27/07/2015

Blogging // What my blog means to me

Over the years, I've read a thousand and one posts about blogging. I think everyone with an interest in having, or maintaining, a blog has. But, I decided to throw my two cents into the pot for good measure.
For me, blogging is a hugely personal thing. Even the most simple of my posts have some sort of a personal aspect to them. I know, I know, I tend to overshare. Sue me. I rarely post reviews, or have flashy products showcased on my blog. Usually, it's just me, my little boy, and my crafts. A diary, of sorts, of things I've done and places I've been to, with a smattering of feelings and thoughts thrown in for good measure.
I'm not looking for fame and glory. I don't want to be the next Zoella. Even if no one reads my posts, bar my super supportive boyfriend, they will always be there as a reminder of the last few years. 
Through this little blog, and the one I used to have before this one, I've met some wonderful people. Girls, and guys, that I now regard as friends. I've had some pretty cool opportunities come my way. I've regained some of the confidence I'd lost over the years.
I want to stay true to myself. I want to blog about what's happened in my life, without sugar coating. Too many times, I've read someone's blog, and realised that there was more to things behind the story they were telling. In fact, I used to do this all the time on my old blog, rather than face the fact things were going pear shaped in real life. While I do agree that some things need to be kept private, I don't want readers to have to try to read between the lines.

At the end of the day, however, this blog is just a hobby. Something I feel I can come to when I want to write, and not feel guilty when I don't post. I don't want this to become a space I feel is mandatory in my life. While I do enjoy posting pretty regularly, I don't want it to be the be all and end all. But, really, there's nothing like lounging on a comfy bed, surrounded by notebooks filled with thoughts and ideas, and writing a post or two.

Through keeping Inked Hibiscus alive for the last year, I've learned a lot. I'm really bad at routines. I want to learn how to take better photographs. I like people, some of them quite a lot. I like having this little space, long may it continue.

To everyone that pops in, thank you. I appreciate it all, and it makes this little hobby of mine even more special.

21/07/2015

Three Things

1. It's no secret I love taking pictures of Caelen. Granted, my photos are less than stellar, but every now and then, I take one that I'm insanely happy with. Like this one for instance. Having a little helper while taking photos for this post, turned into a mini photoshoot with my little love. He's gone from someone who ran from the camera (just like his mama there), to asking me to take his photo. And look at the little poser, he makes my heart melt!

2. Today, in a moment of madness, I signed up for a new ladies soccer team. Apart from a brief stint last year where I wanted to take up running - and even tried it for a few weeks before giving up - , and a couple of 30 Day Shred efforts, I haven't done any exercise since primary school, back when I was eleven. I've been saying for a while I wanted to get fitter, and I'm hoping that by training with other people I'll stick with it. We have our first training session on Thursday evening, and I'm terrified already. Why did I think this was a good idea? Keep an eye on my Instagram and Snapchat (both "inkedhibiscus") to keep up with my terror!

3. I've been feeling quite content recently, which is probably the main reason I've felt like blogging again. I find that when I'm down, or stressed, I don't want to write, for fear of getting too personal. But sometimes, you have to take yourself aside, and push away those negative vibes. I've been feeling a lot more positive, reminding myself that what will happen, will happen. A scrub down of the whole house, rearranging the cupboards, and buying pretty blooms make everything seem brighter, even if the weather isn't cooperating. 


20/07/2015

DIY Costume - The Comic Book

I have a love/hate relationship with costumes. I love them, but they cost so much, and everyone ends up looking exactly the same. Not ideal when you have a love of crafts and standing out. A couple of weeks ago, Tommie and I got invited to a costume party, exactly a week before my friends wedding. With that in mind, I had to find the cheapest costume in the world. 
With a superhero theme for the night, I racked my brain for ideas. Ever since I was young, I've loved dressing up, and making my own or customising costumes. I searched Pinterest for homemade costume ideas, before realising that all of the female superhero/villians wore short, skintight costumes. No thank you!
But what to all these characters have in common? Yep, they are all in comic books. And there was my costume right there. I was going to go as a comic book, in some shape or form. Keeping costs to a minimum, I decided to wear a little black dress that I've had in the wardrobe for years, and to focus on accessories.

I decoupaged an old pair of shoes, with some PVA glue from my craft stash and a roll of Marvel wrapping paper for €1.50 in Penneys (Primark). I had started by cutting all the figures out individually, before getting frustrated and hacking up basic squares after a couple of minutes. Three coats, with a generous dollop of PVA between each layer to keep everything together, and a quick run around the edges with an Xacto knife once dry, and they were done.
The headband was slightly more time consuming. Having seen similar ones on Etsy, I reckoned it would be easier to make my own. A cheap hairband, again €1.50 from Penneys, and a bundle of felt I had knocking around were all that was needed. I freehanded the pattern on to some paper, before cutting it all out and pinning it to the corresponding felt. A quick stitch, and cursing my lack of sewing skillz, it came together quite quickly.
Unfortunately, just as I was putting the finishing touches to my costume by deciding whether I needed a matching bag or not, we were told the costume aspect of the party was being scrapped. Guess who gets to have a superhero themed birthday next month? Only the luckiest soon-to-be three year old ever!
 

17/07/2015

Feeling Lucky - My 1st Years

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to win a competition. For those of you who know me, you'll understand how unusual that is. I never, ever, win anything. Apart from the pizza vouchers I won last week... I think I'm on a roll here. Guess who's dreaming of winning Ed Sheeran tickets next?

The prize was my choice of cuddly toy and fabric basket from My 1st Years. Knowing a handful of people due babies in the coming months, I had intended on choosing neutral items. I had grand plans of putting together a hamper, including the items I had won.

After much deliberation, I chose the Jellycat Bashful Silver Bunny and the Chevron Print Storage Bag. However, when they arrived and I opened up the distinctive Tiffany blue, I decided we couldn't  possibly part with them.

The softest bunny I ever did meet, Caelen has christened the Bashful bunny Flopsy, and he's currently tucked up in bed with him. A flurry of excitement when I opened the box, he insisted on showing him to his nana and great-grandmother as soon as possible. While I was half hoping that Caelen wouldn't fall in love with him, so I could keep him for myself, it's pretty cute to see him rubbing his cheeks off of its soft fur. Tonight, I brought him and Flopsy (not forgetting Jasper the dog!) to bed, and read to him from his Peter Rabbit book. You know, keeping a theme for the night.

The storage bag is bigger than I expected. I had envisioned something a lot smaller when I was on the website, so I was pleasantly surprised. However, if I had realised that we would be keeping them, I would have chosen the navy star storage bag, to fit in with Caelen's Toy Story themed room. I have grand plans of having the spare (read: junk) room sorted out as a guest room by the end of the summer, so it will be perfect to pop some extra blankets and treats for the next person to have an overnight stay here.

Even though these items were a competition prize, it doesn't sway what I thought of the items. In fact, I've been known to trawl through the My 1st Years website, dreaming of what I would buy when I get the money. I mean, food and bills have to be paid first, right? Sigh.

13/07/2015

Thoughts I Had Watching "Jurassic World"

In no real particular order. Because lazy. And we watched it super late last night. And now its all jumbled together in my brain. I guess I should also say it contains spoilers, if you're more afraid of them than you are dinosaurs.

- How long do I have to wait before I see Chris Pratt?

- Should I have seen more than the first movie before watching this one? I don't like getting confused.

- Where's Chris Pratt? The only real reason I'm watching this.

- Seeing a dinosaur hatch from an egg means that no one learnt anything from their mistakes. But then that would mean there would only have been one movie I guess...

- That's a fine head of hair that young fella has.

- Is that other young fella Brooklyn Beckham? Not that I know what he looks like.... It is, isn't it? (It wasn't.)

- Chris Pratt is the raptor alpha? Ah, he could be my alpha any day.

- I don't like that army guy. He's too smarmy.

- I want a pet raptor after this. You know, once Chris Pratt came along to train it for me. And then hold me if I got scared. You better believe I'd be scared.

- Who's yer wan with the all white safari-esque suit? She looks familiar. Kind of.

- I want to go to a dinosaur petting zoo.

- Nick from New Girl, NICK FROM NEW GIRL! Not a fan of the face fuzz though.

- Creating new breeds of dinosaur. Because that sounds pure safe like. Little bit of this. Little bit of that. Doesn't sound like a disaster waiting to happen at all.

- Indominus Rex? That's a shite name for a dinosaur.

- He's got some super long arms. He didn't get them from the T Rex DNA, that's for sure. I wonder what else she's made out of?

- Damn. Dinosaurs are smarter than me.

- Obviously the guy with the gimpy leg will get eaten. Obviously.

- Is she actually wearing heels running through the jungle?

- "She's hunting for sport". I really thought it was going to come out that the Indominus Rex was going to be part human at this stage.

- Did that guy really just scamper off with a couple of margheritas?

- Someone get that dinosaur off of my future husband Chris Pratt!

- Someone tell that idiot man that dinosaurs have feelings. Don't pit them against one another.

- Telling a bunch of kids nothing will get in the van, means SOMETHING WILL GET IN THE VAN. Has no one ever seen a movie before? It's like a basic rule.

- They can communicate with each other??? (I was told this was in one of the other million Jurassic Park movies. It was pretty new information to me. I should probably watch them at some stage.)

- Wait a minute, the raptors are talking to the Indominus Rex? You know what that means?!? No more Alpha Pratt.

- So, there's loads of dinosaurs chasing you? Great time to stop and stare into a couple of tanks with snakes and stuff in them, yeah?

- Surely you'd hear a massive dinosaur before it was literally on top of you?

- WHAT'S IN PADDOCK 9???

- I KNEW IT!

- LET THE BATTLE COMMENCE!

- Don't die now, T Rex!

- Well, that was a poor finale. Totally saw that one coming.

- Ugh, I don't want to watch the love story part. I came here for the dinosaurs after all.

- So, have the dinosaurs taken over again, roaming around the island? Where are the people? I'm smelling another movie....


 

08/07/2015

Reflection

When I was younger, and something bothered me, I used to write. Hours and hours were spent scrawling my feelings in notebooks and journals until I lost sight of what was bothering me. While I don't have the luxury of endless hours to spend writing now, I still feel the need to reflect on certain things in my life now.

Sometimes, when I need a moment of quiet reflection, to clear my head, to wait until anger dissapates, I head to my local park. It's not grand by any means, but it is well tended, with a beautiful array of flowers. I have a special bench that I like to go to, and listen to the sounds around me.


The rushing water of the fountain in the distance. Birds chirping overhead. People out jogging, their footsteps creating a beat as they pass. Children laughing in the playground, some bit away. The nearby church bell tolling, reminding me that I don't have long here. 

Sometimes, I feel like I would like to live somewhere so vast, with no one around. I enjoy the fleeting solitude, the quiet. I feel at peace.

Here, I can leave my worries and fears at the gate, if only briefly. They are always there, though, waiting for my return to the real world.

A few days ago, between appointments and sun showers, I visited this quiet place of mine. Sitting for a while, I watched the tourists stroll around, stopping here and there to smell the roses. An elderly priest on a bench nearby, reading, lifting his head to greet anyone that passed. A group of children running down the path to the playground, frazzled woman in tow. A dog, chasing a stick. Nothing to worry me, no one to bother me.

This is where I can think rationally, without the distraction of home life. There's no Caelen looking for a treat, or phones ringing, or Tommie asking if I want tea. All there is, is background noise. 

I sit, and I write. I write about what's bothering me, and I think of solutions. Within a couple of minutes, I feel better. And that, I think, is the most important.