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Words of the Week

I am fully aware that this is going to make me sound like a complete and utter ‘geek’ – but: I love words.

There, I said it, words are wonderful. Words can paint pictures in your mind, they have the power to make you feel profoundly and they enable you to speak your thoughts. Am I right?

Recently, I have been getting back in to reading. To be truly candid; it isn’t something that I have ever been passionate about or religiously done – it was something that slipped my mind but I never really stuck to it. I regret this sincerely. Over the past month or so, I have learned so much through reading. It has opened up a whole other world for me. I love it.

Whenever I am reading a book, and I stumble across an unfamiliar word (or even a word that I know the meaning of but I never use it often enough) I take it a note of it. Then I research the meaning of it, jot it down in this notebook that I’ve got going on, and I look over it from time to time. It really is a fruitful and worthwhile thing to do; before you know it – you are using these words without even realising it. It’s marvellous.

So, I thought, seeing as I have 30+ words so far in my notebook of ‘new words’ that I would share some with you. I will do this from time to time (I have named this post ‘Words of the Week’ however I won’t be doing this every single week – just now and again – unless people like it and want me to do it more often).

So let me share with you 4 words that I am fond of at the moment:

FORLORN: This means pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely/ Unlikely to succeed or be fulfilled.
For example: “A forlorn attempt to escape” and “She was forlorn when she found out the trip had been cancelled”. miserable, wretched, dejected, hopeless, unsuccessful…


OMINOUS: Giving the worrying impression that something bad is going to happen/ being or showing a sign of evil or misfortune to come.
For example: “His ominous farewell silenced her.” and “Something ominous hangs in the winter air”
menacing, dangerous, dark, threatening, unpromising, fearful…

SALUBRIOUS: This means health-giving; healthy/ (of a place) pleasant; not run down.
For example: “Sunny and pleasant weather that makes you feel good is an example of weather that would be described as salubrious.” healthy, good for one’s health, pleasant, expensive, lurxurious…

UNBIDDEN: Without having been commanded or invited/ Arising without conscious effort (thought or feeling)
For example: “Unbidden guests” and “Unbidden excitement grew deep inside her”
Uninvited, unasked, unrequested, spontaneous, voluntary, unforced…


I hope that you have liked this post – something a bit different, right? I would love to get you guys involved: Can I ask that you write a quick paragraph in the comments using these 4 words – or 4 separate sentences. You don’t have to take it too seriously, it’s just a bit of fun. Enjoy!
Until next time
Charlene McElhinney
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EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com

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I’m no longer going to be a teenager…

Just like that…

Time has slowly melted away.
In less than one month’s time: I will no longer be considered a teenager. How did this time come around so quickly? It only seems like yesterday I ventured out with my big brother to see what adventures we could create for ourselves for the day; It only seemed like yesterday I would go out, and I’d play, and I hadn’t a care in the world. The world was my oyster back then. I was naïve, carefree and I was a merry little thing. Now – life seems so dull. There are troubles and worries around every corner. Every day is a struggle. I feel weary, worried and nervous for my future. But that’s what life is, as you grow older, right? We are all shadows in the walls of time. We need to make the most of it. I guess we come to a point where we realise that this is our one shot at life: We determine what way it goes (or at least we can try). So, yeah, I’m no longer going to be a teenager anymore – it sucks – but it happens to us all.

20 years old. I can not believe that I am going to be 20 years old. Where did my school days go? Why have I been through so much in my teenage years – and not doing what everyone else was doing? Why do I feel so behind? Why didn’t I do this and why didn’t I do that? I feel so vexed when I think about all of the opportunities I let slip by me and all of the things I did not do when I was younger – at the same time as everyone else – but hey let’s make this a positive post. I want to look forward; not dwell on the past.

So, I’ll be turning 20 this year whilst I am in sunny Malta – with my boyfriend. I’ll be coming home to warm welcomes from my wonderful family and it will only be a matter of days/weeks until I start a college course: A professional writing skills course in the creative industries. I will no longer be seeing my counsellor or psychologist – just my doctor regularly – and I will be fighting Depression and Anxiety on my own for the first time in well over a year. I’ll still be on my medication, but at this point in my life, I need it. I’ve tried to do without – I can’t. It gets me through my day-to-day life. It really does make a huge difference. I have immersed myself in getting better over the past year: I’ve done absolutely everything I can to try and feel like ‘Charlene McElhinney’ again – the girl who I once was that became a stranger. And do you know what? I am slowly but surely getting there. I am nowhere near 100% yet but every step is one step closer, right? I am worried, however, that because I am doing too much it may be overwhelming and set me back again but I shall cross that bridge if ever I come to it…

So, August the 19th, bring it on! I am ready to turn 20 and start the beginning of the rest of my life. Onwards and Upwards.

Until next time
Charlene McElhinney

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EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com
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Book Review – The Good, the Bad and the Dumped by Jenny Colgan

                                              The Good, the Bad and the Dumped 
                                                                
                                                                  By Jenny Colgan (SPOILER FREE)




Since my last book review; I have been very eager to do another. I don’t know what it is lately – but I just can not get enough of reading. I want to share the books that I read with everyone. So here’s my latest:

“The Good, the Bad and the Dumped” by Jenny Colgan. I’ve never read any of Jenny’s books before – this was my first – and crazily enough – I actually spoke to Jenny Colgan on Twitter, where she stated that I shouldn’t start with this book as a ‘first read’ of hers. but I did. And here is my thoughts, lovelies…


THE BLURB:
Now, you obviously, would never, ever look up your exes on Facebook. Nooo. And even if you did, you most certainly wouldn’t run off trying to track them down, risking your job, family and happiness in the process. Posy Fairweather, on the other hand . . .
Posy is delighted when Matt proposes – on top of a mountain, in a gale, in full-on romantic mode. But a few days later disaster strikes: he backs out of the engagement. Crushed and humiliated, Posy starts thinking. Why has her love life always ended in total disaster? Determined to discover how she got to this point, Posy resolves to get online and track down her exes. Can she learn from past mistakes? And what if she has let Mr Right slip through her fingers on the way?
MY THOUGHTS:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It didn’t take me long to finish; I was very eager to find out what happened next. It was an entertaining, humorous and quirky read.

We are introduced to Posy, the protagonist, and we learn that she is engaged and ‘ready’ to settle down with faithful, loving, Matt (who is enamoured by her). However, she is not really ready to settle down just yet – no. She wants to look up all of her previous partners on ‘Facebook’, track them down, meet up with them and chat about where she went wrong in the past. To Posy, this seems legit and feels like the right thing to do; her family, friends and the devoted Matt feel differently about the situation – and of course this changes everything. 

There is a lot of witty humour throughout this book that really portrays Posy’s personality. I was really interested in her character. Throughout the book, I was trying to understand her motives but I came to the conclusion that she had a mind of her own and nobody could understand why she had to do what she was doing – she just did. A really likeable character that you seem to adore more and more as the story unfolds.

What I would rate this book: 3/5
‘The Good, the Bad and the Dumped’ is a fabulous read and truly entertaining. It Is the kind of book that you enjoy whilst you are enduring a long journey or as you lay in bed at night. It is an easy and enjoyable read.

Where I purchased this book & how much it cost me:
I picked this up in The Salvation Army charity shop for 50p. If you would like to purchase this book I shall leave a link HERE and you can get yourself a copy. The RRP of this book, in the UK, was £7.99 but you can get it on amazon for as little as £5 (or less – if it is a second hand copy).

I just want to say:
This is definitely the kind of book that you should give a read: It is something different and you will be sure to enjoy it. I am going to send this book on to someone else to read now and I can not wait to hear their thoughts on it too!

Have you ever read this book before? Have you ever read any other Jenny Colgan Books? I would absolutely love to hear from you.

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Life Update

I’ve made it a thing, now, where I blog three times a week – every week: Every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. I plan ahead, I schedule, and I am always one step ahead. I love it; don’t get me wrong. Just, sometimes, I miss spontaneously writing about how my day went or how I’m feeling at that particular moment in time; or what I got up to that day. That kind of stuff, you know?

So, I thought I would take this opportunity to give those of you that are interested in me, and my life, a little update on what has been going on lately.

I’ll start off with the ‘negative’ things and then finish on a more positive note. How does that sound?

My poor wee mumma bear starts her radio therapy this month. She’s doing alright. She has been a lot stronger than I imagined she would be; she has been so brave! I know, deep down, that she is finding all of this incredibly difficult and that she is struggling to cope – and that’s why I try my best to be the finest daughter that I can be. Added to this, my Gran Rundell has been rather poorly lately and so I popped in with some flowers, cakes and a pint of milk (as you do) and she was so grateful; her wee face lit up! Bless her soul. I will reiterate what I stated in one of my previous posts: Make sure that you spend time with those that you love. Time is the most precious thing ever.

It’s not long now until I start college, I’m a bundle of nerves, but I am hoping that this is the making of me – that this course does me the world of good. I really hope that people are nice to me (I’ve been worrying like crazy about this)! I’m off to Malta soon with my boyfriend, Alastair, for two whole weeks. And do you know what? I’m looking forward to it. I need a break. I need away, just for a bit, I need to clear my head and enjoy some new scenery. I’m off on the 11th of August – and I turn 20 whilst I am away. How petrifying is that? I will go away on holiday, a teenager; and I shall return an adult. Aaaaah.

My two cats (Gizmo and Milo) are still quite dubious and unsure of one another but they are slowly but surely making progress. Milo is a bit too playful for Gizmo sometimes but they have their moments. (If you have me on Snapchat – you probably already know this – as I am constantly sharing pictures and videos of my fur babies).

I’m still going to the gym – but not as much, if I’m truly candid with you all. I try and go at least 3 times a week though. I’ve been trying to read more too (I shared my first book review on the blog last Saturday if you want to go and check it out after this). I still have good days and bad days with my Depression and Anxiety – that is always going to be the case, for me. I guess it is about learning to accept that and try my best to make a bad day as good as it can get (If that makes sense).

Anyway, darling, I shall have to love you and leave you now.
Feel free to leave me a comment – even if you just want to say hello!

Until next time
Charlene McElhinney

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EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com


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Poem #2: At the Gym

As I power walk on the treadmill

My heart begins to race

As my heart beats faster

I begin to pick up the pace

I feel my breathing getting heavier

I know I am pushing myself

But the reason I am here

Is for my mental health

I go to the gym and I work out

I sweat and I feel alive

I push myself more every day

And I believe this is where I thrive

The gym for me, is an open door,

Where I can let all my anxiety out

My depression takes a back seat for a moment

I guess you could say I blackout

I am unaware of my surroundings

I care not for those who surround me

This is my moment, to allow myself

To be as free as I can possibly be

Once I leave the gym,

It’s a weight off my chest

But I’m not one of those people

Who can take a day to rest

I workout and I exercise

Mostly every day

because this is how I cope –

This is my only way.

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Haul Post

Aloha, you beautiful lot.


Firstly I’d just like to thank you all for the huge amount of support you all provided last week. I plucked up the courage to share with you all two extremely personal and difficult posts that I poured my heart in to – I was flabbergasted by the positivity and encouragement I received following these posts. You guys make everything I do so worthwhile and it is you who keep me going. I can not possibly thank you enough.

Today’s post is mainly going to consist of photograph’s. I went out shopping last week with my boyfriend – not intentionally going out to purchase anything in particular – but inevitably coming home with lots of goodies!
I’m not ashamed to admit I love a good shimmy through the charity shops, ‘thrift’ shops they are also known as. You will be surprised to see some of the finds I got in there this weekend. Let’s begin:
This little beauty cost me 50p.
It was originally from Miss Internationale. It is so adorable and I am really loving peplum at the moment. I can justify spending 50p on a yum yum out of greggs (well, they are 80p or something now, would you believe?) so I could not just walk by this and not pick it up for myself. Fabulous little find!

Primark’s finest:
A casual ‘tee’ at just £2. It is so sweet – it has lots of shooting arrows all over it and it was too pretty to walk past. Thanking you Primark. Pleasure doing business with you – as always!

Shout out to Primark again:
This white ribbed crop top cost me £1. I actually already have a few of these kicking about in my wardrobe, but you can never have too many, right? Especially if you are anything like me and wear your food half of the time! Yep, white tops are always a necessity – you can never have too many…

And then of course you can dress it up! This delightful little denim pinny dress cost me £1.99. You would never believe this cost so little. I felt so girly and elegant in it. I think I will take it on holiday with me. Bargain! £1.99 well spent.



This sequence, gold, party-style dress cost me £1.99 too. You can not argue with that. It’s so fancy and I don’t know where/when I’ll ever wear it but I just had to have it in my possession so I can admire it from time to time.

This little frilly dress cost me £1 and it is from Topshop. How amazing is that? Again, one of those ones that I don’t know when I’ll ever wear (mainly because I do not get my legs out on show much) but I had to have it. It was only £1 – I spend that on my bus fare on a daily basis.

Again, this sheer mesh blouse cost me £1. It is so classy and elegant. I reckon I would wear a little something underneath it and wear it with black leggings. So yeah, £1, another fab little find that I took home with me.

Back to Primark, I picked up these white bikini bottoms for £1. I genuinely, for the life of me, do not need any more bikini bottoms but I was saying to myself, ‘If you get a good tan, girl, these white pants will show it off’. So, yeah, popped them in my basket. At least I will be spoiled for choice this year. Maybe I should do a post and show you my bikini bottom collection?..

Lastly (saving the best until last, and all that jazz) I picked up these bee stickers – 2 for £1 out of ye’ old faithful poundstretchers. I’m probably the first person to ever buy from their little sticker rail up the back, ha ha! For those of you that know I have my own #beechat community and #beechat projects – these little stickers will be put to good use! Aren’t they adorable? These won’t last me long so I should have stocked up…

I hope you have enjoyed my haul post as it has been a while since I’ve done a ‘haul’ in a blog format – I’ve been doing more vlogs at the moment. I’ve enjoyed writing this and I sure hope you enjoy reading it.

Until next time
Charlene McElhinney

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EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com







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BOOK REVIEW: Goodnight Beautiful by Dorothy Koomsoon

“Goodnight, Beautiful” by Dorothy Koomson (SPOILER FREE).



This is my first book review, so please, be kind. I have just recently started reading again as it helps to free my mind and I find it so therapeutic. After reading this book, I had to review it: I must share how much I enjoyed this book with others.  I’m not really sure how you go about doing a book review so I’m just going to do it my way. I hope that you enjoy!

The Blurb:

“Eight years ago, Nova Kumalisi agreed to have a baby for Mal and Stephanie Wacken. Halfway through the pregnancy, the couple changed their minds and walked away, leaving Nova pregnant, scared and alone.

Eight years ago, Stephanie was overjoyed at the thought of becoming a mother – until she found a text from Mal to Nova saying, ‘Goodnight, beautiful.’ Terrified of losing her husband to his closest friend, Stephanie asked him to cut all ties to Nova and their unborn child.

Now, Nova is anxiously waiting on her son, Leo, to wake up from a coma, while childless Stephanie is desperately trying to save her failing marriage. Although they live separate lives, both women have secrets that will bind them together for ever…

Incredible moving and powerfully written, Goodnight Beautiful is a tale of love, loss and new beginnings. “

My thoughts: (on the book as a whole)

Goodnight, Beautiful hooks you. It makes you feel. You put the book down and you can not stop thinking about it. I felt like I knew the characters – I’ve never experienced this with a book before. I actually want to write – in detail – about the characters as I felt a profound connection with one of the characters in particular. Each of the protagonists in this book were powerful individuals and I think they will always stick in my head. I felt really involved and engrossed throughout this whole story. I was absolutely gutted when it came to an end. (I wish there was a film I could watch now – but I have done a bit of research and there doesn’t seem to be one).

My thoughts: (on the characters)

Steph: I start with Stephanie because she is a character that I absolutely hate to love. I do not want to give away any spoilers – so I won’t go in to the reasons why many readers would not like her. I felt like I could really relate to her. She’s a lost soul. She is damaged. She is mentally ill, and like me, she uses fitness and going to the gym as therapy. This made me sad for her. I know how this must feel. She’s insecure (I can also relate to this and I sympathise with her because there is truly nothing worse). I began to quite like her – I’m not sure if it was because I began to identify with her and hurt for her – but I did begin to like her. However, throughout the whole story I did not want her being with Mal. I’m a sucker for a good old love story and throughout the whole book I longed for Mal and Nova to be together because of their upbringing with one another. But did they?

Mal: Malvolio. It was interesting to learn about his life and how his mother suffered from Bipolar Disorder. Again, another character I could relate to, as my mother was diagnosed with this when I was going through my early years. It is not an easy thing for a family. It is intriguing to hear how other people – and families – cope with having someone they care about become mentally ill (even if they are just fictional characters). Mal is a sensitive soul. He has a good heart; always wants to do the right thing. He’s an interesting character and you never know what to expect.

Nova: I adored Nova; she’s the kind of friend I would love to have in my life. She is pure, wise and kind. She seems like such a beautiful soul. She cares about everyone and I do not believe she ever puts herself first. Her life isn’t easy and yet she stays so strong. Such an admirable character. I’d love to meet someone like her in real life!

What I would rate this book: 6/5

I genuinely would rate this book 6 out of 5. I am just getting back in to reading, as I mentioned earlier, and this was the perfect book to entice me back in to the world of reading! It may, or may not, be everyone’s cup of tea but it was certainly mine. I really hope that someone else has read this book, that reads this review, and wants to chat to me about it!

Where I purchased this from and how much it cost me:

I picked up ‘Goodnight, Beautiful’ from The Salvation Army Charity Shop for 50p. It was worth so so so so much more. 

I just want to say:

This book is just so raw, intense and captivating and I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy and have a read! You will not be able to put it down. I have just finished it and I am writing this review straight away because it had such an impact on me and I just had to share it with someone!

Have you ever read this book? Or have you read any other Dorothy Koomson books? Please let me know. I would love to hear from you!

Until next time
Charlene McElhinney

FIND ME ON:

EMAIL: charlenemcelhinney@icloud.com