Tattoo Talk: An Interview with Scarlet Saint

scarlet1Scarlet Saint, 22, YouTuber, Blogger, Model & Owner of ‘Little Doe’ jewellery

Surely you’ve heard of Scarlet Saint, right? She’s an absolute babe who has taken the Internet by storm. She’s a model, blogger, YouTube vlogger, and jewellery designer. Talk about a self-made woman! She’s also got an envy-inducing collection of tattoos from some seriously talented artists. Today she’s here to tell us a little bit more about them.

How old were you when you got your first tattoo? What was it?
I was 19. It was a little heart outline on my wrist; the stencil was drawn by my partner and I had it tattooed on our first anniversary. He also got his first tattoo that day which was a musical note on the inside of one of his fingers.

How many tattoos do you have now?
7. So far!

scarlet4What are your thoughts on tattoo regret? Have you ever had any?
There will always be people who regret their tattoos; though I think a lot can be done to avoid it by taking the time to be sure that this is what you truly want, and not just a temporary interest. Ask yourself can I live with this piece of art on me forever? If I regret it one day how would I feel about that? Not compromising on your choice of artist too! Go to someone who’s work you love and who you trust as an artist. Be picky! Don’t settle for less than what would be the best for you. If you start looking at cheaper artists because you can’t afford the person you really want; save harder for longer or don’t get the tattoo. Sounds harsh but that’d what I do.

I don’t regret any of my tattoos. Even if I someday did, I’m not the kind of person who’d mind that much. I could happily live with it.

Do you think tattoos need to have a special meaning or can they be purely aesthetic?
There are plenty of awful tattoos out there with deep meanings, and plenty of incredible ones without! I have a mixture of both; and I don’t think it matters. All that matters is if it matters to you or not.
scarlet3Do you have a favourite tattoo? What’s the story behind it?
I think my stag half sleeve by Rachel Baldwin might be my favourite. Though it’s tough to pick one as I love them all. I live in the countryside in England, and ever since I can remember seeing deer wandering across the roads or standing in fields during our walks has always been an exciting moment and brightened my day. That’s the reason for the stag. The rose relates to my family; Rose is a common name and middle name for girls in our family, and my real name has ‘Rose’ in it. The button jar and needle and thread are there for my Grandma; she’s worked as a seamstress most of her life and growing up would always make me cosplay costumes to run around in. The butterfly relates to a memory from my childhood. I was walking down the street during summer wearing a white top with a little butterfly on the pocket; when suddenly a real butterfly exactly like the one on my top came and landed on me. It was just a cool moment that I’ve never forgotten and wanted to incorporate into the piece.

scarlet2Are there any artists you’re yearning to get work from?
Yes! Just off the top of my head: Tiny Miss Becca, Amy Savage, Sasha Unises, Alex Strangler, Jody Dawber, Daryl Watson, Rich Warburton…and probably several others that I’ve forgotten!

Thank you so much, Scarlet! You’re such an inspiring woman and I can’t wait to see what amazing things the future holds for you.

If you think Scarlet sauce is as awesomesauce as I do, be sure to watch her videos on YouTube, look at her modelling photos on Facebook, check out the beautiful jewellery she makes in her shop, hear what she has to say on Twitter, get a peek into her life on Instagram, and go give her fabulous blog a read.

Love, bumblebees, & crimson honeysuckle,
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Adventures in Self-Love: How to Stop Gossiping

gossip1“Often those that criticise others reveal what he himself lacks.” ― Shannon L. Alder

Gossip is so pervasive in our society. And even though we know that it’s a completely toxic habit, most of us find ourselves doing it from time to time. It’s a difficult beast to tackle because gossip infiltrates our minds and effects how we think. Yet I’d argue that it’s imperative to our self-love journeys that we all learn how to kick this nasty habit.

But, what is gossip? It can be a tricky little to define because it’s not that talking about other people, and even being critical sometimes, is always bad. In fact, if you’re a manager of some kind, it might even be part of your job description.

So, let’s start with a dictionary definition. The Oxford American Dictionary defines ‘gossip’ as: “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.”

That’s simple enough, but what is it about gossip that makes it so virulent?

Like any of our thoughts, they create feedback loops in our minds and over time they form patterns that are difficult to change. The more we gossip, the more likely we are to gossip – which means the more likely we are to focus on the negative, to judge others, and to says things we aren’t even sure are true.

By its very nature, gossip reinforces the idea that we are in competition with each other. It keeps us in a cycle of judging, rather than supporting, collaborating, and inspiring. In this way, gossip keeps us playing small and it keeps us stuck in a pattern of judging ourselves while we judge others. We can’t ever really love ourselves and step into our power when we’re propping ourselves up by tearing others down.

Simply put, gossip doesn’t come from a place of love and it certainly doesn’t foster self-love. What we criticize in others usually boils down to our own self-doubts. Which is a huge part of why we do it.

Instead of examining our own insecurities and working through them, we hurl the same judgments we pass on ourselves onto someone else. Of course this just reinforces the thoughts we’re trying to avoid.

Yet it can be so difficult to stop gossiping. We get sucked in by the false sense of intimacy it creates. We feel like part of the gang being one of the gossipers, rather than the one being gossiped about.

But at the end of the day, gossip is a symptom of our own unhappiness and self-destructive thoughts (and I try to keep this in mind when I know someone is gossiping about me). Erica Jong said, “Gossip is the opiate of the oppressed,” and I couldn’t agree more. Most of us live oppressed by fear and self-hatred. Learning how to detach ourselves from gossip is so important when we’re learning to love ourselves. But how do we do it?

gossip2How to Detox from Gossip

Set a time frame. It’s my hope that at the end of this process, you’ll decide to kick gossip to the curb for good. But for now, pick an amount of time for working through these steps and holding yourself accountable to not gossiping. Apparently it takes 42 days to make or break a habit because this is how long it takes to change our thinking about something, so I’d recommend that. But, if you can hardly imagine life without Perez Hilton and TMZ, you might want to start with a week or even a few days. Make it realistic.

Purge your life of external gossip. I’m not one for gossip websites or celebrity tabloids, but there’s a reason they’re so popular – they feed our societal addiction to gossip. It’s essential that you get rid of these influences during your detox. If clicking onto PerezHilton.com is the first thing you do in the morning, you might want to download a plugin like Chrome Nanny to help yourself avoid them. Your detox also means avoiding those water cooler conversations that are essentially one big gossip fest (tips on how to handle this below).

Stop judgmental thoughts, before they even leave your mouth. If you find yourself thinking something nasty about yourself or someone else, repeat in your mind: “I release this judgment. I choose to see love instead.” And then decide to pick a different thought. Choose to see the situation more positively. If someone has done something to hurt or annoy you, what could be going on in their life to warrant your compassion and understanding? If something’s just not going your way, ask yourself whether there’s a lesson that can be learned from that moment. How can you turn the situation around?

Arm yourself with scripts. What are you going to say if someone starts steering your conversation in a gossipy direction?

I’d recommend guiding the conversation in a different direction. You might say: “I don’t know anything about that, but…” I’ve been meaning to pick your mind about X. or I’ve noticed you’ve been doing really well with B, can you give me some tips? or I’m thinking of trying this really awesome thing, Y, do you want to do it with me? Fill in the blanks as desired – just keep it positive.

If you’re feeling really brave, you might want to explain that you’re doing a gossip detox. This will offer some context on why you’re no longer willing to speculate on your friend’s love life or talk smack about how horrible your boss is. And you might even inspire your friend/co-worker/gossipy partner-in-crime a little.

Whatever you’re going to say, think about it in advance. That way you’ll be prepared and won’t fall into old habits.

gossip3Write it down and reflect. You might slip up. In fact, you almost certainly will. We’re all human and we all make mistakes – this is about progress, not perfection. If you find yourself gossiping or thinking nasty thoughts about someone take a moment to jot it down in a notebook or on your phone. It doesn’t need to be detailed, just enough that you’ll remember the incident when you go back to it.

At the end of each day or each week, sit down and do some journaling to reflect on these slip ups. Where did these judgments come from? Why was it so enticing to think them? Are they attached to your own insecurities? Did someone rub up against an old wound and you were defending yourself? Understanding where our patterns come from is the most important step for dismantling them and letting them go.

Fill yourself up with positives. If you’re particularly attached to gossiping, you might think I’m asking you to give up a lot. Even if these don’t seem like big sacrifices, it’s important to fill up that mental space with something else. Seek out positive news articles, blog posts, photographs, and quotes. Share them via Twitter or email one to a friend who you know needs to read it. Give compliments liberally. Write gratitude lists. Offer to lend a hand. Go to events that inspire happy thoughts. Overwhelm yourself with so much positivity that it actually starts to push out the negative thoughts and watch your urge to gossip dissipate.

“It is one of my sources of happiness never to desire a knowledge of other people’s business.” —Dolley Madison

It’s no secret that our society is largely built on systems that promote self-hate. How we advertise products. The way magazines tell us to think about our bodies. The traditions that tell us we’re of no value without a romantic partner on our arm. It all serves to reinforce the idea that we aren’t good enough.

And the fact that we glamourize gossip on magazines, TV, the Internet’s most popular websites, and in our own lives, only further serves to tear us down.

But by becoming conscious of the thoughts we think and the words we speak we give ourselves the power to choose different ones. To align our hearts with the positive. To free ourselves from gossip. To love ourselves instead.

What role does gossip play in your own life? Do you think you’d have any trouble giving it up?

Love & kindness forever,
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P.S. Don’t forget that if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll receive a free MP3 copy of the introduction to my forthcoming ebook, The Daydream Revolution.

Photographs via I Love Wildfox.

Beautiful Abundance Bowl

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetI’ve been out and about a lot lately, which often means I opt for eating the most delicious sounding thing, rather than the healthiest. So when I’m at home all I want are green smoothies and big bowls of veggies to keep me feeling vibrant and balanced.

This recipe was inspired by Sarah and my most recent trip to the farmers’ market. It’s exactly what I want in a summer meal: light yet filling, full of veggies and flavours with a balance of fibre, protein, and healthy fats. The avocado and hummus make this bowl deliciously creamy, with earthy flavours from the beet, a slight spiciness from the radishes, and the zingy freshness of mint. I’m completely in love with this particular flavour combination, but think of it more as a formula than a recipe, as it will lend itself well to any seasonal farmers’ market bounty.

Processed with VSCOcam with s3 presetBeautiful Abundance Bowl
2 cups mixed salad greens
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 large beet, steamed and diced
1 small avocado, diced
1/2 bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
3 slices of halloumi (approximately half an inch wide)*
1/4 cup hummus
3tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
10 mint leaves, thinly slices
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add halloumi slices.
2. Flip slices when they begin to brown, approximately one minute per side.
3. Assemble lettuce, quinoa, beet, avocado, radishes, and halloumi in a bowl.
4. Top with hummus and pumpkin seeds.
5. Squeeze lemon juice over top.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

*for a vegan version, substitute marinated tofu for the halloumi. My favourite version is from the Fresh at Home cookbook.

As it feels like summer is closer and closer to ending (say it ain’t so!), is anyone else trying to soak up every last drop of seasonal goodness while they can? All I want to do is BBQ, eat ice cream, and snack on farm fresh berries – which is exactly why I’m planning a picnic for Saturday! What are you up to this weekend?

Love, studded sandals, & rainbow sundresses,
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A Letter to My 22-Year Old Self

22-years-old(my 22-year old self)

Last week Sarah Von Bargen released the Post-College Survival Kit & as part of the promotion she had a bunch of kick ass ladies write letters imparting wisdom to their 22-year old selves. I had trouble falling asleep on Saturday night and in a fit of exhaustion-fuelled inspiration, I wrote one too. This is it.

Dear 22-year old me,

I’m only four years wiser than you, but wow – what a lot you’ll do in those next four years!

You’ll graduate university and get your own apartment. It’s in a basement and floods regularly, but it’s all yours.

You’ll be an editor-in-chief and this will teach you so much – including the importance of leaving a job when it threatens your integrity.

So you’ll start your own magazine and travel across Europe.

You’ll fall in and out of love, but you don’t let it make you jaded (I’m really proud of you for that).

You’ll have your first truly disastrous business relationship, but you’ll live to tell the tale and it will only make you stronger.

You’ll lose a very special friend who taught you the true meaning of living life to the fullest.

You’ll take full responsibility for your own life and get really clear on what it is you want.

You’ll start chasing your dreams in earnest and follow them across the Atlantic to live in London.

You’ll learn a lot in this time and perhaps by sharing some of that with you, it will make these next four years a bit easier. Because they’re going to be hard. Really hard. But hot damn are they going to be wonderful!

Here’s what I know for sure:

You have to ask for what you want. You’ll gain so much from this. You’ll get clear on what it is you actually want and a lot of the time you’ll get it, just because you bothered to ask. If you don’t, you’re no worse off than before.

You have the power to change your thoughts, and your life. In fact, by changing your thoughts, you change your life. So stop telling yourself that you can’t have the life you want or that “that’s just the way things are.” Those are thoughts, not facts, and you always have the power to choose a different one.

Your passions are worth pursuing. All of the good things in your life will follow from chasing your passions, not from doing what you “should” do. Let go of the shoulds and step into your passions – that’s where the magic is.

If it doesn’t feel good, stop. If your boyfriend usually make you miserable, that’s not going to change. If your job makes you sick with anxiety most days, it’s time to find a different one. There are always going to be bad and difficult times to push through, but tip the scales in favour of feeling good. That should be your primary mode of being. When you feel good, you’re in a better position to help other people feel good, and why wouldn’t we all want to feel good?

The most important decision is to love yourself. Your whole life opens up when you make this decision. So make it now, and keep making it every damn day. It doesn’t matter what nasty thing someone said to you or what limiting belief you swallowed before you knew better. All that matters is that you decide to love yourself.

And above all, know this: it’s going to be great. Because you’re great. So trust yourself and loosen up a little.

Love always,
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50 Simple Steps for Cultivating Self-Love

Photograph by Víctor GuillénOne thing I’ve learned from starting my Adventures in Self-Love series is that we all understand that self-love is an important concept in an abstract sort of way. We know we should love ourselves, but where do we begin? There’s no manual on how to start loving yourself, so how do we pluck this idea out of the ether and put it into play in our real lives?

You need to commit to your relationship with yourself. Nurture it the way you would a relationship with a lover.

These are 50 actions you can take to start cultivating self-love. They’re simple. They’re concrete. They’re totally doable.

You don’t need to do them all at once. Start with the ones that jump out at you and use them as building blocks as you begin learning to love your self.

heart Start a meditation practice.
heart Make a habit of eating a healthy breakfast (I love green smoothies, but perhaps you prefer fruit salad or a big bowl of oatmeal).
heart Purge your wardrobe of anything that doesn’t fit or make you feel fabulous.
heart Embrace saying “no.” Remember: ‘”no” is a complete sentence.
heart Unfollow any blogs or Twitter accounts that trigger comparisonitis and make you feel less than.
heart Only watch TV and movies that make you feel good.
heart Keep a list of inspiring quotes in your diary (or on your phone).
heart Write daily gratitude lists.
heart Wear a piece of jewellery or any totem that reminds you of your commitment to self-love.
heart Keep a journal.
heart Find a form of exercise that you love and start doing it regularly.
heart Get enough sleep.

Photograph by Víctor Guillénheart Stop hanging out with anyone who doesn’t lift you up.
heart Schedule in weekly pampering time.
heart Start your day with a dance party.
heart Let go of projects that are draining you and filling your heart with dread. This will make room for exciting new things.
heart Write a love letter to your body. Praise every crevice. Give thanks to every battle scar. Document each miraculous feat it performs for you day in and day out.
heart Take a photo of yourself every day.
heart Use positive affirmations.
heart Find a counsellor or psychologist to talk to.
heart Choose a personal anthem that pumps you up.
heart Join or create a weekly meetup group with like-minded people.
heart Map your desires.
heart Set goals. Review them regularly. Let go of those that aren’t lighting you up and plan action steps to attain the ones that make your heart sing.
heart Write down the things that you want to let go of and then burn the paper.
heart Buy yourself flowers.
heart Forgive anyone you’re holding a grudge against (if you aren’t sure how, try this meditation).
heart Make a list of simple self-care techniques and mood-boosting strategies for days when you’re feeling low.
heart Start working on the most niggly item on your to-do list. Make a habit of “eating that frog.”
heart When opportunity knocks, say yes. Even if it scares you.
heart Buy bright lipstick. Get a tattoo. Wear a motorcycle jacket. Find that little extra oomph that helps you feel like a badass.
heart Get really dressed up a few times a week.

Photograph by Víctor Guillénheart Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water.
heart Write morning pages.
heart Read You Can Heal Your Life.
heart Attend a workshop about an area of personal development that interests you.
heart Give genuine compliments daily. Praising someone takes us out of the mindset of comparing ourselves to them. And you’ll feel good when you see their face light up.
heart Ask for help when you’re struggling.
heart Say “I love myself” to yourself as many times a day as you can. Declare it out loud when you look in the mirror. Repeat it silently in your head while you sit at your desk and on your daily commute. Whisper it under your breath while you fall asleep. If you aren’t sure why this is powerful, read Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It.
heart Create your list of daily non-negotiables.
heart Get your finances in order. Make a budget. Open a savings account. Take an honest look at how much debt you’re in and make a plan to get out of it. If you don’t know where to start, read a book or take a course on personal finances.
heart Buy a vibrator and give yourself orgasms regularly – it will make you happier!
heart Cover your walls with pictures and words that inspire you.
heart Make a list of your beliefs and the things you know for sure.
heart Ask for what you want.
heart Write a list of characteristics you want to embody and brainstorm ways you can start cultivating them.
heart Start each day by setting an intention of how you want to feel.
heart Clean up your space and get organized.
heart Write down your commitment to loving yourself.

What simple step can you take towards loving yourself more fully today?

xoxo
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Photographs by Víctor Guillén.
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