Friday, 6 January 2012

An ode to my hero, my grandfather

This is a post I've tried so many times to write and given up, not because I don't want to write it but finding the words to eloquently describe how I feel is a challenge. The subject is so personal, I'm not used to writing about something that matters to me so much.

My grampa passed away on August 20th, a date I know I will never forget for the rest of my life. I remember stirring from sleep and hearing the phone ring downstairs, it was about 8.30am on a Saturday. Something in my head clicked and I knew that I had to look at my mobile, missed calls from my Mum. I listened to her voice mail message and immediately knew what happened, her voice as she answered her phone confirmed my worst fears.

That moment felt suspended in time, like an out of body experience. My heart felt like it had been smashed to a million pieces, and even now I think it will always miss one piece.

My grampa was and will always be a true love in my life, unconditional. I was extremely fortunate to have a very close relationship with him, he raised me when there was no father figure in my life and I never, ever felt anything was missing.

My family has always been small, my nana, grampa, Mum, Uncle and I were a small unit for as long as I can remember. My grandparents were my extended parents from when I was two years old, they took me on day trips, helped me to read, write, talk and encouraged me to be creative and ambitious.

My grampa in particular was my hero, he was softly spoken, extremely playful and fun and from a young age I knew that he was well liked by everyone he ever met. His kindness is something that still staggers me, he lived his life without hate and prejudice and I only wish that more people in this world had his temperament.

Many of my childhood memories consist of him, me and the neighbour's dog going on 'epic' adventures, it didn't matter where we ended up it was such an experience just getting there. I remember him once having to carry the dog for four miles after one of our adventures when one of his 'alternative routes' went a bit wrong.

In his later years my grampa started to get ill, he suffered a stroke and his behaviour began to change. He was diagnosed with dementia and slowly but surely things began to change, the man I remember being big, strong and capable was weaker and vunerable. His mind was slowly deteriating, he began to forget things, repeat himself and become confused. Seeing this was one of the hardest things I feel I have ever gone through, wishing above all else that you could do anything to stop it but we couldn't, none of us.

My nana and Mum became his carers, and their lives along with his own were dramatically altered. He had other health problems and had a pace maker fitted to help regulate his heart. He was weaker, but in admist the constraints of dementia there would be flashes of his true personality and I cherished those moments.

The week before he died I saw him on the Sunday, by this point he didn't remember who I was - something that was extremely hard to comprehend - but I always went to see him when I could. I took his hands in mine and told him that I loved him and he said it back, the week following I had an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I dreaded the day that he could no longer live at home, and knew that time was fast approaching.

The over riding feeling of his death was utter sadness, flashes of anger that his body gave up on him and a feeling of relief, that no longer his mind could be cruel to him - he wasn't a prisoner of an incurable problem any more.

Grief is something that everyone will experience in their lifetime and I urge you to embrace it, don't bottle your emotions up, talk to people, remember the person - good and bad, look at photographs, videos and try above all to celebrate their lives.

There is not a day that goes past where I don't think of him and above the sadness I think back and smile, knowing that he has shaped the person I am today and for that I extremely grateful and proud.

To my Grampa, Morton Hugh Jenkins.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Gagaween: Creating a Lady GaGa Halloween Costume

Halloween is a big deal for me, I love dressing up and it's a night to let the 'freak' out.

When I saw Lady GaGa's 'Born This Way' video I knew instantly what my costume was going to be for 2011 - GaGa Skeleton. A perfect blend of scary and chic.

Lady GaGa in Born This Way

To create this outfit you will need:
  • Black bow tie
  • White shirt
  • Black suit - trousers and jacket
  • Pink wig
  • White and black face paint
  • Black eye liner - don't forget the sharpener
  • A range of make up brushes - including lip liner, thin, thick etc
To help me with the make up I used two tutorials from YouTube as inspiration, both are excellent and really helped me recreate the skeleton make up.

It's easier to paint your face white first then draw out the hollow black details and shade in.

Here are some close up shots of the make up and the costume combined.

Lady GaGa stands for freedom of expresion and being exactly who you are. I absolutely loved dressing up as her for Halloween, it was so liberating and fun, roll on 2012.

Monday, 25 July 2011

For Amy Winehouse

I did not know Amy Winehouse.

I have never been an addict.

I am not a journalist or a music critic and my words cannot match what others have said about her music and her talent.

I don't think her death glamourises drug use in any way.

I just remember how I felt when I heard this for the first time.

RIP Amy Winehouse - I hope you are in a happy place x

Amy Winehouse - stronger than me Live On Jools... by koala47

Monday, 11 July 2011

The Path to Weight Loss is a Bitch

A few weeks after Christmas I jumped on my scales and was pleasantly surprised with what I saw - I was only a few pounds heavier than I thought so instead of thinking "Well, why not lose the excess and some more?" I clapped myself on the back and rewarded my 'not as bad as I thought' weight with leftover Christmas chocs/nuts/crackers and got into a terrible habit of eating Quality Street for breakfast and one before bed.

I weighed myself again recently and was the same weight post Christmas, but I realised this really wasn't great and decided to act on my new found enthusiasm for weight loss.

So I joined and have been on a calorie controlled diet for a month. It's a simple methodology you enter your height, weight, desired weight loss, age and the clever programme works out how many calories you need to consume daily to lose weight.

Any exercise you do earns you calories back so I have been going to Zumba once a week (where every week I am encouraged to do air guitar to Ricky Martin), walking to work occasionally, doing dodgy moves to Just Dance on the Wii and tried cycling yesterday (still saddle sore) but I'm not entirely convinced with eating calories back.

I am on 1200 calories, the minimum a women should consume. I was aiming to lose half a stone then decided to input a stone for the hell of it, I think that coupled with the fact I am only Snooki size at 5ft tall has meant the low calories.

Some days I can completely cope with 1200 calories, other days I feel like curling up into a ball and sleeping for eternity to try and rid myself of the gut wrenching hunger.

So far results have been mixed, the first week I lost a pound, then I put it back on (I blame London trip), stayed the same and have to weigh tomorrow knowing full well last Friday evening I went into a Dorito haze and scoffed chocolate from my Nan's sweet tin.

I've been wondering why it's so hard to change my mind set?

I'm a pretty determined person and I don't like failure but when it comes to food I have a weakness. It's a constant in my thoughts and the last thought in my head as I hit the pillow is what I'm having for tea tomorrow.

Psychologists might say I am eating to fill an emotional void, such bollocks, I eat a teaspoon or 2 of golden syrup out of the tin because it tastes amazing as does spoons of jam, pesto, peanut butter and chocolate spread.

I am trying to be better and to change how I think about food, I weigh things now, try and control the portions, think twice before eating a chocolate biscuit and attempt to choose a healthy dish on the menu if I eat out.

Gah, it's boring but it'll be worth it - the golden syrup is on lock down.

Love, SGS xoxo.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Balmain rocks the MTV Movie Award 2011 red carpet

The MTV Movie Awards 2011 red carpet was an homage to Balmain with three starlets choosing sparkly numbers to rival the pizazz of the golden popcorn awards.

From L - R:

Leighton Meester rocked up in a long sleeved dress from the Balmain Fall 2011 collection reminiscent of a disco ball with great shoes and perfectly tousled hair (as seen on the Balmain runway).

Mila Kunis sensibly added a simple black top to her multicoloured shiny mini skirt also from the Fall collection with dead straight Morticia Adams hair.

Kristen Stewart picks yet another winner on the red carpet with a red leather mini dress adorned with safety pins, studs and jewels from the Spring 2011 collection (in the style of this jacket from the Balmain runway). Really like the sexy tousled hair in this too, thank God that fugly mullet crop grew out so quickly!

All the ladies look fabulous but I think Kristen is getting better and better at picking her red carpet dresses so kudos to her and her stylist.

Love, SGS xoxo.

How to make a Lady GaGa disco bra: A step-by-step guide

Ever since I saw Lady GaGa cavorting on an inflatable animal in a paddling pool in her debut video for 'Just Dance' not only did I develop a HUGE girl crush but wanted/needed her disco bra.

What, may you ask is a disco bra? It's a bra with mirrored disco ball attached on the cups and looks friggin' awesome as the GaGa demonstrates below.

So, how did I make it?

1. Bra selection - you need a black bra, don't bother with another colour and make sure it has straps and is pretty sturdy as after you attach the pieces it gets pretty heavy (you don't want boobs-ahoy). I chose a multi-way bra with detachable straps.

2. Mirrored pieces - these I found pretty easily on eBay, it seems if you live in America you can get buy them from online shops but being a UK girl I found a UK based seller on Ebay - type in mirrored disco ball pieces and they were around £5.00 for 200 pieces and I ended up using close to 400 pieces which I suppose depends on piece sizes and size of bra (mine is a 36C).

3. Super glue -I used a normal shop bought super glue and applied a blob of glue to the tile and then used a cotton bud to spread it over the the whole tile - beware I glued pretty much all of my fingers and nails, it's a tricky process!

The stages of disco bra

Voila - la disco bra!

Finally owning a disco bra is life changing. I have been wanting to make one since 2008 and if I were Prime Minister I would make it law that everyone possess one.

Lady GaGa and her disco bra have made a massive impact on my life and have even influenced my Twitter name - @discobra so please follow me if you like GaGa, food, film and angry rants!

Love, SGS xoxo

Sunday, 10 April 2011

I'm back, bitch: ranting about social media.

Wow... so it's been since January 7th that I've not posted on this blog for.... shameful!

In my defence A LOT has happened in the ol' game of life since then and I let this slide intentionally, but lately I've been wanting to come back and write some more blog posts, give my opinion, talk nonsense etc.

Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook give a snapshot of who I am, what I think and feel and I of course realise not many people give a shit about what I think, but here at least I have more than 140 characters and space than a status update to air my views.

My new job in January, especially at the beginning, came as a shock, going from 2 days to 5 days permanently in a brand new sector has not been a completely smooth transition and I knew that I couldn't blog like I used to so I decided to give up for a bit. I wanted to regain my passion for words and try Tumblr as a quicker, easier form of social media available as an app on the iPhone. 

I've come crawling back to Blogspot, so erm, please keep reading! I've decided to do assessment of my experience using different social media and please keep in my mind this is my personal opinion and I wrote this yesterday when I was angry (office move has had me on an tantrum bender for 4 days).

I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. Why can't I quit you?!

I love that I can keep in touch with people that I don't get to see anymore on a regular basis, especially those people that live abroad, organising things with a large group of people seems to be easier using messages, music/fashion/media/companies I like are on Facebook and I like seeing their posts.

However the mun dainty of it 'xxxxx is really tired this morning', 'I'm going to KFC' or lately it's all baby related statuses 'My baby just burped, give him a purple heart medal' makes me want to rip out my heart and stamp on it. I have too many 'Hates' so I'll bullet point them:
  • Status updates - unless they are remotely interesting, don't bother. I've hidden many people simply because I cannot take anymore of their inane bullshit
  • People 'checking in'. I don't give a shit where you are
  • Friend suggestions - If I wanted to be their friend I'd already have added them
  • Poser photos - you are not Britain's Next Top Model
  • People with constant sickly couple profile pics or scans of unborn baby profile pics - YOU ARE YOUR OWN PERSON - I don't need to see a pic of you canoodling with your other half to know you're in love. Every baby scan looks the damn same
  • Chat - if you want to speak to me, pick up the damn phone!
  • Pressure - friend requests from people you can barely remember from school and work colleagues wanting to be your 'friend' - I don't know you, do one.

I joined Tumblr to really find out what the fuss was about, I knew a few celebrities/cool people that have Tumblr accounts and thought it would be easier to follow them on there. HitRecordJoe aka Joseph Gordon Levitt, Rich Sommer aka Harry from Mad Men, Terry Richardson and Oscar PR Girl are all people I follow on Twitter and admire.

What I like about Tumblr is the variety of pictures, audio, video, words that I see day in, day out relating to people and things that I like. I'm able to post very specific things about my likes and dislikes that don't involve words at all and then people respond to it. I'm always amazed when people like or reblog things that I've posted because in a way it's validation - it's ok for you to like/dislike this because other people do - which could be seen as negative but then I always look at the users who have responded to my posts and have found some really interesting people from all over the world.

I think my one dislike of Tumblr is that there does seem to be a lot of people who try to hard on there and on occasion it's too young. (I never liked Bebo either, ridden with emos/goths and 14 years olds who are 'like so not mainstream'. WAKE UP - we're all involved in mainstream culture, you are not that different to me).

Oh yes, I also got a death threat because I posted a photo of Christina Aguilera looking a state and mentioned that she looked like a crack whore - apparently they were going to slit my throat. Luckily I sleep with a machete under my pillow, so suck on that hater.

Probably my favourite at the moment. Instant, relevant, informative, insightful and I love twit pics. My interests are best served here, it's where I feel most at home. 

The people/organisations I follow (on the whole - I have a few vices to lame things) are more interesting than anything posted on Facebook.

So from now on I will try and post on here when I have something real to say.

Love, SGS xoxo.