Thursday, 31 December 2015

December Round-Up

2nd December
The beginning of December was the beginning of my mocks. What a great way to start the most festive month of the year, right? For my whole year in school, they were on from Wednesday the 2nd to Tuesday the 8th but all three of mine were on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so I was lucky in the sense that I got all of mine over before the weekend so I had four full days off school, yay! They went pretty well and I've since got my results back and I was happy with how I'd done :)

5th December
In my November Round-Up, I mused a bit about how scary it was that all my friends were turning 18. Today, my neighbour, Chloe, who I've known since we were about 3, turned 18. Now that's what I call scary (hey, that could be the name of a new Halloween album)! She had a party in her house so I went over to celebrate with her and it was such a fun night!

16th December
Today I had my last ever school carol service *sniffs sadly*. The carol service was always my favourite event in the school calendar to sing and play my violin in because it always got me right into the Christmas spirit after exams. We put on two carol services every year because our whole school wouldn't fit into the church at once so it was quite a tiring day! But I was so sad when it was over!

20th December
Today, my whole family (my mum, dad, 2 sisters, brother and I) went into the Christmas markets in Belfast. It's a little tradition that we have and every year we get the train in and go to St. George's market first and then the Continental Market in front of the city hall. It was such a festive day and I have to say Belfast did look quite cute with all fairy lights draped down the front of the city hall. I didn't actually buy much other than sausage bap, a smoothie, a hot chocolate and a cupcake, but I found it so nice just walking around looking at all the stalls.

21st December
I had my driving test today (I have absolutely no idea why I booked it for 4 days before Christmas when the traffic would be busy with everyone doing last-minute Christmas shopping!). I had taken about 3 one-hour lessons during the summer and then when school started back in September I started taking one two-hour lesson every week. I did my theory test in October and finally had my practical test today. I was a nervous wreck beforehand - I didn't sleep until 3am and could hardly eat anything for breakfast!

After driving around with my instructor for an hour we went to the test centre and I can confirm that sitting in a driving test centre waiting for your name to be called is worse than sitting waiting in the dentist! I'd take the dentist any day! The examiner came out and after signing a few things, we went out to the car and the test began. It was so scary and my nerves did cause me to make a few silly minor errors, but nothing serious so I passed!!! I was so so happy! My driving instructor actually told me afterwards that the examiner I had was the strictest one from my local test centre which made me even happier that I'd passed! I can literally taste the freedom! (while driving under 45mph with my 'R' plates up, of course!)

25th December
Christmasss! I was woken by my siblings at 7:30am and after about 15 minutes of them trying to actually get me out of bed, we went downstairs to see what Santa had brought. My main present this year was a new laptop because the one I had was 5 years old and well past its day. I'll need a good laptop for university so my parents got me an ASUS Zenbook and I love it so much! It's so fast and and I know I'll be using it a lot in the next few years!!!

I had such a lovely day with my family and my uncle came round for Christmas dinner. My mum did a great job with the turkey and the whole meal was delicious! After dinner we played a few games and just chilled. I had such a great day!

26th December
Normally on Boxing Day, my granny and granda on my mum's side come to our house along with her brother but unfortunately this year my granda couldn't come. He suffers from Alzheimer's Disease and has done since he was diagnosed in 2009. He was put into residential care in September because my granny wasn't able to care for him at home without any support anymore. In the last 6 weeks he's gone downhill really fast and now he's so frail he can hardly walk and he's so confused that he didn't understand it was Christmas. It's really heartbreaking to see because he's now a shell of the man he used to be. So, the nurses in the residential home thought it would be better for him to stay in the home on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but my mum and granny went to visit him before my mum brought my granny to our house.

Boxing Day is like a second Christmas Day in our house as we receive our presents from our granny and granda and we have another turkey dinner. Again, I had such a lovely day! It would have been better if my granda could have been there but I understand that it was for his own good that he couldn't come.

29th December
We went up to my granny and granda's house on my dad's side today to see them as well as my auntie and uncle who are home from America for a few weeks and we had another lovely day there. It was great getting to catch up with my auntie and uncle and I always love hearing their stories about America. The way of life just seems so different! My auntie is from Mississippi but her and my uncle live in Nashville now. I'd love to go visit them out there sometime!

Also, my granny and granda have just got a little kitten that they found at a cat sanctuary. She's 10 weeks but she's tiny! They called her Josie and it's just the cutest name for such a cute little cat! However, although she's tiny, she is so hyper and can run so fast!

31st December
Tonight, I'm going to celebrate the new year with my family and friends at my friend Charlie's house. We have this tradition every year where we all go there and watch movies and play games and then count down to the new year. It's always so much fun and I'm really looking forward to it. Also, I'm designated driver this year for my family, woo!


As this is my last post of 2015, I just want to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog, commenting on any of my posts, and following me on any of my social media sites. Your support means the absolute world to me!  

I hope you all have had an amazing 2015 and that your 2016 will be even better! I can't wait to see what 2016 has in store for us all!

I love you very much - MWAHH!

Happy New Year!
- Caoimhe x

Monday, 21 December 2015

The Christmas Tag

1. What is your favourite Christmas Movie?
It has to be Elf! I've seen it so many times that I could act in it but it still makes me laugh until my stomach hurts every time I watch it!

2. Do you open your presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?
I open my presents on Christmas morning because I love waking up all excited!

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
I think all of my favourite Christmas memories are to do with spending time with family members and friends that I haven't seen for a while. I also loved the excitement I felt on Christmas Eve when I was younger, getting the mince pies and milk out for Santa, and of course the carrot for Rudolph!

4. Favourite festive food?
I love mince pies - I eat an unhealthy amount of them around Christmas!

5. Favourite Christmas gift?
When I was younger I remember I received this amazing doll's house and I was just amazed by it! I spent hours on end giving all of the dolls little stories and lives! We kept it right up until my youngest sister was about 6 but then we had to get rid of it because we had no more room to store it. I wish I'd been able to keep it for if I have children in the future so I could give it to them!

6. Favourite Christmas scent?
My mum always buys cinnamon scented sachets (wow, nice sibilance) to put on the radiators at Christmas and our house always smells amazing! It would have to be either that or the smell of real Christmas trees - you can't beat that smell!

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Not really. My family just go and visit other family members and friends to give them their Christmas presents. We just have a nice relaxed day :)

8. What tops your tree?
We have a little china angel at the top of our tree. We've had her for as long as I can remember!

9. As a kid what was the one (crazy, wild, extravagant) gift you always asked for but never received?
My one crazy thing I asked for wasn't actually a physical gift! When I was about 7 or 8 I really wanted to be magic (I still would like to be to be quite honest, it's would be so fun!) so I put magic powers right at the top of my list, sure that Santa would give them to me! Needless to say, I didn't wake up magic that Christmas morning...

10. What's the best part about Christmas for you?
As cheesy as it sounds, it is definitely spending time with my family and friends. I love having loads of people calling to the house and going to other people's houses over the Christmas period and I love getting to see family members or friends that I haven't seen in ages - Christmas wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't have people to spend it with!

I hope you all have a lovely Christmas! :)
- Caoimhe x

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

November Round-Up

1st November
The beginning of November marked the end of my Halloween holidays but it also marked my friend Amy's 18th birthday. So, that evening 8 of us went out to celebrate and it was so much fun! I find it crazy that all of my friends are starting to turn 18 when I still have 6 months of being 17 (literally - it was my half-birthday on the 27th November!). Everyone's getting old!

Caoimhe, Orlaith, me and Amy :)

13th November
The following week my granda took me, my sister and my two cousins to see the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast. My sister, cousins and I play the violin so my granda enjoys taking us to things that will sort of inspire us to keep playing, I guess. They were playing Rogers and Hammerstein music, the composers who wrote the music from The Sound Of Music, The King and I, Oklahoma and Carousel, among many other musicals. It was really nice hearing them play songs I knew well as well as songs I'd never heard before. It was the second time I've seen the Ulster Orchestra and they always put on a really good performance!

18th November
The following Wednesday in school we had an Interview Skills Day, which was basically where we had to go through a mock interview process. Everyone in my year had to apply for a job and we worked on our application forms for about three weeks prior to the Interview Skills Day. You could apply for anything from a GP to a teacher to a physiotherapist - I applied for an Educational Translator since I study French and Spanish. Then on the actual day, we all had to come in dressed in proper work clothes. It was so strange seeing everyone dressed formally for work - we all looked so old!

In the morning we were put in groups of 6 and had two group tasks to work on. Then after a short break, the interviews began. I was so nervous before my interview but it went well! It went so quickly that I thought the guy was joking when he said it was over! After lunch we had an aptitude test, which tested our English and Maths skills. I found the English part easy because it was testing spelling and grammar, which I find I have a natural instinct for. However, I found the Maths part so hard as I'm pretty rubbish at Maths! I ended up running out of time and had to guess the last 6 or so! Overall, I found it a really good day. It was a good way to get an insight into a proper recruitment process and I got some really valuable feedback that I know will help me when applying for any jobs in the future.

Just to add a bit of fashion to the post,
I wore this dress with a black blazer over the top :)

22nd November
The Sunday after that I went to see Mockingjay: Part 2 with my younger brother. To say it was incredibly emotional would be an understatement. I received the first Hunger Games book for Christmas in 2011, when I was 13. I started reading it at midnight when I got into bed on Christmas night and finished it at 8am on Boxing Day morning because I literally could not put it down! I read the next two books the following week and went to the three former movies as soon as they came out. I love the books and movies and so I was so sad that the last one was coming out. It was such a good movie and some parts were so sad! (But I won't spoil it!) As cheesy as it sounds, the Hunger Games will always be more than a franchise to me *sniffs*

27th November
It's no secret on my blog that I'm a huge fan of the Vamps and the following Friday the 27th was a historical day in the fandom... We got a new album!!! After 1 year and 7 months, we finally have new music! So, the Vamps released their second album, Wake Up, and it is amazing! I'm not just saying that because they're my favourite band, like it genuinely is amazing! It's quite a different sound but there is something on it for everyone and I would highly recommend that you go check it out! It's made me so excited for their tour in March!

On that same day, something bad happened though. My mum and dad were in the house while we were at school and one of my cats, Angel, appeared in the back garden with one of her legs looking all limp and her left eye wasn't opening. They took her to the vet who said she had torn her brachial plexus, probably in a fight with another cat, and it means that she has no feeling in her front left leg. The vet said there was a small chance that the nerve damage could repair itself within about 10 days to 2 weeks and she would get the feeling back but unfortunately it hasn't happened and it means she is going to have to get it amputated. It's really sad seeing her hopping around on 3 legs but at least she feels no pain, I suppose.

28th November
You may or may not know that in Northern Ireland we have entrance exams that children in P7 (10/11 year olds) sit to get into secondary schools. My sister, Clare, was sitting the exams every Saturday in November. She worked so hard the whole month and the months leading up to it, including during the summer! So, my mum and dad decided to treat her and they booked us an overnight stay in a 5-star hotel in Co. Wicklow in the south of Ireland. It was such a lovely break and Clare finally got to relax after all her hard work!

The amazing view on a walk we did there
I hope you all had a lovely November!
- Caoimhe x

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Loving the Little Things

I sometimes find that in this day and age it can be quite difficult to live in the moment. We are constantly busy doing things, thinking about the things we have to do, stressing out about stuff... It gets to the point where we nearly forget what is around us in the present moment. I know that I personally find this difficult. As a student I'm constantly thinking about assignments I have due, exams I have coming up, and my extra-curricular commitments. Recently, however, I've been trying to make a conscious effort to be more mindful and to enjoy the little things. In order to do this, I have been keeping a written list of simple things that have made me genuinely happy by living in the moment over the past week. I wanted to share them with you guys to maybe encourage you to do the same and to spread a bit of positivity around :)

  • Getting into my bed when the sheets are freshly washed
  • Having a fry for breakfast
  • Waking up at 5am thinking it's 7am and realising I have another 2 hours of sleep
  • Walking through the colourful and crunchy leaves that have fallen off the trees
  • Being able to spend time with my friends
  • Getting a piece of work done after working on it for 2 weeks
  • Being able to sit and watch my favourite TV shows after getting my homework done
  • Having my granny and granda round to our house for dinner
  • Having a cup of tea when I get home from school
  • Getting complimented for hard work
  • Seeing Christmas adverts on TV 

What little things make you happy? :)

- Caoimhe x

Sunday, 15 November 2015

St.Tropez Gradual Tan In Shower Lotion | Review

The first thing that really stood out to me about this gradual tan was the packaging. It instantly caught my eye as it really stood out on the shelf among the rest of St. Tropez's black and white packaging, and I also think its a really good size of bottle: not too little but not too much.

Another thing I really like about it is how handy it is. After you have washed yourself in the shower, you turn the shower off and apply the tan in circular motions to your wet skin anywhere that you want to be tanned. Then you just have to wait 3 minutes before turning the shower back on and rinsing it off. I know some people don't like the thought of standing in your *ahem* birthday suit in the cold for 3 minutes but I honestly don't mind it because when you compare it to an instant tan or even a normal gradual tan, you have to wait quite a while for it to sink in. I think it's great that this works in just 3 minutes and it saved me so much time!

I also love the fact that it contains Sweet Almond Oil as it leaves your skin feeling so smooth and moisturised. I have dry skin but yet I'm so lazy when it comes to having to apply body lotion after showering. Because this is so moisturising it meant I could skip applying body lotion and my skin still felt so moisturised the whole day.

As far as its performance goes, I thought it was okay. It gives a nice glow but takes a while to actually build up colour. I didn't really see much of a difference until after about 5 uses. I have used St. Tropez's Everyday Gradual Tan before and found that it built up a nice colour after about 2 or 3 uses, much quicker than this In Shower tan. I think this tan would be better for during the summer when you want to have a nice glow everyday but not much colour. I don't think I would use it if I was going to a party or a wedding or anything like that where I would want a nice tan.

Overall, I do like this product. I like the convenience of it, the packaging, how it leaves my skin feeling, and I'd say it's a good tan to use if you're looking for just a little hint of colour and a nice glow. If you're looking for a tan that will give you a darker colour gradually, then I'd probably advise you more towards the St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan.

Have you tried this product? If so, did you like it?

- Caoimhe x

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Liebster Award 2

I would like to say a huge thank you to Hannah for nominating me for this award. She runs an amazing beauty, fashion, lifestyle and music blog. You should definitely go check it out! I have done this tag before but it was this time last year so I wanted to do it again.

The rules for this award are...

1. Post a link back to the blogger who nominated you. 
2. Answer the 10 questions that the person who nominated gave you.
3. Nominate 10 bloggers (or blogs).
4. Give your nominees a set of 10 new questions for them to answer.
5. Also don't forget to include the Liebster award sticker in your post.

Hannah's Questions...

1-Where is one country you'd like to travel to?
My answer for this question changes all the time as there are so many countries I want to visit! At the minute, I'd have to say the Netherlands. I really want to visit Amsterdam! It seems like a really vibrant city and it looks absolutely beautiful! I'd love to get to see it in real life!

2-What's at the top of your bucket list?
It's linked to the first question but it's to go back and visit Adelaide, Australia, the place I was born. I live in Ireland now but my parents were there as my dad had a placement to complete his training as a doctor. We left when I was about a year and a half so I don't remember any of it, unfortunately! I really want to go back someday and see the street where I lived and other things that I used to see nearly every day for the first year and a half of my life.

3-What are your favourite clothes shops?
H&M, New Look, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins

4-If you could bring someone back from the dead, who would it be and why?
I'd bring back my mum's sister who died in a traffic accident when she was just 18. My mum was only 11 at the time so I never got to meet her. I would have loved to have been able to meet her and have her as my auntie as I have heard so many amazing things about her.

5-If you could live in a book, TV show or movie, what would it be?
It would have to be Friends! I would LOVE to be a part of that friendship group, like imagine how amazing that would be?!

6-Which three items would you take if you got stranded on a desert island?
Probably my phone so I could call my family and friends, my camera so I could take nice pictures of wherever I am, and then I'm torn between my iPod and a book! I think I'll say a book and then I could listen to music on my phone so have it double as an iPod.

7-What's the best concert/festival that you've ever been to?
For me it was definitely the Vamps concert I went to in April. I had waited to long to finally be able to see them and I was definitely not disappointed! They put on such an amazing and energetic show and I just never ever wanted it to end! I've got tickets to see them again in March and I CAN'T WAIT!!!

8-Who is your favourite music artist?
The Vamps are my absolutes faves but I also love Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran.

9-What's the best thing that's happened to you this year?
This is such a hard question! I don't think I could narrow it down to just one best thing! It'd definitely be between my work experience in Madrid in January, our school musical and my school formal. (You can read more about all 3 of these things in the links I've provided :) )

10-Why did you decide to create your blog?
I read a lot of blogs before I started and they really inspired me. As I love writing and all things beauty and fashion related, I thought "Hey, why don't I give this a go?" and here I am.

I nominate...


My questions to you..

1. What is your favourite animal?
2. What is your favourite place that you have visited?
3. What is your favourite song at the minute?
4. Who is your celebrity crush?
5. What is your favourite thing about blogging?
6. Do you have any bad habits?
7. What do you like to do to relax?
8. What is your favourite smell?
9. What is your favourite social networking site?
10. Have you ever met a celebrity? If not, who would you like to meet?

Thanks again to Hannah for nominating me! I really enjoyed writing this post and I hope it gave you the opportunity to learn a bit more about me. I can't wait to read my nominees' answers to my questions!

- Caoimhe x

Friday, 6 November 2015

Skincare Wishlist

In terms of skincare, I am prone to be quite lazy. I skip steps in my routine that I know I really shouldn't and I don't drink nearly as much water as I should. These factors, along with the stress of school and all that it entails, have left my skin a little bit worse for wear to say the least. It is in desperate need of some TLC and over the past week or so I've been researching products that would be good for my skin and the situation it's in. (hey, that rhymes!) So, here is my skincare wishlist...

1. Pixi Glow Tonic

I have heard so much about this liquid exfoliator and everything I've heard has been so positive! I think liquid exfoliator is an amazing invention - it does the job of a normal exfoliating scrub, removing dead cells, but is so soft on your skin. I'd say this product would be great for sensitive skin and I really want to give it a go. I also love the packaging of this product. The pink and green go so nicely together! Also, considering the amazing reviews it gets I think £18 is a pretty good price!

2. No7 Calm Skin Redness-Relief Gel

Because my skin is quite sensitive, it can be prone to irritation and redness and it's something I get a bit self-conscious about sometimes. Normally I use my foundation to cover it because obviously the whole point of foundation is to give you an even-coloured base. But to be quite honest, ain't nobody got time fo' dat! There are times when I want to just get up and leave the house with no make-up on but I don't feel confident because of redness on my chin and cheeks. I want to try this product from Boots to see if it will, in fact, calm my skin.

3. Quick Fix Facials Mega Moisture Gel Mask

My skin sometimes feel like the Sahara Desert, it is that dry. At the minute I am using the Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Moisture Cream which I talked about in my 'Summer Favourites' and it is definitely helping. I love treating myself to a face mask every now and then and I've used the Quick Fix Facials Anti-Blemish Mud Mask before and I found it really improved the look and feel of my skin. I want to try this one for dry and thirsty skin to see if it will help at all. Also, on a side note, isn't the pink of the tube just such a pretty colour?!

Have you used any of these products? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Thursday, 5 November 2015

October Round-Up

October was a hell of a busy month for me and I want to take this opportunity to apologise for the lack of activity on my blog during this time. I literally had no free time! I'm back now though, and my next two months are significantly quieter than the last two so I'll have a lot of posts going up from now on. So on that note, here's what I got up to in October...

This was taken near my holiday house. Isn't it just beautiful?!
The first thing I had to concentrate on was my UCAS form, which was due in with my school on the 5th of October. I found writing my personal statement quite stressful and it must have taken at least 50 drafts but I got it done thankfully! At the moment, my form is in school as my teachers have to check over it and add references and whatnot, so it'll be sent off in the next two or three weeks. Scary stuff!

As well as that, I was studying for my driving theory test which I sat in the middle of October. Even though it is easy to repeat, it was so scary going in and sitting it! I was so sure I'd failed but I passed! Yay! The next step now is my practical test! Ahhh! I've covered everything I need to in my lessons so my instructor has started doing mock tests with me. Hopefully I'll be able to book my test soon enough then...

The next thing I had to focus on was finishing up a volunteering award I have been working on for the past year. It required me to carry out 20 weeks of volunteering for an hour in my church and 20 in my local community. I found the whole experience really rewarding and I'm really glad I did it. I have my record card all signed up and sent away now so I'll receive my certificate in a few months.

After that came our school musical, Beauty and the Beast, in which I was a member of the chorus. We started rehearsals at the very end of August and did the show in the third week of October, which I thought was a great achievement in itself. I have to say there were times when I was doubting it'd be ready in time but we definitely pulled it off! In total we performed six shows and they were all so much fun - all the hard work we had put in over the previous 7 weeks definitely payed off! I really enjoyed being a part of the show as I love singing and dancing, but I think the thing I enjoyed most was meeting so many new people and the whole cast really gelling together. It was like we created a tiny community within the community of our school! Despite all the hours I had to give up and hard work I had to put in, I was sad when it was all over!

One of my best friends, Olivia, and I at the after-party :)
The day after the last show was my year's formal, or prom as you may call it. It was such a great night! I decided to go with my friend, Charlie, as we have known each other our whole lives and I wanted to go with someone who I knew I'd have fun with. To start off with, all of my friends and I went to my friend Hannah's house, where we got our photos taken in our dresses with our hair and make-up and all done, and then got a party bus to the hotel where the meal was being held. During the meal you could go out and get professional photos taken. Charlie and I did and they turned out so well, I'm really happy with them and can't wait to receive the actual physical copies! After the meal everybody hit the dance floor and had a good ol' boogie. I loved the music the DJ played because there was a bit of everything from the Cha Cha Slide to Grease! He even played 'Be Our Guest' at the request of the people who had been in the musical!!! At midnight, we got on buses that brought us to a club where the after-formal was being held. There was a bit more boogieing (is that a word?) went on until the club was nearly closing up. I ended up rolling into bed at 4am but I don't regret it at all as I had such a brilliant night!!!

Charlie and I :)
At Hannah's house :)
Olivia and I (again!) :)
The next day, my family and I went up to our holiday house for half-term. I spent the week playing golf, catching up on work I'd missed from being out of class for the musical, and, of course, catching up on some well-deserved sleep. It was exactly what I needed as now I feel caught up on everything and feel ready to take on whatever the next months throw at me!

If that's not relaxing, I don't know what is!!!

I hope you all had a great October and enjoyed Halloween! :)

- Caoimhe x

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Saturday, 3 October 2015

September Round-Up

The first day of September marked my first day of my last year at school. The beginning of the end, as they say. Although I've been in Upper Sixth for a month now, I still can't really fathom the fact that this time next year I won't be walking down the familiar corridors, wearing my uniform or seeing my friends everyday. My time at secondary school has gone by so fast! I feel like I was in first year, blinked and suddenly ended up here. It's crazy.

The following weekend, my mum and I spent quite a number of hours traipsing around the shops to try and find a dress for me to wear to my school formal at the end of October. However, we were out of luck, especially due to the fact that I'm 5'1'' and pretty much every dress in every shop was for girls about 5'5'' and above. Oh, the joys of being small!

The weekend after that was a busy one! It was my mum and dad's 19th wedding anniversary on the Friday so we went out for dinner to a lovely Indian restaurant. I love Indian food and this was like the crème de la crème of Indian restaurants. It was so good! Afterwards, we went up to my holiday house as my dad, my sister and I were playing in a golf competition on Saturday with my granda. I didn't play too well but it was a lovely day so at least it was worth going out!

The following morning we had to get up early and leave our holiday house at 9:30am because my brother and I had to be in school at 12pm... School... On a Sunday! Okay, well technically it wasn't school - we had to go in for a 5-hour rehearsal for our school musical, Beauty and the Beast. We had been rehearsing most days after school since the start of September and we had a full run-through of Act 1 that day. Although there were still a few unfinished numbers in Act 1 it's coming together nicely! I'm really looking forward to it and I have to say that although it has been crazily busy, I've really enjoyed being a part of it.

The next day I wasn't up for much singing or dancing or anything for that matter - I was having a minor dental operation under general anesthetic. I had an adult tooth that was stuck in the roof of my mouth which had previously been exposed after another dental operation 18 months earlier. My orthodontist had attached a bracket to the tooth with the plan of pulling the tooth down and into place using my braces, but unfortunately the tooth didn't move as much or as quickly as it should have and so I had to have it removed, which is what I had done that Monday. My mouth was quite sore and a bit uncomfortable after because of the stitches and whatnot so I was off school until the Friday of that week, which I was suppose was a good thing but I still had to do lots of work!

This was my view the whole week pretty much!
Well, actually this was! I learnt that week that Oscar loves pens!
That Saturday, my mum and I were once again on the hunt for a formal dress. We went into a shop where the assistant sent me into a changing room and threw me in dress after dress. There were a few nice A-line ones but they didn't sit right because I have quite a short torso so the part of the dress that should have sat at my waist was sitting at my hips, taking away from the whole point of emphasising my waist! Such a pain! So the girl started bringing me more fitted dresses, where the top and bottom weren't two distinct parts of the dress. Eventually, the last dress I tried on was the one (isn't that always the way?!). I just knew it. It was a nice silvery colour, with a high neckline, fitted and hugging all the right places. I felt confident in it and I just really loved it. The girl told me I would need 2 sizes smaller than the one they had in stock so she went down to check the sizes from an email the suppliers had sent and it turned out that was the smallest size they did!!! I could have cried! We went to another shop where I tried on a few dresses but nothing really stood out to me, so it was back to the drawing board.

When I got home, I went online to source a dress similar to the one I'd tried on earlier. I couldn't find one but I did find the dress that Zoe Sugg wore to her launch party for Zoella Beauty last year. I had loved that dress on her so I decided to order it just to see what it was like and thought I could send it back if it didn't fit. However, it arrived during the week and it is a perfect fit in terms of the shoulders and waist! It's just a bit long as you can see but I've left it in to a dressmaker to be taken up a bit. Other than that it's perfect and I actually love it even more than the dress I'd originally wanted!

Apart from all of this, September wasn't a totally positive month for me. It was so busy that it has left me totally exhausted. I've been working on my personal statement for my UCAS form, trying to get myself organised for my formal, attending musical rehearsals and choir practices, studying for my driving theory test as well as taking practical lessons, all on top of school work. If anything more pops up in October I may explode! Needless to say, my stress levels have been sky-high but I'm just taking one thing at a time now and it's definitely helping. Plus, I've made a massive to-do list and it's so therapeutic gradually ticking things off!

I hope you all had a good September!

Here's a thought for October:

- Caoimhe x

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Sunday, 13 September 2015

Extraordinary Means | Book Review

Extraordinary Means is a fiction book following the lives of two 17-year-olds after they have been diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and are sent to live at a treatment centre called Latham House. Sadie has been there about a year and a half before Lane arrives, which is when the book begins. Sadie doesn't like Lane at the beginning because of something she thought he had done to her when they were at summer camp together four years earlier. After it is cleared up, they soon become friends and develop feelings for each other and end up falling in love.

I really really enjoyed this book. The first thing that drew me to it was the fact that it deals with the topic of tuberculosis. Although nowadays there are very few cases in developed countries, TB is still unfortunately very much existent in developing countries today. I think it was a good thing for Robyn Schneider to write about it because it raises awareness for a disease which is often overlooked today. If you want to read more about TB you can click here.

Robyn Schneider's style of writing is quite similar to that of John Green and not just because the story of Extraordinary Means is slightly similar to The Fault In Our Stars. The use of dry humour and the descriptions of the relationships between Sadie, Lane, Nick, Marina and Charlie really reminded me of John Green's writing style. If you like his books then you have to read Extraordinary Means!

My favourite character in the book is Sadie. I love her sense of humour and her boldness and I just found I could relate to her a lot. The relationship between her and Lane is beautiful! What I would give to have something like that...sigh...

Extraordinary Means contains lots of messages and it gave me a lot to think about. One of the biggest things it left me thinking about was the fact that life is short. As we are living, we are dying and so we should spend more time doings things we enjoy with the people we love. Lane learns this when he arrives at Latham House. He had spent all of his time in his freshman, sophomore and junior years studying and slogging it out to get a place at Stanford. Being sent to Latham House puts his plans on hold and when he befriends Sadie he realises that life can't be all hard work and no fun. You need to spend time with friends and family and do things you enjoy.

I love everything about this book. It contains a lot of things that, for me personally, make a great book: friendship, love, humour, fun... It made me laugh and it made me cry (oh boy, did it make me cry! No spoilers though!). I would definitely recommend this book if you are into love stories and John Green-style books. I love it!

Have you read Extraordinary Means
Or do you have any book recommendations? I love finding new stuff to read! :)

- Caoimhe x

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Top 5 Tunesday #14

Happy September everyone! I hope you all had an amazing summer and are having fun settling back into the routine of normal life. I know I'm not...

Instead I'm going to reminisce on the summer. So, here are my top 5 most listened-to songs of August...

1. Marvin Gaye - Charlie Puth feat. Meghan Trainor

This is such a catchy song and the lyrics are so sweet! I really like Charlie Puth and Meghan Trainor as separate artists and together they are like a power duo! I'm so glad this song is doing so well at the minute because they are two very talented and deserving artists. 

2. Fight Song - Rachel Platten

Oh man, this song. It just gets me so fired up and motivated. The message behind it is so inspiring and uplifting and the lyrics just make me feel so determined. This song is a great one to listen to if you're going through a bit of a tough time and don't feel like you have much left. You're strong and you can keep going. Just keep your head up and keep fighting.

3. Drag Me Down - One Direction

I really love this song! I'm sorry Zayn but this is definitely my favourite One Direction song. I like the whole rock-like feel to it and the message behind it is so empowering. I can't wait to hear their fifth album now!

4. Glitterball - Sigma feat. Ella Henderson

This is a great song! I love Ella Henderson and I think her voice along with Sigma's track is a really good combination. I also think the name of this song is so cool. It's really original and just sounds really cool, idk.

5. Big Girls Cry - Sia

I love the honesty of Sia's songs and lyrics. You can tell from listening to them that she has gone through tough times in her life and I like how she doesn't sugarcoat some of life's harsh realities. I think she is an amazing singer-songwriter and Maddie Ziegler is great for her music videos. Her dancing and her whole aesthetic in the videos is so haunting but in such a way that you just can't look away. I really really like this song!

To see July's top 5, click here

- Caoimhe x

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Sunday, 6 September 2015

Summer Round-Up

For the first two weeks of July I was at my holiday house. I spent the majority of my time during those two weeks on the golf course. I play in a few competitions and also just generally for the plain fun of it. I find golf is a really good way to spend summer afternoons because you get out for fresh air and exercise and, I mean, just look at the amazing view in the picture below!

In the third week of July I spent my mornings volunteering at a Spanish summer scheme for children aged 4 to 11. I take Spanish for A Level and I adore the language so when I saw this summer scheme advertised I really wanted to help out. I was delighted when the two ladies said they'd be happy to have me there! I had such a fun time there playing games and singing songs in Spanish with the children. They learnt everything from simple greetings to ordering food at the mini restaurant we had on the final day. All the children were so cute and lovely and a lot of them picked up Spanish really quickly!

That same week I also started taking driving lessons with a proper instructor. I had been out driving with my dad quite a bit beforehand and I was glad to have a bit of experience under my belt because it took away a few of the nerves I had. I really didn't need to be nervous at all, though! My instructor is really nice and he's a really good teacher. I've had 7 hours of lessons so far and I'm really enjoying them!

The following Monday my family officially gained a new member: we got a new kitten! His name is Oscar and he's the cutest little thing! He's the perfect combination between relaxed and playful. Right now he's 12 weeks old but he's growing so fast!

That same day we went back up to my holiday house and spent three full weeks there. Again, most of my time was spent golfing with my cousins and sometimes with people I didn't know before. It was so good getting to meet new people! In total in the summer I won a painting, a watch, two mugs, a golf glove and a nice woolly hat. Not too shabby! For me though my favourite achievement was getting my handicap cut to 28 in the last competition of the summer. I'd been trying so hard to get it cut all summer and all the hard work finally paid off!

The 11th of August marked my dad's 50th birthday which we spent in Athlone in the south of Ireland (you can read about my trip here). On the Friday before that, however, we had a joint party for my dad and a family-friend who had turned 50 just a few days earlier! It was such a good night and I think my dad enjoyed both the party and his actual birthday. I just can't believe he's 50 now!

When we came home after our three weeks away, it really marked the end of the summer. During the last week in August I had to go into school for an hour and a half on the Wednesday to get my timetable and a few other bits and bobs. On the Friday of that week I had to go into school again but for a different reason. It was for the first rehearsal of our school musical, Beauty and the Beast. I'm in the chorus and although I know it's going to be hectic for the next few weeks (as we perform in October!), I think it'll be such a fun experience and I'm so glad to be a part of it!

I had such a great summer. Even though I didn't go away anywhere foreign, I still felt like I got a complete break from everything when I was at my holiday house. I so enjoyed spending time with my family and friends and I know I made memories this summer that I'll have forever :)

- Caoimhe x

P.S. Here's a little thought for September:

Friday, 28 August 2015

Summer Favourites 2015

I can't believe summer is over already! It absolutely flew in!!! Throughout the two and a half months I had off I discovered some things I loved - skincare products, make-up and books. So, in this post I'll share my summer favourites of 2015 with you.


1. Simple Kind to Skin Protecting Moisture Cream

I have tried and tested a lot of moisturisers but this one is definitely not just my summer favourite but my all-time favourite! When you first apply it to your face it initially feels a bit greasy but it is quickly absorbed and to the touch it feels like you haven't applied anything as it's so light. It has improved the condition of my skin immensely and my skin is about 100 times less dry than it was before I started using this moisturiser.

Another thing I love about it and which made it perfect for summer is the fact that it contains SPF 30 and it's no lie! There were several times during the summer when I went out golfing with my sisters and cousins and they came in with bright red, sunburnt faces while I was totally protected!


2. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

I won't spend too long talking about this because I know that pretty much everyone and their dog has heard of this product! I use this micellar water not only to remove my make-up but also if I just feel my skin needs revitalised when I'm not wearing make-up. It's one of those products that does exactly what it claims. It's definitely a must-have!


3. Zoella Scrubbing Me Softly Smoothing Body Scrub

I was so excited when Zoe announced that she was releasing a new line of beauty products! The packaging of all the products in the Tutti Fruity range is adorable and they all smell so good! This scrub in particular stuck out for me because I'd never used a sugar scrub before and I was really pleased with the results! It feels so gentle on your skin when you apply it and so it is perfect for anyone with sensitive skin.

The thing that surprised me the most, however, was just how moisturised it left my skin feeling! Normally body scrubs can leave my skin feeling a bit dry and dull but this scrub was the complete opposite.


4. Maybelline the Falsies Volume Express Mascara

I am totally loving this mascara at the minute! It makes my lashes look really long an thick. The way the actual brush part is shaped allows you to apply the mascara in such a way that your lashes can stay separated, making them look really natural. Another thing I love about it is that it is really buildable- you can make your lashes as long as you want!


5. Max Factor Colour Elixir Lipstick in the shade 'Simply Nude'

This was my go-to summer lipstick this year for a few reasons. Firstly, the colour is gorgeous! It's a really pretty baby pink, a perfect subtle colour for everyday wear. Secondly, it's such a creamy lipstick that it just glides on your lips so effortlessly and looks so good. The formula also means it leaves your lips feeling nice and moisturised. Thirdly, it has really good staying power. I find I rarely have to touch it up when I wear it which is great for summer when you would rather be having fun than worrying about your lipstick.


6. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I read quite a few books this summer but this one was my favourite. I'd heard quite a bit about it before I read it but didn't rush into reading it because it's not really the type of book I'd normally read. However, after hearing my mum, auntie and cousin talking about it I decided to give it a go.

At the beginning I found it a bit weird - I'd never read a book before where I didn't like a single character in it. But I kept reading and after about 50 pages I just could not put it down! It was such an interesting plot and the ending came as such a surprise to me! Apparently they're making a movie of it so I'll be looking forward to seeing it.


What were your favourite summer products? Have you used any of my summer favourites or read The Girl on the Train? :)

- Caoimhe x

Friday, 21 August 2015

My Trip to Athlone

Ireland is full of pretty little towns and although I've lived in Ireland since I was 2, I actually haven't had the opportunity to explore many of them. So to celebrate my dad's 50th birthday last week, my family and I spent two days in Athlone, County Westmeath.

It took us the guts of 4 hours to get there so we didn't get to the hotel until about 4pm. After unpacking and getting settled we went swimming in the pool in the hotel. For dinner we went to a Thai restaurant called Kin Khao. In all honesty it was possibly the best meal out I've ever had! By the time we got organised we were starving when we got there but the service was so fast and the food was amazing. I had a prawn stir fry and I just never wanted to finish it! It was so good! If you ever find yourself in Athlone you have to try out Kin Khao!

The next day was my dad's birthday. We got up nice and early and after getting breakfast we made our way down to the docks on the River Shannon, the river that flows through Athlone. The boat travelled down the River Shannon to Lough Ree and then back again. It was really interesting to hear all about the history of Athlone and the scenery along the banks was beautiful.

After a pit-stop for hot chocolates in a place called My Melody Restaurant (which does really good hot chocolates by the way!), we went to Athlone Castle. In 2012, the castle was renovated and now it is a state-of-the-art, multi-sensory visitor exhibition. It contains 8 rooms with each explaining a different part of Athlone's history in different ways. It was really interesting - I didn't realise before how culture-rich Athlone is!

View over Athlone from the castle
Then we got back in the car and drove to a nearby eco craft village called Ballinahown and walked around a few of the cute little shops. It's such a pretty village!

After that we drove to an old famous monastry called Clonmacnoise. We walked around the visitor centre, reading all about the history of the place, and then watched a movie telling the story of how the monastry was founded. Then we went outside to see the ruins of the place. I found it incredibly moving to walk around them and see the graves of the monks who had died there.

We then went back to the hotel for a quick swim. After getting ready we went to Hatter's Lane Bistro for my dad's birthday meal. They had a really wide menu from pasta to burgers to fajitas. I had the New York Style Burger which had cheese and bacon inside it. It was so delicious and it came with homemade chips which were probably the best chips I've ever had! We then ordered two sticky toffee puddings for dessert - one for me and my sister to share and the other for my brother and other sister to share. They were sooo good!

The next day after having breakfast and then watching the amazing Pretty Little Liars finale, we checked out of our hotel. We then drove to a walking trail called the Warren Point looped walk of Rindoon. Unfortunately, it's undergoing a bit of work so we had to take a different route from the normal one through many fields, a lot of mud and a few herds of sheep and cows and there was a moment when I saw my life flash before my eyes on the walk: we were walking through a herd of cows that were sitting down and they all started standing up and I thought they were going to start kicking and attacking us. It was so flipping scary so as soon as we were past them my sister Clare and I ran for our lives! My heart was pounding so fast!!! My mum said it was so funny and thinking back now I guess it was pretty funny!

Nonetheless, we were still able to enjoy the beautiful scenery and make the most of the lovely weather we had that day.

So after our traumatic cow experience, we hit the shops for a bit of retail therapy! There's a really good shopping centre in Athlone which has Topshop, River Island, H&M, Zara, Warehouse, Eason, M&S and so much more. After spending about an hour and a half there, we hit the road and made our way home again.

I had such a good few days in Athlone and I'd really recommend visiting it if you are ever near it or passing through it. It has so much more in it than I had been expecting and it has a really rich culture. It was so interesting to learn all about it. Plus, It's a great town for food - the two restaurants and all of the cafés we were in were so good!

- Caoimhe x


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