October TV Shows – Blogtober Day 2

October is by far the best month for premieres of new and returning shows. They arrive at the perfect time too, darker evenings are made for catching up on TV!

Returning TV Shows:

The Flash Season 5 – The CW October 9th in the US/ Sky One October 18th in Ireland & the UK

I’m curious to see how Barry, Iris & the team will react to having Nora around!

the flash
source: http://www.wikipedia.com

Legends of Tomorrow Season 4 – The CW October 22nd in the US/ Sky One October 31st in Ireland & the UK

This gets more weird with every episode and I love that about it! I need more Mick in my life!

Blindspot Season 4 – NBC October 12th in the US/ Sky Witness in November for Ireland & the UK (no exact date yet!)

Not sure about this one…Roman was definitely my favourite character and he was so tied in to everything the other characters did so I’m not sure how it will go without him.

NCIS: Los Angeles Season 10 – CBS September 30th in the US/ Sky One in Ireland & the UK but no date yet!

Season ten…TEN! Who is alive and where’s Hidoko?

Arrow Season 7 – The CW October 15 in the US/ Sky One 23rd October in Ireland & the UK

I fell behind on season six so I have some catching up to do but I’m still looking forward to the return of Oliver & Co.

arrow
source: http://www.wikipedia.com

New TV Shows:

Charmed -reboot – The CW October 14th in the US/ E4 in Ireland & the UK, no exact date but it seems we’ll have to wait until 2019

I didn’t know what to make of the trailer for this but I’ll definitely tune in to the first episode to see what it’s like.

Returning Netflix Shows:

Daredevil – October 19th

The Avocados at Law are finally back after a two year break and this new season looks to be grittier than the last – fingers crossed!

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source: http://www.wikipedia.com

Riverdale – October 10th in the US/ October 11th in Ireland & the UK

This will be season 3 of Riverdale and I have reservations. The first season was amazing in terms of story lines, visuals and acting but season two was all a bit…’meh’. I’ll give it a chance anyway.

New Netflix Shows:

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – October 26th

Can’t wait to see this! The cinematography is one of the things I love about Riverdale so I’m excited to see similar vibes in this but I’m disappointed that Salem won’t feature in the way we’re used to. 

Derren Brown – Sacrifice – October 19th

Derren Brown freaks me out in the best way. I LOVE every show he’s done and I’m sure this one will be great.

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What are you looking forward to watching this Autumn/Winter? Share it down below! 

Autumn Bucket List – Blogtober Day 1

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween, pumpkins scream in the dead of night…”

This is halloween - jack skellington

Yep, the best time of year is here! It’s Halloween month which means crisp mornings, pumpkin everything, fall fashion, cosy nights and of course – Blogtober!

An Autumn bucket list seems like a fitting way to start off so here are some of the best things to do this season:

Autumn Bucket List 3

 

 

This year I’m hoping to go pumpkin picking at Alright Pumpkin – I love their name! I managed to get my hands on tickets to see Hocus Pocus at a drive in and I’m so excited about it! Hocus Pocus is a Halloween tradition in my house, it’s nice that I’ll get to see it in a different way than usual but I’ve no doubt I’ll still watch it on tv too. A couple of weeks ago I tried baking the perfect apple pie along with a spiced bread in preparation for this season – I’ll share those recipes soon. Halloween attractions and scary movies are tough ones for me because being around a bunch of people I don’t know in that setting ramps up my anxiety…and because I’m just a wimp haha but we’ll see how it goes and I’ll update you in a few weeks.

In the meantime I’d love to here from you – do you have plans for the Halloween season? Share them with me below! 

Bloggers Unveiled

It’s finally happened – Bloggers Unveiled has come to an end.

Earlier this year an anonymous user created the Bloggers Unveiled Instagram account. They used the platform to call out what they perceived as wrong-doings by bloggers & influencers and the account quickly amassed followers keen to join in – over 220k in fact!

bloggers unveiled

 

The account focused on bloggers and influencers who were using Photoshop and other editing apps to alter images of themselves without telling their followers, who were running competitions that hundreds entered only to give the prize to a friend, who were white labelling products they were selling but passing them off as their own and charging a premium for them. Basically, if there was something dodgy happening Bloggers Unveiled was going to let everyone know!

Did things go to far?

In the beginning I followed it myself. It was good to know who was being genuine and who wasn’t but after a couple of weeks I unfollowed. You see, things had become very nasty. The comments on every post were dominated by personal attacks on these bloggers and influencers. People were being told to go kill themselves, that they were worthless, that they were fat and ugly. The level of vitriol was unreal.

Make no mistake, I don’t think that conning your followers is okay in any way but I don’t think anyone deserves to have their lives or those of their loved ones threatened. Surely if you find that a blogger or influencer isn’t being truthful you should unfollow them, stop promoting them, refuse to buy their products, etc.

The Bloggers Unveiled account continued on for several months and speculation about who was behind continued too. Things took an odd turn when people who were being accused of being BU began receiving death threats too. EVERYONE IS RECEIVING DEATH THREATS….WHAT IS HAPPENING?!

Here’s where I think it gets interesting…

BU released a statement. They said “There has been an unwavering curiosity around who I am… There are a number of people in the media, as well as private individuals, being targeted. I’ve been contacted by friends and family members of someone this week who have voiced their concerns for the well-being of their friend, who is under suspicion for simply being at an event and doing their job.”

Surely at that point the person behind the account should have realised things had gone too far and shut it down?! But no…”I’m not saying I’m quitting- I won’t quit.”

A living hell

Over the weekend a woman called Ramona Treacy released a statement via The Irish Times to explain how her life had become a ‘living hell’ after people began accusing her of being BU. It has become so bad that gardai have launched a criminal investigation in to the matter.

Following this (and I suspect on advice from legal professionals looking into all of this), the Bloggers Unveiled account was finally deleted after showing the following statement.

BU statement
Via thejournal.ie

 

All I’ve seen since are people lamenting the fact that the account is gone and people wondering where they’re going to get their gossip from now but I’m delighted that it’s gone. Maybe it did start with noble intentions but I really don’t believe it continued that way. It became a toxic place for people to be hateful and scathing towards others.

What happens next?

I fully believe that bloggers and influencers SHOULD be held accountable for the content they produce and post. They’ve become the face of modern advertising. I can’t help but wonder if the Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland was more proactive would this whole situation have come about? The ASAI released new guidelines for bloggers and influencers months ago but so far only one complaint for misleading the public has been upheld and, as Bloggers Unveiled has shown,  it’s a massive problem within the community.

So where do we go from here? Will copycat accounts be created? Will the ASAI make changes to their guidelines? Will bloggers and influencers face more regulations? Will we EVER find out who was behind Bloggers Unveiled?

Let me know your thoughts!

 

 

What Happened In February…

Time for an update!

February was a weird one; January seemed to last 27 million days but February was here and gone in the blink of an eye!

I haven’t posted since the end of January. I had a couple of February posts drafted but time got away from me, I was sick, I had no wifi, I was sick again. I think the universe was conspiring against me!

I’ve been feeling a bit down too. I like to learn, be productive and have a routine, when that isn’t happening it really affects my mood. When that continues for more than a week or two my mental state takes a nose dive and suddenly I feel like the worst person in the world, like I haven’t achieved anything, like I’m worthless. I begin to agonise over every decision I’ve ever made, I compare myself to others, I hate how I look, I hate that I’m not where I thought I’d be by now. Any self esteem that I had disappears. I don’t want to interact with people, I don’t eat or sleep well. My motivation is non existent and exhaustion takes over. Writing new blog posts wasn’t even on my radar but I took some time to speak to friends about it (life pep talks ftw!), to write, read and doodle and I’m beginning to feel better.

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February wasn’t all bad though – Even though I was sick I still had a lovely Valentine’s Day (celebrated on Pancake Tuesday cause we know what’s up). We went to see Black Panther, went for dinner in one of our favourite places, binge watched Friends and ate our weight in chocolate – heaven. I also had family over from the UK who I absolutely love spending time with. I’m going over there to see them at the end of the month, I can’t wait! I was really craving being outside for the whole month. I’m not what anyone would describe as ‘outdoorsy’ but I feel so at peace when I’m in a garden, a park, by the sea or just out for a walk. Last weekend, knowing that I’d been feeling run down and rubbish, my boyfriend drove us to Phoenix Park where we got coffee and went for a walk. It was freezing but so lovely. (No photos cause I’m a terrible blogger! lol)

Over the last few weeks I’ve posted a few tweets saying I was about to get back to the blog but something came up every single time that prevented me from doing it, I think I was jinxing myself!

I have some blog posts planned for the month though I probably won’t be posting as regularly as in January. I’ve got lots of family birthdays, the 3rd Annual Self Harm Awareness Conference with St. Patrick’s & Pieta House taking place in the Aviva and that trip to London. I’m also taking some time for learning, self improvement and getting outside once the snow stops so it’s a busy month ahead.

How was your February? Did you do Valentine’s Day or Pancake Tuesday? What are your plans for March?

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5 Books That Changed My Life

I’m a self confessed book nerd. I read every day and I read anything. It felt like Christmas when I found Kindle Unlimited!

Here are 5 books that changed my life!

The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – Ok, not technically one book but it’s my list and I’ll do what I want! I think most of us know the Potter story at this stage and many of us fell in love with it through JK’s books. She created such a vibrant, magical world full of complex characters and creatures that I couldn’t help but want to be part of it. I was totally enthralled with this series and I’m so grateful that my mam would go with me to order first editions and queue for every release. What really stayed with me from this series were the lessons about love, loss, friendship and hope. 

 

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – I first read this as a teenager when I was really struggling with depression and anxiety. A dear friend, at the time, had read it and thought I would appreciate it so she loaned it to me and I’m so grateful that she did. This book struck a chord right away. I could relate to Charlie in so many ways and as a result felt a little less alone during a time where that couldn’t have been more important. The format of this book appealed to me, it was the first book that I read that was written entirely as letters to an unknown recipient. Perks is a book about abuse, friendship, and not being okay. I go back to this one time and time again and I can’t recommend it enough.

stepphhsays-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-quote

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – Ah, the story of Catherine and Heathcliffe, a classic! A classic that I’ve never finished because I get bored after a few pages. You might be wondering how this changed my life when I’ve just said I’ve never read the majority of it. You see, up until this point I always finished a book, it didn’t matter if I wasn’t enjoying it, I was so stubborn that I had to finish it. This is the one that broke the camel’s back, so to speak. Life is just too short!

 

The Tale Of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter – The Peter Rabbit & Friends collection was gifted to me shortly after I learned how to read. They are the first books I can remember reading by myself. I adored Peter Rabbit and his mischievous ways! I don’t know how I didn’t lose any of these because I brought them everywhere. I still have the cardboard box that these came in, though after two decades it’s well worn and held together with tape! Peter Rabbit inspired a lifetime of reading.

 

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – I read this as part of English Junior Cert and I was totally engrossed. I actually read it before school started that year and I still have that same copy. This was the first book that really made me think about racial inequality. It wasn’t something I had consciously given thought to before then and now I understand that I was very privileged to be in that position. Even though this book was published in 1960 it opened my eyes to the race issues that we are unfortunately still dealing with now.

stepphhsays-to-kill-a-mockingbird-quote

Are you a fellow BookNerd? What books have stayed with you or taught you something?

The Versatile Blogger Award

The lovely Abby over at For All That Wander has been kind enough to award me The Versatile Blogger Award – Thank you Abby! 

The Versatile Blogger Award aims to recognise those blogs that stand out for being a little different, for doing their own thing, for blogging with enthusiasm and passion. It’s by bloggers, for bloggers. If there is a blog you enjoy why not honour the owner by nominating them? We could all do with a bit of positivity and love! 

For more info & award buttons visit The Versatile Blogger Award

The rules are simple – Should you choose to accept please include the following in your post: 

  • Link back to the person who nominated/awarded you…and a ‘thank you’ wouldn’t go amiss!
  • Include the rules so that the person you’ve nominated/awarded knows what they should do.
  • Include 7 facts about yourself – let people get to know you! 
  • Include a list of blogs you would like to award/nominate and link to them (the usual list is 15 blogs but less or a few more is fine, no panic!)

7 Facts About Me

  1. I can’t swim – I did swimming lessons throughout primary school, didn’t get anywhere with them!
  2. I listen to music every day & love going to gigs. My current favourite bands are Panic! at the Disco and Twenty One Pilots – I’m always up for chatting about them or other artists and I’m always on the look out for a new band or song. Find me on Twitter or check out what I’m listening to on Spotify
  3. My dog is everything to me – His name is Dobby, he’s a Dog’s Trust pup that I got 6 years ago. He never fails to make me smile – more on him in a later post!
  4. I have a thing for stationery, cups, candles and bath products. I’ve entirely too many of all of them and it’s gonna stay that way.
  5. I left school without sitting my Leaving Cert but went on to get 3 other certificates and a place in college –  It wasn’t straightforward and there were a lot of false starts but it goes to show that final school exams aren’t everything and there are other options out there.
  6. One of my favourite things is spending time with my parents, siblings, nephews/nieces – Several years ago both of my parents were quite ill and it really made me appreciate them and every moment we have together. As a family we make an effort to get together to do things. The best times are usually during the Summer when we go to a beach or park with the kids and celebrate my mam’s birthday at the same time 🙂
  7. This is not my first blog – I had a very basic blog several years ago, a sort of online diary. I ended up deleting it because I was worried about what people who I knew IRL thought of it. Now, I don’t care haha

 

Stepphhsays-versatile-blogger-award-nominees

* A quick note – In keeping with the spirit of my blog I want to be clear that if I have nominated/awarded you and you don’t wish to nominate/award someone else that’s perfectly okay. It doesn’t change the fact that I think you’re awesome and that you deserve this!

  • RocketteQueen – Aoife is killing it with posts about alternative fashion, cruelty free beauty and thoughts on life. My fav!
  • JasminsWorld – Jaz is blogging her way through her final year of uni.
  • LoveKatieLauren – Check out her positivity series, it’s fab!
  • TooManyRedheads – A blog about family & parenting . I don’t have children but still find plenty of life lessons and useful info here!
  • WrittenBySJSmith – Sam is a fellow book lover, blogging her way through life.
  • HelloBexa – A student & lifestyle blog…and someone whose love of sweet potato fries might just rival mine!
  • TheFashionDiet – Sarah is a young Irish blogger who is passionate about all things fashion & beauty.
  • IBlogTheFashion – Here you’ll find content that is mostly focused on fashion but lately Holly Louise has been doing more lifestyle posts & sharing a bit more about her life which I am loving.
  • LifeWithKtkinnes – Books & food galore! Katie is also one of the bloggers running @BloggersTribe on Twitter.
  • ChloeMetzger – Fellow Potter nerd, feminist and mental health advocate.

Guys, I love your blogs and think you’re fab, thanks for doing what you’re doing and sharing it with the world!

Friendship

We’ve all seen those ‘perfect’ friendship groups on TV – they look happy and they’re having fun. They might have the odd argument but nothing really comes between them and it makes it easy for us to believe that they’ll be friends forever ’cause that’s how it should be, right?

But what if it’s not?

Most people make friends in stages throughout their lives. As children we make friends by following very simple rules. If a kid likes the colour purple and you like the colour purple then why wouldn’t you be BFF’s?! As young teens we begin to develop more of our own identities but we’re still a little fickle in choosing our friends. Often, we define ourselves based on stereotypes (even though they are something we complain about). Those stereotypes usually stem from the things we’re interested in – music, books, sport, etc. As adults we make friends and acquaintances through college, work and our community. These friendships are quite different from the previous ones. By the time we’ve reached adulthood most of us have a better idea of what we’re all about. We know what we’re passionate about, we have stronger opinions, we have particular morals and beliefs.

Then, there are friendships that we develop as children and teens that stay with us through all of the stages of our lives. Maybe those are rare now? (Is that because we’re always ‘on’, always busy, always tired? Or maybe because we feel that some social media messages are a decent replacement for actually spending quality time together when, really, that isn’t the case?)

One of the hardest lessons I faced when growing up was that not everyone is in your life forever. Like I said at the start, it’s easy for us to have a skewed perception of what friendship should be but the truth is that our lives aren’t an episode of Friends or How I Met Your Mother. Real life is messy and complicated and not everything works out. I felt this most acutely as a teenager when I lost a couple of people I had been very close with but for various reasons we all moved apart. Back then I was in disbelief, this was closely followed with total sadness and eventually anger. Now, I can look back on those friendships and simply value them for what they were without any negative feelings messing that up but it took time.

Losing a close friend, for whatever reason, brings about feelings similar to grief and it’s important to let yourself experience those feelings and accept them. A friendship break up isn’t always someone’s fault. Often, friends have simply grown apart. Sometimes it’s confusing and there aren’t perfect reasons as to why it’s happened but if the friendship is truly over then it’s important to make an effort to move on and eventually remember that friendship for the experience that it was.