22 Jul 2011

Hotty But Notty: Manchán Magan

Hotty But Notty(Part 15): Manchán Magan

I must admit that I had to Google this guys name. It's been a few years since I've had a tv but I was in my parents house this weekend and saw an ad for one of Magan's travel shows and remembered that I used to love his programs. I noted a reminder to Google the TG4 guy with the glasses to figure out who he was for this post.
When I did have a tv I did watch TG4 quite a lot, not because I'm any good at speaking Irish, but because they usually have good quality documentaries, I'm one of those people who has to read the subtitles for my own native language. Manchan and his brother Ruan have made intelligent travel shows for TG4 for the past 10 years and also did a show No Bearla where he travelled around Ireland speaking only As Gaeilge.

Manchan speaks about the interesting obstacles  he came across in this journey in an article for The Guardian. I was shocked to read that people became aggressive when he tried using Irish. I fit into the category of being ashamed that I can't speak any Irish after learning it in school from the age of 4. If I listen carefully I can usually piece together a meaning, but i become totally tongue tied when I've to speak Irish. John is a Gaeilgeoir as he went to a Irish speaking primary school, he doesn't have much opportunity to use his language skills, but he relishes it when he does. If and when I have kids I would love to send them to a Gaelscoil, as I would want my kids to have a love of our language rather that it being rammed down their throats. I hated Irish in school, not because I couldn't understand why we were learning it, but because I hated being bad at something.

Manchán definitely fits into my nerdier category of 'hotty', he is someone that you need to watch and listen to to see why he is so attractive. Someone who approaches what they do with that level of enthusiasm is always shines more that just a pretty face. He also reminds me of one of my other Hotty or Notty's Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall.

19 Jul 2011

Busy Season

The next couple of weeks are going to be really hectic as I'm preparing for the Dublin Horse Show. I'll be selling there with Avaluk craft shop who I've been selling with in Kilkenny for a few years(this link goes to her facebook page where you can get update of all the different Irish handcrafrs that she sells). This is the first time I'll be doing a fair in the RDS and I've heard they are crazy busy. I have to bring as much stock as I can humanly make over the next couple of weeks, which means lots of LONG days in the studio sewing away while listening to my audiobooks. It will mostly be clothes that I'm working on but I'll also make a range of accessories to sell too. This blog will either die over the next while or I'll just post very brief photo updates of what I'm up to.
So ta ra for now and I'll see you on the other side!

15 Jul 2011

Hotty But Notty: David Krumholtz


My first memory of seeing David Krumholtz was in the second Adams Family film which I saw in my tweens, and I fell in love with him a little bit. I definitely prefer the floppy haired stubbly version of him rather than the greasy slicked back hair look. While trying to get photos for this post it was a little hit and miss I must admit, but when he is looking dishevelled he is rather yummy looking.

He is mostly known for his role in the crime series Numb3rs, which I've only ever seen a few episodes of but I like his character, crime fighting mathematician, silly sound I know but it's kinda fun.

14 Jul 2011

New Cards

Here are some new cards that I was working on this week. It's not often that I remember to take pictures of the cards as usually they are packed up asap to go on the stall. To see more go to this facebook album.

13 Jul 2011

Mooncup Review

Warning: If you are squeamish about hearing about periods and all related details then stop reading this now, don't blame me you have been warned!

As any of you who read this blog regularly know I've made loads of lifestyle changes over the past 2 months and it's not just about my food. I now wear salt crystal deodorant, use a wooden toothbrush, use all eco friendly household cleaners, have eco balls instead of detergent in my laundry, got a remineraliser filtration system instead of drinking tap water, to name but a few of changes.

I've recently gotten to know the lovely Claire who runs her business Eco Brats, which offers ecologically sound alternatives to raising a baby, selling a range of cloth nappies, organic cotton soft furnings, and natural fiber mattresses. She has a stall at the Milk Market at the weekends and I was browsing through all the amazing products she has at her stall, but since I have no kids I don't have much use for most of them. It was during one of these chats that I spotted that she sells Mooncups at her stall, something I had heard of before in Eats of Eden( local health food shop). It's an eco friendly alternative to using tampons, a silicone cup that you can reuse. I had been toying with the idea of getting on for a while but it was great to actually ask Claire about the nitty gritty and get answers to all the questions a manual just doesn't answer. In the spirit of all my recent changes I decided to buy one, they are less than €30, which is very reasonable when you consider one Mooncup lasts for years, and costs the same as the average woman will spend on disposable protection in three months.
I had to wait for a couple of weeks before I could use it, but my period arrived this weeks so I can finally report on my new adventure. Having used tampons for years I thought the process would be fairly similar, but there is a folding technique that took me a few tries before I could master it. I'm glad the first time I tried it I was at home, as I may have found it a little daunting in a public toilet. The key is to stay calm,to not get flustered, ie. relax the muscles and everything will go smoothly. It's worn much lower down that a tampon, as you can see here in the diagram, which was a little strange the first time I wore it. Also the first time I removed it it was a little sore, but I just wasn't doing it properly, I would recommend reading the manual twice. Despite all the changes after just 2 days I'm a total convert and I don't think I'll go back to using tampons.

The Mooncup is ideal for me as it hold 3 times more liquid than a tampon, which is great as I suffer from very heavy periods. The cup can be worn for 4-8 hours before you need to empty it. On my first day I used it for 6 hours whereas normally I would have only gotten 3  hours use from a tampon. This also means that you can use it overnight without worrying about leakages, sorry to be gross but it happens to everyone and it's a really pain in the ass! Also with a Mooncup there is no danger of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) as there is no absorbancy, so the body doesn't react adversely.Weighing up the financial benefit, the environmental kudos, the added comfort due to being able to use it for longer I'm starting to wonder why this isn't a more mainstream product. It would be nice to see this advertised on t.v and magazines instead of the disposable counterpart.

Here is a really handy Q&A if you are thinking of getting one.

12 Jul 2011

Sweet Clothes Shopping!

It seems I have replaced sugar with shopping. I have become addicted to 'buying something nice for myself'.This would be all well and good if I had lots of money but I don't! 

At least I'm hunting for them in the sales though, I got these first two in the Awear sale, and the third on in River Island, although mine has grey patterned material instead on white, and it has a lovely detail of buttoning up at the front. I also picked up some nice skirt in TKMaxx during the week super cheap, but I'm way too lazy to take photos of them for you all to see. You'll just have to trust that they are pretty. One is a white with bright coloured flowers on it, simple but perfect for Summer-€9. The second one is a high waisted skirt with netting that has a large print of bright tropical fruit, it's very 50's housewife and I love it-€13 , I just need a green/pink cardi to go with it to complete the look. I also got a cream lacy vest cardi very similar to the third photo here, I think it would look really well over a summer dress-€16. While I was in TKMaxx I picked up a really lovely bra too, at a bargain for only €8 (usually as I'm an E/F cup I've to pay about €30-€40 for my bras).

I'll have to take a break from the shopping for a bit though,as I've more than enough now to keep me going...although I did see a lovely pair of floral and brown hipster looking shoes on sale on the way home today...mmmm..

11 Jul 2011

Nuts about Robots

I popped into the Hunt Museum gift shop the other day to buy a wedding present for a friend (yes I'm going to ANOTHER wedding this weekend, I'm at that age). I did get a lovely gift...which I obviously can't reveal as the Bride my stumble upon this by chance.
While I was there I spotted some lovely jewellery made by Artysmarty, I fell in love instantly and I had to buy a present for myself. The only hard part was deciding which one to buy.I got this wooden robot brooch, I was mad about his quirky face and his red feet, and I'm also nuts(and bolts, har har!) about robots. I met Angela from Artysmarty about a year ago at an Etsy Ireland meeting in Dublin. It was so nice to see a large range of her stuff there in the Museum, she had a whole glass case of them just to herself as you walk in the door.

I highly suspect I'll be buying more of them in the future!

8 Jul 2011

Hotty But Notty: Jay Baruchel

There is actually no reason for Jay Baruchel to be in this Notty section, as he is plainly smokin' hot. But my confusion comes after watching the film She's Out of My League, a film about a 5/10 looking guy getting a 10/10 girl. But it was totally ridiculous because they didn't cast somebody who was in any way unattractive. At one point we meet the 'hot' ex-boyfriend, who is just a tall muscle head, I'm not sure if it was done on purpose to hire someone so blandly 'hot', but there was really no comparison. Having said all that it was a pretty entertaining film, in a throwaway rom-com Hollywood way. What kept it going was the charming performance of Baruchel.

You've probably seen Baruchel in films like Knocked Up, and Tropic Thunder, and apparently he was in Million Dollar Baby but I don't remember him being in it. I first noticed him in Knocked Up, as the guy who gets pinkeye and has a maple leaf tattooed on his chest. My friends thought it was like shooting fish in a barrell when I said I thought he was pretty hot.

I really don't understand the Hollywood obsession that if a guy is skinny and wears glasses he is automatically unattractive...huh? Here is a clearly handsome, talented and funny actor who keeps getting cast as the weedy geeky/funny friend.

6 Jul 2011

Badge Book

I was delighted when my friend Lorriane from Elalgallery gave me this amazing book on badges the other day. It's packed full amazing designs and ideas. After spending hours trawling through it I spent ages making up some new funky designs, which you can see here in my facebook album.

The other great thing about the book is that it give the websites for all the designers, so when I was finished dissecting the book I was then able to go online and drool a little bit more.
Here are some of the best links

Mark Pawson

5 Jul 2011

Detox Update

I'm two months into my 6 month detox that I'm undertaking as a result of an allergy test, you can read the details here. I just wanted to do a bit of an update as a milestone for myself to look back on and also to let you guys know how the battle is going.
The good part is that I feel 100 times better, I have more energy, I'm waking up earlier, sleeping better, and I feel more alert. I've lost a fair bit of weight too, I've gone from a 16 to a comfortable 14. Thankfully I've lost weight evenly, sometimes you see people who go on extreme diets and they loose it all in one area, like off their legs or chest, I was afraid this would happen and I would look lopsided. But because this is a detox and not some mental diet it's far more balanced and therefore it's an even all over body weight loss. Also my skin has improved somewhat, not entirely but I can see definite improvements, it has improved enough that people won't comment about it anymore(people can be so rude sometimes!). But I think my skin will take the longest to heal as I've had trouble with it for years. It's really great to work so hard for something and to actually feel the results from it, it makes it a lot easier to carry on the struggle. People have been very kind and commented on how well I'm looking which really helps, as it's a gradual process sometimes I can't see the changes, somebody even said I looked younger the other day, I should have given them a hug!

Physically I feel better too, I no longer feel sluggish or over tired. I used to wake up in the mornings still feeling  exhausted sometimes. Apparently this is a sugar hangover, when you are just letting your body go from one sugar rush to the next. So now there is no highs and lows it's just an even keel energy level. My stomach feels a lot better too, I no longer feel bloated sometimes as I'm no longer putting rubbish into my body. The first month was very tough with physical withdrawal symptoms, mostly from sugar, I got headaches, chronic tiredness, crashed energy levels, extreme cravings, and pretty horrible mood swings. Toni who did my allergy test told me to warn my friends and family about this so they could help me through it. So pre-warned my friends excused my ratty mood for about 3 weeks.
There are difficult parts, mostly when I try to eat out. I'm really happy about what I'm eating when I'm at home because I'm well prepared and have lots of variation. Whereas if I try to eat out it's a nightmare, if I can find something on the menu it usually has to be changed, and lot's of the time I have to take out the main contributor to flavour. Even when I go to my local shop I can't buy anything. Or worse again if I'm in Tesco/Dunnes it's shocking to see that most of what is sold is processed food. Now 90% of the time I do my shopping between the Milk Market and Eats of Eden as I can't find anything I can eat in a regular shop.

We went for dinner the other night in a nice restaurant and I asked nicely about making some changes. The waitress was lovely and made a huge effort, but the food that arrived out was really bland and tasteless, it disappointed me that they couldn't add seasoning and flavour. Having worked in a restaurant I know it's hard, but I thought I might get a bit more inventiveness in a good restaurant.

No. 1 Pery Square Hotel and Spa, Limerick, Ireland
Exceptions to this rule are:
Bon Appatit Crepe shop at the Milk Market, who made a wheat and dairy free crepe and soup the other day that was delicious.
Cafe Noir on Robert Street, who on a few occasions made lovely salads and baked potato for me(although it drives me nuts that they don't have table service there).
No.1 Pery Hotel where Paul and Shelly got married were really accommodating, and gave me gluten free bread, herbal tea, and fruit salad. Amazing service considering it was at a wedding. By the way the rooms were to die for, I felt like an Edwardian Lady staying there. It's only around the corner from my house but I want to stay there again!
Eats of Eden has been totally invaluable, I don't know how I would have gotten through this without that shop.  I buy a lot of my food there, most of my cleaning products and all of my supplements. I've gotten fantastic advice and pointers towards what food I should be eating.
Orla Redican at the Milk Market has a totally gluten free selection, I buy my yummy bread off her every week. She also has amazing gluten free cakes for those of you who can eat sugar, sadly not me though(she is just past the fish stall on Saturdays).

On top of the difficulty of food I really miss drinking, not in a depressing chronic way, but I miss the fun of it. I'm a very sociable person and going out with friends has been very different. It has been quite isolating, even when I'm out, probably self imposed because I feel kind of awkward. I'm trying to meet people for 'coffee' more (herbal tea) or food, so that there is a different focus, and I'm more likely to be on the same wavelength. Summer time with my friends is very much about long lazy days with some pints and a laugh, and now that the sun has eventually arrived I really miss that easy sense of relaxation, sparkling water is just not the same.

Despite all this the benefits totally outweigh the difficulties, and I am 100% sure that I see it through the 6 months. If I'm going to do this I'm going to do it well, and do it once so I never have to do it again!

1 Jul 2011

Hotty But Notty: Mark Kermode

To any of you not living in the UK or Ireland you might not have heard of Mark Kermode, he is a film and culture critic for the BBC, and also writes for the Observer among other publications. He also does a fantastic radio film review show, which I watch all the time on Youtube (I know it's sounds strange to watch a radio program, but they film it, so people can watch it online). Myself and John watch it all the time, it's great to see him rip diabolical Hollywood films to shreds (Marley and Me) and also interesting to hear him analyzing films that you would suspect that he would hate (Twilight).

I know he really does not fit into my normal box of skinny geeky looking guy, he looks more like Tommy Lee Jones with bad Elvis hair who happens to be a big fan of Morrissey. But I kinda love it. I was intrigued by him even as a teenager, when I was really young I used to mix him up with Mark Lamarr for ages, until I figured out that Kermode was way cooler/smarter. 

It's simply a joy to watch/read someone who has a brain, who isn't pandering to the agenda that the publication/station that they work for. I got so sick of reading the Culture Magazine in the Sunday Times for this very reason, every article read like an editorial that had been paid for. Whereas Kermode vents exactly what he is thinking without any ulterior agenda.

You have to watch him to understand his attraction...then you will stop thinking that I'm insane. Also if all those brains didn't make him attractive enough he plays double bass in a rockabilly band The Dodge Brothers.

Ps: A mention should go to John for reminding me that I fancy him, we were watching one of his radio shows the other day and he asked, 'So is he one of your Hotty or Nottys(please add sarcastic tone here)?'. Although I think he approves, Mr.Kermode has lots of cool kudos in his book.

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