Late Night Ramblings #3 - Friends Like These

Back in the school days of studying hard and gossiping harder, I was friends a group of girls. And when I say studied, most of the last two years of school were spent writing each other lengthy letters filled with code names for boys and planning nights out. So, mostly gossiping. We had nights out, befriending barmen, questionable outfit choices, making up fake names and taking thousands of photos. Most of which were before digital cameras were all the rage, so are hidden in a box that I take out every now and then for a giggle.

After those two years, we went our separate ways. Three to colleges across the country, and one to repeat sixth year. Spoiler - that lonely one left behind was me. Nights out became more infrequent, but still filled with laughs, drinks, barmen and gossip. Mostly, our friendship is limited to texting and Facebook. And Bebo, way back when Bebo was the "in" thing. Now, almost ten years down the line, relationships, breakups, two babies and many changes of location later, we're still friends. Granted, ones I don't see as much as I'd like, but friends none the less. 

These are the girls I've been singing McFly songs in the street with on our way out into town, laughed in the chipper with at the end of the night, visited for weekends in the cities they lived in, shared my precious cigarettes with, and took one too many photos in front of a Michael Collins print in a local bar. They're the ones that have seen my house in all it's untidy glory, and stayed for tea anyway. That dole out sympathy, laughs and advice in equal measures. Where we can make fun of our unfortunate dating past, and all the randoms we dated.

Friends like these are quite hard to come by. We all have busy lives, with work and babies and social lives. But they're the ones that I may not talk to for a week or two and know I can just pick up the phone and pick up where we left off. Friendships where time is not a factor, though texts after 12 are apparently strictly off limits. Where with most people I feel a bit awkward, a bit different, these girls have accepted me for who I am.

 My Boobs, my wifey and good old Chastity, I don't say it enough, but I love each and every one of you. You make me laugh, and cry with laughter. While we have all grown up and left those innocent school days, I still think we need a night of SingStar and vodka and stomping around the room. Lets make it happen.


Review // Mr Nutcase personalised iPhone case

Back in the warm and lovely month of May, I decided it was time to get a new phone case. The one I had was falling apart at the seams, and frankly, it just wasn't me. Red and white polkadots are all well and good, but I needed something more personal. Luckily, the lovely people over at Mr Nutcase offered me the chance to try out a custom iPhone case. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance.  Not having a working laptop at the time, and being too impatient to wait until the weekend to commandeer the boyfriends, I was pleasantly surprised to find it was super easy to design my own phone case from their mobile site. 

Mr Nutcase have so much to offer for a wide range of phone handsets. Firstly choosing whether you want a standard plastic case, or a leather flip one. Then, you can use one of the wide range of predesigned backgrounds, or opt for using your own images. While the readymade ones were lovely, the lure of using my own candid snaps was greater. As you can see, I opted for a collage, with eight Instagram-esque square photos. All you have to do is choose a layout, agonise over what images to use, decide whether you want to add text and clip art, and BAM! All done. My order was complete in minutes, even using my phone!

Having used this phone case for almost five months, I've been surprised at how well it's held up. Granted, the top corner is a little cracked, and the colours on all corners have slightly rubbed away, but it still looks really well for something that never comes out of my hand. Considering in the last two months my phone has had two bad falls, and has been for a toilet bowl swim, it's holding up really well. The case itself is fantastic, the quality of the photos is perfect, it's just like the photos I uploaded. I was afraid that the quality would be diminished by putting them on the cover, but thankfully that wasn't the case. The case has a lovely matte finish, so fingerprints smudging the photos aren't an issue either. With a curious toddler, that's certainly a plus!

Mr Nutcase really do cater for everyone, and better yet, they offer free international shipping so there are no hidden charges. While this case was sent to me for review, they usually retail at £14.95,  I think it's a really fair price for something of such good quality. I've been sorting through all my photos since I got my MacBook, so I think I'll be making another trip back to Mr Nutcase to order more phone covers for my parents as part of their Christmas presents. I'm sure they'd love some with Caelen on them too!

If you fancy getting your own mitts on a personalised Mr Nutcase phone case, you can get 10% off your purchase by using the code "thanku10" at the checkout. Just factor in enough time to browse through all your photos looking for those perfect ones to adorn your phone!

*Disclaimer - I was sent this product for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions are my own.


home improvements // a living room wishlist

I'll be living in this house a year later on this month. While I have done a bit to make this house a home for Caelen and myself, there's still a lot of room for improvement. Because I'm renting and have no idea how long I'll be living here, I don't want to pour a lot of money into a house that isn't technically mine. But, considering I'll be signing another twelve month lease shortly, I think it's time to really start putting my stamp on the place.
Starting with the living room, as it's our most used room. I want it to be cosy, but functional. A second, smaller, bookcase, for books and little knick knacks, and to take some weight off of my existing one. Some snuggly throws and squashy cushions, for those cosy winter nights in. A coffee table, for obvious reasons. Some mismatched frames and decor to add to the already eclectic collection. While I don't have a colour scheme per se, most of the room has hints of turquoise and purple, with splashes of red and pink. Since my new curtains are purple, I'm looking at picking out other hues to compliment the other colours in the room.
Living Room #1

I need more candles, as I've just used up the two large Yankee Candles I got for my birthday. I have my eye on some Flamingo Candles, in sugary sweet scents. After reading some reviews, the Parma Violet one sounds amazing! Or even a Jewel Candle, who doesn't want their house to smell good and get a sparkly treat too? My living room is quite long and narrow, and for some reason it only has one socket in the whole room. Some battery operated fairy lights would help to illuminate the other side of the room. As would a mirror up over the fireplace instead of the €3 canvas I bought just after moving in. A big old trunk to store some of Caelen's toys, which could also double as a play surface. That boy just loves lining all his cars up along the couch, which doesn't leave much room for sitting down!
living room #2

Obviously, along the way I'll be picking up more knick knacks and trinkets to add to my already sizeable collection of odds and ends. I usually don't plan these in advance, but rather pick them up as I see them. Once I get the larger items on this wish list, finding things to fill them will come easily. 
How do you make a rental feel more like home?


looking back

Let me start off this post with the song we sang at my secondary school graduation. It will make sense shortly. I promise. 

Today, I took a new route to work. Instead of walking through the centre of town, I decided to walk through the town park. This walk brings me right past my old secondary school. And it made me laugh. Walking towards the entrance, music blaring from my headphones, uniform on, scowling at the idea of being up so early, it was like I was transported back ten years.
Back then, I had an idea of where I wanted my life to go. College, "proper" job, money. I would have grown out of the clumsy, forgetful, shy teenager I was. I wanted to be a radio presenter, not having the face for TV. I wanted my voice to be heard. I had visions of this jet set older self, with sleek hair, manicured nails and a distinct lack of bruises.
But things change. Priorities shift. Life throws a curveball or two. And it made me realise, just because I'm not doing what I expected I would be as a naive teen, does it really matter? Do I really mind that my voice isn't as loud as others? That I didn't finish college? That I never gave myself the chance to travel the world?
I used to meet my old teachers regularly in my old job. I remember the first time I met each of them, when they'd ask me how I was and what I was doing. I'd get embarrassed when explaining I had dropped out of college and I was working full time in a supermarket. But now I realise I needn't have been. It wasn't the path I had initially chose for myself, but one that has worked out well for me. And things could have been a lot worse.
So, Life, whatever you have to throw at me, I'm ready. I've grown up a lot in the last ten years. I know who I am now. I may not still be that schoolgirl I was back then, but there's still a lot of her left in me. My hair is still unruly. I'm forever sporting a bruise or ten. I'm still more than a little bit shy. I had never imagined myself being a mother, never mind being a single parent. I never thought I'd be happy in a job like mine, but it's fun, and enjoyable, and I've met some great people. I still have dreams, though most of them are closer to home now. Instead of travelling the world, I'll settle for some family holidays. 
And I got to work today and realised I'd forgotten to wear a bra. Some things don't change at all.

Five on Friday #3

The last week has completely flown by, and before I knew it, it was Friday again. Which means yet another roundup of things of read or lusted after online in the last seven days. My usual irregular posting will start up again sometime soon. Promises, promises.

I've been looking for a good pinafore for the colder months, and I finally think I've found The One from Mod Dolly. I love the muted colours of the tartan, and it's got pockets! What more do you need? I think I'll have to make a cheeky little purchase once my bills are paid!

This heart warming post from Becky Bedbug made me smile. It's lovely to see people proclaiming their love for their families, so reading this really made me smile. It makes me think about all those times I should tell those close to me how I feel. I tell my parents I love them, but not so much my brothers and grandparents. It really does give you something to think about.

This story of how someone's dad tried to print a YouTube video completely cracked me up. It reminds me of something my own dad would try to do. He's forever ringing me with questions about his laptop, like asking how many spaces he'd need to get to the next line when sending an email. Let's not talk about the time I texted my poor boyfriend asking him how to copy and paste something. I was having one of those days!

I've been spending quite a lot of time on Pinterest recently, trying to decide how to decorate the house for Christmas. The part of me that loves to do things the hard way has decided that lots of crochet is in order, including making at least twenty of these little pretties to make a garland. You can find the pattern on Ravelry here.

Since Halloween is just around the corner, I've been busy costume planning. Since Toy Story is still a big thing in this house, I've been looking at costumes along those lines. But boy, are they expensive! I'm thinking a DIY costume might be more up my alley... I'm actually a sucker for punishment, giving myself yet more DIY work! This one is pretty impressive, and there's no fiddly sewing involved. That's a win in my book!