Saturday, 11 August 2018

In Honour of My Dog's Fifth Birthday

Daisy is a complicated dog. A dog who does her own thing. She's a golden retriever without many golden retriever traits. She doesn't like children (though she tries her best not to get annoyed at them. only sometimes works) and she doesn't like people in general. If she puts her head on your chin, even if all she wants is bread and not your cuddles, you're a chosen one. Whether you like it or not, you're part of the family now, her inner circle of maximum 10 people.

We don't really know why she's like that. We got a golden retriever because they're friendly and good natured. But we love her so much and project a goofy personality onto her which she shows us when she's in a good mood. Highlights of her day are the Bread Dance, a wiggle in the kitchen when she wants her favourite snack, a run around the park with her dog friend, Lola, and a sneak onto the couch or around the whole house when she thinks she'll get away with it.

She rarely licks or approaches people for reasons of affection. Which is a shame, because she's so pretty that people always long for it. Sometimes she wants a scratch, usually just the food you're eating or preparing. She's a dog of her own agenda. She can do tricks like beg, sit, paw, crawl, but when she is instructed to do them and she doesn't feel like it, she'll just lie down in protest.

When she was a puppy she used to run around in high speed circuits when something amused or excited her. She does that more sparingly now, but people are always surprised to learn how old she is because she's incredibly sprightly. She plays in the garden for hours on end, chasing various items around the garden and then chasing her new and old dog friends when she sees them.

She's always going to be a bit of a mystery, and never going to be the good, placid, affectionate golden retriever we had anticipated. Taking care of her is a huge task I wouldn't ask of anyone she doesn't know well. Nevertheless, we love her so much, and her goofy antics forever light up our days. And seeing as I can't be with her today (not that she'd have any clue that it was her special day), I'll wish her an internet happy birthday and share these cute pictures of my big puppy from 3 weeks ago to you!

Happy Birthday, Daisy!


p.s. daisy has an instagram for anyone who wishes to see more of her!

Monday, 6 August 2018

Giving my iPhone a Makeover with CaseApp + GIVEAWAY

I have had the same case for my phone for years. My black, heavy duty case completely predates my latest iPhone, but I never changed it because I wanted a case that would protect my phone, and if it meant it was a bit boring, I just had to settle for it. This all changed when I got in touch with Caseapp and they offered to let me try out two cases of my choosing. What's more is that I got to customise them anyway I wanted to- score!

Not only are the phone cases cute, but they're protective. Literally exactly what I was looking for. I decided I'd get one of their pre-made designs, "Whales in Blue" in matte and very excitingly, upload an image of my own, what I call "Purple Bear Sketch" for want of a better title. It's a design I've had on my hands for ages without anything to do with it, and to be able to hold it in my hands, my very own personalized phone case! On its first outing, my friends complimented it very enthusiastically. I can now happily thank my black phone case for its duty and continue to use my CaseApp cases for ever.

I was really impressed with how quickly CaseApp sent me my products, and happy with how easy the whole process was. Uploading my own design was easy and intuitive, and the choice of pre-made designs was vast. I think the little whales will be so cute for any nautical/seaside day I have! The whole process took 6 business days which was really great. I would totally order from CaseApp again (also got to say it, this isn't a sponsored post. They sent me the products but these opinions are all my own- really genuinely pleased with the experience) and they were even kind enough to give me a discount code for YOU! That's right, with this discount code you can get 20% off your purchase with CaseApp, be it a laptop skin, iPad skin or phone case. There are so many options.

the code: ANNASZUHAUSE20

And now for the part you've all been waiting for, the giveaway! This is my first giveaway, and I'm just so excited about it because we're nearing my 6 year blog anniversary and I'm delighted to be able to give back to you with the help of CaseApp. The winner will win 1x Custom product from Caseapp. You get to choose the product, but I'm more than happy to provide the somewhat exclusive purple bear design if you so wish (so we can twin!). All you have to do is follow my blog, either through bloglovin, blogger or e-mail, follow CaseApp on instagram and enter using the gleam app which I've linked to below. There are some bonus entries too! The competition ends at midnight the 6th of September GMT. The winner will be announced on the 7th of September, so get entering! So much excitement.

Best of luck!


Zu Hause + CaseApp Phone Case Giveaway

Monday, 30 July 2018

August 2018 Playlist

August is destined to be a completely crazy month for me. I'm traveling, learning, getting back into the swing of things after a chilled yet fun summer. I can hardly imagine what's in store for me! August is my favourite month of the year always because of the weather and the beautiful sunsets and evening light, so hopefully this year is just as good. In celebration/anticipation of a novel month, I've put together a little playlist. This one is similar vibe wise to my June Playlist which got a really good reception (thank you thank you!) so I hope you enjoy it with me!

As always, I'm open to any musical suggestions you have, whether you think they have a place on this playlist or are completely different and deserve a listen.

Happy almost August!

Anna x

Friday, 20 July 2018

Learning to Treat Myself Better

Sometimes it's hard to put yourself first, other times you put yourself first too many times, but not always in helpful and healthy ways. Sometimes you think it's 'self-care' but really all you're doing is ignoring your problems, folding them up and carrying them around in your back pocket. Self care is not saying you're okay when you're not. Self care should be when you know you're not okay and accept it, but try to make life easier for yourself. Self care should be when you know you're okay but want to treat yourself even better. It's not always a simple path.

But we have a choice. You can do things to make your life better. You can try things, you can learn to let go of fear. If you don't expect much, if you go in with low hopes but high faith you can seriously help yourself. I know this because I have a tendency towards pessimism, I worry about how things are going to turn out, I don't trust myself enough, but I'm learning. I'm learning so much that I've a pull to tell you what I've been doing, and how I've been trying, and how you can too.

I've always wanted to try things, but I've always been too scared to. But I have a couple of things lined up that I'm so excited for now, and even though I'm really anxious about how they'll go and the amount of personal effort and will I'll have to produce, I am so ready to see what happens. I don't want to reveal too much, but to say that in a few weeks I'll be traveling somewhere on my own and when I get back, I'm signed up to try a new sport. I'm extremely shy and very unsporty, so these two things sound like they might be tough and I mighn't be that good at them, but every bone in my body is asking me to do them, for me. It just takes one decision and a little bit of planning to create such opportunities for yourself. I will soon let you know how these go.

I've been spending more time with my friends too, so small as a thing, but it brings me such joy. I'm an introvert so it takes me a lot of energy to make plans with friends and anticipate them and get ready, but once I'm there in the middle of the action, I nearly always have an amazing time. I'm so lucky with the friends I've made, that the older ones have lasted through my first year of college, that my new friends are so sweet to me, even though I can't see them much during the summer. It's taken me a crazily long time to realise that all the energy I need to generate to spend time with these beautiful people is more than worth it. And seeing them more just makes my heart so full.

Eating good food is such a mood booster too. One thing I've been trying to do lately is to have nice food available for breakfast. It incentivizes me to get up as I'm a big child and find tasty food exciting, but if you eat well at the start of the day, you'll feel better and try not to wreck it by eating rubbish later. Another thing I've been trying to keep in supply is face/hair masks. The ultimate treat yourself move, and they can be very inexpensive.

All of these things, small though they may be, have been helping me to feel better, and I hope they can help you too if you don't do them already.

Do you have any tips or advice to share?

With love,

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Jack Johnson Live at The Marquee, Cork // 2 July 2018

This has been a good summer for concerts. Having seen Taylor Swift in concert just two weeks prior, the prospect of seeing one of my other music favourites perform was too much to handle! I've been listening to Jack Johnson since my early years of secondary school, he was the background to math study, the only subject I allowed myself to listening to music whilst studying. It feels like we go way back. And when he announced he was coming to Ireland for the first time in 12 years(!!) I just had to go.

He played in the Marquee, which is genuinely a marquee/circus tent set up in the middle of a car park just outside Cork city. It only holds some 4,000 people and is set up each summer for a series of concerts. People such as Bob Dylan, Elton John and Lana Del Rey have performed there in the past. This year's line up is almost complete, but has seen the likes of Kraftwerk, Alanis Morisette and Don McClean perform. It's basically a really cool summer series with some serious artists!

It was a bit of a sweaty summer's day, the sun was still shining as my companion and I walked to the concert. We missed the opening act, local Irish "The Ocelots", but honestly didn't mind too much. I'd never heard of them and was really only there to see Jack Johnson perform. It was so strange walking up to the tent because I'd never been in such a huge one! It's one of the weirdest venues I've been in, as it felt very makeshift, but in actuality it worked well because despite the lack of screens or projections, I could see perfectly well from our middle-row seats.

It was such a contrast to the Taylor Swift concert. Not only was it 1/20th of the size, but it lacked any sort of visual spectacle. The lights on stage changed between about 4 colours, but remained blue for the vast majority of the concert. Jack Johnson didn't outfit-change (lol) and most importantly and specially, it was so casual! It felt incredibly intimate when Jack asked for song requests and consulted his band when he needed help figuring out chords. He forgot/messed up the words on around 3 or 4 occasions, but honestly it just made it more cozy and friendly. He was up on stage having fun, only using a vague setlist which he altered as he wished and with a couple of requests shouted up at him from the crowd. It was so cool! I know he doesn't have as many hard core fans as some of the other artists I listed earlier, but I felt very lucky to be able to see one of my favourite artists perform in such a relaxed and fun way.

He played guitar the whole time as his band played their various instruments. Another thing which I enjoyed was the fact that all of the music was organic. It was produced on the spot with live instruments, which is really so much rarer these days. He didn't have any fancy amps or techniques, it was just as natural as a concert gets! He played some of my favourite songs and many crowd pleasers such as Banana Pancakes, Better Together, Home and Do You Remember. He came back for an encore as the crowd cheered and roared for him, performing a few songs completely solo before he was rejoined by his band and the Ocelots. It was such a pleasant evening, and Jack was on stage for around 2 hours if not a little more than that which was so amazing! Naturally I had to come away with a t-shirt.

Do any of you like Jack Johnson or his music?

Anna x
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