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By Kate Brayden 

My first catastrophic costume experience was simultaneously the funniest and worst Halloween of my life. It was the night where myself and two best friends attempted to win a competition at an underage disco for a coveted free iPhone, but the outcome was not what we expected, to say the least. Strap yourselves in and get your seatbelts on: we’re taking the embarrassment bus to Morto-town.

Think back to the times before influencers were all the rage, before social media could tell you absolutely everything, and you may understand the clueless-ness of our mistake.

It was during my underage disco days, a simpler and more innocent era (in some ways…not others). At that time, a club called Dandelion was open on St. Stephen’s Green, and held a night for under 18’s called ‘Beatfreaks’. Yes, it was as tacky as the name implies.

Not a hint of alcohol was to be sold to us fresh-faced sixteen year olds, there was only water to dilute the shame of wearing a dodgy costume. Myself and my pals had spent weeks deciding what to wear, the social stigma of possibly wearing the wrong article haunted us naïve schoolgirls, and the options were as limited back then as they are today for women.

Nearly every outfit, though it was for underage girls, was overtly sexualised. God help you if you wanted to wear a humorous costume, and didn’t look attractive to the male species?! It didn’t matter what you were dressed as, in some way it was going to be transformed into an outfit that made you look as attractive as possible to attract a lad on the dance floor.

This was the law in the world of Catholic all-girls schools.

We arrived at my friend’s house armed with every colour facepaint known to womenkind, we had glitter, masks, roughly 10’000 spare outfits in case of any faux pas: nothing could go wrong. We prepared for everything… or so we thought.

 My sister was trying the ‘Chic Ghost’ look, except she is hugely allergic to facepaint so instead had covered her sensitive visage in white Sudocrem and resembled a marshmallow had had been toasted on a fire. I had opted for the animal card: a ‘Chic Zebra’, except I had made a mistake which came back to bite me later: white striped leggings and white underwear.

The second those exposing UV lights came on in the venue, my underwear was lit up like a Christmas tree for the whole world to see, and they weren’t even my nice underwear. They were 1950s grandmother looking for a gardening partner vibe, and I can still feel the mortification.

My friend, God bless her soul, had painted her entire arms with oil colours to try and resemble a parrot. She was unaware at the time that oil paint does not come off without a remover chemical called white spirits (not to be confused with the spooky kind), and the worst part about it was that she in no way looked like a parrot. She simply looked like she’d jumped headfirst into a paintball tournament and lost, badly. Despite our horrendous efforts to look sophisticated, we took the group photos and pretended we weren’t terrified to walk into a huge room of adolescents.

We wanted that iPhone prize, and we wanted it badly. I was sharing a Nokia with my sister, it wasn’t like nowadays where every four year old has touch screen tablets from the age they reach the crib. Apple iPhones were like gold dust: new and expensive, and I wouldn’t have to share with my sister anymore.

Looking back, I’m not sure how we would have split the iPhone between us three ways, but maths was never my strong suit at school.

As we walked down the street towards Stephen’s Green, we noticed that we hadn’t seen a single person dressed up in costume. Paranoia set in, then panic, as we reached the queue for Dandelion and all we saw was a sea of plain clothed teenagers. As we walked in the door, the lights came up on the dance floor and the entire club turned to gawk at the absolute state of us.

A ‘parrot’ with patchy red and green arms, a lit up zebra, and a walking advertisement for a skin allergy. We were covered in paint of all types, but no amount of paint could even begin to mask our humiliation. Not a single other person was dressed in a costume except us… on Halloween. Typical.

The embarrassment was too real. We ran to the bathroom for a reconnaissance mission, attempting in vain to scrape the paint off each others arms and to cover up my illuminated legs. There was nothing to be done about my unfortunate glow in the dark underwear except strategically hide behind the club’s scattered pillars and ignore the snorts of laughter from groups of overly hormonal teenaged boys.

Then it dawned on us that if no one else was dressed up… we were the only participants in the iPhone competition! The prize had to be ours, literally we were the lone contenders. We patted each other on the back for handling the disastrous situation with such dignity (only one of us shed tears… okay fine, all three of us.)

We strutted out of the bathroom to await our glorious prize, ready to gloat that we had not suffered in vain. As the MC called out the smaller prizes over the microphone, we heard a huge cheer and turned around. ‘The winner, of the brand new iPhone and overall costume champion of Dandelion is…. AVATAR!!!’

All the air left our lungs as we turned around to stare at a girl painted entirely in blue step forward to claim her new iPhone.

That’s right, only one other person in the building wore a costume and beat all three of us to claim the prize. It happened seven years ago, but I have to admit, I’m still bitter.

‘Why is this your favourite costume memory?’ I hear you ask. Good question. If you can handle the teenage social anxiety of going to a club and being the dumbest looking people in the vicinity, you can handle most things in life. It taught me many things: if you’re going to dress up, do it well enough to win an iPhone, and don’t wear oil paint on your skin that will take roughly three weeks to come off.

Don’t wear face paint that will give your entire face an inflamed allergic reaction (shout out to my sister’s poor skin, lost but not forgotten), never take photos of yourself as a teenager because trust me, the embarrassment will come back to haunt you.

My friend’s dad conveniently snapped a photo of us three loons going out the door in our ridiculous attires, and seven years later that very photo turned up in her family calendar, which got sent to dozens of people who no doubt got a great laugh out of it.

The second ‘Incident’ was in 2013: The year we painted ourselves green, dyed our hair green and wore BBQ trays on our backs in order to disguise ourselves as… the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

We didn’t just disguise ourselves.. we became them. We skipped school to spend all day painting every inch of our skin, and the prize was not only just a gift voucher and mountain of sweets, but the glory of having the greatest Halloween costumes our school had ever seen.

We studied the ninja turtles for weeks, and assigned ourselves the roles of Donatello, Michaelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo. We pulled out all the stops.

There was no way we could lose this time. We had narrowly missed the prize the year before, when we had also painted our entire bodies, and this year it was our time. Victory was ours.

The principal walked down to the assembly at the end of the school day to announce the winners, and we readied ourselves for the cheers and applause which was surely ours.

She picked up the microphone, took a deep breath, paused and said, ‘The winners, of the 2013 costume competition are… THE NINJAS!!!’

We looked around, assuming she must have made a mistake and had simply shortened our name. Low and behold, a group of girls wearing all-black walked up to claim the prize.

They did not resemble ninjas in the slightest, they had not painted their entire bodies, the effort was minimal. Surely there had been some mistake???

We even offered to have a battle in the gym between the ‘ninjas’ and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The principal predictably declined this offer and called us ‘sore losers’. The neck.

Devastatingly, we graduated from school having never won the competition in six years of painting ourselves various colours.

The bitterness has never left us, and probably never will… there’s still hints of green on my skin many years later, but maybe it’s just envy?

Look, the moral of the story is don’t take Halloween too seriously. The costume anxiety isn’t worth it, just wear whatever you want and feel comfortable and confident just being yourself.

Never dress to impress anyone else but yourself. But seriously, don’t wear white underwear to a UV party.

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There is something so tangible about the permanence of a physical photograph.

In an era where thousands of pictures are stored on smart phones in our pockets, what is it that makes a captured moment special anymore?

The resurgence in popularity of instant photos is a direct response to our digitally motivated, snap happy culture, one that places an emphasis on acquiring ‘likes’ rather than using an image to revisit a passing memory.

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Luckily, Fujifilm’s Instax Square SQ6 is making memory conservation a priority – allowing digital natives to capture their happiest moments on real film.

If there is one occasion we want to ensnare in the flash of a camera, it’s festival season.

We’re decked out to the nines in glitter, enjoying every waking moment with our best friends, listening to our favourite live music amongst the beauty of nature.

It simply couldn’t be a more photogenic opportunity, and with Ireland’s biggest festival, Electric Picnic, just around the corner, we’re contemplating our list of festival essentials – and an instant camera is top of the list.

Being festival ready is a multi-faceted task with many aspects to consider.

First up, it’s all about how we’re looking on the day. Packing the perfect festival clothes that simultaneously emblemise our personal styles while being able to adapt to the, shall we say, changeable Irish weather is a must.

Getting the makeup look on point can be tricky when you’re staying in a tent in a field full of revellers, but we’re all about making an effort with the glitter.

Sometimes though, we get kind of frustrated that most instant cameras don’t have a selfie option, so we can’t capture ourselves and our pals with accuracy. Luckily, the Instax Square SQ6 has an actual selfie mode and a reflective selfie mirror, so you can check the capture area of your selfie in a mirror next to the lens. The Selfie Mode also does all the behind the scenes work for you while you’re in front of the camera, automatically adjusting the brightness and focal length.

Well, we didn’t go through all that outfit planning not to snap long lasting evidence of ourselves in all our finery.

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Next up on our festival essential list is the itinerary. We want to see EVERYTHING we came to the festival to see – be it music acts, street food carts, comedy tents, carousel rides or cocktail classes.

Whatever the adventure you’re embarking on, the Instax Square SQ6 prints in the perfect size to capture any activity.

There wont be the hassle of trying to choose whether to shoot portrait or landscape, or worrying about fitting every member of your crew into shot.

At 1.3 times the size of Instax mini prints, if there’s room on your itinerary for a rave in the woods, spoken word session or buffet brunch, there’s room in your instant photo.

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Festivals are all about getting creative – be it an experimental new hairstyle, sampling new music genres or engaging in a creative workshop.

We’d also like to take the opportunity to get creative with the special memories we’re capturing.

The Instax Square SQ6 Camera has modes that let us do just that.

First up, there’s the Double Exposure Mode, where you can press the shutter twice to capture a shot overlaying two images in the same print – and it looks extremely artistic.

The second is the existence of the Flash Colour filters. Three colour filters can be attached to the lens, creating a tint of your chosen shade to the image.

Whatever your game plan for festival season, it would be a shame to let it go by undocumented – and there is nothing quite like flipping through a pile of actual photographs and reminiscing on some amazing memories.

Fancy nabbing yourself an Instax Square SQ6 Camera to capture all of your fleeting festival memories? 

We have FIVE of them to give away below: 

This competition is now closed. Congratulations to all our winners, we have sent you a message. Thank you to everyone who entered x

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For me and my mates, our teenage years were all about one destination only – The Wezz. 

A land of myth and legend, it was almost like the Hotel California of 2007. You'd check in, but you never really checked out. 

A decade later, and I still relive my Wezz days, and occasionally still suffer the consequences of poor decisions made while under the influence of half a naggin.

If you were a Wezz-lover, please read on, and try not to laugh with the nostalgia:

1. The preparation was KEY.

To be fair, half the fun of Wezz was getting ready as a squad beforehand. 

Leg warmers, tutu, some sort of Ralph Lauren top and some pearls? Class, you looked bloody class.

And of course, as you grew, so did your style. You went from looking like a fairy stripper to wearing Abercrombie hoodies and Ugg boots, because you are so fashion. 

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2. Naggins, naggins everywhere. 

So you'd leave your house and venture off on public transport (or walk, if you were close). It was on this adventure that you would attempt to have a little beverage. It was also probably the first time you ever popped a squat in public – a lifelong memory. 

Drink left over after your walk? Nay bother. It was like something out of James Bond trying to sneak your naggin into Wezz. I actually once heard of a girl who had ripped open a teddy bear, lobbed her vodka inside, and put him back together. I'm sorry, but if that's not GENIUS, I don't know what is. 

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3. Stalking your prey in the queue.

You arrived – and you felt damn good. You walked down along the queue, treating it like a f**king runway, gawking at the crowd like they're in a zoo. 'Oh, the captain of the Junior Cup team is here. SO hot right now.'

You probably ended up licking faces at some stage during the night; total ledge. 

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4. Whipping out that membership card, and feeling famous. 

Does anyone else remember seeing the 'non-members' queue and absolutely CRINGING with embarrassment for them? Chronic. 

I won't lie to you, I still have my membership pass from back in my Wezz days, as a staunch reminder that I peaked at 15. 

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5. Being a rep made you invincible.

So, back in the day, I was a 'rep' for Wezz, which was exactly what it sounds like.

I sold tickets, for no actual personal profit I might add, but sure, you gotta do what you gotta do. The heart wants what it wants.

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6. The smoking area was LIT. 

I will NEVER forget having my first ever cigarette in the smoking area of Wezz, and thinking that I was literally the biggest legend God had ever created. Anyone else? 

Spoiler alert: smoking isn't actually cool. Ever. 

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7. The drunk chair

There was always one poor gobshite who just could not hold their booze. They would be excommunicated to the drunk chair (soon became drunk room, as we got older) to sober up.

There were always threats of calling the gardai, or GOD FORBID, your mum – but usually you downed some water and went on your merry way. Blessed. 

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8. 'Will you meet my mate?'

And so began the most important part of the night – getting the score (I'm actually embarrassed already).

Anyway, you'd lock eyes with some blonde-tipped young man wearing a rugby jersey, and instantly fall in love. Now, obviously you never approached them, that would have been weird, right?

Instead you would send a friend over (or their pal would approach you) and a contract would be discussed, usually ending in you two love bird smooching against the wall, while the ever-romantic Tiesto blared in the background. 

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9. The sweaty walls (*shudders*)

Let's actually talk about the walls for a second, actually. WHY were they so weirdly moist?

Seriously, there was more sweat on those walls than there is in an actual sauna. Just an observation, is all. 

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10. The absolute TUNES.

Okay, so Wezz certainly had its flaws, but let me bloody tell you, the music was NOT one of them, lads. The absolute electricity in the room when Get Low came on was unparallelled, and totally humiliating when I think about it now.

Then there was the grande finale – Tiesto. Where does one even begin?

Every single teenager in the place would run into the middle of the dancefloor, in what was probably a genuine safety issue. Then, the strobes began, and people went NUTS. 

11. The aftermath.

The lights came on, and you'd kiss the love of your life goodbye (until next time, lover). You'd rendezvous with your ladies, and leg it across the road to get food before your parents collected you.

Abrakebabra or Eddie Rockets? Genuinely one of the hardest choices I made in my youth. Your mum would collect you, and you'd have to lie and tell her that you had an innocent, booze free night! She knew otherwise, but let you at it. You're only young once, right?

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12. The memories. 

Nothing makes me reminisce quite like my glory days in Wezz. Myself and my friends still talk about the shit that happened when we were 14, and I love that.

As grimy and gross as it was, I think we all made great pals, the occasional long-lasting relationship blossomed, and the memories will last a life time. 

Plus, it was great training for Coppers. 

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That time of year is upon us again when all the kids head back to school. 

The shops are filled with stationary, uniforms, school bags and lunch boxes.

But while they moan and complain that life isn't fair, we take a look back at the things that only girls of the noughties will understand.

Get ready for memories to come flooding back:

 

1.The moment your teacher wheeled in the MASSIVE television to your classroom you knew it was movie time (aka. nap time).

 

2. The SHAME of being told to stand outside the class because you were being bold (but really you are a hilarious entertainer loved by your peers).

 

3. The battle you had with your mother to get a cool pair of Kickers as your new school shoes. She rarely gave in *sob*.

 

4. When you got a substitute teacher rather than your normal teacher – which meant ZERO work and having all the bants.

 

5. Adding amaze WordArt to your homework and school projects. 

 

6. Homework journals were a blank canvas – any available sticker/picture of hot celebrity filled the pages instead of actual homework. 

 

7. Writing on your schoolbag with Tip-Ex or a big black marker. Because that's how you expressed yourself, obvs. 

 

8. The dreaded bleep test. But you secretly made a pact with your BFF to drop out after round 2. 

 

9. New stationary – you hated going back to school but shopping for stationary was the highlight of your summer.

 

10. Your German aural exam beginning… and all you can remember are the words bibliothek, diskothek and nein. 

 

11. Texting under the table with your Nokia – and being able to text without looking because the phone buttons were oh-so HUGE. 

 

12. Finding out your teacher's first name. #Insiderknowledge.

 

13. Rolling up the waistband of your skirt – just so one centimetre of flesh could be seen.

 

14. MSN – where every teenage love affair blossomed.

 

15. When you FINALLY left school – which involved writing on each others worn out shirts, asking your favourite teacher to sign your memory book and crying loads – only to remember you'll see everyone down the local in an hour. 

 

 

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Remember when Christmas was magical?

I don’t just mean selection boxes and putting up the tree, I mean nervously looking at the sky and SWEARING you just saw Santa’s sleigh. I mean giddily checking if the Man in Red had eaten the biscuits you’d left him and if Rudolph had taken a bite out of the carrot. I mean delightedly showing your parents the presents you’d gotten, because of course how would they know otherwise?

As we grow older, it becomes more of a chore to keep Christmas magical, especially if you don’t have any younger kids in your house. For most of us, December is a hugely stressful time at work or college and it becomes difficult to really get in the spirit of things until we’re finally home by the tree with a glass of mulled wine in hand.

We struggle our way through the crowds in town, getting pelted by wind/snow/lashing rain, as we rush to get last minute pressies for everyone. Will mum really like this assortment of tea towels? Yes, well, she’ll just have to won’t she.

Of course as we have more responsibility in our lives, Christmas is going to be that little bit more tiring and overwhelming. But let’s not forget what the season is all about. Sadly it might be a little too late for us to start believing in Santa again, but we can find magic in so many other ways.

Make an effort to approach things more calmly this year. Make a few arrangements with close friends rather than trying to fit everyone in for drinks and dinner in the space of three days. Get baking and crafting rather than blazing a trail through HMV buying box sets for everyone. Enjoy the Christmas music on the radio and the buzz building around the place.

If you’ve ever been away from home at Christmas you’ll know just how homesick you can get for cold weather, packed pubs and silly Secret Santa gifts. All of the little things that we tend to take for granted at this time of year are the exact things you’d miss in a heartbeat if you weren’t here.

So rather than getting all grumbly and stressed this year, take things in your stride and appreciate every little bit. Whether you’ve been celebrating for the last few weeks with nights out or whether you won’t really feel it’s Christmas until you’re on the way home on December 24th, soak it all in this year.

If you are lucky enough to have young siblings, nieces or nephews or kids of your own, take in the magic through their eyes. Get excited about Santa’s arrival. Put on your cosy PJs and drink hot chocolate with them on Christmas Eve instead of heading to the local to meet school friends you haven’t thought about in 10 years. Watch the corniest Christmas movie in your collection and jump up and down if it snows instead of worrying about how you’re going to drive in that weather.

Christmas is still full of magic, we just need to know where to find it!

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Those of us who had to suffer through braces during our teens have this kind of silent understanding with one another. We understand what it was like.

Here are some things you will remember from your time having braces: 

1. Thinking “Why ME?!” when you found out it was time to get your braces
Sometimes the world just seems so unfair. Some people are born with perfect teeth, and others need to get braces on for two and a half years.

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2. The sheer pain you endured for days afterwards
The immense pain in your gums was almost unbearable. No amount of painkillers could totally numb it.

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3. Drinking all of your meals for the next week
The blender and straw were your best friends. Remember surviving on a diet of yoghurt and soup?

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4. Refusing to smile for ages
And when you did smile, you gave that weird, creepy grin where you tried to hide your braces so only the tops of your gums were on show.

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5. Getting elastic bands attached
What a horrific idea. Whoever though of this? Bright and colourful elastic bands which pin themselves across your teeth. At least change the colour so people don’t ask you about them over and over again.

 

6. Fearing that you wouldn’t get to kiss anybody until you got them off
When you have braces, you think that they are the most unattractive thing in the world. But they’re not, and you quickly realised that there’s far more unattractive things than braces.

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7. The great feeling when your friends got braces too
You’re not alone in this struggle! Solidarity. The glorious feeling when one of your friends gets braces too. You say nothing of course, but inside you’re weeping with happiness.

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8. Running your tongue along your braces
How weird? Don’t lie, you did it.

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9. Having food lodged in your braces
It was one of the worst situations about having braces. You had to try and remove the bits of food that crept into the gaps between the metal and hope that nobody noticed you doing so.

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10. Getting your braces tightened
You knew it was coming but it never made it any better. The pain would resurface, as would the blender and straw…

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11. Being called the worst nicknames in the world
Braceface, Train Tracks and Metal Mouth were among the worst. Then some people had the audacity to shout “CHOO CHOOOOO!”

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12. The euphoria you feel when you get your braces off!
There is no better feeling in your adolescent, or indeed adult, life than the day you get your braces off. Going from trying not to smile to unleashing that glorious Hollywood grin at every opportunity is just fantastic!

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via our content partner CT

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1. “An Bhfuil Cead Agam Dul Go Dtí An Leithreas?”
Most important phrase of your childhood.

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2. “Téigh A Choladh”
And this was the extent of your knowledge of the Irish language by the time you left primary school.

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3. Calling Your Teacher Mammy/Daddy
The single most embarrassing thing that could happen to you at this age.

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4. Nearly Dislocating Your Arm Trying To Get Picked
And making yourself as small as possible when you didn’t.

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5. Fingers On Lips
Your teacher usually blackmailed the class into being quiet by threatening to cancel P.E. or something similar if you weren’t quiet.

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6. Pokemon/Yu-Gi-Oh Cards
Two of the biggest crazes that people born in the 90s lived through.

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7. Terrible School Tours
Usually to some really boring local information centre or museum.

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8. And Then The One Good One At The End Of The Year
Wooooo!

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9. Forcing Your Parents To Sit Through Terrible Christmas Plays
You spent months preparing for these plays, memorising lines and preparing costumes. But if you think back to them, just imagine how bad they must’ve looked.

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10. Getting To Wear Your Own Clothes On The Last Day Before Christmas
Obviously this only applies to schools that had a uniform. 

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11. Elastic Ties
Again only for those with uniforms, Mammies everywhere would be horrified when you broke it using it as a missile.

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12. Everyone Getting A Selection Box For Secret Santa
Boring and all as it was to give as a present, it was exactly what we wanted every year.

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 13. And The Teacher Having Back-Ups For The Kids Who Inevitably Forgot To Bring Theirs In
Teachers were effectively just our parents from 9 to 3, so this is no surprise.

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14. Spelling Tests
Those were the days, when all that was required to pass a test was to know how to spell 20 words, and make sure all of the letters you wrote were facing the right way.

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15. Insisting That Your Artwork Be Put On The Fridge At Home
A litre of PVA glue went into making that masterpiece, there’s no way you’re letting that go to waste.

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16. Not Being Allowed To Swap Food At Lunch
Because who knows what any student was allergic to. Or maybe it was something to do with hygiene.

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17. The Foot And Mouth Scare
Memories of dipping your shoes into buckets…

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18. Gold Stars EVERYWHERE
Get 10/10 in your spelling test? Gold star. Answer a question right? Gold star. Téigh a choladh the fastest? You guessed it, gold star. Teachers spent and continue to spend thousands of euro every year on gold stars.

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19. Sports Day
More competitive than the Olympics.

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20.  The Kid With The Smelly Lunch
Very very smelly. You always empathized with the person sitting next to them.

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21. Tara & Ben/Alive-O/Letter Land
Some of the great books that were part of the primary school experience for most people.

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22. Injections
The only benefit to getting injections was that you got some sort of chocolate bar or sweets to keep you quiet.

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23. Practising To Receive Your First Holy Communion With Chocolate Buttons
Or practising with wafers, if your school was mean.

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24. Getting Ridiculously Excited When You Got Picked To Bring Something To The Office
Most of the arm dislocations happened when the teacher asked for a ‘helper,’ which could be to do anything from cleaning the blackboard to bringing something to another classroom, or the office, as outlined above.

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25. When The TV Trolley Was Wheeled Into Class
With projectors in every classroom and broadband internet, primary school children of today will never experience this excitement.

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26. Being Really Embarrassed At Sex Ed
The uncontrollable laughter made it impossible for the teacher to do much work. Not that it mattered, most people had the gist of how things worked down there by this stage.

Mean Girls_Sex ed

27. Circle Time!
Moving the desks against the walls, rearranging the chairs, someone usually started messing during all of this activity and ended up not being allowed to take part.

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28. No Homework On Fridays
The single biggest shock when you entered secondary school is that you had to do work over the weekend.

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29. No Homework On Birthdays
And it was so annoying when your birthday fell on the weekend, or during the summer. Especially considering no one had any sympathy for you.

toodaloo

via our content partner CT

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Photographer Carla Richmond Coffing and writer, Hanne Steen have created “Lovers Shirts”, a project which explores the reasons we cling to material things such as our ex’s old t-shirts.

Steen said: “There is something about (ex-lovers’ shirts) – even old and torn, they feel special, different than any other piece of clothing.

“My last boyfriend had a stack of old t-shirts, worn and soft and full of holes that I used to love to wear… When that relationship ended, I somehow neglected to keep any of his shirts, and I missed wearing them, because I missed him – his smell, his arms around me, so I decided to do a project that looked deeper into this phenomenon, as a way of exploring my own feelings of longing and attachment, and ultimately, detachment. I was curious whether or not other people felt the same way.”

Well, we can definitely relate to how Steen felt. Take a look at these beautiful images – further proof that a picture will is worth a thousand words.

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At the time you may have thought your car was the biggest heap of junk ever, and it was. Looking back though, you shared a lot of amazing memories, good and bad, with your very first car.

1. Arguments with your parents
Actually learning to drive is a stressful experience for everyone concerned, including your parents, who sometimes can’t grasp how difficult it is to find the stupid bite point.

shouting2. Your driving test
And whatever about the stress of learning to drive, the actual driving test is a completely different ball game. Anyone who says they didn’t need a shower after their first driving test is a liar.

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 3. Your 2nd/3rd/4th/ driving test
This of course only applies to the people who did not pass their test first time.

son of a bitch

4.  Your first Garda checkpoint
Yet another sweaty experience, even if you are fully insured and taxed and have all the necessary paperwork. Obviously the less of the paperwork that you have, the sweatier this particular experience becomes.

be-cool

5. Your first speedtrap
Again, unless you’re speeding there’s nothing to worry about, but it still doesn’t stop you having your eyes glued to your speedometer, which as it happens is probably more dangerous than if you were speeding.

slow driving

6. McDonald’s Drive-Thru
Whether it be a 2am craving or for a cure the day after a heavy session, after getting the food, you park in the McDonald’s car park and eat it before going anywhere else.

drive_thru

 7. Your first road trip
Any trip which takes longer than 45 mins to somewhere you wouldn’t usually go counts as your first road trip. It could be anything from driving to the other side of the country for a weekend camping trip or to the beach for sandcastles and ice-cream.

big_bang car

8.  Going to a festival
10,000 times better than getting the smelly bus. You can also sleep in there when your tent gets flooded – yay!

car packed9. Getting lucky
The most important thing to remember ,if you ever do manage to get lucky, is to park somewhere guaranteed not to have anyone passing by. Unless you’re into exhibitionism. We’re not here to judge.

bouncing_car

10.  Your first crash
Most people’s first crash is usually only as serious as crashing into their own wall as they reverse out of their driveway, but in any case, just remember that as long as everyone’s okay don’t stress too much about it.

car_crash

 11. Getting your friends to smoke out the window
This is only relevant if you use one of your parent’s cars. Or you hate smoking.

smoking car

12.  Being the designated driver
You do this for your friends because you know one day they will be happy to return the favour. At least you think they will.

designated driver

13. Cleaning up the day after being the designated driver
Just pray that it’s only beer stains, cans and bottles that you have to clean up, and that if anyone did need to vomit, they gave you sufficient warning so that you could pull over. If not, unlucky.

cleaning car

via our content partner CT 

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As kids, we all had TV’s and even PlayStation and Gameboys if we were lucky, but we still played outside A LOT. Here are some outdoor games that will seem familiar to you.

1. Rounders
Rounders always created a rift between those who were batting, and those who were out in the field. And this rift often lasted all week long.

if0fu82. Duck Duck Goose
This was mostly played at school and someone always ended up falling on someone else while running at top speed around that circle. Or else someone changed direction. Cheaters.

tumblr_mwoeteVLBt1qdcel5o3_2503. What time is it Mr.Wolf
This one always created so much panic! The second Mr. Wolf said “DINNER TIME” you ran like your life depended on it.

home-alone-ahh

4. Stuck in the mud
You never released someone you don’t like. Ever. That’ll learn ’em!

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5. Musical Chairs
This one was an indoor game but who else remembers that time of the party where the mom says ‘okay everyone, it’s time for musical chairs’ followed by a big sarcastic ‘yaaaaay!’

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6. Pass the parcel
Yet another party game.. we awkwardly sat there passing around a wrapped present. Holding it for that second longer praying the music would stop on you!

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7. 45/Tip the Can
The king of all childhood games! God help the person who was on if they left the pole/wall to see could they find people people it was all systems GO GO GO to run to base and SCREAM “45 I FREE ALL” #legend

breakfast-club-running

8. Mother May I
What a memory game. This taught you manners like nothing else.

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9. Knock A Dolly
Not so much a game as a neighbourhood nuisance. Still though, what a rush.

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10. Red Rover
The trick to this was to get all the big, strong, vicious, crowd on your side.

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11. Chinese Whispers
Ah, the childhood version of how cruel rumours start.

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12. Dodgeball
This one is still the best fun ever.

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13. Skipping
All the popular girls used to be so good at skipping. If you were good and could jump two ropes at a time, you owned that playground.

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14. Kerbs
I think everyone in Ireland played this game… so you took one side of the path and the other took the other side.. and you threw the ball to bounce off the kerb!

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via our content partner CT

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Sometimes it can be difficult to think of heartfelt and thoughtful gifts for your other half.

If you start collecting these things now, soon you’ll have plenty of cute collages or frames to give your love that will make lovely memories come flooding back.

And what could be more romantic than that?

1. Cinema tickets
Keep all of your movie stubs and in a few years you’ll be able to make the cutest collage ever with some retro movies in there.

2. Emails
In today’s technological world, letters rarely get written let alone sent. So instead of collecting love letters like our parents, print off your emails so you can keep them. It’s not quite as romantic, is it?

3. Birthday/Valentine’s/Christmas Cards
If things work out with your other half and you have a birthday card sent so long ago it is signed “from” – well that is going to be simply adorable!

4. Restaurant business cards
Going for dinner is a big part of most relationships. Discreetly collect business cards from the nice places you visit. Chances are at least a few will be in far flung places.

5. Airline boarding passes
Many couples love to travel together. If this is you then collect all of your boarding passes and you can create a lovely collage of pictures from your trip with the passes.

6. Flowers
Yes, we know flowers wilt but if you learn the simple art of flower pressing then they don’t have to! All you need is flowers, newspaper, and some heavy weighted books! Place the flowers in the arrangment you would like inside the sheets of newspaper. Then put the newspaper inside the middle of a large book. Place more large books on top. This weight will help to flatten out and dry them faster. In about 3-4 days your flowers should be ready and preserved to do whatever you like!

7. Festival tickets/wristbands
You’ll likely have to wrestle them off his wrist first! Festivals are always filled with feel-good memories of freedom and no worries. Perfect.

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Everybody loves Macaroni and Cheese, it is rich, comforting and so tasty!

What you’ll need:

  • 300g macaroni pasta
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp plain flour, heaped
  • 550-600ml low-fat milk
  • 200g mature cheddar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 50g emmental cheese
  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • Breadcrumbs, to cover
  • Salt
  • Pepper

What you’ll need to do:

  1. Cook the pasta to instruction, drain and set aside.
  2. Grate the cheeses and set aside.
  3. To make the roux, melt the butter and add the flour. Pour in the milk and stir constantly until it gets a little thicker.
  4. Add the nutmeg to the roux.
  5. Mix in the grated cheese and melt until a smooth sauce is achieved.
  6. Add the pasta and cover well with the sauce.
  7. Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
  8. Place in the oven until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbling.
  9. Enjoy with some broccoli.
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