June 2020 Update!

Well hello there, and welcome back to the blog — Yes I disappeared for what? 3 weeks, or thereabouts?

To be truthful with you, I ran out of ideas. Running a blog on a regular basis can be difficult, especially when you throw in a full time job into the mix, as well as a global pandemic that makes life a little different than normal!

My last post was of my dresser makeover, and after that the ideas, they just stopped flowing. I had so many ideas for the month of May, and I did most of the things I made on my list, but when it came to making my list for June, I literally sat staring at the page in my notebook designated for blog post ideas. I got two blog post ideas, one was this one you’re reading right now (I know, great right? 🙄), and the. other was something to do with my new iPad, how I’m using it, my favourite apps, etc, but this isn’t a tech blog, and I don’t know if you guys would be interested in something like that— let me know! After that, my ideas ran dry…

June isn’t usually a busy month for me on a normal basis, but throw in a pandemic into the mix, and June is just pure dud. Apart from going to work, I’ve been drawing and practicing on my iPad with Procreate, making art for some friends and family, as well as getting a commission to make a logo for an up and coming local business. I’m very much all about keeping my art stuff separate to this blog, but if you’d like to read about my art stuff here, again, let me know, and maybe I’ll make a blog post every now and again with some updates as to what I’m working on and anything else art related I might be doing!

July is just around the corner, and Ireland is slowly starting to return to some ‘normality’ if it can be called that. July is also the month for “Plastic-Free July” which is where more awareness is made about how much plastic we use, and how we can replace/use less plastic! Last year I made a series of blog posts on the topic and I’d love to revisit it again this year, so if you’ve any ideas let me know, or have any questions about how to use less plastic leave comment with your question.

As usual, you can follow me on social media to keep up with all my antics—my Instagram handle is @dean.kealy and I post there a lot more frequently than I do here, so make sure you are following me there if you want more me! 🙂

Until then, I’ll see you next week soon! 😉

The Corona Chronicles: The Final Countdown

Welcome back to the blog! Today I am writing probably one of my last Corona Chronicles posts, because while lockdown might not be over, I am going back to work as of this coming Monday…

Continue reading The Corona Chronicles: The Final Countdown

The Corona Chronicles Part 4: One Month Later…

It’s been the guts of a month since my last blog post, and well I haven’t really been doing much, because y’know… lock down and all that jazz. My intention was to chime in here on a weekly basis, but when the first week came around, I really didn’t have a whole lot to say, then week 2 came around, and week 3… same thing! Now here we are on April 25th and well I do have a few things to say.

In my last post I mentioned the country was in lock down until April 12th. If you’re one of my non-Irish readers, you may not know that we are now in lock down until May 5th. It was a massive gut punch, as we thought we were near the end of this only to find out no, that’s not the case, and to be honest, who knows, this could go further than May 5th.

A lot of concerts and events have either been cancelled or postponed until next year. I myself, have had one concert moved to the same date next year, and I’m still waiting to find out about the other…

My job is still classed as a non-essential service, therefore I am still out of work until told otherwise, as are a lot of other people. But I do have friends and family who are working in essential services, and I salute them for their hard work and for keeping their respective services operational for the country.

So, what have I been up to? Well after my last post, I only went and ordered myself a Nintendo Switch Lite (which are apparently now gold dust, along with the main Switch console due to the factory being shut in Japan), and the new Animal Crossing game. It’s really enjoyable but quite time consuming as it operates on real-time, so there are certain tasks that after you complete, you have to wait until the next day to take affect, etc.

In the last few days I got myself into a bit of a rut, and yesterday evening it all came to a head after I got a massive headache, and felt quite unwell (no, it’s not Corona–just too many take-away’s and junk food). I decided to get myself up early this morning, clean start, no more junk food or alcohol (well, to the amount I had previously been consuming during lock down). I also decided I was going to participate in the 5 km run that my cousin tagged me in for a really good cause. So after a light bit of breakfast and my iced coffee, I took myself out and did my bit. I did remain within the 2 km distance that we’ve been recommended to stay within, and I also ended up doing a fast paced walk for the majority of it, because to be honest, I nearly killed myself trying to jog/run– but I feel so much better now, and I’m going to keep up the clean eating, and try and exercise when I can. Never thought I’d say this, but I miss the gym ha ha…

So that’s basically what I’ve been at for the past month. I’ve also been trying to post quite consistently on my Instagram, so if you’re not already, I recommend you do that, as I’m quite active over there, and I interact a lot!

https://www.instagram.com/dean.kealy/ ( or just search @dean.kealy )

 

The Corona Chronicles Part 3: Lock-Down

As of Saturday, March 28th 2020, Ireland is in lock-down!

We all knew this was coming. The Taoiseach ( for all my non-Irish readers that’s what we call our Prime-Minister, pronounced ‘tee-shock’) hinted at it earlier in the week, and did an emergency broadcast last night confirming it.

Today is my 4th day off work/self-isolating, and so far it hasn’t been too bad. I’ve been working full time since September, and before that I only worked a few hours a week, so I’m kinda used to having this free time, but it has been a little weird not working again…

I’ve been trying to keep a routine. I’m still getting up early, as if I were to go to work, getting dressed, and making myself a little to-do list. I feel if I keep myself busy, and don’t leave much time for lounging around, I won’t get bored too quickly. It’s actually been great so far, I’ve been very productive, and I’ve gotten a couple jobs that I was putting on the long finger out of the way, and I’ve a few more things lined up to keep me occupied in the coming days, because we’re in this until April 12th, and it will more than likely continue on past that.

I’m trying to post to Instagram at least once a day too, you can follow me here: @dean.kealy.

I’m also sharing stuff on my Dean Kealy Blog Facebook page, if you’re so inclined you can follow HERE.

That’s all I have for now. I might reduce these Corona Chronicle blog posts to once a week, just so I’m not bombarding you guys, and I’ll have a little more to say. So I’m off to go think up more blog post ideas, and I’m also accepting suggestions as to what type of blog posts you would like to see from me!

How have things been for you so far? Are you in lock-down too? Let’s chat!

🙂


Corona Chronicles Part 1: Isolation

Corona Chronicles Part 2: Stay Safe

 

The Corona Chronicles Part 2: Stay Safe

It’s been three days since I last popped in here on the blog to update you guys. As of today, I am officially part of what I am calling the ‘temporarily unemployed club’.

Time for me to keep myself isolated/quarantined, as I have been working with the general public since this all began, so I probably am better off not working, so I don’t continue to risk putting not only myself, but others who might be around me in danger.

I have a plan for the time I am not in work. I want to take advantage of this free time to work on some art (Polly if you’re reading this I’m working on your project), I’ll have more time to keep in touch with you guys here on the blog, and I’ll probably get up to a few other bits around the house too (I want to declutter/spring-clean my bedroom). Initially I think I’m going to try and keep a similar schedule to what I have been in work, so and started at whatever I’m working on by 9am, quick coffee break for 10-20 mins around 11am, lunch 1-2pm, and then finish up at around 6pm, have some dinner and then relax for the evening–seems do-able, right?

One of the main things I intend to do is try and share as much positive news and images etc. as I can. I’ll probably be sharing most of them on my Dean Kealy Blog Facebook page, as that’s where I find there seems to be the most negativity, but I’ll also be sharing stuff to my Instagram Stories too– so make sure you’re following both those if you want to keep up!

Things have gotten a little stricter here in Ireland, but we haven’t gone into as much of a lockdown as the UK have. Basically all non-essential business have been asked to close, my job included, but it’s not a complete lockdown, and hopefully if people are smart enough, it won’t come to one, but we can only hope that it won’t come to that.

Have you been made part of the ‘temporarily unemployed club’? What are you doing to keep yourself occupied? Drop a comment! Just because we need to self-isolate, doesn’t mean we can’t chat here! 🙂

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s been a while since I last checked in with you wonderful folks… I stopped blogging for a few weeks to do some painting, and then when I stopped painting, I forgot to come back to blogging, but alas, here I am! Why now? Because the world is starting to spin into an even darker hole of negativity, especially with this whole virus that shall not be named here on this blog came about!

Today is St. Patrick’s Day, normally a big celebration here in Ireland, but we’re all stuck indoors because the whole world is currently diseased and the only way to get rid of it is to stop all social activities, which is primarily what St. Patrick’s Day is about–but this year it’s a very different state of affairs, as we all wallow in our houses dooming and glooming…

So here are a few of my favourite things that I have been looking at/watching/listening to, to help cheer you up this St. Patrick’s Day, especially if your self-isolating:

MUSIC/YOUTUBE:

Hobo Johnson — I found Hobo Johnson randomly one day on YouTube, and really like his style, it’s hard to describe–one of those you just gotta check him out for yourself, but I feel like he’s one of those you’ll either love him or hate him types…

Lizzo — who doesn’t love a little Lizzo, right? Ever since I heard her song Truth Hurts on a movie on Netflix, I’ve really liked her music, and just the other day I stumbled across her NPR Tiny Desk recording, which is basically a 15 min. video of her 3 most popular songs. It’s a really good recording and I definitely recommend if you’re looking for something to hype you a bit.

Becki & Chris — these two are some of my favourite YouTuber’s at the minute and they recently created a 6 part docu-style series on their channel called Cold Island, where they packed their bags and their camera gear and flew in a helicopter across Cold Island. They also do home renovation videos, tutorials and vlogs on their channel and I definitely recommend them if you’re looking for some creative inspiration!

TV SHOWS:

If you’re looking for some good, light-hearted TV series to watch, I recommend the following: (all are on Netflix btw)

Or for something a bit more serious, I recommend: (also on Netflix)

MOVIES:

There are lots of great movies out there at the minute, and I know it can be hard sometimes to actually just pick one, so here are some of my recommendations: (which can all be found on Netflix)

 

…and that’s all I’ve got for you for now! Hope you make the most of your St. Patrick’s Day, and hopefully I’ll see you all soon! 😉

The 100 Happy Days Challenge // Dean Kealy Blog

When I look back at 2019, all I can see is a shitty 12 months. It had some positive moments, and some wins, but overall, it was a terrible year! I want to try and be a bit more positive in 2020.

How? Yesterday I was watching YouTube, like I do most days, and I came across a video from one of the channels I’m subscribed to, Kelsey Impicciche, called “a letter to my past and future self…” . (If I’m honest, I wouldn’t recommend it be one of the first videos by her that you watch because it’s a very personal one, so if you do watch that video I would ask that you watch some of her other content before jumping to conclusions). In this video she mentions the 100 Happy Days Challenge, and this really struck a chord with me. I vaguely remember an old friend of mine participating in it a few years ago, so I had some idea of how it worked, but decided to further investigate to better my knowledge.

logo3
image via 100 Happy Days website

Upon going to the website, the main piece of text that stood out to me was the following:

People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:
– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;

It was the “Be in a better mood every day” that solidified it for me. I’ve been trying to have a more positive attitude to things as of the start of the New Year (yes I realise we’re only a few days in) and I really hope this can help me to be at least a little happier in myself everyday.

I’m going to be participating, starting tomorrow Monday January 6th 2020, and I’ll be using Instagram to mark my progress, so make sure you follow me there (@dean.kealy). Don’t be surprised though if I don’t share something everyday as the guidelines say you can keep it private if you so wish, it’s not a competition. I might even do a weekly round-up post to keep those of you who just read the blog up to date, but definitely go follow me on Instagram!

What do you think of the 100 Happy Days Challenge?

Are you going to join in on the challenge?

See you in the next blog post (or tomorrow on Instagram!) 😉

2020 – Happy New Year! // Dean Kealy Blog

Welcome to the 1st 2020 blog post here on Dean Kealy Blog! Its been a few months since I last wrote a blog post, but not for lack of trying.


Life has gotten quite a bit hectic since my Plastic Free July blog posts. I only went and got myself a full time job—which basically has taken over my life. This is the first time I’ve ever had a permanent full time job, so I’ve been trying to figure out a balance between my work life, and my free time. I have been officially working there 4 months now, so I think the New Year is the best time to grab hold of my hobbies once again and not let work take over my life completely.


This is my main New Year’s Resolution, if you will. I have been slacking on doing things that I love like writing blog posts, reading, and making art, and I really want to get back to those things. To fix the blogging aspect, I’m going to try and post at least once a week, even if it’s only a ramble of blog post like this one. Reading should be simple enough as I love to read, so I just need to dedicate a block of time to it in the evenings before bed. Art-wise, I’ve a few art pieces I want to work on, and I’ve also got a new tablet and stylus, so I want to practice some more on my digital art. Again, its just a matter of dedicating a block of time to it in the evenings after work.


That’s basically where I am at going into 2020. I am hoping for a better year this year, as 2019 was absolutely terrible.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Are you excited for 2020?

How was 2019 for you?

See ya next week! 🙂

#PlasticFreeJuly2019: Reduce Plastic in the Bathroom!

So as we continue on with #PlasticFreeJuly2019, I thought that I’d share another aspect that I am trying to improve on, and that is removing the amount of plastic I use in the bathroom. Believe it or not, the bathroom is one of the biggest culprits for the amount of plastic we use and waste, and when you go looking, there are actually so many easy replacements.

Plastic waste is a problem in the bathroom – from toothpaste tubes to shampoo bottles. … If you’re trying to reduce your own plastic waste, one place you may feel a little stumped is in the bathroom. When it comes to hygiene and beauty products, plastic packaging is often hard to avoid  — from friendsoftheearth.uk

One of the first things I replaced in my bathroom was the soap. I stopped using dispenser soap and went back to the traditional bar of soap. Yes, those old things, remember those? The one I use, and in fact, most of the products I use in the bathroom is by Bull Dog. Along with the bar of soap, I also use their moisturizer, face wash and stubble moisturizer.

The bar of soap, straight away depletes a plastic soap dispenser from our bathroom, and the bar comes in cardboard packaging, making it recyclable. As for the moisturisers and face wash, the ‘plastics’ that Bull Dog use are made from sugarcane.

The tubes that Bulldog’s products come in are different. That’s because Bulldog is the first male skincare brand in the world to use sugarcane as a raw material in our packaging. So instead of using plastic from fossil fuels, Bulldog’s tubes use sugarcane plastic, made from Brazilian sugarcane, a renewable source that needs little more than natural rainfall to grow. — from bulldogskincare.com/sugarcane

Images via bulldogskincare.com

Each year skincare companies use lots of plastic in their packaging. Most of this plastic is made from fossil fuels, which are non-renewable and release carbon dioxide which contributes to global warming. — bulldogskincare.com

Next up Processed with VSCO with n2 presetis my toothbrush. I’ve stopped buying standard plastic toothbrushes, and instead have replaced mine with a biodegradable plastic alternative. I’ll be the first to put my hands up and say, yes its not a plastic free alternative, but it’s still an alternative. I did try the bamboo toothbrush everyone is going mad for, but I can’t stand the texture of it, personally, so I found this biodegradable plastic alternative. Ironically, I now can’t find them on Amazon (maybe the seller removed the listing?) but the packaging did insist it was biodegradable–hopefully I wasn’t deceived.

Approximately a billion brushes are thrown away in the United States annually — that’s 50 million pounds of waste. Roughly 3.5 billion brushes are sold worldwide each year — they all have to go somewhere, and that somewhere is usually landfill. It’s staggering to comprehend. But we can change it. — via Susan Goldberg on medium.com

Along with my toothbrush, I also just recently switched out my toothpaste and mouthwash. In the past couple of months I’ve been following a small little starter company on Instagram called Green Outlook, and I finally placed my first order there last week and picked up a few bits, including toothpaste and mouthwash.

https://www.greenoutlook.ie/product-category/bathroom/

These alternatives are much better than your standard shop bought toothpaste and mouthwash. They don’t contain fluoride, so they’re less abrasive on your teeth and the packaging they come in is completely plastic free. With the toothpaste you simply apply a pea sized amount to your toothbrush with the supplied wooden spatula, and the mouthwash comes in capsules that you dissolve in 20ml of water and rinse and gargle like you normally would with regular mouthwash.

There are so many other replacements too, including using roll-on deodorant instead of aerosols, avoiding plastic packaging by buying alternatives, and basically just being more conscious of how and what you use in the bathroom. I recommend checking out GreenOutlook.ie for all they have to offer in being plastic free–everything on there has zero plastic and even the packaging it’s delivered in is from recycled materials.

I could go on forever, but I feel like that’s enough for now to bombard you guys with. If you’ve any questions, feel free to ask them and I’ll answer to the best of my abilities.

If you’re getting fed up with my #PlasticFreeJuly2019 posts, this may be the last one — no promises though!

😉