I’m just like everyone else…….

Hello lovely people,

This is a blog post that is very honest. There are going to be people reading this, who may know me and think why in the hell would she write that out for the world to see. I don’t know is the answer and maybe you are right I am mad to share this. I probably am. It’s not about looking for sympathy or anyone to play me a violin. Everyone has insecurities and things that hold them back from the life the want to live, I’m just writing mine down.

I am my own biggest critic and I have a “you are not good enough” mantra in my head, always have. Why do I think like this I don’t know. I am always so genuinely shocked when people show that they like me. My gut reaction is “Really you actually like me?” or I question it to death to the point that I have convinced myself I’ve got it wrong they don’t like me.

I have the world’s most epic fear of failure that means unless I know I can do something 110% I’ll steer clear, just in case I might fail. That applies to everything in my life, relationships, work, activities, everything, fear holds me back.

When it comes to new people or people who are friends but not close friends, I question and tell myself “oh they probably don’t want me around”, “I’ll only be a bother to them”. Do they think this? I dunno maybe they do, the fact that I care is the problem. And to the ones who don’t think like that I’m apologising for all the uncomfortable moments my thoughts got the better of me. Please stick with me.

marilyn quote

Those who are close to me will know I have inherited my Dad’s excellent quick wit and a dash of my Mum’s epic sarcasm that means I deliver one liners without a second thought. The other day at work I used one such sarcastic line in a quick response, the other three ladies in the office were at the point of tears, and I was sitting like a fool thinking “God they really think I’m actually funny.”

I used to read blog posts from bloggers who said they suffer from anxieties and I would be reading it thinking “That must be terrible”.

It has literally only dawned on me that how I feel on an almost daily basis are anxieties too. I don’t do things I want to do for fear of what others will think or what others will say or that I will fail in doing them. Fear of not being good enough holds me back and has held me back from so much it’s ridiculous. The voice inside my own head telling me I’m not good enough is the loudest sound in the world.

I know there will be people who will read this and think, “She is just looking for attention!” I’m not!

There will also be the people who know me and who will go, “well that explains alot!”

There will be people who think “Who is she kidding she is out all the time.” Yes I am but remember social media creates the perfect picture of what you want to share. Unless of course you are like me and decide to write a blog post like this. Again I have no idea why I feel the need to share this. I do know I find writing therapeutic and that I like to know I’m not alone. Everybody has fears. I can’t be the only weirdo in the world who over thinks and over analyses.

There will be people who know me well and wonder who the hell I’m talking about because the person they know isn’t quiet at all, the person they know never shuts up lol. You have managed to knock down my walls and reveal the real me, the good the bad and the ugly. ❤

And there are my best friends who will know this story because they have listened to my over critical thoughts for years. And for that I thank you, I am lucky to have you and I love you more than any words could ever say. ❤

I still don’t understand why I have these fears or what I have to do to overcome them but I have them, just like everyone else…………

Lots of Love..

Laura

xxx

 

Advertisements

Amsterdam …. Another city ticked…..

Hey everyone,

I hope you are all keeping well.

I am just getting back on track after a busy April. In one week I went to see Nathan Carter play the 3Arena on the Saturday night, party until 5 in the morning. Helped my friend pack up her house for moving on Sunday. Back to the 3 Arena on Monday for Olly Murs and then flew to Amsterdam for 3 days at 6 o’clock on Tuesday morning.

But that is pretty much how I lead my life, I am always on the go and making memories.

When making travel plans I love to read travel blogs on different places so I thought I should write blog posts on the cities I have been to. I have ticked most of the European cities off by now except for the usual suspects Paris and Rome. I have been to neither and with the way Paris is at the minute it’s moving further down the bucket list.

Amsterdam was one city that was high up on the list. I had heard so much about it I just wanted to see it for myself. 2 weeks ago I finally took the plunge and we jetted off.

We booked our flights with Ryanair about 2 weeks before going and they were only €55 return. We decided to go for 2 nights and 3 days so we fly out early morning and back late in the evening.

We arrived at the airport early in the morning and got the train to Amsterdam Central Station. We weren’t quite sure which train or Metro to get but we just asked at the desk and the lady gave us all the information we needed. The train ticket was €5.70. When we got to Amsterdam Central we got the Metro to the hotel which was only 2 stops away. We purchased a 3 day ticket for €17 so we had unlimited travel on the Metro for that.

When booking the hotel, I did so through Booking.com and used Tripadvisor to make sure I was making a good choice. No matter where I book I will check with Tripadvisor first. I read about 5 bad reviews and 5 good reviews and make a choice. It is hasn’t let me down yet.

I booked Hotel Allure. The hotel is really well located and only 2 minute walk from the Metro Station Wesserplein. It is also about a 10 minute walk to Dam Square and The Heineken Museum. It was clean and fresh, perfect for our stay. Don’t be put of by the outside facade, it could do with a lick of paint but other than that it was perfect. It is located in the quieter part of town but like I said it is only 5 minutes by Metro to Central Amsterdam.

17759903_10208299080904280_6030096328135261705_n

When we arrived we planned out things we wanted to do. The usual tourist suspects.

First up for us was The Amsterdam Dungeons. I had been to The London Dungeons a few years ago and still rave about them (if you are ever in London they are a MUST) so I was dying to go to these. If like me you have been to the London ones, I would proceed with caution. I was very disappointed with the Amsterdam Dungeons. I just felt they didn’t tell the stories as well, the theatrics weren’t as good even the staging was lacking something by comparison. The finale left me thinking “Is that it?”, I was just expecting so much more. However my sister who hasn’t been to the London ones, went to Amsterdam in November and thought they were really good.

The Heineken Experience, this wasn’t high on my list as I’m not a beer drinker but you know when in Rome kinda thing. I was pleasantly surprised by this, it wasn’t the museum experience I was expecting. You literally talk a walk through the Heineken life cycle from production to bottling to promoting. There is lots of cool interactive features that are free to use and of course a little sampling for the journey. The tour itself was €16 and we bought our tickets at one of the many Tours and Tickets shops located around the city.

One thing to note in Amsterdam is the bikes. They are everywhere to the point that you are probably more likely to get knocked down by a bike than you are a car or tram. You can hire bikes out at most hotels and from several spots throughout the city.

 

Dam Square, possibly my favourite place of the whole trip. Yes it was overrun with tourists clamouring to get their picture on the IAMSTERDAM sign but the place is just beautiful. The sun was shining, the tulips and ducks on the water.  It was so peaceful despite the hustle and bustle.

17917631_10208330453008563_7623712043241950924_o

We spent the day strolling through Vondel Park and all the little city streets. Amsterdam is a city that you want to stop and take pictures every 2 minutes and if like me you have an appreciation for Architecture you can double that. Sometimes you feel like you are strolling through a little dolls village. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been too.

 

In Amsterdam there is plenty of canal tours that you can take. We booked the Lover Cruise. It was grand, passed a few hours on our final day, saved us walking and we got to see some parts we probably wouldn’t have seen had we been walking. The tour guide also gives you some interesting facts on the city. If you have a few hours it is worth taking just don’t expect fireworks.

17757160_10208299086024408_6945755301115607723_n

We couldn’t take a trip to Amsterdam and not visit the infamous Red Light district. We were surprised at how close it was to the center but you would stroll by the edges and not realise you were as close to it as you were. I described it as a quote from Disney’s the Lion King “That shady place over there we don’t go there”. Strangely there appears to be a “shadow” over it which is simple down to architecture and the streets being narrower. It is everything you expect, as a girl it’s a little unsettling and you do feel a little uncomfortable when you spy a girl in the window. But again when in Amsterdam and I can say I have seen it.

My one disappointment with my visit to Amsterdam was Anne Franks House. Tickets for the house are booked out months in advance so as we only booked 2 weeks before flying it was completely sold out. I would definitely go back in a few years even just to visit this.

17630179_10208299084864379_8211986259003601915_n

Three days was absolutely plenty of time to see the city. We felt like we saw pretty much everything we wanted to see. It is a beautiful city, however I wouldn’t be rushing back. I feel like I have seen pretty much all there was to see. I have heard people who return every year and for that I just can’t see the attraction. It’s too small a city to keep me returning that frequently but still worth a visit.

Lots of Love

Laura

xx

 

Dirty Dancing – The Musical

Happy Sunday guys,

I hope you all had a lovely weekend, I spent it chilling as I had a really busy week.

With having Pippa’s Fashion Factory on Sunday and then on Tuesday night my sister and I headed to the Bord Gais Theatre in Dublin to see Dirty Dancing – The Musical.

I am a massive Dirty Dancing fan, my favourite film of all time, I know it inside and out. I have watched it countless times and still never tire of it so I was really excited to see the musical.

The plot is almost exactly the same as the film, with a few extra scenes added in to change it up. The acting and dancing is brilliant. It is a little more theatrical than the film but it is theater so I had to tell myself stop comparing it to the film. Once I did that, I fell in love with the whole thing again, I got lost it. I even turned to my sister at one point and said I wish I was in my pj’s sitting watching this.

The music and the singing was superb, the cast selection is very true to the film so it doesn’t stray too far away. The dancing, ooooh! I would love someone to teach me the steps so I could dance like that too.

The audience was a complete mix, all ages, women and  men (even if the men were dragged along lol)

My stand out favourite moment from the show was that iconic line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” , I have told everyone about this. You could literally feel the anticipation just before he said it, the audience sitting on the edge of their seats holding their breath, willing Johnny to say those 6 little words. The split second that he did, the whole place erupted in cheer and applause from the crowd. It was electric.

So if like me, you are a Dirty Dancing fan, I would highly recommend going to see this show. Especially if you weren’t able to go to the cinema to see the original when it was first released.

Has anyone seen it? I would love to know what you thought!

img_2135

Lots of Love

Laura

Xxxx

 

Pippa’s Fashion Factory! <3

Happy Monday guys!

I hope you all had a good weekend and took Monday by storm!!

I had a lovely weekend with some of my girls! We went to dinner in Yeats Tavern Restaurant not far from here on Saturday evening! If you are ever in the Sligo area I strongly recommend you check this place out. The food is always class!

My friends, my sister and I then set off bright and early on a Sunday morning with Lough Rynn Castle in Leitrim being our destination. We were one of the lucky ones to secure tickets to one of Pippa’s Fashion Factories there this weekend. We had been wanting to go for so long we were very excited.

img_2112

We arrived around 10:45 and went up to the registration desk where we were greeted by Niamh and Susanna who gave us our goody bags. There was tea and coffee available on arrival also. My friend’s mum had been up at the crack of dawn to prepare a big fry for us all for the day ahead, so we opted not to have the tea.

The room was filled with lots of ladies of all ages, taking selfies or happily chatting away. There was a great air of excitement for the day ahead.

img_2114

First up was our host for the day, the lovely Pippa, she greeted us all and then gave us a little background to the fashion factories, a run through of the plan for the day and gave out a few little surprises to some lucky ladies.

Then on with the day, first up to join Pippa on stage was the lovely Jennifer Rock aka @theskinnerd. I could literally listen to this lady talk all day, her knowledge on skincare is incredible and she delivers it in such an easy and friendly fashion. She gave us a little presentation on skincare, her top tips and a couple of cardinal sins we are all guilty of! She then took questions from the audience on their own skin concerns.

Next up was a tanning demo by Clara from Vita Liberata. Clara explained how to achieve the best tan results with different types of tanning products. How to avoid a streaky lines and how to perfect tan on your hands, feet etc. She also took questions from the audience and gave her top tips.

Then it was time for our afternoon tea. I won’t lie, the four of us were a little concerned at the amount of food we would receive. There was 10 of us at the table and we had visions of little tiers of sandwiches to feed all of us. Thankfully there was no need for any concern, there was plenty to go around. We received plates of sandwiches, scones, buns, donuts and macaroons. There was food left over we didn’t eat. We were also offered top ups on our tea or coffees.

fullsizerender

 

After the hour lunch break, the show started again. This time is was a fashion show with looks from various shops like River Island, H & M , Zara and of course POCO! There was also a segment on new items to Penney’s. Pippa also gave us some styling tips and showed us some of her staple pieces from her own wardrobe.

The final part of the day was a makeup demo from one of Ireland’s top makeup artists, Aimee Connolly. Aimee showed us a simple makeup look with some affordable products. Pippa and Aimee again answered questions from the audience and shared their tips.

Finally there was the chance to meet with Pippa after the show and she was the lovely person you see on television. Very warm and friendly, time for a chat and a photo with everyone who wanted one.

Now the bit everyone gets excited for, the goody bag 🙂

img_2119

 

In each bag was

A Cleanse Off Mitt worth €5

(I already have one of these, get one, they do exactly what they say they do)

A necklace from Betty & Biddy worth €15

A lipstick, nail polish and a contour kit from Rimmel €20 approx

A Blank Canvas Cosmetics F32 Brush €8.99

A Sally Hansen Nail Corrector Pen, bottle of nail polish remover, and a nail file €20

A bottle of Mi-Wadi concentrate

A 50ml of Vita Liberata self tanning lotion

A 7 day trial sample of Perfectil

A selection of voucher codes and some Lindt chocolates (most of which didn’t survive to be photographed 🙂 )

This in my opinion was a really decent goody bag. Filled mostly with full sized or really decent sized samples. Is it worth the €100 ticket price, no I would say not but it was close enough when I totted up the contents. But was the day worth the €100? Yes, I think it was,we got afternoon tea that was lovely and more than enough for everyone. I have been to afternoon tea in other venues and paid half that with no fashion, skincare and beauty! We had a lovely girly day out, it was relaxed and informative and despite Pippa being the owner of POCO, I didn’t feel like they were being pushed on us. There was no hard sell element to the day. It was also a long day, things kicked off about 11 and didn’t wrap up until about 5 so it really is a whole day out.

Would I go again, honestly probably not but that is not because I didn’t enjoy the day it’s simply because it’s kind of a bucket list thing to do and I now have that item ticked. But if you are looking for a lovely girly day out I would 100% recommend Pippa’s Fashion Factory.

img_2113

Lots of Love

Laura

Xxx

 

2017 – It’s the significant one!

Hello everyone,

Happy 2017!

The year that I have been dreading for the last 2 years!! This year I have a significant birthday. The next one after 21, you know that one! I’m still not comfortable with actually saying it or even writing it down!

Why am I am dreading it? I’m dreading it because I had always thought in my head that I would have my s**t together well before I reached that significant milestone. I thought I would be in a job I love (I have that box ticked to be fair), earning a fortune (Boss, we should talk :P) have met the man of my dreams, built the house of my dreams bla bla bla! All those stereotypical grown ups stuff!

What I hadn’t factored in was that I would all but complete a degree in Interior Architecture and then decide I actually want to go down the PR and Marketing route adding a further 3 years to my college life which delayed my departure into the real world. This also delayed my earning power which in my head seemed like it would be way more 😛 , I hadn’t factored in that the man of my dreams could very well be intent on staying in my dreams, hasn’t shown up yet or maybe I know him but I just don’t know it yet! And the house of my dreams well, I do plan to put those 3 years of Interior Architecture to use but I just haven’t got to it yet.

When I mention that this year is a little significant the main response I get from older people is “you are still only a baby” , “you are so young” , “your whole life is ahead of you” which may well be true but in my head all I keep thinking is what have I accomplished or achieved! Nothing! I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be when I turned that age!

But why? Because I had not ticked off all those boxes by the time I approach this milestone. I had wasted my twenties having fun, laughing and enjoying my independence! Something I hadn’t done in my teenage years the way my friends had and maybe they were a few steps ahead of me on the boxes ticked sheet but that’s ok isn’t it? I have grown up in the last 5 years more than I have in the rest of my oh so very short life. I took spontaneous trips to random cities, I did things without thinking I just did them, I have been to see most of my favourite music artists in concert, I have attended gigs in 28 of the 32 counties on this little island! I made mistakes, I learned, I started drinking (very late twenties I might add, when the peer pressure had pretty much stopped I decided I would jump on that band wagon lol, yes I have a stubborn streak :P)

I have a  family I adore more than life, friends who mean everything to me, I job I love, I’m happy and healthy so to quote a song ” I have a life that’s good!” I shouldn’t have a worry in the world!

So do you know what 2017 come at me, my life was not meant to have been lived by the time I turn 30! There I said it :O I may not have all the boxes anywhere near ticked but what I did do in my twenties is laugh and enjoy it and I’m not done yet!

Lots of Love

Laura Xxx

live-your-life-and-forget-your-age

 

Cocoa Brown – The Kind Range – Review!

Hello everybody,

I hope you all are having a relaxing Sunday evening, I sure am!

I thought I would use the time to tell you about 2 products that have become a must for me in the last while!

These are the Cocoa Brown Kind Range Shampoo and Conditioner. I will admit I was completely hoodwinked by the hype, always am. I am a marketers dream with the real irony being I work in marketing myself but when Marissa and the Cocoa Brown team launched this range I genuinely was intrigued as it was so different from the other products.

I have never really been big on my hair if I’m being honest. I would spend a fortune on skincare and makeup but I just used regular shampoo and conditioner from the regular high street brands. I never gave my hair much thought. My hair was clean so job done in my books. I tried the Cocoa Brown range and I did notice my hair was silky soft with it and had a great shine of it, which I didn’t give much thought either as people always ask me how I get my hair so shiny , its always shiny which I just put down to being a brunette!

The big WOW moment came when I switched my shampoo and conditioner back to a range I had used before, over Christmas. My hair was a little “wirey” , dry and didn’t appear as shiny and just had a ugh feeling. My hair was annoying me so much that I had to go to my nearest Penney’s and buy the Cocoa Brown range just to wash my hair and the difference was unreal. My hair was back shiny soft healthy and I would get an extra day out of it as well.

I love this range from Cocoa Brown and truthfully they are my favourite products that Marissa Carter has brought to the market above the tanning range (which are also great) but these are something special for the price point. My only qualm is the bottles are not big enough, so if your reading Marissa, I for one would love a 500ml.

IMG_2015.JPG

Has any of you lovely ladies tried them? What do you think?

Lots of Love

Laura

xxx

 

 

Buff & Blend Brushes! My thoughts….

Hello lovelies! 

Hope you are all enjoying the gorgeous weather! 

I recently bought some of the Buff & Blend brushes and I thought I would let you know what I thought of them. A lovely reader requested a review! 💜

I first heard of Buff & Blend when I saw Sinead from the Beautiful Truth mention them before Christmas. So when I saw them at the Irish Beauty Show in March I decided to pick up two brushes from the collection and I bought a further two recently. 

First thoughts on them I love the colour combo, the purple & gunmetal grey! The size of them is also perfect for make-up bags, they are slightly shorter then most brush brands but it means they don’t get squashed in your bag which is a mega plus! 

I have the BB06 & BB08 eyeshadow brushes. The perfect blending duo! The BB08 with the blend tip is by far the fluffiest blending brushes I have come across! Perfect for a soft smokey eye. The BB06 (the cream tip) is a slightly denser blending brush but still quite soft. Ideal when you want a stronger colour on your eye. 


I also have the BB01 & BB05 brushes! When I tell you I have been searching for the perfect powder brush for literally the last 2 years, I have searched high up & low down. No brush fitted what I was looking for, either too dense, too fluffy, no round enough no brush I found was exactly what I was looking for until I found the BB01! It is literally the perfect powder brush! Just dense enough & just fluffy enough, perfect for applying powder. The BB05 is a slightly angled contour brush! It’s on the fluffy side too, I have only used this brush twice so far so I’m going to hold out giving a full review but I do like how it applies my highlight to my cheek. 



So there you have my thoughts and of course the obigatory I am not paid or sponsored by the brand, I have no affiliation at all & I bought all brushes myself, I’m just a big fan! And I intend of adding to the collection. Buff & Blend also stock a range of fabulous eyelashes!
Check them out

Buff & Blend
Lots of Love

Laura

xxx