The Wall Street Crash

My lovely friend Kat, who’s a qualified makeup artist and is studying a degree in the subject, recently asked me if I’d be the model for a 1920’s makeup competition that she was taking part in. Now, if you don’t already know, I’m ridiculously uncomfortable in front of the camera. I can tolerate the odd “Matthew, take a photograph of me in front of this beautiful landmark” type thing, because I know it’s my camera and I could always delete it anyway. Again, when I’m feeling pretty fly (hands up if you just mumbled “for a white guy”), I’ll take a cheeky selfie. But, the idea of putting that power into the hands of a professional, meaning I’d be unable to double check and delete any images that made me look bad, gave me the jitters. She’s my friend, though, and I was absolutely over the moon to help her out. Either way, I got to dress up as a rich 1920’s lady of leisure and that was pretty exciting.

For me, a full face of makeup is made up of my trusty mascara, winged eyeliner, translucent power on my nose and a bit of red lippy. Being put into the hands of a makeup artist, who literally has a suitcase full of makeup with her, was pretty daunting. I was met with primer, foundation, a ridiculous number of different eye shadows, false lashes and lots of other things that I don’t even know the name of. Honestly, it felt weird but I definitely wouldn’t look too out of place during the 1920’s.

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The brief was “Wall Street Crash”. Kat’s plan was to do a full face of 1920’s inspired make-up, before sitting me down alongside lots of other models, as all of the makeup artists performed their special effects magic. I was expecting a pretty tense atmosphere but I actually had a really good time – Kat covered me in fake blood, cuts and bruises, whilst I just sat there and watched the world go by. There was such a range of different looks going on in the competition room. Some makeup artists went for realism, like Kat, and some took it to the other (far) end of the spectrum with stilettos in eyeballs or shards of glass sticking out of the model’s skin.

Kat’s overall look was incredible. It showed how I was trampled during the people’s rush to the banks, hence the huge bruising to one side of my face. It looks bloody painful, right!?

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Ouch…

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Didn’t she do such a good job!? If you want to have a look at her makeup artist Facebook page, you can click here! She posts all of her makeup work – from beauty makeup to special effects – on this page, so it’s definitely worth a like.

What do you think of the final look?

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You can read my previous post here.

Currently, I Am… | #10

Hi, friends! Ah, I’ve missed you. It’s been almost a whole month since I’ve shown my face on my lovely little blog, but it’s definitely been well deserved. The first few weeks of 2017 were filled with coursework and university deadlines, so The Rose Quartz had to take a bit of a backseat. Don’t worry though, I thought about you every day!

After that, I had a few days of beautiful nothingness and relaxation with Matthew, before me, him, his brother and his girlfriend went off for a 4-day bender to Butlins for the Giants of Rock festival. That, I tell you, was flipping fantastic and I’ll be talking a lot more about that the next time I’m around! We saw some incredible bands and some really impressive musicians – it was mind blowing, really. As well as enjoying lots of music, the nearby beach was just beautiful. We spent a lot of time walking around and taking pictures – you know what I’m like.

Butlins Minehead

My “Currently, I Am” series is always a great post for when I return from a pretty long break. I haven’t posted one of these since November, just after Trump managed to find his way into an incredible, ridiculous position of power. Coincidentally, this one comes just after his inauguration and the reinforcement that his new found power is taking America down a horribly familiar, slippery slope.

Anyway, let’s not talk politics. Let’s have a bit of a catch up!

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Currently, I am feeling

…oh, well, a lot of different feelings actually. I’m gunna quickly take you through them, otherwise this could go on for a very long time. I’m feeling excited and nervous about my wedding day – I get married in November and there’s a lot of exciting plans to be made! I’m feeling anxious, unprepared and lost with regards to my future career prospects – I’m graduating in the summer, with no passion for my degree or field of work in any way. I’m feeling tired, because sleep is alluding me – that’s probably because of all these FEELS.

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Currently, I am watching

…Daredevil S2. We recently finished Jessica Jones too, which was unbelievable. Kilgrave is one of my all time favourite villains! He’s easily Marvel’s best on-screen baddie. His ability to manipulate people, simply by talking to them, is a really clever way of avoiding “not-another-fight-scene”. Daredevil is also picking up. The first season started off incredibly dull, picking up towards the end. The second season started a little slow too actually, but it quickly sorted itself out and now me and Matthew are both really enjoying it.

Since my last catch up post, Westworld finished too. That was one of the best bits of television I’ve ever seen. Highly, highly recommend.

Currently, I am reading

…The Great Gatsby. Can you believe I’ve never read it? I also recently read Tim Burton’s The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories which was a super interesting and super quick read. It’s worth it though. The title story was one of the longer short stories/poems in the collection and it actually made me feel pretty sad. Poor, Oyster Boy.

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How have you been? What have you been up to recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Taking On Too Much

Well… howdy. I’ve missed you, the community and my writing an awful lot. I never thought I’d take a break from blogging but, here we are, almost 20 days later saying hello all over again.

Taking On Too Much

The transition between September and October (and the weeks that followed) was a bit manic, to be honest. After finishing my work placement, a.k.a Hell on Earth, I was quickly reintroduced to the life of a not-so-typical university student. A lot of people seem to think I took a year out of university to get a job, but that’s not the case. Instead of sticking with three years, my degree is made up of four with a year of industrial experience plonked right in the middle – that’s what I was up to last year and, frankly, it was crap. It was obvious I’d never be able to smoothly transition back into my final year of university but, as a whole, it hasn’t been so terrible. It’s nice to be back on my own schedule and it’s really nice to not be surrounded by bullies day in, day out.

Despite that, it wasn’t university that led me to take a break. I just took on way too much, way too quickly.

Being all over-excited that I’d finished my work placement, I instantly began building up my photography portfolio. If you know me at all, you sure know how deep rooted my love for photography is, so I jumped at the opportunity to monetise my passion. I began photographing practically all of the children in my family and, without me realising, I didn’t have weekends to myself anymore. After finding myself completely chuffed with the results, I recently moved on to photographing friends of friends’ children and people I’ve never met before. I’m finding this more of a challenge as I have to maintain an air of professionalism whilst entertaining the children, reassuring the parents and working behind the camera. It’s tough, but I love it. The whole journey has been incredible in lots of different ways – incredibly enjoyable, because I am in love with being behind the camera, and incredibly insightful, because who knew it could be this hard?

With my degree, my photography and all attempts at maintaining this standard of mental health, my much loved blog just fell behind. A day hasn’t gone by without me feeling guilty but taking a break was definitely the right decision.

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Anyway, enough of the excuses. It’s good to be back.

What do you think of the new look? Check out my blog’s home page to have a peek at my new design!

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You can read my previous post here.

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills

Bravery and Blood Tests

Today, I surprised myself. I let a nurse stick a needle into my arm and take some blood. I faced one of my fears and I did something that, 6 months ago, I would never have dreamed of going through with… I came out of the nurse’s office in a little bit of shock actually – was I really just that brave? Did I really not even freak out or cry?

Feeling Brave Pretty White Roses

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Since school, I’ve been frightened of needles. I don’t know whether this fear came from the nasty, emotionless school nurses who gave me my injections in that dusty school hall or the nightmare-inducing time my dentist missed the correct place to jab me over and over and over again until I’d swallowed enough anaesthetic that my throat became numb. They both probably contributed. Either way, needles have sent shivers down my spine, made me feel dizzy and closed up my throat with fear for as long as I can remember.

So, when my doctor told me he’s booking me in for a blood test, I obviously freaked out a little. The idea of someone poking a foreign object into my fragile little veins disturbed me. I only had to wait 4 days, so the dread didn’t drive me completely mad. It did work me up a little more though. When something freaks me out this much, I tend to avoid it. Crowds, heights, tight spaces, noisy places… I keep them off limits. That’s pretty much the basis of my personality but, importantly, it’s something I’m working on fixing. This wasn’t something I could just avoid though!

Despite the looming needle, I had a lovely morning. I had to take the morning off work so I could go to the doctors and, with him in between his degree and PGCE at the moment, Matt could come with me and hold my hand. I wasn’t as spooked as I thought I would be.

Honestly, the entire process was completely fine. I’ve never had a blood test before so I didn’t know what to expect but my nurse was fantastic and she made me feel so comfortable. I had a tight band around my arm, I felt a tiny, sore little prick and then a weird gushing feeling… but it didn’t hurt. She’d already began to fill the second vial before I even clocked on to what was happening!

I know it seems like such a simple thing to be so happy with but I’m so proud of myself. I thought my fears would get the better of me and turn me into a sobbing pile of patheticness. It’s such a big deal for me. Matt was so proud of me too. “You didn’t even make a noise” he said, because I’m sure we both thought I’d squeal or yelp or something. He even bought me some beautiful white roses to cheer me up and to tell me how brave I was! What a sweetie.

Feeling Brave White Rose

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How are you today, friends?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

Photographs are my own. © Morgan Mills.

Where Am I?

I’m going to keep this short and sweet, I think.

Normally, I’m a daily blogger. I absolutely love writing and sharing my thoughts, ideas and opinions with you and the world, but I do this for me just as much as I do it for you. Writing is my equivalent of a cup of tea before bed (although I do that too) – it’s one of those relaxing things that easily slots in to my life. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about the posts and photographs I’ve planned for the next day. When I’m not thinking about it, I’m replying to comments and reading other people’s posts.

Basically, blogging is a huge part of my life despite the fact it’s been less than a year since I started.

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Stock Image: Rekita Nicole

You might have noticed that this whole “daily blogging” malarkey hasn’t been happening recently. Even a blog post every other day has been pushing it… and honestly, I’m really, really disappointed in myself. I haven’t been well and my concentration/motivation to do absolutely anything has disappeared completely. It’s a vicious circle though. I can’t write because I’m stressed, but I can’t de-stress because I’m guilty about leaving my blog for another day. And another. And another. I know I shouldn’t be getting so worked up about this, but my blog is my safe place and I feel as if I’ve let you all down…

This is hopefully going to change pretty soon. Things aren’t particularly looking up in the near future (oh I’m sorry, I sound so whiny, I know), but my schedule should sort itself out and a bit of regularity in my life might be what I need to kick-start myself back into gear. I’m bloody looking forward to that, let me tell you.

Thanks for sticking around, you lovely person, and if you’re new here I promise I’m usually pretty perky.

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Anyway, let’s get over that hump. I fell off the blogging ball for a little while, but I’m back and I’m going to be okay!

Related: Currently, I Am… #6

The weather was fantastic again today. After the beautiful spring heatwave we had was met with a week of storms, it’s nice to see the sun again. Hopefully, it’s back for good.

How have you been recently?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

101 Things in 1001 Days | Update

Good afternoon, lovely blog person, or “prevening” if we’re being more specific!

It’s been a while since I caught you up with my 101 Things in 1001 Days shenanigans, and I guess you’ve missed out on quite a few bits of awesomeness. I apologise. My last update was in October, when I tried to conquer my fear of heights (and horrifically failed) by going on a Ferris Wheel at the fair!

Hull Fair

My God, that was a huge mistake…Matt had to flag down the fair workers and get them to stop the wheel so I could get off… Never again.

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Since my last post, I’ve checked off lots of new things on my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. Some goods ones, too.

So, what’s new?

Films:

Me and Matt have been getting our film boots back on, after an embarrassingly long time away from our film friends. We ticked off a few movies for the “watch a film I’ve never seen before starting with each letter of the alphabet” task, including Deadpool (awesome film), and all of Daniel Craig’s Bond movies (so great). We also finally watched Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it was definitely worth the wait because it was a bloody fantastic film.

The Theatre:

In December and January, we were writing paid reviews for plays, so luckily I got to tick off my “watch a play” task! I saw Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and Miss Nightingale (an amazing play about sex, scandal and lies in 1940’s wartorn London).

Our Fort:

Now for the one that I’m most excited about… we built a blanket fort in the living room, and had a night full of sweets, beer, TV shows and games in our little Valentines blanket heaven. To be completely honest, blanket fort is a bit of a fib. It was more of a bed-sheet-held-up-with-string-and-nails fort. We also had to use my desk chair, a wooden table and a clothes horse to hold the thing up and support it throughout the night.

The fort was a fantastic way to spend Valentine’s Day (eve) though and it was definitely worth the hassle in the end.

Build a Blanket FortBuild a Blanket Fort

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You can find my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge here if you fancy checking out what I’ve got left to accomplish before May 11th 2018.

If you’re not already, I also highly recommend setting yourself a challenge like this. It has been a fantastic way to kind of force myself into doing different, new and exciting things. And, I get to share all of the new things I do with you. Win-win.

Share you challenges below if you have set yourself one!

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan

The New Look

Today, I’m welcoming another new change to my site. Although it’s not as significant as the complete title and URL switch up (previously The Secret Diary of a Computer Science Student), I’ve decided to completely redesign the header template that I use for each post. I love it. I have a constant need for consistency, and even though my previous header images were similar in style, I just needed something better.

I’ve always really liked using set header images for each post. Personally, I think it makes a blog look more put together. However, my new blog layout (have you noticed it yet? It’s a lot nicer!) displays each header image on the home page so, of course, good looking header images are now more important than ever.

Here’s an example of the new changes, using my “What Made Me Smile Today” post:

What Made Me Smile Today

The original header image template

What Made Me Smile Today

The new design!

So, what did I change?

I changed the font. My handwriting style font is long gone, and I chose a very similar looking serif font to the one used on my blog. After changing my blog template, I scrolled down my home page and wasn’t happy with the handwriting/simple font cross over. So, I changed it.

I changed the text layout. Previously, my blog title was positioned beneath the title. However, when displaying my header images on the home page, my new blog template kind of cut into the bottom of the text. I didn’t like that, obviously.

I changed the transparency of my images. Instead of making the whole image transparent and layering the text over the top, I decided to only lower the transparency around the text. Bolder colours = good.  To be more specific, I kept the transparency of my images at 100%, and in fact added a new slightly transparent rectangle.

I created a box to shove all the goodness in. As above, my header images are now good old constricted boxes of no-mistakes. Everything fits in that box and it’s all way easier to read.

Am I done?

I am. I’m completely done with the changes, and I’m happy with my blog’s new look. Throughout the coming weeks, I think I’m going to go through the rest of my old blog posts (sigh… around 150 more to go), and create new header images for them.

It’ll take a while, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it in the end!

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What do you think of the new look?

Has your blog undergone any huge cosmetic changes recently, and how did you find it?

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You can read my previous post here.

-Morgan