lauraslovesblog

This is a blog about all the things I love in life, and sharing them with you.

Book Review – “My Life, My Music, My Memories – Philomena Begley” — February 19, 2018

Book Review – “My Life, My Music, My Memories – Philomena Begley”

Hey guys,

So I’ve stuck to the new year resolution so far and book 2 of the year was Philomena Begley’s biography “My life, my music, my memories”.

This was another Christmas present. Anyone who knows me will know my love of country music and there is no question that Philomena is the Queen of the Irish Country music scene. I have been lucky enough to meet her on a quite a few occasions and know what a character she is.

Her book very much documents her life which you would expect for a biography. Her early years, her start in the music world, and the beginning of her life on the road.

It jumps between the the mania of life on the road and the relative calm of life at home for Philomena and her family.

While I enjoyed this book and Philomena’s story, I think the structure of the book was a bit off. For a lady who had just marked 50 years in the business I’m sure there were many more stories to be told. I would like to have heard more about life on the road, the best gigs, her most memorable performances. Now don’t get me wrong there are stories from the road in the book but I just feel there are many more to hear about.

What I did like about this book however, is it showed a completely different side to Philomena that we are not accustomed to seeing, the wife and the mother. For someone who leads such a showbiz lifestyle, her home life is the complete opposite. She clearly relishes in her role as a mother and now a grandmother.

If like me you are a country music fan, this is an enjoyable light read.

You can buy here

I am moving away from the biographies this month and have started a thriller “Behind Closed Doors”.

If you have any book recommendations, I would love to hear them,

Hope you enjoyed this,

Lots of Love

Laura

xx

 

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Book Review – “Jackie’s Girl “ — January 17, 2018

Book Review – “Jackie’s Girl “

Hello everyone,

So it’s been a little while since I have written a blog post. Mainly because my life is super busy at the minute and I just didn’t have time.

Now book reviews are not something I would have done before but I do like to read every now and again and especially on holidays. I could read 2 or 3 books in a week when I just sit down and relax on holidays. This year I made a New Year’s Resolution to read one book a month and to make sure I do it I’m committing now to doing a blog review on each of them. πŸ™‚

Now when it comes to books, I like easy reads, if I am re-reading sentences to understand them, you’ve lost me. I also really like Autobiographical books, the human interest or just nosy streak in me. Last year I read Jo Malone’s autobiography and loved the conversational style of writing and just telling her story. Another good autobiography is Tamara Mellon “In her Shoes” The Story of Jimmy Choo. Again another story told in such a simple manner. On the non-fiction side I read “The Couple Next Door” by Shari Lepena which was recommended by Terrie McEvoy. I couldn’t put it down. It was brilliant.

For Christmas my sister bought me a book about an Irish woman telling her story about her life as PA to Jackie Kennedy. Jackie Kennedy is one of my icons so she knew this book was right up my street.

The story is very much the life story of Kathy McKeon, a young woman from Monaghan who immigrated to New York when she was 19. She began working with one of the world’s most famous ladies shortly after JFK’s assassination. She gives an honest insight into the lives of the Kennedy’s and also how the Kennedy lifestyle impacted on her own life.

Again it has a very conversational style, you get lost in the story and can almost imagine her sitting in front of you relaying the story.

If you are buying this book thinking you are going to hear all about the Kennedy scandals or drama’s then don’t. It’s very clear from the way in which the story is told Kathy and Jackie O’ had a deep respect for each other. She is honest about their relationship but there is still a very obvious unsaid affection for one another.

Kathy lived so close to some of the biggest moments in recent history but tells it from the point of view of family. When Robert Kennedy was assassinated the story Kathy told was very much of two little children who had lost an uncle they viewed as a father figure having already lost their father.

This is a lovely story to just sit down and read of a Sunday afternoon. I would definitely recommend it. If I had to make one criticism of the book, it would be I would like to read a little more about her life after the Kennedy’s to find out what happened next.

Jackies Girl

I hope you liked this one, let me know if you do or if you have read it.

Lots of Love

Laura

xxx

Folkster Bridal Event — July 21, 2017

Folkster Bridal Event

Hello everyone,

So last Sunday myself and my BFF went to the first ever Folkster Bridal Event in Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin.

Firstly I am a bridesmaid for the first time ever and very excited. πŸ™‚ I am beyond honored to have been asked. The minute Patrice set the date I said that she would find her dress in Folkster. I just have this funny feeling as the whole vibe of the shop is just so Patrice.

When they announced this bridal event we went on and booked tickets straight away. Well actually that’s not exactly how it happened, this is actually a funny story. I went on and booked a ticket but by the time Patrice went on to get them they had sold out. She hadnt realised I had a ticket and I just presumed she got one too. So the event was announced as sold out and like any good BFF I tagged Patrice on Facebook to say we were excited etc. the usual. Patrice then revealed she hadn’t got a ticket as it was sold out and she presumed I hadn’t got one either. LOL! So we ended up with a bridesmaid with a ticket and a bride without one πŸ™‚ The lovely girls in Folkster happily rectified the situation and we got Patrice a ticket.

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There were two shows on the actual day of the event due to its popularity. One at 3 and one at 5. Smock Alley Theatre was the most beautiful venue for the event, it couldn’t have been more perfect or suited. When we arrived in there was a glass of prosecco for everyone and a table of the most instagrammable cakes and canapes that I have ever seen. Actually when we went up to get some cake there was a gentleman cutting cake for himself and he handed us each a slice as well. He turned out to be Don O’Neill, the Irish Designer from Kerry who was exhibiting his collection on the day.

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There was 3 bridal collections shown on the day and then Folksters own bridesmaid collection. We loved seeing the dresses up close as it gave us a closer look at them and ones we thought we liked/loved in pictures either blew us away or there was something we didn’t love about them.

We are heading down to Folksters Kilkenny store to try on some dresses on Saturday so to have seen the dresses here gave us a better idea of the ones to try on and which ones Patrice didn’t like.

The whole show was just around the hour mark and it was such a lovely chilled and relaxing girly day out. If they have another one and you are a bride to be I would definitely recommend going to it.

Lots of Love

Laura

xxx

I’m just like everyone else……. — May 10, 2017

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.

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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

 

Skin Republic Masks — March 23, 2017

Skin Republic Masks

Hello everybody,

I am back with a blog post on Skin Republic face masks. I toyed with the idea of writing this post. I work for the company that distributes them in Ireland and with all the controversy at the minute about sponsored posts etc. I am a bit nervous about this post. However, I then thought the very reason they are available in Ireland is because I fell in love with them. I didn’t make them, I don’t own them, I just fell in love with them. And this blog is “Laura Loves” after all.

In my job I often get products to try out, and to be honest most of them don’t make it past my desk. The Skin Republic masks landed about 8 months ago and I brought them home to try out. The first one I tried was the Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen mask. It is no exaggeration when I tell you the next day in the office, I felt like someone was walking around spraying water in my face. My skin was so hydrated. I went into my boss and tried to explain the feeling, his response was “Laura you might as well be speaking in Greek to me, are they good?”

Yes they are good, so I ordered the full range to try all of them out and my thoughts were exactly the same on each of them. I sent them to family, friends and a few professional acquaintances, male and female to try them out. The response was unanimous the masks were a hit with everyone who tried them. And that is the simple story of how they arrived in Ireland.

The Skin Republic Masks are sheet masks manufactured in South Korea. They are made with spun lace and soaked in a serum. We brought 5 masks to Ireland and here they are.

 

The Hyaluronic Acid + Collagen Face Mask

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Like I said before, this was the first mask I tried. It was so good that I honestly did feel like someone was following me around with a hose of water. My skin felt so hydrated it was amazing. Literally like a drink of water for my skin. So if you have dehydrated skin or perhaps you had a heavy weekend and your skin needs a little TLC this mask is for you. It contains exactly what it says on tin Hyaluronic Acid and Collagen. Hyaluronic Acid is naturally found in the skin and helps it retain moisture. Collagen plumps out the skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles.

Caviar and CQ10 Face Mask

Caviar

This mask is to nourish and hydrate the skin. The first time I tried this mask, I was tired and had a little hint of dark circles under my eyes. I left this mask on for a little longer than the specified 15-20 minutes because I was watching TV. When I took the mask off about half an hour later the dark circles under my eyes were gone. My skin felt super soft and looked much brighter.

Collagen Infusion Face Mask

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This mask again does exactly what is says on the tin. It contains Collagen, Elastin and Vitamin E. This mask feels really soothing and plumps out the skin. The consistency of this serum is a little “stickier” than the other 2 but it is equally as nice on the skin. My skin felt plumped out and and “fresh”. A lovely little lift for the skin.

Spots & Blemish Face Mask

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This mask contains salicylic acid, your best friend if you have spots or blemishes! It also contains tea tree and witch hazel which calms irritated skin. Now first off, I thankfully don’t suffer from many spots or blemishes but when I tried this mask I did notice that it reduced redness on my cheeks and around my nose. I can’t comment personally if they eliminate spots but one of the people who tested the masks for me does, and he noticed a difference after just one mask.

 

Foot Peel

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Ah the foot peel! I brought these home one Friday evening and asked my mum to try them out with me. They are like little booties containing AHA acids that you pop your feet in tape up and leave on for up to 2 hours. It says on the packaging that it peels the skin within 7 days and lordy it does exactly what is says on the tin. Within a day my skin was peeling away all by itself, and when I say skin, it was the hard dry skin on the heels and base of my foot peeled away. It was disgusting, I won’t lie but my feet felt the better of it. I couldn’t believe the results. My mum had the very same reaction and still raves about them months later and tells all her friends about them. This from a lady who last wore makeup on her wedding day nearly 30 years ago. Word of caution, don’t use fake tan for a few days after using these masks, I did and my skin was patchy and it just peeled away.

Don’t just take my word for, try them yourself and fall in love ❀

If you have any questions on them, please just ask me I am more than happy to answer any questions. And if you have tried them, let me know what you think. I love to hear feedback.

 

 

They are available from pharmacies nationwide, the face mask retail at €6.95 and the Foot Peel is €14.95

Lots of Love

Laura

xxx

Inspirational Women – My Top Ten — March 8, 2017

Inspirational Women – My Top Ten

Hello lovelies,

Happy International Women’s Day to all the fabulous ladies out there.

For the day that is in it, I thought I would share a list of the ladies who inspire me. It is a random mix of ladies who inspire me to be a better person, reach my goals, achieve the unachievable and let nothing stand in your way!

So in no particular order here they are:

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn

An iconic classic! In my opinion this woman epitomises the very definition of a lady! Remembered for her style but she was so much more than just clothes. She carried herself with so much grace and devoted much of her life to humanitarian causes. We lost her much too young at the age of 63, but to me she has left a legacy that will live forever.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

Again another iconic lady. She inspires me for very similar reasons to Audrey Hepburn. Her style and her grace are huge influences on me even though she died years before I was born.

Pippa O’Connor

Pippa O’ Connor Ormond announced as the face of the Dublin Fashion Festival 2015

This lady!! She needs no introduction at the moment. She is a super stylish force to be reckoned with and appears to be today’s version of Wonder Woman. Running 2 successful businesses, and being a Mum of 2. She is proof that if you work hard your dreams are possible.

Marissa Carter

Marissa Carter

Another of my favourite Girl bosses. What I admire so much about Marissa is how she has achieved so much Β in a relatively short space of time through hard work. She is shining example of how you can reach all of your career goals and kick ass without knocking anyone down.

Ellen Kavanagh Jones

Ellen Kavanagh Jones

I have so much love for this lady! I have only had the pleasure of meeting her once, but I follow her everyday. Her sense of humour, her style and her career. She is #GirlBoss goals. Her work ethic and determination inspire me every single day!

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Every time this lady opens her mouth to speak, I listen. Her grace, her enthusiasm, her empathy, her intelligence. She is today’s Audrey Hepburn in my opinion.

I could not compile a list of ladies that inspire me and not include these ladies,

My wonderful Nana

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I was one of those lucky kids who were reared as much by their grandparents as they were by their parents. My Nana, I have so much love for this woman as she played a huge role in helping me become the person I am today.

My Fabulous Nannie

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Although my Nannie has sadly passed away, she was such a huge part of my life that everyday I notice the little things I do or say are echoes of her! She walked along side me for 27 years but I will carry her in my heart forever.

My Sister

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My best friend, we laugh and fall out like no other but the bond of sisters can never be broken. I am so proud of everything you have achieved, your sass, your intelligence, but above all else your kindness.

My Mum

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A large part of you lives in me. I know that no matter what I do or where I go, I can always come home to you! If I have even half of your caring nature and kindness, I will go far in life. Thank you for raising us with so much manners and consideration for others. We are the best people we can be because of you.

So there you have a random list of ladies who inspire me everyday to be the best version of myself I can be.

And to each and everyone of you ladies reading this, you are fabulous, you are capable, you are loved and you can achieve everything you wish if you just reach for it.

Lots of Love

Laura

Xxx

Pippa’s Fashion Factory! <3 — February 6, 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 πŸ™‚

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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 πŸ™‚ )

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.

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Lots of Love

Laura

Xxx