Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Surprise Trip to Manchester

Something I wasn't expecting on my graduation day was a trip to Manchester. My boyfriend Paddy really did surprise me with this one, he seriously is a keeper. He had everything all booked and the whole weekend planned out for us. It was so nice not having to worry about flights, that was already sorted. We flew over to Manchester with Ryanair, from past experiences I repacked my bag a million times to make sure it wasn't overweight. Thankfully it wasn't, I downsized my makeup bag so much for the trip, I literally brought the necessities and I'm glad I did it freed up so much space.
This was my fourth time going to Manchester and it is one of my favourite cities. There's so much to do over there and the people are extremely friendly. Of course the shopping is amazing too. It wouldn't be a trip to Manchester without visiting the Trafford Centre. Thankfully Paddy is one patient guy and he didn't mind strolling through all the shops with me. We must of spent pretty much the whole day there and himself being the gentleman carried all my shopping. Luckily we also came to Manchester at the right time as their Christmas Fair had just started that weekend. I've been to a couple of Christmas fairs in Dublin but this one was so much better. Walking around town made me feel so Christmassy! I really enjoyed checking out all the different stalls, I could literally do that all day. I was really impressed with this sweet stall, I couldn't leave without a picture. 
On Sunday we went to the Phones4U arena (will always be the MEN to me) to see Vampire Weekend and Noah & the Whale. Paddy and I love both of these bands and it was so amazing to see them live. I've been to this venue twice (Taylor Swift & Morrissey) and it's my favourite. It's really easy to get to and we've always had amazing seats everytime we've gone. The gig lasted for about two and a half hours, for the whole duration we didn't stop singing along to our favourite tunes. Paddy introduced me to Vampire Weekend and Noah & the Whale when we started going out almost five years ago so this gig was really special for us.

I couldn't pick one highlight from this trip as there was so many of them. I had such an unbelivable time, I'm so lucky to have such an amazing boyfriend. It was such a nice break from work, kinda sad to be back now. I definitely came back with a much heavier suitcase than what I went with. I guess somethings never change eh? I'll be putting up a haul post really soon on here as I did pick up some gems whilst I was there. I'm really hoping to take another trip to Manchester in the New Year I always have such an amazing time in that city.

What is your favourite holiday memory?


Thursday, November 21, 2013

My Graduation Day!

Last Monday was a huge day for me, I graduated from college. For those of you who didn't know over the past year I did a Part-time Diploma in PR, Sales, Advertising and Marketing in DBS. I went two evenings a week for eight months which was pretty difficult at times. Some days I was working from 8am-4.30pm and rushing into college for 6 so it did get somewhat stressful. Even after all that though I don't regret going back to college again, I did a course that I absolutely loved and I met some amazing people that I'm going to keep in touch with. On the day of graduation the weather was supposed to be pretty horrible (typical Dublin) but the skies stayed clear which was a relief. I was a bit apprehensive about wearing the robes at first as I seriously thought they'd be too long and I'd fall over but I have to say once I put them on over my dress they weren't as bad as I though they'd be. My Mom and Dad treated me to professional graduation pictures that were taken on the day so I can't wait for them to arrive in the post. I'm already picking out photo frames to put them into, I think a trip to IKEA is definitely needed soon.
I picked up my dress from Awear in Dundrum Town Centre and I couldn't be happier with it. I love this style of dress and I have quite a few in my wardrobe. I went for a floral print as I know it would be something I'd wear again. I hate nothing more than buying a dress and knowing deep down that it's just going to be sitting in my wardrobe right after the event gathering dust for god knows how long. I did my makeup quite simple on the day with a neutral eye look and of course lashings of mascara. I've been using YSL's Baby Doll mascara lots recently, definitely my most reached for mascara at the moment. Another product I have to mention is by a brand called YoungBlood and it's their Liquid Mineral Foundation. It's wasn't a brand I was familiar with before but after I went to their launch a couple of weeks ago I was really looking forward to giving their products a go. I'm not one for mineral powder foundations they just have never really worked for me. This is something completely different from the other mineral foundations I've tried as it's a liquid. After using this a couple of times this is hands down my favourite foundation. It doesn't cake on my skin and it literally feels like I'm wearing no makeup at all, it's unbelievably lightweight.  I'm so glad I used this on my graduation day as you can see from the photos it photographed amazingly well and it didn't budge all day.
My graduation will definitely be up there as one of the best days of my life. It was so nice to spend the day with my family, to see my parents and grandparents cheering while I was going up on stage to collect my diploma will definitely stay with me forever. Unfortunately Paddy couldn't come along to the ceremony but he came up to my Nanna's house in the evening for some nibbles. Paddy got me the most amazing gift, last weekend he brought me over to Manchester to see two of my favourite bands, Vampire Weekend and Noah & the Whale. I had such an unreal time over there, it's one of my favourite cities and I'll definitely be going back over sometime in the New Year for sure. I'm going to be popping up a Manchester Trip post on here soon and don't be surprised to see a sneaky haul too. 


Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Personal Training Diary - Week 2, 3 & 4

I would have liked to do weekly personal training updates, but as of late I've been getting more hours in work so it didn't really allow it. I've decided to combine the last three weeks into one big update to share my progress so far with you guys.
As the weeks goes on training has been getting tougher and tougher. No session is the same which is great as I find myself doing something different every day. When I started four weeks ago the thing that worried me the most was situps. I was so bad at them at first but over the course of the last couple of sessions I've gotten really good at them. This is such a huge deal for me as this time last year I could never imagine myself doing 1 situp let alone 40. Every week my trainer Sophie turns things up on notch so whenever I feel like things are getting easier they get so much harder. I was worried at first when I started training that I wouldn't be able to do what was being asked of me but I've been doing everything that has been thrown at me so I really couldn't be happier. Since starting training twice a week with Sophie I've made a lot of progress. I'm having an assessment next week which will show how many inches I've lost so far. However since I've started training I can see a big different in how my clothes look on. My college graduation is tomorrow and I was delighted to see that I had to go down a dress size which was amazing! I'll definitely let you know in my next update how my assessment goes.

When I started training at No.17 I switched to the Paleo diet. I know when I mentioned to people I was doing this they said it was really hard to stick to and for me I have to say it hasn't been the case at all. I didn't find the change to difficult at all, I have a feeling it could be down to the fact that I had already cut out a lot of food that you aren't suppose to eat on the Paleo diet. Having completely given up dairy products I can see a huge different in my skin, it seriously has never looked so clear. I've also started taking vitamins and supplements everyday which is new to me as I hadn't taken anything like that before. Instead of buying everything in capsule form I picked up this handy Better You Vitamin D oral spray in Nourish in town. It's perfect to throw in my handbag and this small little bottle contains 100 sprays, great considering I only need one a day. Seeing as I'm steering clear of dairy products, Vitamin D not only supports your immune system but its also good for bones and teeth. I know from my school science class we also get Vitamin D from the Sun, I can't say we get much of that this time of year in Ireland. I've also been taking 2 Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules a day which are huge and not going to lie they can leave a nasty aftertaste in your mouth. I've found this offering from MorEPA better than other brands I've tried as they are orange flavoured and I'm not left with no horrible taste in my mouth so these definitely get two thumbs up from me.

Since my last update I got membership at my local gym, they had really good student rates for the year so I snapped that up. I haven't gotten around to going as much as I'd like to go, work seems to always get in the way of things it seems. I'm still trying to work out the best time to go as it always seems to be so packed whenever I go. I guess I'm just so used to having the gym to myself in No.17. I'm hopefully going to start going to my own gym in the mornings before work which means I'll have such an early start considering I'm in work at 9am. I'll just have to time everything very well. The only thing I'm missing is nice workout clothes, I can't wait for Payday to come around as I'll be paying a visit to Lifestyle and Elvery's Sport for sure.

After working out at No.17 for the last couple of weeks, I'd definitely recommend going to a personal trainer. I find it totally different to a gym as you have someone there guiding and motivating you every step of the way. As I've been really happy with how the last few weeks have gone I've already decided to sign up for another 10 sessions at No.17. I know €450 is a lot of money but I feel that its totally worth it. I could think of lots of things I could be wasting my money, sure a night out in Dublin alone would set me back €100. I know some people have gone to a trainer in the past and it hasn't worked for them but for me its all down to sticking to the plan. If you spend money it's so important to follow the program that your trainer has set out for you. If you don't it's just pointless and it will be a waste of money, I've been sticking to mine and I can definitely see the results.

Until my next update,

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Body Shop Honeymania Range

Vanilla and Coconut have always been my favourite scents, I can now add honey to the mix. I'm a huge fan of The Body Shop and the work they do with Community Fair Trade, sourcing raw ingredients from all over the globe. Their new range Honeymania is a winner for me, not only does it smell amazing but it also contains Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia. The Beza Mar beekeepers receive a regular income as well as knowing that with The Body Shop is helping to the preserve the beautiful rainforest. If your lucky enough to have a smart phone (I need a Iphone!) you can scan the QR code at the back of any product and you can read about the Community Fair Trade ingredients. I think this is a brilliant idea as it's always interesting to hear the story behind the product.
The range consists of seven products ranging from a yummy shower gel to a Honeymania soap. The latter is shaped like a honeycomb so it looks pretty cool. As always with The Body Shop I love the packaging. the eau de toilette comes in a handy 30ml bottle which would be ideal for travelling. I have another eau de toilette from the brand and they do last for ages as the staying power is quite good. I definitely want to pick up some more new scents soon.

My favourite product out of the range is the body butter of course! Did you even need to ask? It's really luxurious and I love slapping it onto my skin when it needs a bit of TLC. It's a lovely thick cream great for all those dry patches that come creeping up over the Winter months. All in all this range has something for everyone, I'd definitely recommend popping into your local store and giving it a sniff. I think it's the ideal scent for this time of the year to give us a lift from the Winter blues.

I'm already super excited to see what The Body Shop's Christmas collection is like if it's anything like this one I'll be very happy indeed. I can't believe November is finally hear need to start looking for Christmas presents.

What do you think of the new Honeymania range? Any products catch your eye?