a very honest skincare routine

hi there! sorry it’s been a while, i finished work about two weeks ago, and then went to london so i’ve been on a bit of a holiday when it comes to writing – but honestly, writing is its own kind of holiday. anyway, a lot of friends on twitter asked me to write more about my skin care regime, and i was about to make a thread and then remembered i have a blog (lol). anyway, i’m going to write what i do when i’m mentally well i’m also going to write about what i try to do when i’m not. i don’t think it’s fair to anyone, least of all myself, to pretend i do an 8-step skincare routine every single night, when in reality i keep it up for a few weeks, stop for another few weeks, and start again. that’s usually the pattern. sometimes you just need to let yourself be disabled! working on your health constantly is really, really tiring, and it’s a process of learning to forgive yourself when your health isn’t all that good. remember: recovery. is. not. linear.

anyways, this is my fun-filled skincare regime(s)!

another disclaimer: i am not a dermatologist. i have oily skin that is prone to spots and redness. i’ve been trying to take care of my skin for the past eight years, and this is the regime that has ultimately proven the most effective for me. i might get some stuff scientifically wrong. let me know ifi do. this is all just info i’ve accumulated from magazines, books, makeup artists, and doctors.

okay, here we go!

THE ARROGANT MENTALLY WELL ONE

-1 (the prequel). exfoliate.

only exfoliate once or twice a week! you don’t wanna get rid of all of your skin! some recommend exfoliating after cleansing but in my experience, it’s easier, cleaner, and more satisfying to do it first. in my experience, if you do it after cleansing, even after rinsing it off etc, you will still have annoying little remnants of your exfoliant left on your face. i find it easier to do it first and it’ll come off after all the cleansing.

1. oil cleansing.

a lot of my fellow oily skin types will recoil at the idea of putting oil on your face, but trust me, it’s exactly what your skin needs. you’ve gotta fight oil with more oil, which sounds like a contradiction. but believe me, if you oil-cleanse your face, not only will it get rid of your makeup better than ANY other product, but once you wash it away with hot water, you will feel amazing. it’s like getting rid of the bad oil, all the sweat etc, and replacing it with nourishing, good oil. do it!! oil-cleansing has become more mainstream now so it’s easier to find an oil cleanser from most brands. i currently use a No7 one because about a year ago it was the only high-street one i could find!

2. water cleansing.

most other cleansers are water-based. milks (which aren’t usually real milk), foams, face wash, all that stuff. i don’t think you need an explanation for why water-based cleansers are nice. they even out your face and once you’ve oil-cleansed, the water cleanser gets past all that icky surface dirt and makes its way through to deep-cleanse your skin. doing both oil-cleansing and then water-cleansing will change 👏 your 👏 life 👏

3. toning.

throw some cold water on your face. you don’t need an expensive toner. if you wanna buy an actual toner with like. “benefits” or whatever, i’d thoroughly recommend lush’s tea tree water. it feels amazing, it’s a natural antiseptic (hot tip: spray it on your pillow for nice smells and also getting rid of all the grease on the pillow from your hair and face!). plus, when you run out, you can just refill the spray bottle with water and then put some lavender oil drops in there. there will still be a tea tree residue so it becomes a delicious tea tree and lavender toner. that’s what i do anyway! lavender is really good for sleep hygiene! you can use any essential oil you like the smell of though, i’m not your real dad, you can decide for yourself.

4. treatments

this is where you use those products that are like “Hey. How are you doing. I am going to get rid of your spots within 4 hours.” and they don’t, but y’know, they’re better than other spot treatments because they’re more powerful? or those face masks that are like “Well hello there sport. Would you like a bomb? What kind of bomb, you ask? Why, a moisture bomb, you stupid child.” this is the time to use those magical products that promise to fix all your problems. well, all your skin problems. they can’t sort out your intimacy issues. that’s for you to sort out yourself.

5. “serum”.

does anyone else hate the word serum? i used to get serum and semen mixed up all the time. they’re too similar and i don’t like it. anyway, if you’re younger than 30, don’t use a special serum thing. if you’re under that age, you could use something like rosehip oil and spread that all over your face. actually, everyone should do that. rosehip oil is amazing and beautiful and soft and rich in vitamin c. use it. i’m almost 20 so i know nothing about serums for real grown-ups. how and ever! i don’t buy into that age-defying bullshit. signs of “age” are beautiful and prove to the world how powerful you are and don’t let the patriarchy beat you down!!

6. moisturising.

my main motto in life is (if you doodoo on yourself… and i live by that)
sorry. one of the mottos i have, which i think i read in a KISS magazine (RIP) when i was 15, is “moisturising is non-negotiable”. honey, you’ve GOT to moisturise. it’s! so! important! i don’t care what kind of skin you have! EVERYONE needs it! moisturise bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE SELF FORGIVENESS REGIME

1.

put baby wipes beside your bed. ideally sensitive ones, or moisturising ones, or even both if you’re feeling fancy, but if you don’t have access to that, normal baby wipes are good. you could also keep a bottle of micellar water and a facecloth near your bed if you want to be more earth-friendly, which is great, but takes a little bit more effort. do whatever is easiest.

2.

drink your water and try to get some sleep. you got this. take your time. forgive yourself. spread love to others.
well that’s it everybody, but remember: my skin only improved once i did this one quick trick:

GIVE UP ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND MEN. YOUR SKIN WILL CLEAR UP IMMEDIATELY.

grá mór xoxo

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my review of INCREDIBLES 2 which eventually DEVOLVES into a COMMENTARY on the CHILDREN’S FILM INDUSTRY

THIS REVIEW WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! i’ll add a cute “read more” button when i start sharing spoilers. anyway, you’ve been warned!

i’ve watched incredibles 2 twice – once in the cinema, once at home, directly after the first incredibles, my own personal double bill special, which i shared with a best friend. my initial review is way different than after seeing both films together.

firstly, i just want to say that we waited a long, long time for a resolution and a sequel to the masterpiece that is the first incredibles. in my opinion, incredibles 2 delivered what we needed. we had a compelling, mysterious villain, we finally got to see what happened directly after the underminer appeared at the end of the first film. as far as sequels go, this was magnificent. my initial review would’ve been that the new one was even better than the first film, which a lot of people agreed with, but a lot of people disagreed with. my review now is that it’s worth watching, it’s a necessary and beautiful sequel that really does fill the void that the first incredibles left. however, when compared to the first film, it doesn’t quite hit the mark. that’s unfair though, because after all a sequel is a sequel, and it’s hard to compete with a practically perfect film.

when i was in the cinema watching incredibles 2 for the first time, my mouth was agape during the entire thing. i loved the beginning that focused on tony, the love interest violet had, and his perspective of the events that followed the underminer’s invasion. i loved the return of the parrs’ lawyer. i loved how elastigirl is still thicc as hell, an incredible (ha-ha) and caring person, and how i’m still just as in awe and in love with her as i was as a child. (after watching these films again as an adult, i think i can confirm that helen “elastigirl” parr was my first love, and the first indication that i was a lesbian!) the classy style of this movie returned, a retro 50s/60s view with futuristic machines and elegant cars and planes. i genuinely loved every single moment of this movie.

Continue reading “my review of INCREDIBLES 2 which eventually DEVOLVES into a COMMENTARY on the CHILDREN’S FILM INDUSTRY”

really good hummus pasta

first things first: this recipe was originally inspired by this savoury vegan

you can make this recipe in less than 20 minutes with some practice, and it is RIDICULOUSLY good. really good alternative for big heavy creamy dishes!

ingredients:

  • 100g wholewheat spaghetti (white also works, i use wholewheat because it’s higher in fibre and protein)
  • about 2-3 tbsp hummus
  • half a bag of baby spinach leaves
  • 5 sundried tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • 2 tsp oil (olive is best, or you can use the oil from your jar of sundried tomatoes)
  • coarse sea salt
  • table salt
  • black pepper
  • lemon (optional)
  • parsley (optional)

method:

1. the first thing you want to do is boil your kettle so that you have hot water ready to go for pasta. put your pasta into a pot and add table salt, then add hot water, turn your hob on high, wait 2 minutes, lower the heat, and set a timer for 7-9 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your pasta.

2. chop up your ingredients. i suggest roughly chopping up your spinach first.

2. then, mincing or crushing your garlic, i mince my garlic because the taste is stronger and it means that you use all the garlic (don’t forget to peel off the skin though). wash your hands after dealing with the garlic because they’ll be sticky and annoying.

3. then, you can start chopping the sundried tomatoes into very small pieces (about 1cm2). your chopping board will now be oily, probably, but that’s okay. keep your ingredients within arms reach.

4. take a cup and dip it into your pasta pot to collect some of that starchy pasta water. this is very important!

5. pasta done? strain her! you can get a colander and leave the pasta in there while you get your sauce and goodies on.

6. FIRST, add the oil into the pot. then add garlic with black pepper, chilli flakes, and crush some coarse sea salt into it as well. fry it up.

7. after about like, 30 seconds? add in the spinach. it will really wilt up and get tiny, so that’s why you will initially feel that it’s a ridiculous amount of spinach. be patient.

8. after the spinach has wilted a little bit, add in the sundried tomatoes. if your garlic is sticking to the bottom of the pot, add more oil.

9. add a little sploosh of pasta water. i know you have a full cup, but trust me, only add a little at a time.

10. put in your first tbsp of hummus, and mix it into the pasta water and the goodies. then you can alternate between adding more hummus and more pasta water depending on how thick you like your sauce.

11. bring your pasta back! stir her in! iconic! wooooorrrrkkkkkk! you’re done!

12. if you want you can serve with a cute lemon wedge or some parsley. i don’t have notions so i don’t do that but i’m sure it’d be lovely.

enjoy babes!!! xoxo cúnla

a collection of all the things i know about: SLEEP HYGIENE

hello again! i made a thread on twitter a little while ago about sleep hygiene and it seemed to help some people, so i’m gonna share what i know here!

how do i know so much about sleep? because it’s difficult for me to keep a normal sleep routine without effort! which really isn’t very rare, but i choose to take care of myself in this respect as much as i can. i’ve learned some of this from my mental health team (which means, my therapist, nurse,and psychiatrist), and i’ve learned a lot over the years through research, too.

if you want some cute infographic things, these are some things i’ve saved to a pinterest board re: sleep hygiene. as always, quick reminder that these are things that have helped me; if something seems unrealistic to you personally, that’s okay. if you have any more suggestions, please comment below or send me a message.

what is sleep hygiene exactly? it’s about making sure you sleep for enough hours per night, getting a high enough quality of sleep, and going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. so without further ado here are my hot tips!

1. figure out what sleep hygiene means to you.

it took me a while to figure out that sleep hygiene, for me, means getting seven to nine hours of sleep. not only that, but that it’s better if i’m asleep before midnight and awake before 9am.

you could be entirely different, you could be a night owl, or you could be a polyphasic sleeper. most people practice monophasic sleep, but some people do find it easier to sleep in different portions. for example, some people practice a biphasic sleep schedule – sleeping for 3-4 hours, waking up for about an hour, and going back to sleep for another 3-4 hours. there is evidence of biphasic sleeping back into the middle ages, in fact, that people would naturally wake up in the middle of the night, and use their time to have a chat with their partner, or to pray, etc. a very common polyphasic sleep schedule is the siesta sleep – sleeping for 5-6 hours at night, and then taking a nap for 20-90 minutes in the early afternoon.

there are benefits to practising a polyphasic sleep schedule, and it’s worth checking out, but if you feel that monophasic sleep works best for you, keep it! it doesn’t matter if you’re a night owl, or if you love going to bed at 7pm, as long as you are sleeping according to your own needs.

2. to remove all means of annoyance

(wow, cúnla, you’re really gonna use a macbeth quote as a heading?)

turn. off. your. phone.

leave. your. phone. downstairs.

you know yourself that you shouldn’t bring your phone up to bed with you, let alone staying up looking at it until the wee hours and you eventually get smacked in the face with it as it falls from your hand with pure exhaustion. there are no benefits to keeping your phone upstairs with you. i recommend that at least an hour before you go to bed, you turn off your phone, and leave it downstairs. every time you bring your phone upstairs with you, you tell yourself that you won’t stay up, but you do. every time you choose not to turn off your phone, you make a choice not to prioritise your own wellbeing. you make a choice to stay up, hurt your future self, and you feed anxiety by looking at social media, or you feed vivid nightmares from playing flashy games.

you know this. please, just turn off your phone.

3. practice self-care.

turn your mind away from screens at least an hour before bed. drink something soothing, but stay away from caffeine. the only exception i’d make to this is green tea – green tea isn’t very high in caffeine and it does wonders for your skin and your metabolism. i personally like drinking some green tea, or hot oat milk with maybe a little maple syrup, or just water. chamomile tea is apparently good for sleep, though i personally believe it tastes like ass, so y’know, if you like it, power to you. try not to eat much before going to sleep, if you’re really hungry, eat a banana.

okay, so you’ve turned your phone off. ya bored? read a book. journal. write a list. draw. take a bath or a shower. listen to a podcast (this will be in my next point). do yoga. tidy your room. clean your mirror. make a packed lunch. set out tomorrow’s outfit. pack your bag. tomorrow you will be so grateful.

4. be kind to your senses.

it’s so hard for me to sleep without full entire darkness, and also sound! if like me, your room is quite bright, your blinds are broken, and it’s summertime, get yourself a sleep mask! honestly, it makes such a difference. it takes a little while to get used to, but i sleep so much better now. otherwise, just make sure that all your curtains are drawn, the lights are out, etc. i’d also recommend that in your hour leading up to bed, turn off the harsh ceiling lights, and light small lamps instead. this indicates to your brain that you’re getting to sleep because it simulates dusk. what even better is if those lamps, especially lampshades, are warm-toned, rather than blue.

some people need absolute silence to sleep. some need sound, like me. if you’re someone who needs absolute silence, i’d recommend looking up how to soundproof your windows and your room, or else you could get earplugs.

however, if you’re like me, i find that a podcast or an audiobook works best. my favourites have got to be levar burton reads and the blindboy podcast. both are stimulating and interesting, but also deeply calming and heartwarming. now, how can you listen to a podcast without your phone? here we go. if you have an old smartphone, i’d recommend turning it on, connecting it to power, either at a charging point or into a dock, and deleting all apps from it except your podcast app.

set a sleep timer. itunes gives you options of 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, or until podcast ends. at first, i always chose ‘until podcast ends’, but found that i was falling asleep usually within 30 minutes, so i choose that option now. play around with whatever works best for you.

be kind to your senses of touch as well, and be mindful of how often you change your sheets. nothing feels better than taking a shower, putting on a new pair of pyjamas, and getting into a bed with fresh sheets. it’s recommended to change your sheets every week, but for most of us, especially disabled people like me, it’s not realistic. i personally change them from every 2 weeks up to every month, depending on my health. it’s important to remember as well that it’s okay to ask for help. ask your friend to come over and help you change your bed. it seriously is so important to remember that you have a support system, no matter how big or small, and your friends should be happy to help you when you need it.

5. busy minds.

i’ve got borderline personality disorder! i’m not good at going to sleep with all my worries and anxieties! i have to put them somewhere or express them, and then i can distract myself. i keep a small notebook, nothing fancy, near my bed, and i can write down absolute nonsense down in it. my notebook is full of accounts of dreams, rants, cbt worksheets and homework, inspiration, anger, self-indulgent sadness, the works! and after all that, i put it under my bed knowing that i can accept what i can’t change, and i can change what i can change in the morning. then i turn on my podcast and get to sleep. works like a goddamn charm.

6. naps?

if you’re disabled, yes, sometimes you need a nap. how and ever! if you can go without it, please do.

7. partners

i’m gonna be honest. one of the biggest reasons i’m single is because i hate sharing a bed with a passion. i’m not alone (lol) in that. the struggle for covers, snoring, going to bed at different times, waking each other up, being too warm because you’re sharing a tiny space with another entire human being, the smell… ugh, it’s not for me. whenever i have had partners, i usually end up sleeping somewhere else because i can’t stand it. if you must sleep with your partner, do it, but figure out how to maintain sleep hygiene for both of you. vow to go to bed at the same time, find solutions for snoring, get two separate twin duvets so that there’s no tug-of-war. keep a window open, change sheets regularly. it’s up to you to fix your sleeping problems and to take of your own mental and physical wellbeing, as well are your partner’s. otherwise, dump them and get your bed to yourself again! i jest, i jest. (i do not jest.)

8. the morning after.

when you wake up, you determine how you’ll get to sleep the next night. expose yourself to daylight asap. i personally keep my blinds open overnight so that when i wake up, i take off my sleep mask and immediately see the morning.

your main mission is this: do absolutely everything in your power to avoid pressing snooze. you need to stop pressing snooze. it’s an evil invention that only starts your day with a feeling of guilt and dizziness. stop pressing snooze on your life. it is the day, it is the morning, and you are here on earth to make your life as full as it can be.

this is how i avoid pressing snooze. i got myself a real alarm clock so that i’m not depending on my phone. i put that alarm clock across the room. near the alarm clock, before i go to bed, i leave a note, or a post-it or a flashcard that indicates why today is worth waking up for. i got up in the morning for the entirety of last week just because i was excited that i was going to be eating beans on toast for breakfast. whatever you wake up for doesn’t matter. even if you consider something unhealthy, like how i got out of bed because i was excited to play video games, it’s actually not necessarily doing damage to your health. it gets you out of bed. i might not even have time to play legend of zelda: breath of the wild in the morning, but it’s gotten me up and that in and of itself is contributing to my wellbeing.

i also leave out a note telling myself what to do before considering a snooze. this list involves taking my meds, looking out the window, drinking a full glass of water, and walking around my room. i find that this really does help out a lot. also, the reminder that i can snooze on my way into work or college, or that i can check my phone downstairs, or take a nap later on in the day, or the fact that if i get up now, i’ll have a better sleep tonight, that all helps me.

one last tip – make your bed. i didn’t learn this from pinterest, or my psychiatrist, or anyone, but only from my own experience. if i make my bed in the morning, and it looks beautiful and neat, i have cause for a tiny celebration – i got something done. not only that but if your bed looks neat and tidy, you don’t want to mess up its glory in the morning by getting back in and crumpling it. but when the nighttime comes again, your bed will be irresistible and oh so inviting.

sleep well and remember that getting to proper sleep hygiene takes time. be patient with yourself and go at your own pace. you can’t go from a wholly unhealthy sleep regimen to complete sleep hygiene over the course of one dusk-to-dawn. figure out what works for you, and be kind to yourself. you deserve it. grá mór agus oíche mhaith.

💞💕💘💗💖💓

let’s talk about a dramatic thing that happened in my life but oversimplify it to the change of my twitter handle

so until about an hour ago, my twitter handle was sapphoselkie, which i did love but didn’t have quite the same ring to it as sapphicselkie, and hence was a bit clunky.  luckily though, i got a bit of a scary diagnosis recently so that’s made it far easier for me to move on with my @.

about three or four weeks ago, i was diagnosed with epilepsy. now, before you worry, the fact that i like women has not gone ignored in my new @ (which is epilesbian. it’s very important that you know that.) anyway, i brushed it off, because someone dropped the word ‘temporary’ at one point, and i made it my personal mission to cling onto that word instead of ‘epilepsy’. i acted far too okay with it, and made a lot of jokes about having seizures. they weren’t all funny (in fairness, some of them were).

i thought epilepsy was not a big deal at all. about three weeks ago, i returned home after the hospital having stayed two nights. last week i went to see my doctor, who’s very fond of monologues – it turned out that it’s probably not going to be temporary. i was very silent going home after my appointment, and it was difficult to process. what i had just gotten was a lot of tough love and an honest and caring diagnosis by someone i already knew. to be honest, the fact that i can’t really take baths anymore? i hate that!

but it wasn’t just about not being able to drink, or drive, or take baths, or swim alone. i freaked out and have been silent for days because i was told that i was not in control of myself. here’s the background on that: i have suffered panic attacks for about five years now, and within the last few years, after going to cognitive behavioural therapy, i’ve had it drilled into me that i am the one thing in life i can control. (in fairness, that’s not all my first therapist’s fault. it’s also hamilton’s.) learning after all that therapy that i actually can’t control everything about myself… was entirely unexpected.

what’s the purpose of posting this? of not only tweeting and instagramming about it but putting up a blog post about it? the purpose is… i need to talk about it still! and i think that maybe, some people in similar situations might want to hear this.

having a chronic illness while also having a mental illness is not something that the healthcare system i am part of could have ever prepared me for. this is where i’d insert an argument about how mental health and physical health shouldn’t be so separated, but i just don’t want to do that right now. this is not that blog post.

but, the thing is, i’ve been ‘dealing with it very well’, according to everyone – that is, until last night, when i had three close friends over, and spontaneously started to cry. i kept saying i didn’t know why, but i eventually realised it was just an outpour of just how freaked out i’ve been. it’s made me a lot more sensitive, more irritable, sometimes more careless, sometimes more careful. i cried about finding out that i am not in control of myself, and that my therapy goal of learning how to control myself was entirely in vain. my friends, obviously, were not having any of that. they reminded me of how much work i’ve put into my own health, the amount of support and love i’m surrounded by, and all those good feelings! however, the most important reminder, and the real reason i’m sharing this, was from my best friend. she said:

‘you can only control two things in life, and that is your thoughts and your behaviours. you don’t have to control every part of you.’

i think just the breaking down of what i can control about myself just helped so much, and yet if i weren’t chronically ill, it wouldn’t have been as relevant to my mental health. i don’t know if i’m explaining this correctly, but what i’m saying is that the oversimplification of ‘i am the one thing i can control’ was helpful when i was only (“only”! pah!) experiencing mental illness, and breaking it down into thoughts/behaviours could’ve even distressed me. i have to say though, that those words really just put things into perspective.

also one of my other friends said it’s possible to get seizure sensing service dogs. so that’s pretty important, too.

so there you have it. because my label collection was clearly not large enough, now i’m an epileptic lesbian with borderline personality disorder! the thing is though, now i know that my health is still very much my responsibility. i’m so ready to keep recovering from mentally ill health. and i’m so ready to be confident enough with my chronic condition to reassure my incredible support system.

i want to send a lot of love out into tonight. and especially some chaotic tweets from my new and trendy handle; oh you forgot it already? they’re an epilesbian honey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fáilte!

hello :+) my name is cúnla.

i’m 19 years old and im a lovely lesbian based in dublin. i’m currently working at a gaeltacht (a summer camp through the irish language) teaching 13-14 year olds. it’s pretty fun but i also want to keep some hobbies up outside of work! hence, this blog.

this is the second blog i have attempted, and i have set it up with the intention of posting whatever the hell i like. this will get real self indulgent real quick.

after summer, i will be going into my second year at trinity college dublin. i’ll be working as a part time officer for the students union – my role is oifigeach na gaeilge (irish language officer).

if you can’t tell already, i really care about irish! it’s my first language and i study it along with history.

i write poetry, short stories, descriptive essays, and articles. i draw digital portraits. and i also love makeup and pulling off some Hashtag Looks!

i love vegan food, mental health, good tv shows, and my pals.

what to expect: recipes, reviews, rattling reports. also maybe some alliteration.