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Saturday, 26 January 2013

This is the DAY

So let's see.. my last post was 19th June. So that would make it a 7 month sabbatical for me then?! Saying that, this could just be a short blip in a continuing departure from the blogosphere, i.e. I'm not promising anything. But hey, where the wind takes you...

So life update: I've done the whole Madagascar shabang, the dissertation, the graduation, my 23rd, 2012 altogether. Kapeesh. And yes, it was great. I'm really not up for a big ol' catch up though.

Right now I'm back in rainy (and/or snowy), police ridden (seriously, I saw 20 armored police vans in a row outside my work today) Belfast, living the high life of post-university. Ahah.. yah it sucks. But hey, what's life without a bit of debt and despair. I've got a bit of shop work to keep some carrots in the fridge and bread in the cupboard (factual insight: it keeps better in the cupboard than the fridge, who knew?!) so I'm not quite pickpocketing yet. Job wise it has been hard going - especially around Christmas the recruitment cupboards were bare. It's picking up now, but it's hard work sometime seeing these awesome opportunities in London, and something vaguely appropriate in Belfast.. which I'll be lucky if I'll even get a physical rejection letter for, rather than stoney silence. Aaahhh YEAH recession, you so great!

I'll admit I've been a bit of a glum hippo. I know January isn't a fanfair for most people, especially gloomy blue monday. The ironic thing is, by my estimate, blue monday was about the time I started feeling better about things. Something about me has changed this week. This wasn't all a ploy to get all preacher-sista on you, but I read a verse in a book earlier this week, and it shook me up. It's not even that crazy or mindblowing, and it's kinda similar to what I've been trying to tell myself. I guess Big G just says it better.

"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

I just read that.. and it seemed so simple. Now I find myself waking up and running it through my head every morning. It helps me get up and go, make something of my day, get productive, then earn my rest in the evening. And most of all, start with a quiet time. Man, I cannot believe what a difference that makes to my day. It's like one time when I was skeptical about a friend's antideppresent medication, and whether it was just a placebo effect. She explained it to me that she would find herself feeling sad and then realise that she hadn't taken her medication that morning, rather than take the pills and then float into happyville. That's what it's like for me - I notice if I haven't done it. And when I do, suddenly I feel like a happy diplodocus.. then I figured, hey you know what's changed? I chilled with Jesus this morning! Yeah I know if you're not a Christian you're gonna be all whaaaaaaaat, but I'm just layin down my personal truth for y'all! Take it or leave it, know what I'm sayiin.

Peace! x

loveeee winnie the pooh

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Arty Tuesdays: Streetwise

A few weeks ago my friends Cam and Rach came over to NI for a long weekend, it was pretty great! We had free VIP tickets to a Keith and Kristen Getty concert which was sa-weet. Also went up North for an attempted surf trip, although sadly, despite a good surf report, you would have found bigger waves in a puddle. So, we resorted to sand dune surfing! A new life skill acquired. 

The girls wanted to do a tour of Belfast too, but the organised ones were pretty long and expensive. So I took them for a walking tour of the Falls and Shankill. Apparently this was a very brave idea, but we didn't feel threatened.. except at one point when we were the victims of a water bomb on the Falls! The difference between the Cath/Prot areas were super noticeable seeing as it was the Jubilee. Although we didn't see any of the big murals, there are lots of smaller ones all over the place. I really like a bit of successful street art, brightens up the concrete! Inspired today's post. Here's some I found from all over the world.

How could this not make you happy to walk up every day?! We should have more happy steps like this.

David Walker
I love this mix of colour

Julian Beever
Plays with perspectives in order to make a picture look like this..

Julian Beever
...When it actually looks like this! 

Julian Beever

Little details, they feel like a secret reward when you find them

Must have been stealthy to do this one

Uysal Mehmet-Ali
So clever!

Cardboard houses.. seriously good effort


Scott Wade
Who knew a dusty car could look so good?!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Made In Belfast

So my masters course is coming to an end - just tonight I finished my last bit of coursework (EIA & SEA Law: delightful!). On Thursday I leave for England, and on the 20th I'm Africa bound. It's hard to believe it's come up so fast! 

Connor and I had a nice semi-celebration/temporary-farewell meal out on Friday at a place I've been dying to get to - 'Made In Belfast'. Bit of a hipster hang-out with quirky decor and great food ethics (local, organic, free range.. just my cup of tea!). 

There are two restaurants, we went to the City Hall one. I wore my new dress, which I love because 1) It's nice and 2) It was meant to be £31 but we took it to the till and found out it had an unmarked discount - down to £15 (and even less with student discount). Win! 


Red Onion & Goat's Cheese Focaccia, Basil Pesto, Aioli [posher/nicer version of mayonnaise] & Oil

Delicious, and a perfect portion amount. BTW, I copied these dish descriptions from the website.. just to avoid appearing too pretentious...


C: 8oz beef burger, Fivemiletown Cheddar, sunblushed tomotoes, basil and walnut pesto, salad, and beef fat chips

J: Lissara confit of duck with skinny fries and fennel, orange and hazelnut salad with a honey and mustard dressing

Seemed like quite an odd mix of flavours, but it was really great.


C: White chocolate & raspberry choc pot, popping candy & raspberry sorbet
J: Banoffee Pie

Both quite nice but too sweet to finish. 

Overall, I would say it's one of my favourite restaurants!

Final Scores

J: 8.5 [slight reduction for less impressive desserts]
C: 7.5 [0.5 reduction due to long wait for bill]

By the way, do you like my nails?! No.7 Pearly Pink adding a little sparkle to a regular french mani! 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Arty Tuesdays: Jubes

Well, there really couldn't have been any other theme for this tues. Hope you have all had a jolly good jube and have been getting all patriotic, I know I have! I had a jubillee sleepover with friends, we watched the concert last night then saw the service etc today, before heading to Banbridge to catch a glimpse of the Olympic Torch. All in all feeling very proud to be GB! Long live Liz!

Alison Fennell
I would definitely have this on my wall.

New street artist on the.. street. I like!

How do you interpret this? I see: 'the UK - built on Sweatshops'. Which is why I buy fairtrade.

Colin Ruffell
Lovely amount of detail

Maggie Hookings
Just great! I want one.

Phil Tufnell(!)
Loving this effect! Proves anyone can be an artist.

Terry Woodvine
A portrait made out of Sterling notes. Cool effect but we all know you can't put a price on the Queen, she's priceless! 

Now - go watch the Jubillee Concert. So good. Esp 'Let it Be'.. has to be one of the best songs ever.

Hope you all had a happy and glorious day!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Arty Tuesdays: People Watching

I've been having a lovely week in the sunshine. It really makes me very happy. 
I like people watching when the sun comes out. There's so many more people about and they tend to be wearing much more interesting outfits. And everyone just takes on this chilled out, loungey persona and splay themselves about grassy areas. If you invest in a good pair of sunnies it's even better - no one can tell you are watching them. Creeeeeepppy. But effective.

By the way having a bit of a re-jiggy with my blog-o so sorry if it's a little messy. Just mixing things abouts a bits.

Daniel Kornrumpf
Embroidered geek, yes.

Fab Ciraolo
Nice colours and clean detail.

Mark Powell
I like the combination of old people, old sepia envelopes and black and white. Nostalgic.

Michele Del Campo
Something about the style of these paintings is pleasing to me. Maybe the texture/tone of the skin.

This is a pencil drawing. Yes really.

Steve Payne
There's a whole series of these type pictures. I think they're great. 

Zach Johnsen
A different kind of portrait!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Arty Tuesdays: Colour

For a while now I've been planning on giving my blog a bit more substance, rather than just blabbering on about my little life all the time. A lot of the blogs I enjoy are about design/DIY/creativity. I have lots of artsy people in my family and it's definitely in my genes. Art was one of my best subjects at school and I did half expect to go down that route in life. But the way it was taught at school just made me sick to death of it, and I kind of thought I'd like to keep it as a hobby rather than a chore, and get a "proper" degree under my belt. I don't do a whole lot of drawing nowadays, but I'm trying to get inspired again. So I hope to make 'Arty Tuesdays' a regular feature!

With Summer coming, I am loving all the colour that is coming back into life at the moment. It's good to see green back on the trees and yellow in the sky! So I thought I'd theme this Tuesday 'colour'. Hope it brightens your day!

Andrew McGibbon
Beautiful, crazy, messy photography!

Gabriel Moreno
I love the mix of black and white and colour, and the more neutral tones against the brighter ones

Gabriel Moreno
Seems like the colour is leaking out of her skin

Lovely tones. And I love a detailed picture like this.

The white space left blank makes this picture for me

Nielly Françoise
I've never been great at big bold paintings, these big  fat brush strokes make me wish I was!

Alice X Zhang
This is just stunning. Love the mix of blurriness against the accurate facial detail

This makes my head hurt a little but I couldn't not put it in. I really like the perfectly clean line between the two.

Zach Johnsen
I feel ya Zach! Let out a bit of colour when life gets mundane!

Zach Johnsen
Liking the splashes of colour with the tie and coffee on this one

Zach Johnsen
Nice composition

Which do you like best?
J x

Saturday, 19 May 2012

All things bright and beautiful

My adventure of the week was a trip to the Balmoral Show with my lovely housemate Melissa, who is a Balmoral veteran and expert guide! We had contacts on the inside and got in free, saving us £15 each :)

Even with the rain it was a great day!

We got to see lots of animals and get a ton of free samples in the food section. Also saw some show jumping and sheep shearing, got some fish n chips and took a browse around the country folk shops (Joules was not to be missed!)

William Whittaker showjumping





Sheep Shearing competition!




I also went to visit my friend Ruth's farm (well it's not hers but whatev). And got to hand feed this beautiful sheepie! 

Been spending time with two of my favourite boys in the sun also...

Animals are great!