Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Our Top 10 Halloween Movies

With Halloween only a few days away, we thought it was only right to share a little guide of some things to do to celebrate the spooky season, from what to watch, listen to and fun places to go! This first post is all about the best movies to watch, ranging from nostalgic to downright creepy - it's all about balance!

1) Hocus Pocus - When I think of Halloween this is always the first film that comes to mind. It might be a kids film but I refuse to feel guilty for still loving it. Set in Salem, this film follows 16 year old Max who's just moved from California and is bombarded with tales of three witch sisters that once lived there. Max is a sceptic until him, a new friend and his little sister find an abandoned house and accidentally unleash the three witches on Halloween night. A pretty setting, fun story and Bette Midler, I mean what more could you want in a Halloween film?

2) Halloweentown - I've put this one in for pure nostalgia. If you remember Disney in the 2000's chances are you'll know this film. With the same sort of vibe as Hocus Pocus, this kids film tells a story of a girl who discovers her grandma is a witch who lives in 'Halloweentown', and finds herself exploring this unseen world to find she has a big responsibility. I'm really not doing it justice but it's such a cosy, reminiscent watch.

3) The Nightmare Before Christmas - One of my all time favourite films. A beautiful clay-mation film by Tim Burton about Jack Skellington who lives in Halloweentown, but discovers Christmastown and the magic of Christmas. Jack then tries to bring this happy spirit back to his town where everyone is focused on being miserable and scary. It's just a beautiful animation style that sucks you into another world - and the music's great too.

4) Corpse Bride - Another Tim Burton classic, this tale is set in the 1800's and follows a young man Victor who is set up with an arranged marriage by his parents. Feeling nervous, he flees to the woods where he practices his vows. Little does he know there is a corpse bride underground who rises up when she believes he is marrying her. Victor then has to make a decision - stay with the corpse bride or return to his earthly one. 

5) The Witches - Based on the Roald Dahl classic, this film used to creep me out so much when I was younger but I still loved it. Set in a hotel in England, a young boy is staying with his grandmother when he ends up spying on a convention. The meeting turns out to be a group of witches who are scheming to turn the children into mice. He then devises a plan with the help of the hotel manager and his grandma to save the other children from the Witches.

6) The Craft - This film is so underrated in my opinion. Although it can get a little cringy at times with the magic, it's still such an incredible tale of feminism and strength. A group of outsiders join their forces together to use magic to get what they want - if you're into witchcraft you'll love this film.

7) American Psycho - I'm not overly into horrors with supernatural elements and jump-scares, but I do love psychological horrors, and this film directed by Mary Harron is just that. Patrick Bateman, the protagonist seems like a handsome, charming lawyer at first but we soon see his pyschopathic tendencies. With lots of twists and turns along the way, it keeps you on the edge of your seat and Christian Bale is incredible as Bateman.

8) Get Out - Another psychological horror, I think everyone's watched or at least heard of this film. The film follows Chris who is meeting his girlfriend's parents for the first time, with a fear of them being racist. Upon arrival it seems that they're nice people, but Chris soon disovers some dark secrets over the weekend that make him think he's going crazy and everyone else convince's him so. Director Jordan Peele showcases a clever metaphor on the current state of racism in the US.

9) Shaun of the Dead - I wanted to include a more light-hearted comedy in this list. Shaun lives a relatively boring life, that is until zombies invade his town and he has to save his girlfriend. This film pokes fun at the cliches in other zombie films. The perfect mix of horror and comedy.

10) Jennifer's Body - A cult classic, this film wasn't really appreciated for its underlying feminist message. Megan fox plays a popular girl in high school who gets possessed by a demon and begins a rampage on all the boys who are obsessed with her. Funny, campy and a little scary, this film takes on the theme of misogyny and objectification in a unique way.

What's your favourite Halloween film? Let us know!


Thursday, 24 October 2019

'Survivin n Thrivin' - Harry's Story Of Recovering From Depression

Hello! My name is Harry and I'm 19 years old. I have been living with depression for the last 4/5 years, with being diagnosed last October. This is when I began my journey in recovery, with help from family, friends, and of course professionals.

In one year I;
I. got an offer for Queen's University in Belfast,
II. achieved 3 B's in my A-Levels,
III. moved to Belfast for University,
IV. moved back to Derry after one month at university,
V. saw countless health and mental health professionals ,
VI. started medication to help improve my mental health and my mood.
When I was leaving Belfast in October, to begin my recovery, it's hard to explain what I was feeling. I was sad, terrified, confused, glad, suicidal all at the same time. I was leaving with the thought I'd never be back, and all my years in school and hard work I put in for my A-Levels was for nothing. Now I'm returning, less than a year later, and more excited than ever to be back in Belfast. I'm proud of how far I've come already, and optimistic for what my future holds. Soon, I'll be a qualified marine biologist :).

In terms of improving my mental health outside of the medication. I have learned how to put up a barrier so to say, when the negative thoughts come. Before I would let the thoughts in, I would give in because thats the easier thing to do. I wanted to be sad, as weird as it sounds. Now however, I am able to block the thoughts and not let them in. That doesn't mean that I don't acknowledge the negative thoughts, I think it is important to do this and reflect as it gives us a better understanding of ourselves and our own mind. I also plan to improve my physical health massively. I want to get into shape, and look better. This in turn will inevitably help to improve my thoughts of my body image, but exercise in general helps our mind and helps us to feel happy!

The whole idea of starting my page on instagram was not only to create a space for people to come to if they were feeling bad or confused, but was to be a voice for young people and our mental health. Also for men, as we all know that there is a stigma around men and mental health. I wanted to show other men, that its ok to feel sad, its ok to cry, and most importantly is is MORE than ok to talk about our feelings. Men have feelings, women have feelings and we ALL have mental health!

Follow Harry's instagram account: @survivin_n_thrivin_


Monday, 21 October 2019

Words Of Growth From Poet, B.Elae

"It's okay 
to love yourself 
too much 
to remain where you are misused."
- B. Elae

and how will you ever truly be able to experience
the beauty in being exactly who you are...
why the sun kisses you the way it does
why the moon awaits outside of your window 
why you're counted with the stars in the skies
why your wings spread the way they do
if you are running tired in trying to be
what other people want you to be?

Why should you be caged?

- B.Elae

Sometimes the hurt hurts
and the recovery is ugly.
It's dark and seemingly hopeless.
It's scary and long.
Full of error and extremely harsh.
Whatever you do, do not settle.
Don't think 'this is it'.
That's there's nothing left of you.
That you're here for nothing.
It's hard...I know.
But your end is not there that dark space.
That's not your ending.
- B,Elae, "It's Not The End"


Where you feel 
you've been dismantled
I hope you find,
that you are so
magnificently designed
Give or take
without such doubt
beneath the pain, 
you've room to sprout.

- B. Elae, "Room To Sprout"


"I stand taller.
  I am louder.
  I am further."


Monday, 14 October 2019

Meet Miah Ke-leigh - Our New Travel Writer!

I think travel is something we all aim towards - experiencing new cultures, tasting new foods, discovering things about ourselves that we wouldn't otherwise - it's a great way to achieve self-growth. That's why I'm so happy to let you all know that Starry Eyed has a new writer. Miah has such a fantastic writing style so I know you'll all love her and the stories she has to tell! I thought it would be a good idea to do an interview so you can get to know Miah a bit better.

Where are you from?
I was born in a small town called Robertson, in South Africa. The town is known for its wine and roses, which is a fact I always enjoy sharing with people. This is where I spent most of my childhood, living with my grandparents. I grew up there and when I was about 6, I relocated to the city of Cape Town. I finished primary and started high school, before moving to the Netherlands at 15. I am 22 now and I've been living in the Netherlands ever since. I am currently doing a Pre-Master in New Media Design. 
 Living in the Netherlands has taught me a lot about who I am as a person, especially because I live here without family. I see them twice a year and I consider myself blessed. Most international students only see their families once a year, if at all. It's challenged me to grow and to step out of my comfort zone. It's also great because it's taught me to be more creative, and that's really where my passion lies. Living abroad has also allowed for me to focus my energy on what I want to achieve for myself and my future, which was something I never really gave much thought about before.  I was privileged enough to be able to attend the schools I did. In a sense, it was reassuring knowing that my education opened so many doors for me. It was also scary knowing I only had myself here and if I wanted an opportunity I had to really fight for it.
 As a South African woman, and a woman of colour to be exact, this world tends to make you work twice as hard to get half as far as your white (male) counterparts. My nationality was a disadvantage many times when I moved abroad. I would get refused accommodation because they assumed that since I was from South Africa, I couldn't pay. My stubborn ass had to refrain from telling them my high school tuition was €18k a year. Some schools wouldn't accept me or questioned my intelligence because I'm from 'Africa' - a continent, by the way. Its frustrating and discouraging to be discriminated against because of something you can't change. I am grateful this happened, though. I used to be very self conscious before I moved here. All of these challenges taught me resilience. If I hadn't moved abroad and left that beautiful small town known for wine and roses at such a young age, I don't think I would have grown as much as I have now.

What have you been up to recently?
Aside from trying to complete all of my university assignments on time, I've been more active on my blog. My blog is about sustainable living and travelling, so I've been brainstorming ways on how to produce more content for that. I've also been working with more brands and companies, so creating content is really what I've been up to lately. It's very important for me to brainstorm ideas on how to create engaging and interactive material, shoot fun videos or create funky snippets of text. It's not only a part time job, but really a hobby that helps me relax. Creating helps me stay in touch with who I am; it keeps me grounded. I've been super involved in university as I've just joined the board of a new association (like a sorority / fraternity - minus the heavy drinking and hookup culture university life tends to promote), so we've been planning a bunch of events, parties and activities for students to enjoy.

What are your passions?
I love travelling. It's an expensive hobby, but doesn't always have to be if you know where to go and how to book to save money on costs and accommodation. I also really enjoy writing. This ranges from poetry to blog posts to short stories. Anything that's a creative outlet is so much fun for me. I love just losing myself in a moment and being present with what I am doing, whether that's editing a fun video or planning a blog post. I'm really still a child, despite being 22. I am in love with glitter, the arts and crafts section of stores and I've recently started appreciating colour more, especially when I style outfits. Something I used to hate was cooking, but ever since I became vegetarian, I've actually loved it. My boyfriend and I love going to the farmer's market and buying fresh produce. We often look up Pinterest recipes and try them. None come out the way Pinterest intended them to, though.

When did you discover your love for travel?
I started travelling when I was 9, due to my dad's job. I think I was too young to really understand it back then. On my sixteenth birthday, I found myself in Costa Rica. I had signed up for a two week conservation excursion to help the protection of Leatherback sea turtles. I think after that trip I knew I wanted to see more of the world. Its funny because when you don't leave a place, you think that that is all this world has to offer. At least I did. When I first started travelling, I was amazed at the different cultures. I want to know more about the world I live in. How to sustain it. About the cultures. The food. I have so many questions and only the universe can answer them.

Favourite place you’ve ever been and where you’d like to go next?
Limón, Costa Rica. It really impacted me. It taught me so much about kindness, sustainability, how material possessions don't really mean anything. That life should be about connection, good and pure relationships, and knowledge. I miss walking through the rainforest on night hikes, my feet sinking into wet sand and even waking up to geckos or spiders in my cabin. I think I'd like to travel to Scotland or the United States next as I've never been and it would be something completely new to experience.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I don't know. I think that's okay to say now. Society tends to tell us that we should have a plan, that we should know what comes next. I think it's okay to not know sometimes. Ideally, I'd like to have completed my masters, done another internship and find a full-time job. My dream is to work in an environment that encourages teamwork but also encourages each individual to flourish on their own. I'd like to have my own apartment in Europe, too. Lots of plants. Perhaps a dog. Definitely a coffee machine.

What's your favourite book, film and song?
I love the crime genre, but my favourite book is Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I have many favourite films. If I had to narrow them down, it would be Little Miss Sunshine, Matilda and the Harry Potter series (I'm a Slytherin). I'm also a sucker for early 2000s movies, so I love films like Bring It On, Ice Princess and the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. As for favourite song, I have too many. My favourite genre is rap, but I listen to Lana Del Rey and Taylor Swift a lot.

Where is your happy place?
There is no particular location, it's more of an atmosphere. Do you remember when you were little and you went to a sleepover? The fun part was watching movies with everyone and playing games, and when it was time for bed you'd trade secrets or share stories with your friends. I like an atmosphere like that. Where you feel safe, calm, and like the people around you are individuals who you can draw from. For motivation, positive energy and inspiration. If I had to choose an actual place, perhaps the beach. I enjoy being close to the ocean. There's nothing more beautiful than the ocean that stretches out so far into the unknown.

Check out Miah's personal blog:
and Instagram: @miah.keleigh


Thursday, 10 October 2019

30 Days To A Better You - The Starry Eyed Handbook

Ever feel like you want to achieve self-growth and personal development but don't know where to start or lack the motivation? This guide is perfect for you. For 30 days you will get a mini challenge that you can tick off when you've completed it. It's the perfect way to add mindfulness and positivity into your everyday routine. Click the link below for the pdf - print it out and stick it on your bedroom wall or stick the pages into a notebook!

You can document your journey on instagram using the hashtag #starryeyedcollective to get featured on our page and join a community of like-minded people!

Instagram: @starryeyedcollective
Facebook Page: Starry Eyed Collective


Monday, 7 October 2019

'GROWTH' - Editor's Letter

'Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still' 

I think this encompasses how I feel about growth. It doesn't have to be some insane, overnight transformation. Growth is a process, often a messy one at that. It won't be easy, but the reward makes it worth the struggle.

Species usually evolve when a disaster strikes, forcing them to adapt to this new environment. People often see failures as something negative, but to me it's the only way we can grow and learn essential life lessons. The times that I've grown the most are always when I've been stuck in a situation I'm not comfortable with.

Some people don't like change and I can totally relate to that - I seek comfort in familiarity. But when I think of who I was 5 years ago, 1 year ago or even last week, I realise how important it is. I know for a fact I wouldn't be the person I am today without the challenges and obstacles I faced along the way.

This issue is exploring all aspects of growth - spiritual, personal, mental etc. It's a celebration of how far we've all come and how far we still have to go. We're all a work in progress. If you feel stagnant in any aspect of your life, think about how you've changed for the better in the last 5 years. Make a list, write a poem, draw a picture - and send it in!

We have some great content lined up for the next couple of months, including heartfelt stories, incredible poems and new additions to the team. We'll also throw some fun articles out in between because as much as we all love an expressive article, it's hard to beat some more light-hearted content.

Read, enjoy and get involved! You can always email us with any enquires at

All the best,
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