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A little bit of this and that

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Miniature Escapes

30 March 2014
I, like every other human being on earth, feel the need to get away from that little thing that we call 'life' every so often. Unfortunately, like most other human beings on earth, I don't have the funds to just call in my private jet and have it whisk me off somewhere on the other side of the world - a girl can only dream. I can, however, get in my car and drive off somewhere for the day.

So earlier this week, when the weather (finally) showed some signs of improvement, myself, Drew and my dog all bundled into my car and went for a drive. We ended up in one of our favourite places and went for a wander.

Ok, I confess, the weather was just slightly sunnier than usual, the wind on the other hand, was brutal; boots and jeans were still an absolute essential (hurrah!). But who am I to deny an escape from the world for a little while?

As you can see, I have a very impressive set of tree climbing skills...not. However, I think I'm worthy of all the awards after having to jump a good couple of metres over a whole host of spider eggs laid on the tree AND manage to stay firmly on my feet. For those of you who know me well, you'll be filling up with an overwhelming sense of pride right now - a great achievement, I know. Drew, on the other hand, he can get to the top of trees easy peasy but I guess that's boys for you, their childhood has set them up for this kinda stuff. And Max? Well he's just chilling and doing his own thing, like the big, chocolate-y lump that he is. 

He's pretty cute though, that you can't deny, just look at that face! Down right adorable. 

Until next time!

Happy Monday

24 March 2014
7:00am: The all too familiar beeping of my alarm clock begins - ah, Monday, you again.

7:30am: A fully dressed yet somewhat still half asleep Caitlin crawls back into bed

7:45am: C'mon Caitlin, time to get moving *screams internally for a good while*

7:50am: "It's frosty outside, can I just inherit the ability to teleport already?"

8:12am: "I'm sorry to announce, that your train has been cancelled" DAMN IT

Yes, it's Monday again and yes, I know that we all love to hate Monday. As you can see, it's been a bit of a trialing Monday morning for myself - my train was cancelled and the next one turned my 15 minute journey into uni into a 40 minute one; a prize goes to the person who can guess what happens next..

Yes, you there! Congratulations! I missed my 9am lecture but I'm not too fussed. Whilst all of the odds seem to be against me today, I am relatively unscathed - it's currently 9:58am as I type yet I am still feeling relatively cheery and chirpy (we're taking bets on how long this will last). Plus it's sunny outside! Ok, ok I know that it's windy and freezing cold and if you're brave enough to step outside your door then there's the possibility that you could be frozen in a little ice block right there and then (I'm talking The Santa Claus 3 here, when Jack Frost does that thing where he freezes the parents, I know, coolest reference ever...) but still, you can admire the sun and all things bright and beautiful right from the comfort of the great indoors. Even take a nice photo and stick an Instagram filter on it, #summeriscoming 

You don't have to be a doctor to diagnose my somewhat happy and joyful mood to the fact that it's the last week of lectures at uni, then I have a nice big month off to do as I please (study) before those things that we don't talk about make an appearance (exams). It's not all fun and games though, I'll be dodging overtime from work left, right and centre; ain't nobody got time for stacking shelves and pretending to be happy. Even that thought can't bring me down - 4 more days of uni, the countdown is on.

I hope that you too, are having a wonderful Monday morning - didn't think I'd ever be saying that! And I hope that the rest of your day is just as great; I'm praying that this good mood sticks around for a while. If you, on the other hand have had a bit of a manic Monday and you're already suffering from the Monday blues, then have a photo of a happy puppy - they make everything better.

Until next time!

#NoMakeUpSelfies and the Bigger Picture

20 March 2014
Ok, serious face on for once.

If you, like every other person on this planet are a Facebook account holder, you will probably be aware of the viral trend filling up your timelines with #NoMakeUpSelfieForCancer. For those of you who aren't aware, I'll explain. On Tuesday night, a campaign begun whereby thousands of girls whipped out their makeup wipes and posted photos of themselves on Facebook, fresh faced and makeup free. The incentive began to raise awareness of Cancer Research UK but overnight the charity saw an influx of £1 million worth of donations, even though the campaign had not been set up by themselves. The concept is a simple one: take off your makeup, grab your nearest selfie-taker of preference, take said selfie, upload to Facebook, then text BEAT to 70007, donating £3 to Cancer Research UK.

Simple enough, but I must admit I was pretty skeptical at first. My timeline was inundated with

photos of all these girls tagged #NoMakeUpSelfieForCancer yet something was quite clear - they were anything but fresh faced and makeup free. And to me, that's where the bigger picture comes in. I'm more than aware that there are girls out there uploading said pictures for a bit of attention and by no means do they intend to donate to charity - let's not lie, we all know at least one. Fair enough, I'm not here to judge or hate but again, the bigger picture.

What struck me, was that all these girls were being praised simply for uploading a photograph of themselves naturally to a social media site as though it were a major achievement. And that's the worrying part. We live in a society today where a lack of makeup is almost a weakness; women are perceived to be objects of beauty and they must comply at all times. We live in a world that feeds off the latest celebrity trends and the way that people look - completely vain and selfish but accepted in

Now I am in no way a feminist but I've heard guys commenting on this new viral trend and it's nasty -
"all I can say is that makeup works wonders", "put it away, I don't need to be seeing that" amongst others but I'll leave that to your imagination. I don't know about you but I myself suffer from crippling self-confidence issues, I honestly hate so many aspects of myself and that's wrong. Living in a world where a good 90% of girls can't leave the house without applying makeup and hiding who they really are, even if they're just popping down to the shops, is really sad. Really, really sad. People could argue for days about the pressures of the media on girls and guys alike and the effects it can have, how we can stop it and blah blah blah but can we really pull our self absorbed, looks conscious society back and step and say "hold on a minute, look what's happening here"? I'm skeptical. But that's not my debate to have.

I praise all the girls who have gone bare faced and donated to charity but if feel like there's a bigger issue here; the world is praising these girls as though the removal of makeup is an achievement - it shouldn't be. We shouldn't be scared to go out bare faced "just in case I bump into someone I know" but we are, and I totally get that. But it's wrong and something needs to change. Whilst an excellent campaign, raising a phenomenal amount of money, will there really be any fresh, bare faced selfies hitting Facebook this weekend? Will we ever be able to ditch the makeup for those small trips that we might just bump into somebody? It's scary but it's thought provoking at the same time. I'll leave you with that thought.

Until next time!

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

17 March 2014
Up until 2 years ago, I had danced ever since I'd been about 2ft tall, a ridiculous, yet equally hilarious image (said ridiculous and hilarious images are hidden away with all my childhood photographs; there's really no reason to be sharing those now - I'd prefer not to scar you all for life!) but alas, all good things come to an end.

I started getting an ache behind my kneecaps and even just sitting down was excruciating, there was just a constant pain and I had to resort to hobbling around as my main method of transportation - lucky me! I picked up the nickname 'Hobbly Hobnob' after a while so ya know, it wasn't all bad, at least I was providing humour to those I passed on a daily basis. After several hospital visits, MRI scans and physiotherapy appointments I was diagnosed with patella tendonitis and was basically told in way more medical-y terms that I wasn't to dance again. 

I was pretty devastated, like really, I'd spent a good 12 years of my life dancing and then that was it, I just had to give it up like that (sad face). But before you start sending all your sympathetic and sad vibes my way, do not fear! Earlier on in the year I had the opportunity to apply to be a performer in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2014 Commonwealth Games - pretty big stuff, I know. I applied thinking nothing of it; it would be a fantastic opportunity but if I didn't get it then so be it. However, at the end of February I was lucky enough to be called into audition and said audition was yesterday...

Now, I've been sworn to secrecy and I've even signed a contract stating that I won't tell anybody anything about the goings on - pretty intense for an audition! So for fear of being dragged away and being imprisoned by the Commonwealth Games police forevermore, I'm going to have to leave the details of the audition to your imagination. I am willing to tell you that it was honestly so much fun and I enjoyed every minute! There may, or there may not have been some element of dance to it but it's not my place to tell you such things...

It made me realise how much I still love dancing, how I never really lost my passion for it, so today's lesson my lovelies is to never give up; even if people tell you that you can't, never turn down an opportunity that you might love or will be a great experience for you. Never let anybody hold you back from anything that you want to do (even if they do happen to have Dr. as their title and give you a medical certificate, oops). Say yes to more opportunities - I'm slowly starting to learn this and honestly, it's great. But the most important of advice: dance like nobody's watching, yup, get your Beyonce on whilst tidying, cleaning or even, dare I say it, whilst heavily intoxicated at the bar on a Friday night. I know we all stage our own mini concerts in the shower,don't lie, although I am not willing to be the ambassador for shower dancing, maybe give that one a miss for now if you enjoy having all your bones in one piece. I'll be right over here dancing it out in the meantime.

Until next time!

Blue Skies all Around

11 March 2014
What on earth is that bright, shining orb in the sky? Surely it can't be?! The sun?!!?

Yup, if you reside within the UK like I do, you'll probably be aware of this sunny weather that we're experiencing - pretty unusual for early March but guess what? I'm complaining.

I know, I know, how on earth can I complain that the sun is out for the first time in forever (I swear the sun has some sort of personal vendetta against the UK) but I'm stuck inside working away on coursework and learning things about the human body that I'm 500% certain I'll never need to know, damn you physiology. I am however, following the sun around my room and shifting my work and laptop around accordingly - I'm currently writing this squished up somewhere between my drawers and bed but hey, the sun's keeping my legs warm so it's totally justified.

I hope that you reading this are somewhere warm and sunny, or if you too live in the UK, are taking full advantage of the sun; just like the guy I saw on the train this morning sporting shorts and a t-shirt - bold but definitely taking advantage.

And for those of you cooped up inside working away and stressing over that assignment that's due in tomorrow, I feel your pain but we've got this - keep dreaming of Summer, just like my dog does every single day.

Until next time!