I don’t usually share when it’s my birthday online, but seeing as today is a bit different as I’m now IN MY THIRTIES, I figured now would be the best time to buy some obnoxious balloons and write about it.

I’m not worried about turning 30. I’m actually quite looking forward to it. Most of my 20’s were spent worrying about what other people thought and doing what other people expected of me. In the past year I’ve notice my priorities change and I’ve started doing things I want to do and what’s the best for me [politely, of course]. It’s probably what most people consider a normal level of self esteem, but I for one am looking forward to feeling a bit more confident in my decisions. Dare I say, attempting to adult. 

For the day that it is, I thought it might be fun to share 30 random things you may not know about me. Fun, or it’s boring. Terribly, terribly boring. You be the judge …

– When I was 15 I had my nose broken at my brothers baseball game, needed surgery and had to wear a cast on my face for a month [you can hear more about it here].

– There’s only one thing that terrifies me; ET.

– I was on the grooms side of my friends wedding in high school.

– In high school I gave myself a smilie piercing, but had to take it out for said friends wedding and then it healed over. Welp.

– I was a dental hygienist assistant and a dental assistant in my teens. I know how to extract a tooth with the least amount of bleeding.

– 98% of my friends throughout the years in high school were guys. I think I have them to thank for my potty mouth, nothings-off-topic sense of humour and the inability to understand makeup, fashion or traditionally girly things to this day.

– I graduated high school on the Ontario Honour Roll. Meaning, my overall average was above 80%.

– I was the biggest Lord of the Rings nerd in my teens. I made costumes, wore them in public and wrote in Elvish.

– When I moved to Ireland at 18 I had no friends so I passed the time by teaching myself Russian, playing The Sims and walking to the library.

– The first conversation I had with Robert when we first met was I taught him how to say hello in Russian [“zdra-stvu-ee-tyay”].

– We met at a cinema where we both worked [in the Blanchardstown Centre]. He was 18 and I was 20.

– Seven years later, we honeymooned in St. Petersburg, Russia.

– While talking to my grand-aunt at our wedding I found out my grandmother always wanted to go to Russia. It makes sense as my dad [and subsequently I] have Russian names.

– I have a crippling fear of heights. Even standing on a chair terrifies me.

– People always think I’m a vegetarian. I guess I just look like one?

– I’ve been approached to work on television a handful of times in the past year, but have politely declined. I just can’t. Yet. We’ll see. I’m getting ballsier.

– I can wiggle my ears.

– I’m becoming more introverted as I get older and realise it’s perfectly okay to stay at home. As Anna Dorfman perfectly puts it, “I don’t have social anxiety on the Internet.

– I used to have two microdermal implants in my chest. I nearly fainted getting them, would get them caught on everything and they got infected many times [sorry], but I loved them. Unfortunately, my skin eventually rejected them.

– I’ve never been able to spell ‘definately’. I just can’t.

– I have an ultraviolet tattoo the length of my left forearm that can only be seen under a black light.

– I’m not afraid of insects or ‘creepy crawlies’. I’ve caught wasps with my hands to rescue distressed men, and once [when I was getting said black light tattoo] rescued a snake that got out of its cage in the tattoo studio. A grown man covered in tattoos basically standing on his chair in fear.

– Hypodermic needles make me faint. Every. Time.

– To date the only sectors I haven’t worked in is the military and agriculture. I’ve worked in everything else. The health sector, child care, education, security, laboratories, food preparation, hospitality, animal services, publishing, construction etc. I could go on but this post is already quite long [that’s what she said].

– My hair is naturally blonde. I dye it every 5 weeks otherwise I look like a skunk.

– I’ve always been fascinated with darker things. I was never a princess or anything pretty for Halloween; I was always something that involved a black wig. Now I have one permanently attached to my head.

– I’ve had pneumonia three times and swine flu once.

– I have a lot of anxieties about things I can do nothing about. At the moment I think a lot about over population and over consumption. It’s where my mind goes when it’s idle.

– I can move my eyes independently of each other.

– If I wasn’t involved with interior design, I’d probably be working in astrophysics or the likes. The only thing stopping me is going to university full time.

And there you have it! 30 completely pointless points about me. I don’t know about you if you’re also 30, but I don’t feel anywhere close to it. Maybe just a slightly more responsible 18 year old, but definately not 30. I can barely adult.

I’m going to finish this now as I have cake to attend to and a messy afternoon planned with family. See you on the other side! xx

You’ve got mail

A couple of weekends ago Robert and I planned a trip to the Merchants Market on the East Wall road. It’s a behemoth of an indoor market full of thrifty stalls of all shapes and sizes, overflowing with the weirdest and most wonderful of things. For example, I distinctly remember finding an industrial size tub of used Vaseline for sale during one particular outing. 

Unfortunately, once we arrived we were told the market was no longer. Giant, undiluted ugly crying face. All was not lost as we were diverted to a single stall remaining in the adjacent building, so we of course went in for a snoop. A few minutes in what did Robert spy? This Canadian post bag hanging from a curtain rod. I had to have it. Then I did that thing where I say to myself “hmm, maybe I’ll leave it and think about it“, but the thought of coming back and it being gone was too horrible a thought.

I attempted some atrocious bargaining [I am painfully awkward at it, therefore rarely do it], but I managed to get 10 euro off. For me, that is a small and awkward victory. Some might say 25 euro for a post bag is a bit steep, but please keep in mind I was too floored by finding a bit of Canada in Dublin. 

When I got home I attempted to do a bit of research to see if it was a legit mail bag or not. Unfortunately, not much showed up in regards to history behind this style, but I did find this same style 1964 Canada Post bag on Flickr [and also this picture of a similar bag in action]. So I’m claiming it’s legit, but from where in Canada, I don’t know. There are no other markings on it.  

One thing I’m curious about is, and it’s going to sound dumb, but do I wash it? I personally love the way it looks and I’m planning on hanging it in our hallway so I don’t mind it’s current condition. But I mean it is a little scruffy. It’s vintage. It doesn’t smell or feel gross, so I kind of feel like washing it would lessen it? One thing’s for sure, Toshi thoroughly inspected it before it was hung up … 

You can see mine and Emily‘s trip to Merchant’s Market 2 years ago here, back when my site was called ‘Hydrangea Girl’ and I had no fringe. 

DIY Friday – travel pet pillows

Around this time last year when we were away on holidays, I shared a little picture of the pet travel pillows I made especially for us to bring with us since we’re crazy cat people to our core and really miss little Juniper and Toshi while we’re away. I figured being able to smoosh our faces into poor replicas of them would stave off a small amount of home sickness whenever we’re away. And since we’ve brought them with us 3 times since, it actually works!

And here’s how I did it …

Last year when I made these travel pet pillows, I had taken photos of each step, but when I went through my external hard drive I couldn’t find a single picture. So apologies for the lack of tutorial photos. It’s a fairly straight forward project anyways, and I’ll try to explain as best as I can how I did it. 

I first photographed Juniper and Toshi on their own, in good light, making sure they were facing me and being their cute selves. I opened each photo in Photoshop [or the Linux equivalent ‘Gimp’] and traced around them using the paint tool set to white. I carefully did this and coloured out the rest of the photo until the entire photo was white, with the exception for each fur baby. 

I saved each image as a jpgon a USB key and went to one of those gift kiosks in a local shopping centre that specialises in printing images onto objects. They printed Juniper and Toshi onto a square pillow each. As these were going to be travel pillows and the smaller they are the better, I sewed the pillow closer to the silhouettes of each cat and filled them with extra stuffing I had. That’s it really! 
We bring our travel pet pillows every time we’re away from home. Even during our Christmas holidays when we’re staying down the road with family for a few days, our pillowed kittens come with us too. As crazy as it sounds, it’s a little ritual we now have to take Juniper and Toshi out when we first get to our hotel and squeeze them a bit. 
Husband even has a few sneaky photos of me passed out, face mask on with a kitten pillow under each arm for every holiday we’ve been on since I made them. And no, you won’t find those pictures hitting the internet any time soon. Sorry 😉