £25 I thought I'd try and find something a bit cheaper (as good as that foundation is). 

When I first tried this the first thing I noticed was how watery the solution is, compared to Clinique's anyway! Using my new Real Techniques pointed foundation brush I blended it into my skin, for me I felt the coverage was pretty low but it is easy enough to build up and with a good brush it does do it's job!

 I always set my foundation with a pressed powder anyway but I think to make this last longer and to not go all 'weird' on oily areas of skin this definitely helps. 
The colour on me is really good, at first I thought it was quite orange-y but when it's properly blended in and with powder, blusher or anything else it is very hard to distinguish the foundation from my usual skin colour!

Overall, this foundation has taken some getting used to since my previous foundation and I do always have to check it's blended in well as it doesn't seem to blend as quickly into skin as my previous foundation, with a good brush and pressed powder I have made this foundation work for me - even if it was an accidental buy!

Abi :)