Tip Tuesday: How to be Smooth as Fudge

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How to be Smooth as Fudge

(Flirting tips for awkward folks.)

Up until fairly recently, I was completely incapable of flirting. When I was 19, I signaled to a person that I liked them by pufferfish kissing them, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs style. Then, just in case they didn’t get the message, the next time I saw them I kissed them on the lips and before running off to catch my bus. Fortunately, they found it cute, but in hindsight, if they hadn’t felt the same way, that would have been the creepiest thing I have ever done. However, since then I like to think I’ve got a handle on things. I’m still mahoosively awkward sometimes, but I’ve developed techniques to help keep me smooth as fudge, bae.

1.

I’m so awkward, I don’t even know how to flirt! How would you let someone know that you like them?

smooth as fudge

Address the above to the person that you like. Then not so subtly do what they suggest. If they’re as awkward as you, and so don’t flirt either, look up tips online, and act these out. The beauty of this is, that if they start to get uncomfortable, you can laugh it off as “practicing”, apologise, and then distract them with a question about what they’ve been watching/reading lately.

2.

Are you multiple sea creatures with tentacles, cuz girl, you octopi my thoughts.

smooth as fudge

Go ahead and learn some crazy pick-up lines, the weirder the better. You want them to be so strange, that no-one in their right mind will think you’re using them unironically. That way, whether the person likes you or not, you’ll get a laugh. Laughter is infectious, so even if you don’t get the girl/boy/other, you’ll feel better, and you’ll gain a reputation as a bit of a comedian. Who doesn’t want that?

3.

Hey the weather is nice today, by the way I like you, don’t you think that cloud looks like a lion?

smooth as fudge

Honestly, the best way of finding out if someone likes you, is to tell them how you feel. But of course, this can be terrifying. The trick is to keep it casual, to remind yourself that it’s really no big deal. My favourite way of doing this is to sandwich the words into an ordinary sentence (see above). It makes it seem like you’re just dropping a random fact into conversation. And when they inevitably respond with, “What did you say?!” you can say it again. It’s always easier the second time, because the words are already out there. Stay calm, and ask how they feel. If they feel the same, well then it’s time to get excited! And if they don’t, tell them it’s okay. Because it is okay. Sometimes people won’t like you back, but there will always be someone else.

Lines and techniques aside, however, the main reason I’m able to talk to people now, is because I’ve learnt how to be comfortable with who I am. I’ve learnt that being a nerd is amazing, that needing to be alone is perfectly fine, and that you can get away with doing all kinds of weird stuff (meowing, putting glitter on your flatmate’s nose, lying under the coffee table to think etc. etc.) in the right context. All you have to do is be brave, and remember that, love is not everything in life.

Mort out. xx

smooth as fudge

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Tip Tuesday: How to Calm Your Tits

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How to Calm Your Tits

Calm your tits

-To calm down, thereby relaxing the heart beneath one’s chest. Also see: “de-stress your breasts” and “undo the calamity that is in your mammaries”.

I chose this subject knowing that I had an assessment morning today, from 9am to 1.30pm. I figured that this post would be an amusing way to unwind after a slightly stressful, but engaging morning. Then I woke up half an hour before I had to leave the house because my alarm failed to go off. Now this post will be one; an amusing way to unwind after an incredibly stressful morning, and two; a list of things that popped into my head as I tried to get a brush through my mane. Welcome to How to Calm Your Tits 101:

1. Only do what’s essential – In my case: stick on clothes, wash face, brush teeth and hair, slap on some eyeliner and wolf calm your titsdown a yoghurt. It normally takes me an hour to an hour and a half to get up. This morning I set a new record. If you need to get something done, but you don’t have enough time, then don’t panic. Doing the basics is better than nothing.

2. Sleepiness is your friend – On the morning of an interview, I’m usually that level of nervous where I can’t stop grinning, but calm your titsmy face muscles are beginning to twitch. This morning I practically fell out of bed and into my suit. It wasn’t until my first interview session that I felt the twitch of anxiety in my stomach. It was great!

3. Deep breath – It’s an oldie, but a goodie. I spent the first 25 minutes of being awake, running around like an idiot. When I got calm your titsinto my car, I paused, took a deep breath, and then drove to the venue. It’s like tapping on a brake, so that you can manoeuvre around a corner; absolutely essential if you don’t want to fly off the road all together.

4. Drink – WATER! Or tea, coffee, hot chocolate. Just drink something, and drink it slowly. Like the deep breath, it’ll help you calm your titsfind a nice relaxed pace. Plus, if you suffer with a touch of dry mouth, it’ll help in that respect too. However, it might be worth limiting yourself to a glass, particularly if you’re in situation where using the bathroom is an issue.

5. Promise yourself the earth (or part of it) – I will spend the afternoon writing and drinking decaf coffee. I will go for a nice walk onto campus and raid the free book shelf in the Mason calm your titsLounge. I will drive down to Sainsbury’s, buy myself a bottle of golden ale, and then spend the rest of the evening sitting in the bath, watching let’s plays. These are all things I promised myself this morning, and just the idea kept me relaxed. I certainly intend on doing at least two of the above, although I have yet to decide between the beer and the books.

And that’s it, my five quick tips for calming your tits! As a bonus, it also acts as a nice little library of calm your tits gifs to use, for all you Tumblr lovers out there. I hope it comes in handy. Now I’m off to make a cup of joe and hammer out a couple of hundred words.

Tip Tuesday: How to Make or Break a Habit

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How to Make or Break a Habit

Three years ago Sunday, I gave up caffeine as joke for lent. 40 days later, I came to the decision to never to go back. Last year, I decided to do more of the things that I enjoy; travelling, reading, video-gaming, stuff I never had time for when I was sleeping in a bed covered in heavy literature, and half-written essays. This year, I’m trying to eat a wider variety of foods, and I’m religiously filling in a diary page, every night. So, if you’re reading this article, know that its writer feels your pain. No, seriously. I’m not an expert, but I have learnt a lot over the last 5ish years, and so I thought I’d share how I make or break a habit in the hopes it’ll make life a little bit simpler for you.

1. Ignore the 21 day rule – In the 1950s there was a plastic surgeon called Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who many claim produced a study showing it takes 21 days for a person to pick up a new habit. In truth, what the good doctor uncovered was that it takes make or break a habita MINIMUM of 21 days to replace an old concept with a new one, whether that be a behaviour change, or adjusting to a new nose. The average is actually more like 2 months (Lally et al.). However, the fact is that how long it takes shouldn’t matter at all. If you want to change your behaviour, you need to be willing to keep it up indefinitely. Telling yourself that you only have to last so long, will only make it more difficult to keep going when 2 months role by and you’re still finding it hard to keep your pace.

2. Choose wisely – As I discovered last year, it’s all very well wanting to learn to speak French, but if you have no reason to learn it, your brain is going to strain to retain it. An ideal habit to make is one that is genuinely going to benefit your life. An ideal habit to break is one that is damaging, mentally or physically,make or break a habit to yourself or others. For instance, I gave up caffeine because I realised that a lot of my nervousness was due to being off my face on 3-4 cups of extra strong coffee, everyday. If you’re going to change your behaviour, you need proper motivation, so think about exactly what it is that you want to get out of this change.

3. Enjoy your honeymoon – There will be a short period of time in which changing your behaviour feels great and easy. This can range from a couple of minutes (quitting smoking, taking up make or break a habitjogging) to a month (healthy eating, keeping a journal), so make the most of it. Enjoy it. Make as many positive memories of you keeping up your new behaviour as you can. They will come in handy (when you’re standing in the dairy isle, staring at a double shot Starbucks espresso can, salivating like a dog in heat).

4. Freshen up – When you hit a rough patch, you’ll need to remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. This is where that all important motivation can turn into a blessing, or a curse, depending on how strong it is. But reminding yourself may make or break a habitnot be enough. You may also need to find fresh ways to shove it in your face. I have recently taken up starting everyday by writing a positive post-it, whether it be a famous quote, or just something someone’s said to me. I then stick it to the mirror, and read it back when I go to bed. This way I start and end my day on a positive note, encouraging myself to keep up the good work. You could also try achievement lists, mantras, or even simple incentivising (i.e. I will buy these boots if I write everyday this week).

The art of making, and the art of breaking a habit are tough to master, and I know that at the grand old age of 22, I’m nowhere near becoming a black belt. I am currently still trying to fit in a few minutes of writing every day, and while my diary remains up-to-date, my novel cries out for the attention it deserves (soon, my precious, soon). Needless to say, I’d love to hear what you guys do to help change your behaviours. How do you stay motivated? How do you make or break a habit?

Tip Tuesday: How to Hit the Reboot Button

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How to Hit the Reboot Button

As some of you may know, in the lead up to Christmas I was feeling rushed, anxious and more than a little stressed. I’d set myself the task of finding a job before the year was out, and the fact that I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere was slowly driving me crazy. That coupled with some developments at home, meant that I was in serious need of an R&R. Here are the 3 steps I took to hit the reboot button.

1. Drop everything! – Well, as much as possible. When you’re racing about, and stressed out, it’s easy to lose yourself. I found the anxiety I was getting from having multiple interviews in a week, was causing my mihit the reboot buttonnd to race in a way that was entirely unfamiliar. I’m a writer, and I’m used to thinking in long, methodical sentences, not half-statements that I don’t have time to finish. It was time to put some things on the back burner for a while. For me, this meant taking a break from interviews, and putting a pause on blogging. I was still looking for work, and keeping in touch with contacts, but only applying when I found a job that I actually got excited about.

2. Do what you love – Once I’d made time, I began doing things I enjoyed again. I started with watching TV and playing video games, and worked myself back up to reading and writing. I apologise, but I may have – by which I mean, I definitely have – munhit the reboot buttonched my way through The Hunger Games trilogy, while I was gone. Also, Douglas Adams’s The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, and Every Day by David Levithan. (They are all great books, which I will probably review when I get the chance). I’ve also spent a lot of time with friends and family, getting out of the house as much as possible. After months of putting my job-hunt first, it was exactly what I needed.

3. Move forward – Once you’ve got yourself back on track, it’s important not to start thinking 10 steps ahead again. Focus on driving the train, not what’s on the other side of the tunnel. For instance, when I look at jobs now, rather than thinking about what my life will be like, where it’ll takehit the reboot button me in five years, etc. etc., I go through a set of criteria; Can I do this job? Will I enjoy it? Am I going to like my colleagues? Can I fit a social life around it? It’s good to have an over arching goal, a destination like “get a job,” but live in the present and keep yourself grounded. It’s also important to assess what may be keeping you from that goal. In my case, the tree on the line was that I’d lost the ability to show any personality in an interview, and personality is essential to connecting with potential employers.

It’s been an odd few months, but they were definitely needed. I now know where I’m going, but I’m focusing on the day-to-day. I’m enjoying the present and worrying less about the future. I really hope this helps some of you, and as always I’d love to hear about your experiences. What do you do to get yourself back on track? How do you hit the reboot button?

Tip Tuesday: 4 Ways to Make a New Year’s Resolution you Can Stick To

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4 Ways to Make a New Year’s Resolution you Can Stick To

For most people, it’s as easy to break a New Year’s resolution as it is to make one. Tomorrow night, millions of people will be silently promising themselves to lose weight, cut down on their drinking, or quit smoking. These are all good things to be promising yourself, but come February, most will shrug off their quest with a simple “there’s always next year”. But if you don’t want that to be you, here are some tips I’ve come up with over the past few years for making a New Year’s Resolution you can stick to.

1. Baby steps – Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end. If you want to make a massive life change, think about breaking it down into smaller, manageable goals. Rather than, I’m going to lose 1 or 2 stone, make it “I’m going to eat healthier” or “I’m going to exercise more regularly”. Set yourself weekly targets, like “I will go for a 10 minute run 3 times this week” and gradually increase them. Have an idea of what you’d like to achieve, but be flexible because life is sure to throw a ton of stuff in you way.

2. Make ’em useful – Over the years, I’ve found that the resolutions I make that last the longest, are those that are actually genuinely helpful in some way. This year I decided that I was going to stop weighing myself, because I didn’t like how one stupid number could affect my mood so much, particularly if I was already feeling down. 365 days later, I literally have no idea what I weigh and I feel so much better for it. If you can think of a resolution that will genuinely improve your life, go for it!

3. Fun factor – Another thing I tend to do is make a couple of fun resolutions. This year I made a bet with myself that I could find a way to get famous in a day, and well I think I had some success with my cosplay blog having 1000 views in 24 hours, and reaching the front page of Google! (Seriously, thanks again for that!) I also made a resolution to write more, something that I have happily obliged by participating in NaNoWriMo, working on this blog, and endeavouring to finish my dissertation novel. Pick a few that will be easy to keep, so that sticking to the others doesn’t seem such a chore.

4. Failure is an option -This is probably the most important thing I’ve realised in the last twelve months. Just because you break a New Year’s resolution, doesn’t mean you should lose your resolve. I have broken 4 out of 6 of the resolutions that I made at the beginning of 2014, some of them on multiple occasions. However, that didn’t stop me from soldiering on. I may not have finished my novel, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to chuck it to one side. I may not have resisted the temptation to do the odd spot of Facebook stalking, but after a year it’s much easier to fight off. The trick is not to give up, even if you’ve slipped up.

I really hope these are helpful, as I know how difficult it can be to stick with a New Year’s resolution, and how disappointing it is when you break them. What resolutions will you be making this year? And what plans have you got to help you follow through?

3 Steps to Dealing with Rejection

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3 Steps to Dealing with Rejection

Rejection is taboo subject. Nobody likes to be rejected, so often people will try to pretend it’s not happened to them, and just ignore it. Most of the time, this is fine. Dealing with the odd “Sorry, I don’t see you that way,” or “We don’t think you have enough experience,” by shaking it off and getting on with life, is usually the way to go. However, if you’re dealing with a string of break-ups, or jobs you didn’t get, it can be hard not to internalise. So this week, I offer my 3 steps to dealing with rejection, with a little help from J.K.Rowling, one of the most successful rejects of all time.

1. Accept it – Acknowledge that you’ve been rejected. This can be hard, but if you’ve got your rejection in written form, read it deal with rejectionagain. Don’t look for subtext, take everything at face value. If you’ve been verbally rejected say the words in your head. Then take a breath, and say “Okay, no worries.”

2. Process it – Take some time to yourself. Don’t listen to music, just sit quietly. You want to find the silver lining (as deluded as he was, Pat had a point). If you didn’t get the job, then that’s because you weren’t suited to it; whether it be due to your skill level, or because you didn’t get along with the people. Remember, you don’t want to end up in a job you’re not deal with rejectionsuited to. If your crush turned you down for a date, then clearly they didn’t feel that same connection, and you want someone who’s as crazy about you, as you are about them. Then put this rejection into the context of your life. This can be hard to do if you’re younger, but as an adult, when I get rejected, I like to remind myself of the number of times that it’s happened to me. Then I think about the number of times it has happened to my friends and family. Rejection is something that happens every day, to everyone. Sure it can make you feel like crap at the time, but if my first love hadn’t rejected me, I never would have taken up archery, never would have met some of my closest friends, and I currently wouldn’t have anywhere to live. Ultimately, rejection will only take you bad places if you let it.

3. Forget it – Now that you’ve got a new perspective, it’s time to move on. Pick a new destination. It might be a new deal with rejectioncareer path or job application, taking up a new hobby, or trying online dating. it might be sending your novel to yet another publisher, because you got the faith! Use the rejection to make positive changes, and move on. The further you get, the smaller it will seem, then you can forget about it with ease.

I suppose the key for me is reminding myself that life leads to crazy places. Sometimes those places are not ideal, but most of the time they’re frigging incredible. You just have to keep going.

This weekend I will be uploading my latest review, and potentially starting a new novel, so keep an eye out. In the mean time, I’d like to know what do you guys do to ward off the blues? How do you deal with rejection?

Muchas amore, mes caru.

-Mort

Tip Tuesday: 6 Ways to Stay Positive in Tough Times

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6 Ways to Stay Positive in Tough Times

Whether you’re unemployed, or hate your job, stressed about course work deadlines, or find yourself forever alone, it can be hard to stay positive in tough times. In the past year, I’ve experienced all of these – bar hating my job – and I know how hard it can be to keep an upbeat attitude. Sometimes it’s just all too tempting to drown yourself in a puddle of Tumblr, TV and Ben and Jerry’s. So below you will find a list of my slightly unusual suggestions for keeping that chin in the upright position.

1. Lock yourself out – And throw away the key, at least during the day. Unless you have an actual reason to be inside your house i.e. laundry, waiting for a parcel etc. get out! GET OUT NOW! If there’s something I’ve learnt from the last month and a half of unemployment, it’s that the novelty of sitting around in your PJ’s all day wears off fast. Shower, put on something nice, and go outside. Even if you take your laptop with you, and go sit in the library or the local coffee shop, that’s fine. Sitting inside the same four walls day after day, will do nothing but crush your soul.

2. Score everyday– Make a list of things that you need to or want to achieve in a day, and then do it. If I were working, I would be doing this anyway, but as I’m not, it’s a habit I had let slip until the last few days. There’s something oddly satisfying about Stay positive in tought timesticking things off a list, even if those things include job applications, laundry and getting Sim Zapp Brannigan up to job level 8 (it was a challenge, I can tell you). It’s one of my favourite ways to keep myself motivated, because at the end of the day, I get to know exactly how much I’ve accomplished, and what I need to do tomorrow.

3. Talk to strangers – Not something I would recommend for those of you under the age of 18, but for adults, talking to strangers can be a lot of fun. Yesterday, I saw a man sat at one of the DIY photo machines in the middle of Boots (a British pharmacy chain for American readers), looking very confused. He kept glancing at the woman behind the counter, but she was dealing with a mile long queue, so I asked him if I could help. He was so shocked that someone had noticed him, I had to stop myself from laughing. It was an easy problem to fix, and he was incredibly grateful. It felt good to be helping someone again, and I wish I’d had longer to stop and chat.

4. Rant like you mean it, then forget it – I mentioned in last week’s Tip Tuesday, that I keep a diary. I use it as a safe place to stay positive in tough timesjot down anxieties etc, but I also use it as a place to rant. The trick is to scribble everything down, then close the book and forget about it. Don’t re-read an entry until at least a year has gone by and you’re in a happier mood. It takes a fair bit of discipline, but once you get into the habit, it’s a great release method, even if you only write half a page every few days.

5. Dance like a crazy person – I have a confession to make; I am a long time watcher of Grey’s Anatomy. I have a tendency to watch it in season long marathons, and when I do I will openly yell at the screen. Judge me as you wish, but it happens that this tip is something I’ve stolen directly from the show. There’s nothing quite like slamming on some tunes, dialling up the volume and bouncing around a room to get the endorphins going. Dance like an idiot, and laugh at yourself. Laugh at everything, and if you can, do it with someone else and laugh with each other.

6. Burp like Christmas – This is my childish and inappropriate way of saying, appreciate the little things. I’ve recently discovered Sainsbury’s own gingerbread ice cream (£2.50 for 500ml), and was both shocked and elated to discover it’s effects. Other things I’ve grown to love include, witnessing two grown men do a secret handshake, Bubble tea (or in my case, bubble juice), my flatmate’s facial hair (and that he lets me stroke it when I want to appear menacing, or thoughtful) and one-over-one-under cuddle. They are a fantastic breed of cuddle.

I hope that this article proves useful, and that some of the things on my list will help brighten up this dull winter for you. Remember if things get too bad, there are people who can help; friends and relatives who love you, and there is no shame in seeking medical assistance if it’s needed. You wouldn’t ignore a month long headache, so don’t ignore a heartache.

Of course these are just a few ways to keep your chin up. I’d really like it if we could extend this list in the comments. What do you do when you feel low? How do you stay positive in tough times?

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