Monday, 30 December 2013

Christmas Time

Belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The last week has really flown and tomorrow is the last day of the year, I'm ready to leave this year and the things that went wrong behind and I am looking forward to 2014 and the adventures it will be.This year def had it good bits, visiting Paris and my Nursing Ball spring to mind.

To help me get into the Christmas Spirit I gallivanted up to Dublin and Dundalk to see some people and hear the music students of my old college sing a few lovely Christmas carols.

My first stop was Dublin and after a quick Burger and catch up with my friend I headed for Grafton street to see the windows in Brown Thomas (best way to describe it is to say it's the Irish Harrods) and I was not dissapointed. 
They had dressed the windows with Costumes from the nearby Gaiety Theatre and it was very Gatsby-esque). 

Bewleys Cafe had set up a Christmas party with puppets and there was even crowd sounds which all added to the party atmosphere.

Grafton Street definitely helped get me into the holiday mood. Christmas songs played by a saxophone and only the slightest bit of rain, there was a bit of swaying by myself.

 Next I headed up to Dundalk. I hadn't told mu friends I was arriving that day so hopefully it was a nice surprise for them. They have to wear ballgowns for their concert hence I had to dress up aswell, not ball gown attire but still, an attempt just the same. The carols were lovely, one of my housemates actually arranged one of the songs so the day was a lovely time indeed. There was also a drink or two involved in celebration of the success and the college librarian said she liked my hair!!

Myself and the Dolls
The normal christmas traditions occured in my house which involves new pajamas (and a christmas jumper for myself) reading the night before Christmas, waiting on the stairs until the door to the sitting room was unlocked (incase the 23, 21 and 14 year old decided to wake up even earlier than normal). We had 10 people for breakfast and bucks fizz before heading to the Christmas swim (I watched and applauded and that was as close to swimming as I got). We had a quiet lunch with just the five of us and then a nap may have been involved.......showing my age I guess...... and then all the family headed for Our grandmothers for sandwiches and lots of tea. It was the first time in about 6 years all 17 grandchildren were together so after a lot of coercing we all fitted into a photo.

A few Lovely presents included Season two of Game of Thrones, a mouse onesie, a scarf, an urban dictionary calender a  a thirty euro voucher for New Look which went on a lovely navy mac (down from sixty euro to eighteen) and a pair of jeggings, and a voucher for a local pharmacy which went towards a La Roche Posay Cleanser which I am excited to get using. My big present is Car Insurance and Lessons.  I had a provisional license when I was 18  but then I had exams and college so I never got round to putting the head down and learned to drive. That should be changing soon.

That was my Christmas! A bit more quiet now I'm working and dancing away behind a bar instead of infront of it, but a lovely time was had all the same. I hope you had a Lovely Christmas and I'll see ye all in 2014

Friday, 13 December 2013

Birthday Spa Evening

It was my Birthday on Wednesday, turned the right old age of 23. Now last year there was a birthday date complete with  Bourbon, Roses, Coffee and Choclate (A lot of my Favourite things) and the year before was my 21st which included two partys drinks and dancing!

This year was far more low key. Seeing as I'm single and living at home, and my birthday was a Wednesday nothing but some cousins coming over for swiss roll was arranged. I did sneak in a Jameson and 7up though (really yummy btw). 

That evening though I got a bit mopey, so to snap myself out of it I decided I'd have a spa night and give my hair and body a bit of TLC. Of course this was decided when  all the chemists were closed so i started googling DIY face mask and DIY body scrub and seeing could I make anything from what I already had in the house. I found a lovely sugar olive body scrub here and a cinnamon, nutmeg, honey face mask here ( I actually had no cinnamon so I used mixed spice and it worked just as well)

Once I had them made I headed upstairs to start. I used Baby oil to remove my eye makeup, cheap as chips and removes every smidgen of mascara and eye shadow. I then use a cleansing gel on the rest of my face to remove everything else. 

I jumped in the shower and washed my hair using The Alberto Balsam  Sunkissed raspberry Shampoo and Conditioner for normal hair. I am a rinse and repeat kinda girl when it comes to shampooing and to use up the conditioner at the same rate I use conditioner to shave my legs so they finish at about the same time

When it came to the body scrub I turned off the actual shower and really worked it all in. I was a bit worried about smelling like a beehive but I was fine. I have a small bit of eczema on my elbow and this didn't irritate it in the slightest. 

Then I used the Baylis and Harding moonlight lavender body wash which was part of a set I actually got for a birthday and never got round to using, until now.

I got out of the shower, moisturised my face using my  Soap and Glory Feel Good Factor face moistureiser and my body using the Baylis And Harding moonlight Lavender moisturising body balm also part of the set I got for my birthday, put some TRESemme Split remedy face mask in my hair, popped on a towel turban and put on the face-mask with my fingertip. i only put a thin amount on and avoided the eye area. I kept them on for over an hour as I watched Schindlers List (Its part of the IMDB 250 list and I happened to have it on my laptop) and rinsed the masks off. I hadn't used a Hair mask in a while and after I really could see the difference, my hair gets frizzy and uncontrollable when its too dry so it was really crying out for it. My face felt a bit tight after the face mask but its so soft after it, from now on  I wont leave it on for as Long.

I think these spa nights may become a more frequent thing, not only because there is still left over mask and scrub (they keep for 30 days, and work out so much cheaper than the ones you buy in the shop)

Would you ever try a DIY beauty trick like the ones I did

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Christmas Tag

Am I the only one who thought people started putting up Christmas decorations particularly early this year??
I love Christmas as much as the next 22 (23 tomorrow actually) yr old but being able to buy Coke bottles with Santa on em at Halloween is a bit ridiculous! I for one would get sick of the decorations if I put them up really early, as in in November, but since the 8th has passed, the Christmas season has officially begun. It took us (my mother, my two brother and I) nearly four, yes FOUR hours to put all the stuff up but I think it was so worth it.I saw Jennie had The Christmas tag done over the weekend and I thought it looked fun, so I thought I'd do it too :)

Growing up we had really one Christmas movie in the house Jingle All the Way with Arnold  Schwarzenegger, he's not really a person you'd think of when you think of Christmas movies but it is very funny and I recommend it to all

What is your Favourite Festive Colour                                             Absolutely 100% Red, its just the most lovely warm colour and it  makes me happy 

Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
It has become a tradition that  we each get a new pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve (as a result the majority of my pjs are Christmassy) so we unwrap them every year. All other Gifts are opened Christmas Day.

What is your Favourite Christmas Fragrance ?
A couple of years ago I got MissDior Cherie for christmas so it even reminds me of Christmas! It was my first ever proper High End perfume so I only ever used it on special occassions. Its on its last legs now and the top of the bottle is long gone but its a lovely scent with notes of caramel and cherry.

Om nom Costa

What is your Favourite Christmas Drink?
I don't have a regular favourite but I'll always try out
whatever costa has to offer this time of year.

CandyCanes or Gingerbread men??
Def Gingerbread men here! I actually make them myself using Sorted Foods Recipe.  They turn out really well and I can't wait to make them (and mincepies) this year, I'll probably do that in the next week :)

What is your favourite Christmas song???
I love the song Santa Baby! It's just such a cheeky  and fun song. BA-DUM :)

Have You Ever Made a Snowman?
We only started getting proper snow where I live in the last 5 years, I've been making up for lost time

What is The most important thing to you about Christmas??
Family is and always has been the priority to me for Christmas. I spend as much time as I can with them at Christmas and the whole family, all 40 of us head to our Nans house for Christmas night 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Home Living Week 1

If you read my last blog post you'll know all about my college situation and how that has ended :(
I had a meeting with the head of my course on Monday who was so lovely and is giving me all the info
I need to help me figure out stuff. You are now looking at a Health Studies graduate.
Not exactly near what I wanted but still I have a degree!

And Lets not even mention the packing

Last weekend it was decided that I'd move home for the next while which was a hard thing to come to terms with as I really never felt I belonged in my home town especially compared to the town where I went to college.

It was hard to leave my housemates (I've lived with one my entire time in college) but hopefully in the long run it'll work out that it was a good decision

Now that I have moved home I am going to make the best of it. I've got a job in a bar in town and I have been applying for other jobs in the health sector so that I can use the skills I have learned. I have started to do the things on my list such as start baking (made a Christmas cake on my own for the first time ever) and reading more and taking photos. And I watched Spirited away which is on the IMDB list so now I'm up to 57 movies. (Has anyone else seen that movie? what did you think of it??)

Today we picked out our Christmas Tree and that will be tackled tomorrow so that'll be fun, some Sinatra tomorrow will be lovely. I have chosen a few things to get for people and I am starting to get into the Christmas spirit

I should have put on my list last time I wanted to increase my running. I used to run three times a week but with the cold kicking in and sheer not wanting too, I was barely doing it once a week. This week I've ran twice (I use the app runkeeper to keep an eye on my runs FYI) and it's nice to be getting out of the house in the mornings!

My brothers and I getting ready to watch the Toy Show

 Oh also this coming week (the 11th) I'll be turning 23. Really can't believe it, Taylor Swifts '22' has been playing on and off the past week. (^.^)

Monday, 25 November 2013

Bucket List

As you may or may not know during the last eleven months I have working as in intern nurse as part of my studies to become a General nurse. Last week I had a meeting and I will not be continuing the Internship and so as a result I will not be finishing my nursing course. This news has been coming for a while, but it was not any easier hearing it

What can I say I'm adorable
I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 8 years old and I saw the great work the pediatric nurses were doing with my brother and the other children in all the wards.

As devastating as this news has been (a train ride home to mope was undertaken) I have a plan in the works involving a Post grad in Nursing in the UK. This plan wont be able to be put into action until 2015, so I have to take a YEAR OUT!! The thought slightly petrifies me but I am going to be PRODUCTIVE dag nabbit!!
So I made a Unemployment/Year Out Bucket list!

1.Read more books. I have been reading Kate Mosses' "Cirtadel" for that seems like ages and I need to know what happens and read other things on my book lists (I'm gonna be ALL about lists next year) I used to read far more so I wanna get back on the Book Band Wagon.

2. New music. Having livesd wit music students the last 5 years I've been exposed to a lot of differnet kinds of music (drunken sean nos singing is a thing that happens in my house). Now I've been exposed I've heard tidbits of great things but I've never really sat down and listened to a lot of things. The first things on my list are Maccabees, The Doors, The Smiths and Alt-J.

3.Bake/Cook more. When I was growing up and staying at my Grannys house I'd forever be begging her to help me bake things. Soda bread and Christmas Cake are my forte! Since the year I did my leaving certificate I haven't had time to make christmas cake :( so this year it is my mission to do it! And that is only the start. My  two cookery books have been gathering dust  for TOO long!!

4. Blog More. Before I sat down to write this it turned out the last time I blogged was in September. This is all gonna change!!

5 Take more photos. When I was in first year in college I was introduced as 'Niamh with the camera' and had albums and albums of photos, that has dwindled with and instead of taking photos Essays were written and placement was done. I'm looking forward to relaxing and taking photos :)

6 New Skill. I am going to develop some sort of skill so I feel I haven't wasted my life for a year! what my skill is...... I haven't decided yet......but I will!!

7 Volunteer. Another thing I haven't fully thought yet is what I'm going to volunteer at, But spending a few hours a week helping people out is a good plan!!

8 More Movies According to IMDB I've seen a miniscule 59/250 movies to see before I die. By next year I probably won't have seen ALL of em but I'm going to be to at LEAST 111, (thats just one movie a week....totally achievable.......)

SO thats my list, lets see how well I do. Wish me Luck :) xx

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

My Favourite Soap and Glory Facemasks

I've always been lucky with my skin. As a teenager I never had many breakouts or anything like that. my biggest problem has always been the sides of my nose are very dry and (ewww I know) but it can be like blackhead central. So in January 'Operation Blackhead' was commenced (Yes I did name it, judge away).  So off I headed to Boots (I do slightly adore the new huge one in Cork) and spotted 'No Clogs allowed' by my true love Soap and Glory.

I had never bought a proper face mask before this but knew from my obsession with you tube and beauty blogs it was the way to go. The mask has self heating abilitie and has little granules which are not too rough at all and are perfect for clearing out pores and sorting imperfections out. I used this 2-3 a  week and have only this week run out, a repurchase is on the cards. My only slight issue was that the packaging ripped, but when I called into Boots to make sure its still there, I saw  it was repackaged so hopefully that won't be an issue anymore.

Over the summer, I believed my 'No Clogs Allowed' was almost empty (how wrong I was) so I took this as an excuse to go on to Boots and see what other masks and face products were around. When I bought 'Scrub your Nose in it' I didn't actually realise it was a mask until I read the back of the tube. Now before I start describing this I do want to stress I do really like this scrub/mask, but it happens to smell and feel Cif, the cleaning product.... I was slightly worried the first time I used it, but then I looked in the mirror and my face did look well, results are results. 

I am fairly lazy when it comes to skin care and things like that, so I do as much (in fact nearly all ) in the shower. I put a face mask, a hair mask ( currently using Herbal Essence Beautiful Ends) and then I use my Soap and Glory Clean on Me, which advises you to turn the shower off and when I'm done I rinse everything off and in my head I've saved time and its my routine.

If I had to pick between the two, I would choose No Clogs allowed (operation Blackhead has been a grand success as a result of it and my face never feels tight or red after) 

What Soap and Glory Products are your Fave?

Whats your fave mask???

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

What I've Been Reading:

One dreary day on my day off in Cavan I walked into a lovely little bookshop and spotted this odd blue book that would not allow me leave the shop without me buying it, and I didn't regret it

On the day he turns 100 years old Allan Karlsson decides one more adventure is in order. And so in his slippers and hat he absconds from the residential home where he lives and heads towards the bus station.
When it is realised Allan has dissappered a country wide search for the lost man is commenced
 In a series of flash backs we learn about Allans life and the places he has lives which include but are not limited to Sweden, Fascist Spain, Communist Russia, Korea the States and France. He also meets an array of famous idividuals such as Truman, Churchill and Stalin.

If I were to describe Allan I would say he is the Swedish Forrest Gump, with a touch more sarcasm and a touch more vodka. A  highly entertaining book that helped those four and a half hour bus trips from Cavan to Dundalk on a Friday night. Highly Recommended

My friend recently bought it as she thought it was by the same author who  wrote The Curious Incident of the Dog in  the Nighttime, as both the titles are long and slightly ridiculous.....

Have you read any good books lately??

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The One and Only Tag

  After seeing Jennie Mays'  version of the One and Only Tag I thought I'd give it a go. I thought it would be fun to examine my not so extensive make up collection and see what is it I really really like.
Primer:  Benefits Porefessional is the only one for me. As you can see its only a sample but it has lasted me so long and makes my make up go and on.

Base: I bought the Garnier BB Cream in January after a friends recommendation. I life the fact you can still see my freckles even after applying it. Its like my skin but better.  
Concealer:  After reading approx a million blogs about this, I bought it at boots, and I can see what all the hype is about, it covers under-eyes, redness (I have just lovely red patches around my nose) and spots only vanish after a dot of it is applied.  

Powder: Maybeline Dream Matte Powder has been my go to powder the past few years. It can be a little cakey if applied heavy handedly so i try to concentrate on my Tzone and sometimes if I go OTT on the blush, this is good for toning the cheeks down.

Blush: One early dreary morning sitting in the car before work my friend popped Soap and Glorys 'Love at first blush' from her purse, it was a 'I've got to have it' kinda moment. You can swirl it altogether but I try to just use the pinks together and then use the shimmer as a highlight, it makes you look like you've put a lot of time and effort into your blush even if youre running out the door.

Bronzer/Highlight;  Last summer when I was in london I am not ashamed to say one of my top priorities was to buy at least one Sleek product. I had heard only lovely things about this duo. All you Beauty Bloggers were not lying when you were raving about this contour kit (mine is light btw). Only a tiny amount of the bronzer is needed on the brush to make cheekboneless me look much more cheeky.


Make up Brush: On the same London trip I also had decided the Real Techniques Core Collection would also be mine. Even though you can buy these in Ireland, I felt it was cheaper to buy it in Sterling (it may just all be in my head though). All forms of foundation are easily blended and looks all natural and lovely.

Eyebrow/Eyeshadow: Soap and Glorys Lid Stuff in 'Whats Nude' is just the perfect everyday kit. Vanilla (Top Left) under the brow bone Pink T (Top Right) over the socket, and mudhoney and Aubersheen (bottom left and right respectively) in the outer eye. I also use mudhoney for my day eyebrow colour, its very natural looking and suits me down to the ground.

Eyeliner:  I must have been a good girl last year, because Santa gifted me Urban Decays Ocho Loco (eight gorgeous Eyeliners in one kit). Ignored far too much until recently is the dark brown 'Hustle'. I do Love perversion but black is just a small bit harsh on me for everyday wear, so Hustle is my go to.

Mascara:  MORE Soap and Glory! I never ever wear fake lashes and with Thick and Fast I feel like I don't need to. The Brush is slightly Huge and on more than one occasion I have ended up with mascara on my face, but once I got used to it I was in Love.

Lipstick:  Flirt Alert was my first ever high end purchase and it is just Gorgeous. As you can see in the photo I use Red quite a bit, it just suits my colouring down to the ground, and it isn't drying.

Lipstain;  Ok the Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple is not exactly a Lip Stain but its just a gorgeous, naturally red that I can wear during the day that looks good and saves my lips during the cold

Lip liner:  For a girl that wears a Load of red lip colour I dont bother very much with lip liners as much as I should. Essences' Red Blush is the one I bought when I decided to start. it makes flirt alert last longer, and stops the colour from bleeding.

Lipbalm: Pennys finest lip treatment is really a life saver. Its very thick and you have to melt it with your fingers, and it smells lovely, and what's great is if you just throw it into your uniform tunic like me there's no way it will stain your pocket. 



Monday, 9 September 2013

Reflexology time!

As part of my dealing with stress at work thing (yay stress.........) it was recommended to me that I try out a reflexology session and see if that could help.
Reflexology, is an alternative medicine involving the physical act of applying pressure to the feet, hands, or ears with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques without the use of oil or lotion.                          

It was explained to me that the feet are like maps to the rest of the body and that you can examine the body through massaging the feet. The week before I went to my appointment a woman I worked with went and was told she was going to get a chest infection as the reflexologist could feel the fluid build up in her lungs.

So I decided what the hell lets do this.

Soulistic Holistic Health Centre has opened up only recently and I just happened to walk past it and inquired about reflexology and got an appointment for that Friday. The office/treatment room was decorated with candles and purple and relaxed me when I walked in. The reflexologist explained everything and I left deciding I had made a good choice for dealing with my stress

On the day of the appointment I was a bit nervous going in (what if she told me my body was a total and utter mess and it was unhelpable)

The reflexologist was very nice and reassuring. Oriental music was playing and the room was darkened. Before the massage she asked my questions about my lifestyle, diet and stress and any illnesses I may have.
The reflexologist started on my left foot and after a while wrote on a chart and continued onto my left foot. The foot that wasnt being massaged was covered in a towel and i was given a blanket. It was very relaxing and I almost fell asleep.

The session lasted about an hour and then after the time she discussed what she had found.            Surprisingly I was informed I had less issues than the normal individual.
My lymphatic system and right fallopian tube had arisen as parts of my body that needed attention, but all I really had to do was increase my water drinking and I'd be fine. After leaving I felt so so so relaxed I could have melted into the pavement. For the next few days my ankles did feel a bit weak but I asked and it doesn't seem to happen to other people. I found the session very relaxing which is what I wanted out of it. Instead of having it again though I might try the other massage options available, such as an Indian Head massage or even an aromatherapy massage. I would highly recommend getting a massage, particularly if you get stressed like me.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

From Paris with Love

From Paris with Love

In May of this Year I decided to head to Paris for 3 days. I chose Paris because I am semi Obsessed with Coco Chanel and also as Essie Button had been there the year before. Needless to say I was excited (As in I was so excited I did not sleep the night prior or on the plane and as a result I fell asleep standing up waiting to get into the Louvre).

Inside The Louvre 

I stayed in Friends Hostel which was just beside a metro station which made travelling so easy. It may not be the safest area at night but I had no problems.

I wasn't planning on going to the Louvre but as I arrived on the first Sunday of the month, all museums are free so I decided to wander about the place and I felt trés cultured. I also walked to the Musée de l'Orangerie and had a good look at a few Monets.

The second day was mostly exploring the city. I took a bus tour first thing that morning. 
I do this on every trip as you see the main sites and have an idea of how to get from one place to another.

The evening of my second night I met a friend who lives in Paris. She took me to the Jewish area of the City and we had Falafel but not before she took me to an old Jewish school which had a placard remembering all the students, teachers and parents who had been taken by the Nazis during the second World War II.  Walking through the same streets as those people, that whole war was never as real to me as it was then. Behind The Notre Dam there is a World War II memorial whereby you are not allowed to talk and the walls are close together and it tries to make you feel like you are a prisoner. I would recommend this almost more than any other part of the trip

World War II Memorial

                           And yes I did try snails, they taste like mushrooms, I enjoyed them
On my last day I had a Chanel day altogether. In the Palais de Tokyo there was an exhibition on Chanels' life before during and just after the development of the iconic No5 perfume. When I was walking around Paris I would see Chanel shopping bags which had the address of Cocos' actual apartment so I made it my mission to just find the building so I could say I was there. When I eventually found it I was just far too happy with this fact. A security man then came outside and I asked him in my extremely broken french was this the building where she lived. He replied 'yes but she did not sleep here' and I interrupted saying 'No she slept in the Ritz' (fun fact of the day for ye all) and he was quite impressed and asked me would I like to come in and see the glass stairs. I am not ashamed to admit I choked up at this as I went inside. Not sure how impressed Chanel would be with my converse but it was most definitely a highlight of the trip.
                                                 The closest I will ever be to Ms Chanel

I spent 3 days in Paris and would advise that everyone visit. It is so steeped in culture and history. you'll just feel more educated after leaving the place. And also there is amazing shopping and huge designer shops such Cartier and Chanel and so much more i didn't even see. The whole city is just a masterpiece.

 Have you ever been to Paris?? Which city would you love to visit next??