5 lessons from the Holocaust…// OhKayDohKay

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This week it’s National Volunteer Week and I wanted to honour the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, a charity that organised important memorial events.

I wanted to contemplate the lessons that we should learn from the Holocaust, especially with the far right on the rise across Europe. While sadly we can never say never again (we can hope of course but history does tend to have a cruel way of repeating itself) we can be more wary and more conscious of the warning signs. Perhaps if each and every one of us learns at least one lesson from the Holocaust, then maybe we really do stand a good chance of preventing this happening again.

  1. The power of propaganda. Propaganda was at the heart of everything the Nazi Party did and it successfully used this to whip up the already festering anti-semitism.
  2. We shouldn’t allow racism to fester. Long before the Nazi Party swept its way across Europe, anti-semitism had began to rear its ugly, bigoted head and throughout the early twentieth century the Jews were persecuted with increasing anger. The Nazis did what far right parties always do, they took an existing victim, redesigned the myths and added some extra detail. It’s dangerous to allow any kind of prejudice to fester, a little comment here or a little stereotype there can soon turn in to something far more dangerous.
  3. The danger of turning a blind eye. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” said Edmund Burke and how right he was. Of course not everyone turned a blind eye to the Nazis atrocious actions, 24,356 people have been awarded Righteous Among the Nations for helping to save the lives Jews and there are many more that are other unknown or unrecognised. If every person had helped save one life or had refused to follow the Nazis murderous plan, the Holocaust would never have happened. One person is only one person but if a million individuals had stood up against the Nazis, then perhaps I wouldn’t even be writing in this post.
  4. The danger of state sponsored scapegoating. Extreme outbursts of racism tend to follow a similar pattern, an economic collapse which is followed by hardship and the seeking out of someone to blame for the seemingly unjust conditions. It happens time and time again but instead of blaming the government or the people actually responsible for the problems, we seek out someone more vulnerable and generally that tends to be someone that the media or government has chosen for us.
  5. The importance of education. Knowledge and education are the most powerful tools we have in the fight back against prejudice, we can empower people to fight back by educating them and warning them of the possible consequences. As the late Tony Benn once said “an educated, healthy and confident nation is harder to govern”.

xoxoxoxox

Top Tips – Staying Motivated… // OhKay-DohKay

Staying motivated

When I’m in one of my uber-motivated states everyone in my network knows it and at a guess I would say that I probably wind them up, I’m overly active, overly committed and I generally have a million new idea’s and I have to really manage my creativity. I also delegate a lot, try to motivate everyone around me and try to do everything I can to achieve my goals. When I am in this state, I am probably at my happiest, my most confident and my most hopeful. I love feeling motivated.

Yet sometimes certain things can get in the way, whether it be the people around me, life changes or my pesky anxiety and in those times my whole world seems to come to a standstill. My lack of motivation makes me feel worthless, without direction and a little bit lost. Yet I have developed a tried and tested approach to these horrible times and I have a few simple steps that can reignite my motivation. If you’re looking to find extra motivation, these are my top tips on how to stay motivated.

Write them down // It’s advice that is as old as time itself, but that doesn’t make it any less important because countless experiments prove that you are more likely to achieve your goals once you write them

A motivating playlist // Nothing gets my adrenaline pumping like a strong, inspiring playlist and I love listening to a few songs when things are feeling tough. I have a few particular favourites, so take a look at my playlists here.

Visibility // Place your written goals somewhere where you can clearly see them because that makes you far more likely to achieve them. I have a copy of my goals in my in try and in my filofax.

Mapping // Make a clear map for achieving your goals, because knowing how you are going to get them is crucial to actually doing so. The best thing is to break them down in to achievable goals, steps and daily actions that you can make. This makes me feel less stressed and makes my goals for more manageable.

How do you stay motivated?

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

Lazy girls guide to skincare… // OhKay-DohKay

lazy girl

When it comes to skincare I have a tendency to be pretty darn lazy but I’ve recently been making a conscious effort to keep my skin looking it’s best. Since I changed my diet a few months back, I’ve seen vast improvements to the condition of my skin and I’m determined to continue with my progress.

I’ve always been a bit of a junk food lover but recently someone said something that really made me think. It’s really simple, obvious but one of those things that needs to be said for you to really and fully realise it.

What you put in your body this month is how your body will feel or look next month.

I really took this on board, cut down the junk in my diet and suddenly I was seeing huge improvements in my skin, let alone my productivity and energy.

So while I will never be someone that naturally follows a strict skincare routine or diet, I am making a conscious effort to look after it better.

You are what you eat // I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I am some huge health fanatic who only eats a plant based diet and is uber healthy all of the time because I’m far from it. I’ve tried being vegetarian (it lasted until 9am in the following morning when the smell of bacon entered my nose) and I’ve tried a plant based diet (too fiddly) and yet here I am still struggling to stay healthy still. Yet over the las three-four weeks I have been eating less sugar, less fat and generally more raw, unprocessed food sources. It took a while for the change to actually take effect but now my skin is clearer and those dry patches I previously moaned about have all but disappeared. I’ve also been taking Juice Plus Premium Capsules which are made from 100% natural sources and help bridge the gap between what we should be getting and what we actually are. These capsules have made a huge difference because my skin is finally getting the nourishment that it needs. Once upon a time these were the kind of things that I frowned upon but not any more, now I wouldn’t be without them. Eat clean, nourishing foods and you can expect your skin to mimic the results.

Water // Something that is closely connected to the above point, drinking water has really helped clear my skin. Every morning I make myself drink a litre of water with my capsules before I even think about breakfast or getting ready for the day. I distract myself by allowing that it for social media or news reading and before I even have time to think about it the glass of water is empty.

Routine // I function so much better when I’m working to a routine and yet that said, I actually find it really hard to create one! Skincare is no different but once I have one in place, I’m pretty good at keeping it!

Multi-tasker // The ultimate time saver in a bottle! What is not to love? A multi-tasker combines too steps in one making it the ultimate saviour for a lazy kinda girl!!

What are you like when it comes ti skincare? Are you a lazy girl like me?

xoxoxoxoxoxox

Top Tips- Studying for exams… // OhKay-DohKay

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It’s been nearly four years since I last sat an exam -jeez that makes me feel old- but I can still remember the pre-exam jitters and preparation as if it was yesterday. It’s definitely a testing time for young people, a time of pressure and big decisions and while I am someone that romanticises my own childhood and would go back in a flash (hurry with that time machine Stephen), this is one period of my life that I would happily forget.

So as someone that has over five years of exam experience and someone that came out with ok-ish results, I thought that I would offer some of my top tips on how to survive.

Prepare // There is no point even thinking about revising if you have nothing to revise in the first place, so having detailed and comprehensive notes is key! Check your notes in the weeks and months leading to the exam and make sure they are readable and that you have every sub-section covered. If need be ask teachers or friends to help you ensure that your notes are up to standard.

Get together // When it comes to concentration I’m really bad, I procrastinate, try to do three things and once and find I very rarely finish anything. This is something that has plagued me since a young age. I have to admit that I have gotten better as of late, I find that lists in particular really help my focus, but when I was younger this was something that I hadn’t yet learned. One thing that did work for me was the organisation of joint study groups because when we all got together my concentration was vastly improved. Study groups are amazing for eliminating procrastination because it motivates, engages and focusses your attention on the subject at hand. It’s also the perfect opportunity to eliminate any queries you might have had because if you have a question then the chances are that someone else has the answer!

Organise // Creating a revision schedule is an amazing way to kick start your revision agenda because knowing what you’re meant to be doing and when will make the world of difference. I’m someone that really loves structure in every aspect of my life and still to this day I love creating schedules and organised lists, it helps you focus, stay focussed and get things done!

You are what you eat // Have you ever noticed that eating something greasy or fatty leaves you feeling a bit ugh and as a result your productivity levels are low. It’s the same with a sugary breakfast cereal because come 12PM, you’ll be wanting another fix. Instead look for healthy, protein filled options like poached eggs on brown bread, to ensure that you feel at your best when it’s time to sit the test. William Shakespeare had nothing on my poetry skills!

Balance // During exam season it’s easy to become completely consumed with the stress and to even forget that the outside world exists, but guess what, it does. Try to schedule a few other things to do during the day and take some time to enjoy things, watch a film, go of a run or go dancing with friends. Use it as a motivate yourself, the more work you do the more fun you can have and providing you use your time wisely, there is no reason for your life to stop!

What are your top exam tips?

xoxoxoxoxox

Christmas Time 2014… // OhKay-DohKay

If you’ve been reading my blog for over a year (thank you!!) then you might remember that last year I hosted a Christmas blogging series and made it my mission to blog about the festive season every day of advent. This year, starting from tomorrow, I intend to do the same.

Some of the posts are going to be similar and some titles will even be the same but the content of each will have been adapted and changed!

There will be the occasional un-Christmas post but you are definitely about to see a theme!

Let’s begin the countdown!

xoxoxoxoxox

Five Minute Looks….// OhKayDohKay

5 min looks

We’ve all been there, you forget to set your alarm ready for an early morning start or there’s a power cut and it therefore doesn’t go off as it should and you as a result you end up in a mad dash to get ready. In these circumstances something has to give and in the name of hygiene and health it tends to be make-up, as we all rightly chose a shower and breakfast over mascara. Doing your make-up on public transport is never a good idea, I often wonder how many eye-pencil injuries the NHS see each year as I direct result, but sometimes it can seem like the only option!

Fear not fair friends as once again Kay has come to the rescue, you see I’ve developed a foolproof set of looks that can easily be achieved in five minutes or less. Public transport make-up no more!

Reversed eyeshadow. Gone are the days when the upper lid was a girls only eyeshadow canvas and if your in hurry, the lower lash line is your perfect best friend. Take a small domed shadow brush and gently dip it in to a lightly pigmented coloured eyeshadow, think pale blue to hit the seasons trend. Gently brush the shadow on the outer corner of your lower lash taking it down toward the pupil and slowly circling it outwards. Try and keep the shadow as close to your lash line as possible and as light as possible, add some mascara and your good to go!

Bronzed up. Bronzer is my go to problem-solver because there is nothing that this little beauty can’t solve, it’s the perfect multi-tasker. Use a tapered brush to add bronzer long your cheek bones, dusting in a circular motion, starting with little and building up accordingly. I love wearing a bold lip with bronzer, so opt for a purple or berry toned lip gloss, adding a quick swipe to your pout. Careful though because a bold lipstick applied hastily, is never a good idea, so instead opt off lesser pigmented options. I love the Bourjois Colour Boost in Plum Russian, as it’s pigmented enough to add a flash of colour but the right texture for a quick swipe!

Nearly naked. Nude eyeshadows are your saviour when your rushing about in the morning, easy, natural and the perfect quick staple. Gently dust a light brown, beige or taupe or shadow on your upper lid and gently drag it along the lower lash to wake eyes up and add definition!

Now, get ready for the day!

xoxooxooxoxoxoxoxo

My school days…// OhKay-DohKay

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Recently I’ve been in a reminiscent mood, a constant period of contemplation as I think about my childhood and those coaster like school days. I hated school, I just hated it and it was only in sixth form that I really realised the importance of education and actually ended up loving those final two years. There’s something about sixth form, the teachers treat you as equals and you gain a greater amount of independence and for me, it was life changing. It was those two years, followed by my university experience, that really brought me on as a person, turning me from the shy young girl to a confident and ambitious young women.

Earlier this week I wrote my confidence tips post and during this I realised that it was those two years that really made all the difference and I was inspired to write this post. I wanted to share with you the lessons that high school taught me and I hope that some of you will join in too!

  1. You will never make everyone like you. Just be yourself and remember it’s their loss.
  2. Eventually you will find a place to fit in.
  3. Remember that with some handwork, you are capable of anything.
  4. Read! The most powerful women in the world, both past and present, have only two things in common. Firstly they are all female and secondly they all read!
  5. Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to be when your older, you’ll get there.

What were the lessons you learnt?

xoxoxoxxo