Ever been stuck in the purgatory of contentment? Ever walked down streets of window displays neither wanting anything at all, whilst at the same time, desiring something precious? Feeling the money in your purse pressuring you to treat yourself whilst simultaneously conserve for necessities?
Today’s world runs on the energy of consumerism; boxing day sales stock company shares as banks spend on the heart’s desire, only a day after receiving gifts galore. It’s funny, how even I, find myself searching sales racks for anything “I might want,” before I’ve even had the chance to go through my drawers, reshuffle and get rid off the things that have now been replaced.
It seems that our minds naturally tend to focus upon achieving more, and forget what’s really important. In a world of social media, it’s almost impossible to place our minds in reality – to secure ourselves away from false advertising, the miss-perception of happiness, and true value.
I’m not saying that spending is bad – I go to the boxing day sales every year! Why? Because it’s enjoyable, and I like to browse, spend any gift vouchers, and catch up with my Grandma/Aunties. In our culture, shopping is a pastime – and it’s great to embrace this: to treat ourselves. It’s also great to take advantage of sales!
However, I must stress the importance of awareness: do you really need that? Or is it just in the basket because of the price tag? Have you wanted it for a while? Will you still want it in 4 weeks time? How will it impact you – practical uses / confidence / modesty…
But most importantly, does it the product actually do what the campaign implies? I’m sorry to break it to you, but most often, it does not. Clothes don’t bring happiness, highly priced make up doesn’t have magic powers, and most images are photoshopped.
I urge you to consider this: enjoy yourself, delight in treats, and obtain the things that you truly desire. But only once you’ve switched off from advertising, ignored the subconscious persuasion of sales, and learnt the difference between purchase and swift-bag.
The nights are dark, the air is cold, and I’m decorating for Christmas! I feel so festive right now!
One of these ‘festive tasks’ this year, is to make an advent calender – my best friend Amy and I decided to give each other advent calenders (aka 25 small daily presents) rather than one single gift… It was such a fun, creative project and I’d love to share it with you…
The idea is to basically shop around for small, pretty, lovely things that you know will make your friend smile – but won’t cost too much! Once all these are purchased, there are two possible ways to make up the calender: Amy opted for the method of wrapping everything individually, then placing them inside a wrapped shoe box, and me being me, went for the more extravagant, slightly complicated method… However, if you’re good at fiddly things, then this is right up your street!
To craft the doors, I drew them out (ensure they are all in lines as this will make assembling a lot easier – the first side was almost impossible thanks to this mistake) onto the box, making sure that they were big enough to hold gifts. I then cut out 3 sides, on each door using a craft knife. Next, I stuck patches of wrapping paper onto the doors, and labelled them. I chose to do my calender double sided, so I then had to place a piece of cardboard inside, splitting the box in half. Then, I created some dividers, and slotted them into the appropriate places – here’s a much better video tutorial for constructing the inside.
Once I’d made it, I placed the gifts inside the doors (fix them in place with tape!). I also chose to put a photo inside each door, to remind her of our memories throughout the year!
It’s such a lovely way to celebrate Christmas with a friend – and it’s not too late to make one!
It’s official, it’s July and we are closer to the end of 2015 that to the start. For 2015, I set out to complete a giving project each month, in order to put love back into the community. Now that we are six months in, I felt that it was time to review the project so far, and launch project number 7…
The following review is not to boast about the giving that have been doing, but simply to follow up from the project launch and to give readers ideas of projects that they can get involved with. In fact, I very much disliked posting this review, and almost didn’t post it because I wanted to have humility. In the end, I decided to post it, in order to demonstrate the love that God is pouring into the community through this blog – not my works, but God’s – to hopefully inspire you to live a life of love.
January: bought cans of beans, and spaghetti, from a local store and donated it straight into the food bank. This was a fun first project, and the food bank is a very good cause.
February: launched the agape love challenge, carrying out raoks (random acts of kindness ) and encouraging all readers to get involved, sharing love. I loved how people got involved and made the valentines month, a month of true self-sacrificing love!
March: during March, I attended a World Share Moldova evening at a local church, all about the country of Moldova, and their issues with human trafficking. Moved by the issues, I donated the money that I would have spent on a giving project, towards the work of World Share out in Moldova.
April: following suit from March, within youth connections throughout the town in which I live, a youth leader decided to move permanently to Moldova, or at least for as long as God keeps him there. He goes to work for Operation Mobilisation in September. Many members of our community supported him with some money but also prayed for him throughout the month. Please join in prayer for his new life.
May: exams began in May, so I made up 14 little exam survival kits for my school friends and they went down really well. You can find the tutorial in the May archives!
June: a friend and I set out to the town centre with a bunch of flowers, where we handed out these flowers to people along with cards, telling them that it was a raok.
And so now July is well underway and this month I want to launch a ‘book of love challenge.’ The book of love challenge is simply to give a life changing book to somebody. This book can be anything from a novel, to a biography, poetry or even a bible! But the one rule, is that this book must be inspirational, full of encouragement, and given to somebody who really needs it!
So as we head into this challenge, with eyes open, I wish you the best! Instagram a picture of your book of love using #distinctivemodeBOL, or email to email@example.com with a caption explaining why it’s life changing to you! I can’t wait to see them all, and share them on the site!
The challenge runs from now, through until the end of August so get creative, find inspiration and share it with the community!
I want to talk about physics. Yes, physics! The thing is, in physics, a very important, and fundamental law, is the conservation of energy: energy can only be transferred from one form to another, but neither created nor destroyed. Perhaps, it can dissipate (spread out and become less concentrated, making it hard to collect back in again) as heat but for what I’m about to say, the important thing is, that energy cannot be destroyed – it’s always there…
Whether transformed as kinetic, sound, or simply stored energy, waiting to be transformed, there’s always a spark, and these sparks of energy, are everywhere. The electromagnetic spectrum alone ranges from very long wavelengths, to very tiny wavelengths, and they all travel through the air; if EM waves were red, the air would simply glow a crimson colour. These waves of energy are useful too – we can convert energy types such as kinetic (in a wind turbine) into electrical energy, to charge out mobile phones or other devices…
Don’t you see? Wherever you are, there’s always, a spark of energy – it has not been destroyed. Perhaps, you do have to look a little further for it, but if you seek for it, and allow it to spark your imagination, or something inside of you, you’ll find it converting into the energy, to get you back on your feet and charging you for whatever today, and tomorrow may bring! So look for the spark and keep journeying towards a life of love and happiness!
The year 2015, for me, awaits the arrival of many opportunities and mostly, has been spent anticipating the arrival of Summer, and the adventures that it brings. School for me, although enjoyable, and a great place for character growth as well as responsibility (holding the title of Head Girl), was a cause for stress during my last two years. In fact, looking back, I can honestly admit that the whole of Year 10 was filled with either stress related anxiety, or friendship strains. I was desperate to leave school, and move forward onto college life. However, over the past, final year, my stress has disappeared, my views changed, and now, whilst sitting the largest exam period of my life so far, I have not stressed once! Not only this, but through the past five years, I’ve become so close to many of my ‘classmates’, that actually, I really am going to miss them…
Two weeks ago, I sat an exam, and at the end, the whole year group was told to simply get up, leave, and only return for exams; my heart beat as the moment that I’d waited for, for years, came into existence. Yet, I didn’t feel satisfied… Why? Because as soon as the time comes to leave, we discover the impact of people upon our lives! Day in, day out, we come into contact with others – whether acquaintances or close friends – and our being thrives upon interaction. Even leaving a crowd of strangers would have the same affect; when we see other people day in, day out, we become attracted, to the flair, the conversations, and simply the appearances. Over the past two years, I’ve spent 8 hours a week with my science class alone, and we became a family, of jokes, encouragement, and most of all, the memories that we have together are priceless: never, in all of my life, would I have imagined laughing about our teachers’ experience at a convent school, or managing to blow up an experiment in the labs, sending glass flying everywhere! And it’s exactly this, that grips us the most – people form memories, and although we may all go separate ways, memories always sustain. There’s a beautiful remnant of each, and every interaction, here, whether with a stranger or a brother, and that, for me, is where heaven meets earth…
Having left my school, I return for each examination with gratitude, thankful for the memories, and the interaction once more; soon, prom will arrive and after a night of happiness, we shall all go our separate ways, but as always, the memories will forever be in my heart… And those memories will be of laughter, support and gratefulness!
So whatever situation you are in currently, focus on the people around you – make memories that last, and appreciate what you have, for when the time comes to move onwards, with the flow of life, it’s this companionship and interaction that will be missed the most…
New year, a new start and a time to draw up endless possibilities – to live again! Often, we make resolutions, hoping that this year, we will not give up, but persevere unlike all previous years… Why? I guess when we get tthe opportunity to start afresh, almost repent, we jump because it allows us to feel whole again, and in control, able to individually change either our own lives, or the life of another!
The digits, 2015, for me, sound excitement and wonder into my thoughts! I guess it’s going to be my year, filled with exams, travel, a new college and lots of opportunities – after all, I have been scribing 2015 as the year, on the date since May! Oops! I hope and pray that your 2015 will be even better than mine!
Due to my excitement for 2015, I really wanted to make a difference through my resolutions; in summary, I have chosen to give, save and love. For a while, I have felt that I want to do more, to actively give, and so, each month I am going to do a giving project (some of these, I plan to involve readers) where I don’t just give money, but work on something over the month that I can give, or use to help the wider community. The saving aspect, is something individual, that I can target upon in order to improve – it’s simple, spend less and save more money by banking. This is so that the money is their for the future, for travelling or other opportunities! Finally, love; this year I will continue to share Gods love, and try to judge less – this world can often think it acceptable (sometimes even I myself) to judge others upon the flesh: on looks, background, talents… But no, I want to live, accepting all people (for this earth would be extremely dull if no-one was different) and through this, spread the love of God, hopefully encouraging others to also judge less and love more!
So hello to 2015! I await the experiences, opportunities, lessons and love filled memories that you will bring!
There’s always a certain air of relaxation and love at a Grandparent’s home; the only couple with equal power (and moral) yet whom you tend to have more basis of agreement with, than your parents. As I’m sat here, candles lit and laptop on knee, I think back to time when my Grandma has cared for me when I’ve been ill, or been the one to spoil me at Christmas – Perhaps the pride that my Grandad has in me, never failing to encourage… Whatever their qualities may be, a Grandparent’s dinner or family event is always one that’s welcomed with love!
As upsetting as it may sound, this world often tends to conform to the stereotype that older relatives are there for the sheer purpose of provision. Take for example, when I were younger I would sit and watch children’s’ television and I remember programs that would involve visits to Grandparents – Children would complain, and Grandad would give them some astonishing sum pocket money. It’s easy to forget what is important and to take relatives for granted however it is crucial that we focus on one aspect – love. Grandparents provide for their family out of love, not because they have nothing to do with the money themselves, and we need to realise this, and be grateful for once we start to put the numerous stereotypes to the back of our minds, focusing on love and gratitude, this is when we start to enjoy our family; trips to Grandma’s become lively and we start to look deeper, and see them for their personality rather than Mum’s Mum or Dad’s Dad. For what purpose am I expressing this? I guess I am thankful for the lively, sound relationships that I have with my Grandparents and I want all you lovely readers to be able to realise what thankful times you can also have, rather than following suit and mistaking for stereotypes…
Leading on from this, it’s vital that we remember good times and focus on the special things that we have received from, or experienced with, our Grandparents. My Grandma is hilarious! We make regular shopping trips in which we will shop, cafe nero and ‘people watch’, thinking up things like, oh, I wonder what fantasy entails their life etc etc. Anyway, back to the point, she will always pick out the new fashions and show me what will look nice – She’s never wrong! Her sense of humour also never fails to lighten our shopping days and its my favourite thing to do! I love to just spend time with her because shopping is definitely in our blood! Then there’s my Grandad, the KFC obsessive, kind, honest Christian man, who takes so much pride in his family that he feels the need to photograph every good thing that we do together; I recall one time when my brothers and I were enjoying some fast food and he came along with his Ipod (yes, he loves his technology) and stepped so far back, determined to fit us in together, that he ended up almost sat on some stranger’s lap! We all burst out laughing of course but it’s those moments that we cherish because our Grandparents are just so enthusiastic!
To summarise my ramblings, I guess it’s important to be grateful for our family and to spend time with our Grandparents – Life becomes so much fun when you start to bond!
What’s so great about your Grandparents? What memories do you share?
With a new year dawning and the excitement of a whole new season filled with fresh spring delights, we all look towards a new us; new styles, new lifestyles and renewed mind…
With two days of 2013 remaining, we strain to make the best of the year we’ve had. For me, this year has not only been an exciting roller-coaster but also the year that I have managed to finally discover those big dreams that I could never quite distinguish amongst everything else in my life. In my opinion, I would say that this year, I found my true identity; I discovered my unique style, My talents and I became happy with who I am!
But how can we really attain our true identity? The thing is, for me, I have kind of come across my identity in different situations along the year however I guess through all situations and experiences, I have discovered more about the person I don’t want to be, and more about the sort of person I’d love to be. 2013 brought many opportunities and I took them all on with courage – for example, a few weeks ago I went out of my comfort zone and sang in front of my whole year group (eek!) However now that I’ve completed this, It has shown me the satisfaction I get from being on a stage! Distinctivemode is another example – Back in October, I went to an art careers event, taking the opportunity to have a break from school. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! It gave me such a clear view of the opportunities out there that I could be involved in, using my flair for creativity. During the event, I sat in a lecture about fashion careers – wow! Inspired, I went home full of ideas; I had finally discovered the dream that was hidden beneath all the other things that had been happening in my life. A few weeks later, I set up Distinctivemode and I will never look back! Therefore – I encourage you all to step into 2014 and take all the opportunities placed in your stride…
Moving onwards, I fully believe that the human brain is entirely biased towards ourselves and sometimes even against. Therefore, as I have suggested previously, the only way to discover out identity is to ask a loyal, trustworthy companion (or three). When I turned to my three girl-friends, they reflected my dreams back into my heart and I realised that I am truly happy with who I am – A random, crazy, coffee loving girl who is friendly with many folk. Someone kind, with a backbone to stand up for the things and people I love, who has great knowledge of style and a wonderful sense of humour. Finally, one of my beautiful friends came across the key to my identity: A woman who has all of her toes! I feel this demonstrates just how crazy I and my minions really are!
With the new era of 2014 creeping closer, I urge you to continue on this journey I am taking – work towards finding your true identity and becoming the person that you would love to meet! Distinguish your dreams and work towards them! But most of all, be happy with who you really are!
All the best for 2014 – Will you join me in finding your true identity?
Distinctive : Serving to identify or distinguish.
I thought I’d start with the definition of distinctive because for me, I have always wanted to create a successful blog that in which I can display my characteristics and identity. I have always been a fashion, photography and “shop ’til I drop” lover; seeking out my favourite trends and finding budget solutions to suit my stylish needs.
I’m currently 14 going on 15 and in the final years of school. For me, school is about getting your head down and making preparations for your future life (whether it’s concentrating on exams or socialising with new people) but overall, my priority is upon my individuality. We all ask ourselves, “Who am I?” and personally, I believe the real person inside us is based upon how others see us because, well lets be honest, human brains are entirely biased towards themselves. Therefore, to enlighten you upon my characteristics, I turned to a true friend and said, “Describe me in a triplet!” Her natural flair for English description came upon something so true to my identity: “Loving, Bubbly and Determined”.
As I begin DistinctiveMode, I plan to inspire not only my passion for fashion but also, individuality and the beauty of satisfaction. Therefore, if you get a satisfaction for the strangest thing, go ahead, strive for it – this is mine, my satisfaction is within fashion and using blogs to express. Be determined and never follow a crowd if the crowd doesn’t suit, because the person inside you becomes replaced with the person you follow!
Of course, you may feel I am contradicting myself here but for me, my individuality can also be my fashion sense, don’t just wear it because it was in your favourite shop or because it’s in all the magazines, wear it because you feel beautiful in it!
Will you take on the Distinctive challenge and chase your individuality?