Good day to you Moonlings on this fine Friday. We have a brand new interview with a friend of mine, the wonderful Tadhg Leahy. He is a guitarist extraordinaire, and if you are looking for someone who really creates art through his guitar he’s your man.
Introducing Tadhg Leahy
While I have been friends with Tadhg for quite a few years, recently Le’Boo discovered how much of a badass he truly is on his Instagram page which can be found here. The guy not only has the talent, but he also shows how important it is to really care about your craft.
He’s been playing music since birth, (don’t believe me? Listen to the interview), and it’s his full-time gig. He has his fingers in many pies and doesn’t stop simply at the guitar. He has played many instruments over the years including his voice.
He is currently in a cover band called F.M which state their influences as Steely Dan, The Eagles, The Band, and Vulpeck. I can only imagine just how epic their setlist is, and lucky me they are playing in my town on Saturday night!!!
He is also finishing off original music in the studio which he hopes to have out this year, and man it sounds so exciting. He makes it a habit of surrounding himself with some extremely talented local musicians and he invited them to play on his originals with him.
He also plays with a band called Function Creep which creates original music while also playing members own originals. They are inspired by such artists as Mark Guiliana, Boards of Canada, We Eat Electric Light, The Comet is Coming, and Sons of Kemet.
The Wonderful Interview
We began a coffee-fueled interview with the question, “what was our earliest musical memory or inspiration,” and man his answer was killer. We meandered through memories and music from mutual school experiences to unique inspirations.
The interview gets into his own original music, why he struggled for years to record it and trust not just himself but others with it, but also how music strikes nerves inside him that other mediums do not. He talks about essays he has written about music and ideas for essays to come. Perhaps someday we’ll be treated to those, but until then you’ll just have to make do with his ideas in this interview.
He discusses all the brilliantly talented musicians he’s collaborated with and how music is an equaliser. Regardless of age, if your determination and talent shine through, your age will fall away with each note you play.
We ended the stirring interview with a look back on the past, regarding his own presence of mind before he really decided on music. It seemed when he did, he took the approach we should all admire. He never stops learning, never stops challenging himself, and never stops seeking out those who will remind him you won’t always be the best musician in every room, but you can shoot for it.
A big thank you once again to Tadhg for taking the time out of your busy day to talk to me for an hour. I call these interviews, but they are really more like structured conversations. Listen to the interview below!
Hello, Moonlings I just wanted to add a quick note that Valentine’s day can be both wonderful and awful at the same time. It might be the best day in the world for you or the worst depending on your situation. So just remember to love yourself above all else and that Mooncake loves you!
We cannot begin one of these posts without serious gratitude towards the person who nominated me. Thank you Dear-Internet-Kats for thinking of me.
Please visit their page and follow them. There is so much offered over there you will not regret it! They offer advice on how to handle negative thoughts. They write poetry, and they are just an all-around lovely blogger.
Happy Birthday, Thinking Moon!
It’s my blog’s birthday. Sort of. Let me explain, I started this blog in 2016 with my first ever blog post on February 25th. I was ranting about sexism in an advertisement that made me pretty mad.
During that year I posted sporadically, but I didn’t really start my weekly journey until the 15th of February where I posted a story called Shadow Self . I had entered it into a competition, and it didn’t win. Rude.
That was the year I took blogging seriously and I finally connected with so many wonderful people here on WordPress and beyond! If you want to know why I got into blogging I have written about that before in a previous award which you can read here.
So without further ado, I would like to get into the Liebster award, and once again thank you so much Dear Internet Kats!
What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Awardis an award by bloggers given to fellow bloggers. This started around 2011. The idea for it comes from the German word Liebster, which can be translated as:
Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
Answer the 5 creative and unique questions given to you.
Write a small post about what motivates you in life (not just in blogging)
Nominate 2 – 6 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award
Create 5 creative and unique questions for your nominees
List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link to this post.)
Once you have written and published it, you then have to: Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post.
1. Let’s say something happens with the economy and you only get to choose 3 different dinners (maybe for each season, or a change between the 6 months) to eat for the next 5 years, what would you choose based on what’s available locally?
I would pick potatoes because I’m a predictable Irish person, with real butter (There is nothing like real Irish butter). Potatoes are so flexible I could make many things with them. I would want it with kale, onions, and probably some local meat. Also because I’m veggie during the week so I would need baked beans as well as eggs for the protein.
Is that ok? I feel like that covers all bases.
2. What song describes your mood today?
If you have known me for a long time, I’ve always loved Miley Cyrus. Yes I know she went a bit mental for a while, but if I grew up in the spotlight I’d probably have pulled a 2007 Britney.
Sorry I can never just be succinct (that’s Le’Boo’s thing) but basically: Miley Cyrus – “The Climb”.
3. What is your favorite reading genre, this year so far?
For sure it’s indie horror/thriller books. Can I mention my current read here? Ima do it anyway!
“Darke Blood” – Lee Hall, is my current read. Look out for my review soon! (Also go check out his blog, he’s a fellow WordPresser!)
I’ve always been a huge horror fan, Stephen King and Shirley Jackson are probably my all time favorites but I made a goal to read more indie authors this year.
4. What do you consider to be the most fun way to get exercise?
I always need to trick myself into exercising so the best ways for me are the most obvious. It’s either dancing or walking. Or just random stuff as such:
5. Do you have (or what seems like it could work) some advice on how to stay focused or non-reactive in a scary/emotionally rattling situation?
I feel like I can talk about this with some authority because I’ve lived with anxiety and depression since I was around 13. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that you are only in charge of your mind. If someone says something to you that is mean or horrible remember, that is not a reflection on you, it’s a reflection on them.
This sounds generic but honestly, for most of my life, my extended family (not parents, siblings) have always thought I was odd/weird. I don’t care about getting married, I don’t want children, and honestly, I act really strange. Now I could take that in two ways. I could feel bad because people think I’m not normal.
Or I could realise we all create our own realities. If you are happy with your life, and not hurting anyone, your life is valid, you are vaild. If you like how you dress, what you do for fun, and the people you surround yourself with then you do you boo.
My dearest Moonlings, there are now 400 of you here on my blog. I wish to extend my pure gratitude to you for reading my ramblings, my crazy thoughts, and my sincere outlook on the world. You are so supportive and I know I have said it more than once, but I am genuinely grateful for you all. As you can see in my face I have a very cheeky but happy smile about the whole business.
I want to finally admit the truth to you all *not clickbait* about what I am doing behind the scenes. It has been my fondest wish since I was a child to be a published novelist, and it’s about time I told you, that I’m writing a book.
We are at the early stages still but it looks like it will finally happen. I’ve had a beta reader (my sister-in-law) have a look over the first section of the book and she provided really positive feedback. I trust her judgment, she wouldn’t tell me she liked it if she didn’t.
Although I am doing my P.h.D at the moment I am secretly writing this book by night, as though I am the BATMAN of novelists. Someday I hope to make writing my primary gig, however until then, I will continue to teach and learn.
If any of you would be interested in reading a book written by yours truly, please let me know. I am very nervous about it, as I have never put something like it out into the universe before. The story has been bubbling in me for over a year and it needs to bound in a book.
If you would like to be featured on my 500th follower’s post then here’s what I am offering you. I will write a summary of your blog, include your link, and an inspirational quote or picture you may want to offer. I want to make it all about you guys and spread the love across the platform and beyond.
Contact me any way you like, my official business email is email@example.com however you can message me directly on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, here, whatever floats your boat.
Once again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for your love and advocacy for my art. It truly brings me such joy to read your comments and explore your own blogs.
My dear Moonlings myself and Le’Boo went on a trip to Amsterdam in January. It was truly magical despite the bitter cold. I made a YouTube video of the trip which I have linked below. However, I will bring you through some of the other stuff we did too which I didn’t have footage of.
The reason we went was to surprise a friend for her birthday so that was thrilling. We also got to go to Amsterdam and it was the first time for both of us although.
So we left Ireland early enough and went on planes, trains, and automobiles which you can see here. Of course, Le’Boo is excellent at posing for photos.
We came across gems like this throughout the city. It’s a water fountain that changes colour when you put your bottle underneath it. Also, the city was covered in bicycles. Everyone seemed to cycle, from the very young to the very old.
We also snuck along to the red light district to see what was happening there and it was… interesting. We saw a guy getting directions from a scantily clad lady, and it was the funniest thing.
“Yes, you go down the road, turn left, then left again.”
He wasn’t concentrating very well on her directions.
My dreams came true on Friday. We were able to get tickets to the Van Gogh museum. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside, but I didn’t care. I got to see his paintings in person, the letters to his brother Theo, and even modern art inspired by his body of work.
This is my favourite Van Gogh and I got to see it in person. I stared at it for ages, (Le’Boo is very patient). It was a wonderful experience and I would recommend the museum it to everyone.
We went on a canal boat ride too and that was really cool, which is documented better in the video. It was really cool it brought you on a circuit of the city, which meant we got to go out through the port.
We got up a little later and headed straight for a pancake house Le’Boo had espied with his little eyes. It was built around an old carousel. Isn’t this enthralling!?
Then we wandered around, had a drink in a Lagunitas bar. The bartender was so nice, I wanted to buy one of their Lagunitas glasses and he just gave it to me. We ended walking along the canals before catching our bus to the airport.
So if you have any further interest in this please feel free to check out my video below, and maybe give it a like. Subscribe if you are interested, perhaps leave a comment. Anyways until my next adventure or a previous which can be found here! Or perhaps I will upload retroactively. Would you be interested in previous Jaycee adventures from the archives? My hair will be very different. If so leave me a comment. Ok. Thank you Moonlings, bye!!!
Yes Moonlings, you read that right. The title of this blog is “My Baby Green Squish.”
I have not in fact, lost my mind. I have found it. It is my sentiment that we should follow where our passions lead us. That which fills our hearts with joy, and there is no bigger joy for me, than my baby green squish.
Ok so some context before I lose myself in the charm of him. There is this animated show created by YouTuber Olan Rogers called “Final Space.” It is a very excellent show frens. It is quirky, funny, and emotional. It is superbly produced and the performances are amusing.
Now here is a photo of the show.
Now. Let us zoom in closer:
Do you see that sweet little green squish? Yes, I have one of those. Now we all have passions and hobbies. This blog is so joyful for me, and it is a wonderful website filled with phenomenal people. However sometimes your heart asks you to create something unorthodox and that becomes art.
He has made me so happy, like look how sweet his little face is. So without further ado, I am indulging my glee. I felt that the internet needed a YouTube channel to document the loveliness of the baby green squish.
Please have a look at the 30-second trailer for the channel. If you are interested in the adventures of a baby green squish, please head over. Have a look. Maybe subscribe. This is literally a fun little project for me because I needed to blow off some steam.
Hello my dear Moonlings and thank you for your patience this January. I have been quite ill since the surgery and I’m still not feeling the best. However I still feel compelled to write as it cheers me up, so I thought I’d share my sustainability goals for 2019. Last year I set some goals for myself which I wrote about here and then I followed up here.
I really enjoyed it and it ended up being much easier to achieve because I broke it down into 12 bite-sized goals. It makes it a lot less daunting and helps develop habits by giving yourself a month each time. So I thought why not do the same again this year? Please enjoy, and let me know in the comments if you have any ideas, thoughts, goals of your own!
As a Ph.D. student, I spend a lot of time surrounded by students from diverse backgrounds. One day in the staff room we were eating lunch and I was discussing my Master’s thesis with a colleague from India. She was interested that I had studied insects as a protein replacement for beef which is harmful to the environment.
She then proceeded to ask me a questioned which floored me, “And have you given up beef yourself?” I was stunned. She was completely right, I was a hypocrite. I didn’t have to give up all meat, I could give up beef though.
So on December 31st, 2018 I ate a giant beef burger, and of the 1st of January 2019 I have given up beef. Carbon footprint, I’m coming for ya! Also look how cute this Scottish cow is. I have all the feels.
Now continuing on the topic of meat, I love to eat meat. However, I feel as in keeping with the theme of the last goal, I am going to be pescatarian during the week Monday – Friday.
I’m leaving fish and dairy in my diet for the moment because I want to make sure I get all my nutritional requirements. I will slowly become vegetarian, and hopefully someday vegan.
I know the dairy industry/egg producers aren’t the best worldwide. I understand that although free-range might have been adopted to seem fairer to the animals in question, it doesn’t really mean that. Eggs can only be gotten from hens, so what happens to the majority of male chickens?
This is the year when I stopped buying fast fashion forever. I will be researching what companies are safe to buy from, and of course, continue thrift shopping which I already love.
I am going to organize my existing clothes, identify what I use all the time, and donate the stuff I don’t wear or haven’t worn in over 2 years. I am always keeping clothes but there is no need if I never wear them.
I have 2 weddings this year and it will be interesting getting outfits for that, but I’ll keep you guys updated. It will be a case of buying from an ethically sourced company, borrowing from a friend, or buying second hand. All are perfectly viable options of course.
Also, there are exceptions for the moment. For example, I need to be able to purchase underwear because I need to replace them often due to period issues. If I find sustainable cotton underwear then I will get them, if not I am allowing myself this exception because, hello, we need underwears!
(Actually, some people argue you don’t and everyone is titled to their opinion).
So I’m looking for wisdom from fellow zero-waste and reductionists. A wonderful book I got for Christmas is “A Life-Less Throwaway,” by Tara Button. I am giving myself a month to read this closely, make notes and review the book in general. Hopefully, I’ll have new ideas and practices to adopt by then.
Also hopefully the book will direct me to further reading which is always a wonderful thing in my opinion. If you guys have any good suggestions regarding blogs, books, anything, please let me know in the comments!
Last year I discussed my hair and trying to go shampoo free. This has unfortunately phased out. (Hey I’m human this happens right?). I only wash my hair once a week, but I am still using products that are chemical heavy and come in plastic bottles. Boo-urns.
So I really want to try Shampoo/conditioner bars made in Ireland. This will be tough finding the right ones for me, but I really think it’s possible. Lush cosmetics have hand-made in Ireland shampoos bars, so I’ll just have to go through the range.
Also, I would love to get a vegan hairbrush like this one.
I was watching a YouTuber go zero waste for a day and they had a beautiful Bamboo lunch set, and I’ve wanted one ever since. I rarely if ever buy lunch when I’m at work,
because I’m a big believer in saving money (and the environment) by making your own. Having a complete bamboo set would make my lunch needs a helluva lot easier.
It also means if I ever do go out to eat I will have cutlery and won’t have to use plastic disposable ones from restaurants.
There are some really good product ideas on Plastic Freedom like this.
I’ve been using disposable razors for most of my hairy adult, shaving life. Even though most of the ones I buy have the average lifespan of a toothbrush, they still don’t get recycled. So I want to get a safety razor something like this. This lasts pretty much forever, and our Dad’s / Grandad’s would have used these regularly just replacing the razors as they went along. Why we devolved I’ll never know but we can make ground back if we work together.
I am a sucker for candles, incense, essential oils, anything that makes a room smell divine. I’m also studying Wicca so candles and incense are essential. I’m hoping that this will be an easy enough transition to Soy candles, natural incense, matches etc. A local shop I love called Amber already has natural soaps and candles so the rest should be easy enough to source. I will also be looking for ones like this or this.
In January I had surgery to get a Minera coil inserted to reduce or stop my periods, due to them being very painful and heavy. I also have endometriosis and this is exacerbated by period hormones.
Hopefully, this will result in reducing or stopping my periods completely. If this is successful (it can take up to 6 months to settle in), I will hopefully be able to switch to a Menstrual cup like this. Rather than disposable sanitary towels and tampons.
I would like to get into a habit for unplugging devices throughout the house especially if they aren’t being used for over 24 hours. I would like to find ways to use less water.
Another ‘cosmetic’ product I’d like to try is this type of deodorant. I also stopped using perfume, I use essential oils instead. My favourite is lavender, and you don’t even need that much. Plus the ones I buy are made in Ireland and I love buying Irish made products.
They are called Atlantic Aromatics and I love them. Not sponsored I just genuinely love their products.
At the moment I use this Salt of The Earth’s original deodorant, and it’s very good like it works. It’s just a little inconvenient because your skin or it needs to be wet. So I would like to try other versions.
So this is a big undertaking and I know it’s probably going to be tough, especially in Ireland where public transport is very poor, but I want to drive less. So much so that I could consider getting an electric car. So this month will be spend researching how I can reduce driving and research electric cars. Look how cute the Renault Zoe is:
Pretty much same as last year buy locally produced gifts. However, there is an addendum. Some of you may know I do not care for Christmas. Not the joy part or even the religious part, but the incessant commercialised part.
Buy buy buy, eat eat eat, drink drink drink. No more. We as a family have agreed that ‘gifts’ should be experiences or if the person says they don’t need anything, then don’t get them anything.
Christmas has been high-jacked by big business as a time of the year to profit off people’s guilt and pleasures. You are basically told you’re a shit person if you can’t afford a bunch of nonsense, and kids are made to feel inferior if their family isn’t rich enough for the latest model of PlayStation.
No. More. I will only accept a Christmas that is joyful, filled with family and friends. Not over-indulgent gift giving or guilt. Handmade gifts are superior to bought gifts anyway.
My sister-in-law Nicole (Who can be found at Mullen Makes), made this for my Father last year for his birthday and he was beyond ecstatic. When something comes from the heart, a price tag means nothing.
Anyways those are my 2019 goals. If you made it this far type Worms in the comments!
Well Moonling’s it’s finally here. Marie Keane has released her inaugural album ‘Russian Doll,’ and it is all kinds of exquisite. The lovely Lady herself has given me permission to review the album, so naturally, I had to share my thoughts with you. I will link all her
details below. However, if you are so ready to purchase the album already you can get that here. You know how much I love music and supporting artists, especially Irish artists are a big deal for me.
If you remember I interviewed Marie last November and that interview can be found here. She gave us some insight into what it’s like being an Irish musician, the music scene in her city and of course the creative process behind the making of ‘Russian Doll,‘ the album. I was so excited and couldn’t wait for it to come out. She has already released a music video for the song ‘Cranes,’ which is embedded below.
Album, ‘Russian Doll.’
So talk about the album already Jaycee! Alright, so it’s 13 tracks of genre-hopping goodness. It kicks off with “Tree of doors,” which for me sounds like Marie is trying to connect not only with nature but the wisdom of the past.
“Where worship danced around its face, now lifeless towers takes its place.” – Tree Of Doors
Have we forgotten our ancestor’s reverence to nature? Her deep melodies are transfigured with modern sounds mixed with a Celtic essence. She continues to use her love of music to her advantage when it comes to writing love songs, or even lover scorned songs. She deals out her thoughts about love and attraction in, “Limerance,” and “In the firing line.” Looking around I remind myself that I’m not in fact in a blues café on Frenchmen Street.
“The force between us could pen a thousand tales, draw tears from many lovers.” – The Firing Line
Then taking on the story of forfeited faith which is commonplace in modern Ireland, a stand out track for me was the stunning, “Stained glass windows.” We are treated to an example of her voice within its classical range. The song is a mix of classical piano and Celticism in a gothic church. She visits this theme in “Faith,” while, “We all can change,” incorporates both her style and a gospel motif. “Faith,” for me could easily be the next Bond theme.
“I found my way, but I lost my faith… I grieve my removal… No longer do I carry the sins… I bare all my worship to open ground.” – Stained Glass Windows
The social rock/pop commentary of “Theatre of the mind,” and “Addiction,” mixed with the ethereal sounds of “The Homecoming,” makes this album a success for me. I implore you to investigate. Listen to the video below. Visit her website. Tell her I sent you, she’s lovely. I’m heading to the launch party on Sunday, and I’ll do my best to get some exclusive footage. Until then, thanks for reading.
Hello Moonlings, I’ve been thinking (what Thinking Moon has been thinking? What a novel concept) about the goals we set ourselves and whether or not they are achievable. We often set ourselves arbitrary goals of losing weight, exercising more, saving money and so forth. Yet we rarely remember to set up the necessary infrastructure needed in order to fulfill this.
For me, I achieved the main goal I set out for myself at the beginning of 2018. I blogged for 1 year straight. January to January. I didn’t achieve it simply because I enjoy writing or that I had a lot to say. I achieved it because I made a plan for myself.
At the outset, I blogged once a week on a Friday with planned blogs until the end of the year. Eventually, I gathered a small audience. When I finally seen people were reading I felt they deserved more so I started my ‘Fun Tuesdays‘ category in September of last year.
This taught me that I had the ability to be consistent once I planned to be. I hope that makes sense. Now at the beginning of 2019, I was able to give myself even more goals because I planned them into my daily life. I’m learning Portuguese, meditation, and every day something new to improve my blog.
I’ve also made myself a vision board which I’ve already mentioned. Not only is this a really fun activity, but it’s also great for focusing your mind on your goals. I used canvas, watercolours, and glued pictures to it when it dried.
Around this time until the end of January, we all start giving up on our goals and dreams. It’s too cold(shout out to Irish weather), you miss the comfort of the couch rather than having a walk, and getting up earlier isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Really though the issue is allowing time for our changes and giving ourselves at least 3 weeks of consistency to allow old habits to die allowing new habits to form.
Anyways if you’re still not convinced or unsure and looking for help here is a video by a YouTuber I’m very fond of called Madeliene Olivia. She is a lifestyle blogger who is a minimalist and a vegan. If you are looking for help with your goals she has really practical advice about how to organise them.
I wish you peace, happiness and success Moonlings.