My Current Job Inspiration

Fun fact when I was growing up I had some bizarre ‘dream jobs’; I wanted to be an ice cream van driver at one point and would spend hours scribbling designs of ‘ice creams’ and ‘lollies’ I would sell. Then at some points I wanted to work with animals, either being a zookeeper or a vet. Other jobs I have been interested in growing up include being a writer, artist, graphic novel artist, video game artist, actress, visual merchandiser – and that’s in no particular order! My mind changes very easily and I’m constantly bewildered by how much choice one person can have. I can understand the whole butterfly effect theory where you can basically have tons and tons of lines of ‘opportunities’ or ‘future scenarios’ but only certain ones happen if you do certain things, basically that everything happens for a reason. It makes me scared and excited at the same time. I want to experience as much as possible but make sure I don’t waste my choices on bad decisions or experiences and waste time.

My current dream job at the moment, I don’t think I could really pick one thing. I want to do something that involves the English/Creative Writing degree I will study in the future, something that’ll involve writing itself – maybe blogging and journalism. But as I have mentioned in a previous blog post, I do also miss the illustration/art side of things. I realised recently whilst having a stroll around Waterstones with my sister, a job that I’d probably love that includes both creative writing and illustration and that is – children’s books! Maybe one day I could write books and illustrate them and build up a portfolio based on it. I found a lot of inspiration in Waterstones and thought I’d share the inspirations I found that make me want to pursue this idea.

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Pass it On by Sophy Henn’s book cover made me grin as soon as I saw it. There’s something minimalist but eye-catching about it which makes me really interested by it. I love how the balloons and font pop out against the grey background, it makes me wonder if that’s what the story will be about? Acts of kindness and happiness that bring colour into a grey day. The way Sophy’s drawn the characters is really cute too!! I love the left hand character’s bright little red hat. Sophy has also written and illustrated a book called ‘Pom Pom gets the grumps’ which looks absolutely precious! Her illustration is so colourful and she makes the colours contrast well so it is soothing on the eyes.

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Also something about her typography choice in both of these pieces is really interesting. I like the cursive, round writing she uses for her signature and in the lower writing on the heading.

So after being very inspired by illustrator/writers like Sophy Henn I think I’m going to try and do more illustration pieces based on maybe book covers or ideas I have. I recently got some new watercolours for my birthday so I think they will definitely come in handy!

How is everyone else’s life lately? What jobs did you dream of doing whilst growing up?

Feel free to comment!

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Credit for illustration in image is Sophy Henn’s pieces in her book Where Bear?

 

Confession: I don’t know how to use jelly pots

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I might act like a bit of a know-it-all about Lush sometimes. There has been one or two occasions where I’ve dragged my boyfriend or a family member into Lush with me and given them talks about items they’re looking at and even recommended stuff to them. (If recommending is basically stuffing a colourful bath bomb in my overwhelmed boyfriend’s face and going ‘SMELL THIS’). I feel if I had a lot more confidence and was extroverted I could maybe even ace a job at Lush; advising Lush fanatics on our new products or what gift boxes people should buy family and friends based on said gift receivers personality or likes, mainly cause I believe Lush’s ideas and products have a lot of personality in each creation. There are some things I’d suggest to different friends and so on. Friend who likes nature, floral smells and is very gentle and calm? I’d definitely get them a Tisty Tosty bath bomb. Friend who hasn’t used Lush stuff before and you want to show them the amazing colours and swirls their bath bombs can produce? They should start with a Dragon’s Egg bath bomb or an Intergalactic bomb – both produce an amazing palette of colours and entertain you with the patterns they go through as they fizz up in your bath.

But I have to admit now there is one product, in my 7 years of using Lush products, that I still don’t know how to use properly. Shower jellies.

People’s favourite product to poke when they visit a store. The jellies are wonderfully smelling and coloured tubs of, well, jelly that you can use to clean both body and hair. I have owned quite a few tubs of Sweetie Pie and Whoosh shower jelly in the past but each time I have one I feel like I use the product completely wrong. I’ll be stood there in the shower staring down this tub of wobbly jelly wondering the best way to go about it. I’ve been told just to pick a bit off and rub that on myself, other tips have been to turn the shower off and use it or just use the whole blob and wash myself with it. But I’ve yet to find a way in which I think I’m getting the full benefit of the jelly. Whenever I wash with it I’m always dropping it and having it slip out of my hands. Bits and bits of jelly end up on the floor of my shower and I feel like they are bits of jelly gone to waste but is that what is meant to happen? All in all, the products smell amazing and are a really fun idea, however I’m totally naive to how to use these properly. Is it just me?

Thanks for reading! Please comment and share!

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Etsy and Society6 Haul: Capybara Mania!

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Animals make me super happy. Like incredibly; nothing I enjoy more than when I’m in my own little world on a bus ride or before going to sleep than scrolling through Instagram and looking at cute animal photos and videos. I’ll be honest and admit probably half of the accounts I follow on Instagram are because they post cute animal photos or are even purely dedicated to someones pet. Something about an Instagram ‘run’ by a corgi or a cat just amuses me and makes me smile. I love when people know their pet’s personalities and acknowledge their sentience. But that’s another story for me to gloss over and almost fangirl over another time. If you know me in person, you’ll know enough of my pushing my phone in your face when a cute dog video comes up on Facebook.

So, speaking of animals, one of my favourite animals strangely enough is Capybaras. They are essentially large rodents but I think they look so fuzzy and adorable. Their faces look so content but sly it’s very entertaining. You can find some cute videos on youtube of them having a paddle and swim around or even just relaxing in the sun. A few weeks back I saw a deal on a website named Society6 in which it was free shipping under a certain price, I can’t quite recall. Society6 is basically quite like RedBubble perhaps, in the way artists/illustrators/designers can upload their designs to be printed and sold and they get money from it. Admittedly I have heard sometimes the percentage split between the printers and the actual creators could be unfair, but I have not looked into it that far. The lovely, talented artist I purchased my print from was ‘Choc Ye’ and I have to admit, I have fallen in love with their art style and I just had to purchase my print off them because not only did they do a print of an adorable animal but their style is so humble and eye-catching. I love soft water-colours and not too bright palettes cause they look so lovely.

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So this lovely print – ‘Capybara and his succulent garden’, is the print I ordered. It’s just so pleasant to look at, it feels so precious that I’m almost scared of just blue-tacking it to my wall cause I don’t want to ruin it. If I move out for University, this print is definitely coming with me cause it’s the kind of cute, heart-warming animal art that just makes you smile. This print came extremely quick so I am impressed with Society6’s delivery and it came very carefully packed to protect it from being damaged.

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So next up on my, ‘must-buy-every-cute-capybara-item’ haul; Last week when I had a bit of spare dosh I had a gaze over Etsy and ended up finding this absolutely darling wooden handmade necklace. Etsy is one of my favourite places to online window shop and probably 7 times out of 10 I end up making small, ‘treat yourself’ purchases. The creator for this necklace was Ella Goodwin who owns her Etsy shop ‘ Miss Ella ‘ where she sells lots of her illustrations on jewellery/prints and the like. She loves to specialize in cat art, as you can see because my gorgeous necklace has a little grey cat snuggling up to the capybara. Two of my favourite animals in one necklace!

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I did not expect the necklace to arrive so quickly and it was so well packaged and personalized. Ella included a very adorable card and business card that I just had to show you because they were so sweet! I definitely recommend having a scan of Ella’s Etsy store for any possible gifts for yourself or cat lovers.

 

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Isn’t it lovely? The material of the necklace is great too and very lightweight. I prefer lightweight necklaces, especially if they have quite a big ‘pendant’ piece. Heavy ones that hit your chest as you walk can be quite a turn off towards a purchase for me.

So yeah I recommend you checking out these talented artists!

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

 

Growing up with Hearing Loss

My hearing deteriorated when I was in primary school. The most I remember from it is having an intensely painful ear infection and then soon enough being told by a doctor and audiologist I had lost hearing in my left ear. It seems like a massive blur to me now but I know I had to go through a lot of tests – blood, urine, CAT scan etc. Those tests where they stuck little pads to your chest to measure whatever. I was in juniors of primary school when most of these happened so I can’t remember them very well. But alas since then I have had hearing aids.

My first few hearing aids were always so glam. I always asked for ones where the mould had cutesy stuff on it because they could put stickers on the inside or make them glittery or coloured. Admittedly did and probably still would, perk you up about having to wear something in your ear to be able to hear like other kids. I do remember getting teased about it up until around year 8 where I started to avoid even mentioning it to teachers. I was ashamed of my own disability and didn’t want the special treatment teachers went about it. I didn’t like being moved to the front of class so I could hear, I cringed whenever the teacher double checked with me if I had heard everything and god forbid the monthly check the school doctor would do where they’d come and take me out of class to do these little tests to check my hearing and if there was any changes. Looking back I definitely shouldn’t have been ashamed of something I could not have controlled. I shouldn’t have believed something was wrong with me, when really, there was something morally wrong with the children that would get a kick out of teasing me about it. No, whispering rude sentences to me because you know I can’t hear it, asking me if I heard you, then giggling when I say no, isn’t funny at all. It’s anxiety-fuelling and a complete waste of both our times. Get on with your school work and stop being a tool.

Recently in the past few years I’ve finally overcome this embarrassment of my hearing impairment and try my best to bring it up to all people I spend time with on a regular basis. Mainly because A) I am a bit of a ditsy person and sometimes forget my hearing aid and B) Well, either way, it hardly makes it a good day when someone gets huffy and puffy with you when you say you couldn’t hear them or ask them to repeat themselves. However there’s still something in me that stems from, perhaps, the teasing as a child or comments I have gotten as an adult, that makes it rather difficult to bring it up unless asked.

Twice in my late teenage years I have had times where my problem has been dismissed as ‘over-reacting’ or ‘fake’. ‘Shut up about your hearing, you’re not even disabled’ or ‘Oh forget it. I’m not repeating it – you and your so called ‘deafness’. Those sentences stand clear to me in the back of my mind. Obviously because they were like stabs through the stomach from people who at those times were mature in age (well you should be mature at 17-19? Right?), and because they made me feel nervous about telling people about my hearing again.

However, being deaf, hearing loss and tinnitus effects more than 11 million people in the UK. That’s one in six of the population. As well as this, I found it interesting to learn, on average, it takes people up to 10 years to address their hearing loss. (x) You’d think such a thing is crazy, but then when I thought about my history with it up until now – it doesn’t seem all that strange. In this day and age, especially when you’re young, it’s hard to admit to something that can effect your social activity. I admittedly have a complex where I think my hearing loss would burden or annoy people, because they’d have to change their behaviours to accommodate me and ‘I don’t want to anger people’. However, now I have to say to society – boo freakin’ hoo.

Believe me when I say I struggle listening or hearing you. I like being polite to people and believe me never in a million years would I avoid trying to listen to people during conversation. It doesn’t take you much to just repeat what you had to say. Teachers and employers – if you have an employee who has hearing loss and is struggling with concentration or hearing instructions. Try and talk to them. Nobody asks to lose their hearing, lose their sight or any other able ability. Stop assuming that everyone has perfect senses. Assumption makes an ass out of you and I. Or something like that.

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Helena x

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Ta-da! One of my two aids! :o)

Dear 11 year old Helena..

Dear baba me,

I miss you. I miss being you a lot right now. Sometimes when I look at my nieces I can see myself in them but I’m so proud of where they are. They’re a lot stronger than we were, I think. Not that you didn’t try your best, cause I know you did. But I know how easy it was for you to get upset. I remember when you looked at secondary school options and learnt that you had to learn about life and death in RE and you cried because it scared you. I remember when you used to offer to help the teacher with paperwork at lunchtimes in primary school, because you were too nervous to go outside. I remember when your sister told you she was pregnant with Ellie and you cried because you knew you weren’t the baby anymore. Can you believe that? Imagine telling Ellie that in a few years. She’ll find it hilarious.

Do you remember that last holiday in Clacton before you started high school and you were walking down a road from the beach holding dads hand and telling him how you were scared you wouldn’t make friends at high school? And he told you you’d be fine. Mum and dad had so much hope for you I think. I wish you had spent more time with them instead of hiding behind the computer or in your room. Mum used to think you were going to become a writer but you didn’t quite go for that option. I hope we didn’t upset her. I’m finally deciding I want to do something in English now and writing and I’m going to try and get in a big university and study it. Does that sound cool? Or scary?

Do the kids at school still make you cry and want to stay at home? I wish I could cuddle you and tell you it’ll be ok. A lot of people will make you cry as you get older. I wish I knew how to have prepared you, but even now I don’t. They really don’t matter though. Nothing is wrong with you and you are an absolute beauty. You know your gorgeous, curly locks? I cut them recently and I regret it. Hold onto those locks for as long as possible, they were lovely on you. Also if anyone says you’re fat or pudgy, ignore it. I envy the size you’re at because you were tiny and healthy. I don’t know why the other kids made you believe something was wrong with you. It’s something that stays with you for years sweet, believe me.

Little one, I wish I could go back and make things right for us. We got kind of screwed over a lot and it isn’t fair. You deserved better and you deserve better than how I’m treating us now. I’ll try and be better for you and try and look after myself.

Goodnight x

Sometimes being selfish makes me feel good

This post is probably more of a personal, ‘what I did today’ blog post than anything else. Lately in the run up to Christmas I think everyone’s getting a little more stressed and retail is probably not the most favourable place to work right now. Although I must say having little old ladies and men go ‘are they making you work Christmas Eve?!? bless you, you poor thing’ is kind of endearing – to which I halfheartedly laugh and go ‘Aw I know’, don’t think they’d bless me as much if I told them I said I’d work Christmas Eve if I could have New Years off so I can stay at home hungover..

But yeah today has been an up and down kind of day. I definitely started today off on a positive note – my UCAS application is almost sent off! I finished my personal statement and got it double checked at my old college (shout-out to Trafford College, my rights as a student to get help with University applications lasts up to 3 years after leaving!), paid for the choices and now I just await my tutor to attach a reference and off it goes! I’m feeling extremely excited about it.

Then at work I did get a slight bollocking about ‘wandering off’, when really I had gone to help on a department that had no staff. I thought I was taking the initiative and doing something that would be helpful to the rest of the store/staff but alas. I’ve never been good with being shouted at, especially in front of peers, so that did put a downer on my day.

So after work tonight when I went Christmas shopping with my mother – I decided to be selfish and treat myself. It’s very fulfilling ‘treating yourself’, even if it’s short lived. I do recommend having ‘treat yo self’ moments. Obviously not everytime can be self indulgent purchases BUT, you can try things like bubble baths, treating yourself to chocolate/cakes, watching your favourite movie, buying yourself some takeout – even I class having naps as treating myself after a long day cause it just relaxes me so much. Naps always give me a bit of an energy lift because I get so cranky when I’m tired.

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Bubble baths are great for de-stressing

But yeah I went and got myself… (drum roll) ANIMAL CROSSING HAPPY HOME DESIGNER!

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Please excuse the bright pink pj bottoms…

It’s been so long since I treated myself to a video game; considering they are one of my favourite things. I’ve heard good things about this spin off and Animal Crossing is one of the most relaxing games I’ve ever played. I can’t wait to play it.

I also got myself a big ass jumper. Or in a less sweary description – a men’s medium size cream jumper from Tesco’s. I love getting men’s jumpers because they just seem so much more thick and baggy than womens. I do love the designs and cuteness of women’s jumpers but sometimes I can’t take the ‘fitted’ design. I look good in them in the daytime and then after eating or drinking, the fitted bit tugs over my little food belly and I feel so uncomfortable. Sad face.

But yeah! Always take time in a week to self care and treat yourself! I hope everyone else is having a good week in the run up to Christmas.

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Thanks for reading!
Helena x x

 

Some of my favourite video game ladies!

So today I joined the absolutely lovely Jemma‘s twitter ‘Girl Gang’ group and am absolutely chuffed and excited to be involved in a great idea that will bring girl bloggers together to unite, discuss and make friendships! Definitely go and check out Jemma’s blog at www.dorkface.co.uk!

On the subject of awesome, empowering girls I decided to make a post about one of my favourite mediums and the characters I love! I feel like I may accidentally miss out some of them and they’re in no particular order, so definitely comment any characters you think are honourable mentions!

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Elizabeth Comstock – Bioshock Infinite

Ah, my sweet, dear Elizabeth. Definitely a character I knew I was going to love and appreciate when I first watched the past E3 demos of Bioshock Infinite. The Bioshock series is one of my favourite game series and even though out of all the editions to the series, Infinite has it’s flaws and I believe they may of somewhat held Elizabeth’s involvement in mechanics back a bit, I absolutely love her. You’re introduced to her as your typical Disney princess in a castle trapped from the big world with the naivety of what is out there. She sits in her rooms reading and makes tears to see Paris. She dreams of the big, wild world but is not entirely sure of what the plans her father, Comstock, dictates for her future. But soon she helps the protagonist Booker make his way through Columbia trying to figure out why she was trapped in her ‘towers’ with her powers and her amazing knowledge. She is such a strong, intelligent character and I think it is great that Irrational made her the playable character in chapter two of Burial At Sea.

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Tetra from The Legend of Zelda

Admittedly, I have still not finished Wind Waker, which I am ashamed to say because it’s such an amazing looking game and the art style is so lovely and inspiring. If I was to ever be able to 3D model and texture in a style similar I’d be so happy. However Tetra had to make my list because she is a character I also fell in love with straight away when playing. She is very outspoken and her devilish smirk is adorable. I can’t wait to continue playing and see how her story develops.

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Chie Satonaka from Persona 4

Persona 4 is my favourite game of all time. I cannot recommend it enough and you’re damn right if you think I’ll probably make a Persona 5 review when it comes out. Chie is a ‘tomboy’ish girl from a small town called Inaba with a love for kung-fu, red meat and fighting for justice alongside her friends. Before gaining her ‘persona’, Chie has an inferiority complex towards her childhood best friend Yukiko and feels that she is not feminine enough to fit in at school and is jealous of all the attention Yukiko recieves. This then stems for her to internally gain satisfaction from Yukiko’s need to rely on Chie for confidence and support. Chie finally confronts her ‘shadow’ (the manifestation of these internal feelings) and overcomes them whilst gaining confidence and knowing she should not compare herself to her best friend and has her own strengths. Chie is an incredibly admirable character and also extremely funny and adorable and I loved following her stories in Persona 4.

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Junko Enoshima from Dangan Ronpa (WARNING: Spoilers Ahead)

Now Junko is hardly a character to look up to and class as a role model. Considering she murders a lot of people, manipulates classmates into murdering other people and each other in a game of life or death and basically causes the destruction of mankind. But she is so well written and such a unique character that I am drawn to her and just had to put her on this list. It’s been a while since I played Dangan Ronpa or Super Dangan Ronpa 2 but she is an extremely intelligent villain that creates her plan for the ‘despair of mankind’ purely for despair. Not in revenge, not over other characters. She’s just cold-blooded and thrives off despair. She even owns up as a ‘loser’ to her own game at the end of game one and takes part in an execution because she is so full of energy from the despair. She’s a mad and interesting character and you won’t find another character exactly like her.

Some honourable mentions also include Snow White from The Wolf Among Us, Ellie from The Last Of Us, Mikan Tsumiki from Super Dangan Ronpa 2, Nami from Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life and Cassandra from Dragon Age Inquisition.

What female video characters do you love? Have a comment below!

Helena x x