Friday, 26 August 2016

My Trip to Barcelona

On Wednesday 29th June, my family and I arrived in Barcelona airport. We had been travelling since 1am that morning as we had a 2-hour bus journey to Dublin airport and then a 3-hour wait in the airport for our 6am flight. Needless to say, we were pretty tired but also very excited! My mum and dad had been to Barcelona before but my siblings and I had not so we couldn't wait to see what it was like.

We got the metro to the Sagrada Família, the stop nearest the apartment we were renting. I'd heard about the Sagrada Família before, both in Spanish class in school and through researching Barcelona before we went. I'd seen a lot of photos of it but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I got out of that metro station. It is absolutely enormous! It looks so powerful and is such an incredible building! We were so lucky with our apartment because it looked right out at the Sagrada Família. Waking up every morning, opening the curtains and seeing a world heritage sight right in front of you is something amazing!

This was the view from my bedroom window with no zoom or anything!
After we got settled and unpacked, we were all pretty tired so we slept and just took it easy for a few hours. But we still wanted to do something that evening to kick off our holiday so we got the metro to La Plaça de Catalunya and walked down Las Ramblas, which are famous streets in Barcelona lined with lots of little cafés, shops and stalls. We walked down as far as the port where there were lovely views of the city. It was a nice relaxing start to the holiday and gave us a feel for Barcelona as a city.

The next morning we got up bright and early and took the metro to Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona FC. If I'm totally honest I was a bit disappointed with it as a tourist attraction because we just had to walk around ourselves with no information on the stadium or the team. I would have liked for there to have been tour guides or even audio guides to provide information as we walked around. But aside from this it was cool to actually see the massive stadium! Imagine playing there whilst 99, 354 people are shouting and screaming!

After that we went to Park Güell, a famous park containing a lot of Gaudí's architecture and designs. I really enjoyed walking around it and seeing everything. His architecture has quite a Roald Dahl-like feel to it with curvy, childlike designs. The park also offered amazing panoramic views over all of Barcelona. It's such a beautiful city!

On Friday morning, we went across the street to the Sagrada Família, where we rented some audio guides to listen to while we walked around it. It was so good to finally see the inside after being able to see only the outside everyday since we'd arrived! The inside of it really surprised me. It's a lot more modern that I was expecting! The fact that it's still under construction probably should have given it away that it would be quite modern but I think because the outside looks quite old I was expecting the inside to as well. I'm so glad we got the audio guides because I learned so much in the space of the hour the tour lasted. Gaudí had put so much thought into every single detail of the basilica. It just blew my mind!

This was me not realising a photo was being taken hahah, but you can see the architecture nicely

That afternoon we walked halfway up Montjuïc, a hill in Barcelona, and then got a cablecar up to the top. There, we walked around the Castle of Montjuïc, enjoying the amazing views it offered of the whole city.

After dinner that evening we went back to the bottom of Montjuïc to see the shows that are put on at weekends and during the summer at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. The water was lit up every colour you could imagine while music was playing, and I guess you could almost say it was dancing along! It was amazing!

Saturday was our last full day in Barcelona. In the morning, we went back down to the port and took a 90-minute boat trip that took us along the coast of Barcelona. You could see everything and the views from the distance were beautiful!

That afternoon, we went to the zoo at the request of my youngest sister, Clare, and my brother, Patrick. The zoo in Barcelona was home to Snowflake, the albino gorilla, until he died in 2003 and they have a lovely exhibit about his life and the history of albino gorillas which was really interesting! The zoo is situated within the Parc de la Ciutadella so when we were finished in the zoo we had a walk around it. It's a beautiful park with a lake and a big fountain so it was really enjoyable to walk around.

Our flight on Sunday morning was early so we didn't have time to do any more exploring of Barcelona unfortunately. I had such an amazing few days there and I can't wait until I can go back some time. If you are looking for somewhere to go for a city break, I would really highly recommend going there! It is so beautiful, has so many great restaurants and bars, and there is something interesting around every corner. I absolutely loved it!

Did you go away anywhere this summer? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Monday, 27 June 2016

Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer | Review

I bought the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer last year and it was my holy grail beauty product last summer, but as summer became autumn I wanted something with a bit more coverage and went back to wearing foundation on a daily basis. However, as it is summer again I’ve been increasingly finding myself reaching for this tinted moisturizer and I realised the other day that although I had written a bit about it in my Summer Favourites last year, I haven’t written a detailed review of it so here goes.

The first thing I love about this tinted moisturizer is the coverage. It’s light but buildable, which is perfect for the summer as I find I want to wear as little makeup as possible but still have a bit of coverage as my skin is prone to blemishes and redness. I like that with this tinted moisturizer you can apply it all over your face for a light coverage but apply a bit more over any spots or blemishes to build up coverage, reducing the need for heavy concealer.

Another reason why I love this tinted moisturizer is that it is great for dry skin and I truly mean that. My skin can be drier than the Sahara and when it is in this state, foundation just does not work. No sirree! As this is a type of moisturizer it hydrates the skin and gives it a lovely glowy look which can normally be quite hard to achieve when you have dry skin.

A few other things I love about it is that it’s really easy to blend, it acts as a great base for more makeup such as bronzer and it stays in place all day. Not to mention the fact that it contains SPF 15, which is perfect for summer!

For me, the only down side of this tinted moisturizer is the limited shade range available. I’m normally very pale so I use the shade 1, which is actually a smidge too dark for me. Thankfully being out on the golf course everyday during the summer does give my face and neck a bit of colour so it matches fine a few weeks into July. However, this was one of the reasons why I didn’t use it in autumn and winter when I was extremely pale. It would not have been a good look! In total, there are six shades, which is really unfortunate because it means a lot of people may have to miss out on a great product!

Overall I really like this tinted moisturizer. I think the light coverage and SPF 15 make it a great summer makeup product. I also love how dewy and fresh it makes my skin look and feel. I’m definitely adding it back into my makeup routine for the summer!

Do you have a holy grail summer product? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Weekly Round-Up #4 | June 2016

The beginning of this week was busy but in a pretty mundane way. I'm going on holiday with my family on Wednesday for 10 days and I can't wait! As my parents were working all week and I was the only one in the family with pretty much nothing to do, I was put in charge of organising the sights to see, things to do and places to eat in. So that has been keeping me very busy, which is why I didn't manage to get a post up on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. I'm really sorry about that! I've decided that to make up for the 4 days worth of posts I've missed in my June challenge, I'll continue posting every day from today until the 4th of July. (And then I might take a week off!)

Thursday was a pretty momentous day in my life as I voted for the first time. I think it's kind of crazy that the first time I've ever voted was in what was probably the most important vote of my lifetime: the EU Referendum. I voted for the UK to remain in the European Union and it is something I felt very passionate about after studying the European Union for part of my Business Studies A Level. Also the fact that I'm so into my languages means I'm considering working abroad when I'm older. Being in the European Union opened up many job prospects and would have enabled me to freely travel to and work in France or Spain.

Copyright: ITV News
Also, on Thursday my friends finished their exams which meant that night I finally got to go out and celebrate the end of exams and my birthday! It was such a good night and it was so good to finally be able to just let loose with all my friends! However, I do regret wearing 6-inch heels as my feet were still feeling a bit worse for wear two days later!

A pretty awful photo of my friend Orlaith and I :)
I got home at 2am and sat up for a bit watching the coverage of the EU Referendum results. It got a bit addictive and before I knew it was nearly 5am and they announced that the devastating news that the United Kingdom was to leave the European Union. I am honestly still so shocked about it and I feel that both the short-term and long-term benefits of Brexit could be extremely dangerous, not only due to the impact on the economy and employment levels but also due to a new type of politics that appears to be emerging. I'm also upset that a lot of arguments during the campaign was based on lies. For example, it was not only stated but printed on the side of buses and on billboards that if we leave, we would have £350 million a week to spend on the NHS. On Friday morning, Nigel Farage stated that it was a 'mistake' for Leave to claim this. Sorry but that is not a mistake. A mistake is accidentally saying something you don't mean, but Leave meant this meaning it was a blatant lie. People didn't know this and based their vote on lies such as this. I do fear for the future of my generation and I don't feel it's fair that considering 75% of under 24 year olds voted remain, our future was decided by the older generation. Also, on this note I really recommend reading this opinion piece from The Guardian which sums up perfectly how I, along with a lot of other people my age, feel.

On Saturday, my dad and I went to my holiday house in Donegal as I was playing in a golf competition. I played absolutely awful, but the two ladies I was playing with were lovely and it didn't rain, which is always a positive. In Ireland, any round of golf where you get into the clubhouse dry is a successful round, no matter how you actually play!

My dad and I then got a Chinese and went to my Granny and Granda's house to watch the gaelic match between Monaghan and Donegal and then the Euro match between Portugal and Croatia.

This morning after getting up and packing what little stuff we had brought with us, my dad and I went out for breakfast. I was still full from the Chinese last night so I just had tea and a croissant. When we got back home, we just watched the Ireland v France game and my brother and I made chocolate chip cookies after dinner, which was a nice way to end the week.

- Caoimhe x

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

June's Tunes #3

Better Place - Rachel Platten 

I first heard of Rachel Platten when I heard 'Fight Song' on the radio last year. A few months later I heard 'Stand By You' and the other day they came on when I was listening to my Spotify playlist and I was thought, "hold on, if I love both of these songs, why don't I listen to her other songs?" So that's what I did and I loved what I heard! I love this song especially because it's so gentle with the piano and strings in the background. It's also just such a happy and heart-warming love song. Also, the music video is just so lovely!

We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez

I love Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez as separate artists and together they are just amazing! Their voices go so well together and I think this is such a great song. It's hard to explain but it has quite a smooth, chilled vibe to it and I just really like the tune.

Can't Blame A Girl For Trying - Sabrina Carpenter

I followed Sabrina Carpenter on Instagram but I didn't know anything about her other than she was actress. When I looked her up I saw she was a singer too so naturally I listened to some of her stuff and I really like this song! partly because I can so relate to the whole "'cos I'm young and I'm dumb, I do stupid things when it comes to love," and partly due to the upbeat ukelele vibe. Literally as soon as I listened to the first few seconds, I was like "yes, I love it!" Anything with a ukelele just makes me so happy.

Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes is just on a roll at the minute with tune after tune! He has a really distinct voice and a different sound. I love how this song goes from a soft and slowish verse and then - boom - a really upbeat and loud chorus. Also, the lyrics are so sweet! "Any girl like you deserves a gentleman"

(Side note: I couldn't find the official audio on YouTube so I'll leave you with his live performance of the song at the MMVAs. It's amazing, like it sounds literally the same as the recording!)

I Think I'm In Love - Kat Dahlia

Kat Dahlia has such an interesting voice. It's quite husky but really strong, which is quite different! This song is great because the verses have a really good beat to dance to but the chorus is so good for belting out. Such a great combo!

To see last week's songs, click here

What songs have you been loving recently? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Weekly Round-Up #3 | June 2016

Monday 13th June
I had a really productive day tidying out my wardrobe. I cleared out all my winter clothes that I hopefully won't need until at least October. But you just never know with Irish weather - I might need them next week! I also gave a few things to charity and passed two or three things down to my sisters. I now have a lot of space that I can fill with new summer clothes, which I'm in dire need of by the way! I realised today that I don't even own a pair of shorts!

Tuesday 14th June
Today I met up with my friend Hannah for a coffee and a chat, although it was raining which actually really put me in the mood for a hot chocolate but I was still up for a chat! I haven't seen her in months so it was great to finally catch up, and boy did we have a lot to catch up on!

Wednesday 15th June
I had another chill day today as I'm still exhausted from my exams! I think 2 or 3 months of surviving on 6 hours sleep a day is finally catching up with me. These days I've literally been getting up at 11am and falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow at 11pm! Or maybe I'm becoming a sloth...

It was a nice day though, and I didn't want to spend it inside watching TV so I went for a walk. It was really peaceful and relaxing just walking without having to think about schoolwork, study schedules or exams. I then went and collected my sister Anna from school and we went and got ice cream.

Thursday 16th June
I had such a lovely day today! I met up with one of my best friends Orlaith, who I hadn't seen in nearly two weeks, and we went out for lunch. It was so great to catch up and have a good old chinwag. After our lunch we went to the cinema to see 'The Boss' with Melissa McCarthy, who is one of my favourite comedy actresses. It was a really good movie with a lot of hilarious moments and I would highly recommend it if you love Melissa McCarthy's other films!

(Side note: while I was adding the photos in to this post I just realised that I didn't take any photos whatsoever that day. Oops, sorry!!)

Friday 17th June
I don't think I fully understood the meaning of the phrase "shop 'til you drop" until today because that's what I did! My mum and I shopped from 9am until 2:30pm when we had to leave to collect my siblings from school. So you know all that space in my wardrobe I said I would fill with summer clothes? Yeahh, I filled that and more... But now I'm pretty much all kitted out for my holiday in 2 weeks time. I'm so excited!

Saturday 18th June
Today was a pretty busy day! In the morning, my dad and I went into town as I had some boring bank things I had to do now that I'm an adult and all that. But something really exciting happened when I was there. I watch a vlogger on YouTube called Lindy, otherwise known as 'Bubz', and I have watched both her beauty videos and daily vlogs for over 2 years now. She recently moved back from Hong Kong to the UK, which was where her and her husband, Tim, grew up. I knew she lives in my town because I recognise places in her daily vlogs and Instagram pictures but I never thought I'd ever see her. When I walked into the bank today, I joined the queue and then looked up at who was being served. It was Tim!!! I recognised him straight away but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to cause a big scene, especially as although there were a lot of people it was a quiet atmosphere. He walked out when he was finished and then a few minutes later he walked past the bank again but this time with Lindy!!! It was really weird seeing 2 people who I've watched on a screen in real life and I so wish I hadn't been standing in a long, slow-moving queue at the bank because I would loved to have been able to talk to Lindy and thank her for her videos. She's such an inspirational person and she has given some great advice in videos that has really genuinely helped me. I would highly recommend that you go check out her beauty channel and her daily vlogging channel. I just know you'd love her!

When we got home (and after I'd told everyone who'd listen that I saw Lindy and Tim haha), we had lunch and then my mum, my sister and I went to a golf shop to get the final part of my dad's Father's Day present. My dad is really hard to buy for because when he sees something he likes or needs, he just buys it himself so we got him a House Of Fraser gift card which he can use to buy some nice cologne or a new tie or something, and some golf balls because he told us he needed more.

In the evening, my family and I went to a family-friend's house for a 50th birthday party. It was a really good night! They had brought in outside caterers and the food was amazing! They even booked an ice cream van to come to the house for dessert, which I thought was such a good idea! Thankfully it stayed dry so we could eat and mill around outside. When it started getting dark and after everyone had a few drinks in them, the dancing started inside. I have to say watching a lot of 50+ year-olds dancing wasn't exactly a pretty sight, but everyone was having a great time which was the main thing! I'd say a few of them will be regretting things tomorrow morning though!

Sunday 19th June
Today had a bit of a late start as we hadn't got home from the party until 1:45am but we all needed that lie in! We made my dad pancakes for breakfast and he was really happy with his present. Unfortunately it rained pretty much the whole day but my dad was happy to watch the gaelic and football on TV, so we had a nice chilled day. Later on, my granny and granda came round for an hour and then we had a roast dinner at my dad's request, of course!

I'm so grateful for my dad and he genuinely does so much for my siblings and I. I couldn't ask for a more loving, inspiring and selfless father, and mother for that matter! They both work so hard and invest so much of time and energy in my sisters, brother and I. They help us with schoolwork, support our extra-curricular activities and pay for things like our violin lessons, and they are always always always there when we need them. They are two of the smartest, kindest and bravest people I know and I aspire to be just like them.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! Thank you for everything! :)

I hope you all had a good week!

To see last week's round-up, click here

- Caoimhe x

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Thursday, 16 June 2016

Nighttime Skincare Routine

Recently I've been getting into a good, consistent routine with regards skincare and I'm already noticing the benefits it's having. My skin has cleared up a bit, become less dry and more glowy. To put a bit of context to this post, I have dry, sensitive, spot-prone skin, which has nearly always given me bother. I can't remember having totally clear skin! I get that hormones have a part to play in your skin type or appearance but I feel that there are things we can do to improve the situation. It's all about finding products that suit your skin and having a consistent routine. If you have dry and spot-prone skin like me then definitely give some of these products a go because they've been working well for me for the past few months.

L-R: La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Cleansing Cream // Simple Kind To Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream // Fushi Virgin Organic Coconut Oil // Konjac Facial Puff Sponge Bamboo Charcoal // Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water // Pixi Glow Tonic

1. Removing Makeup
My friend told me about how effective coconut oil is at removing makeup and I was really intrigued. I decided to give it a go so I bought Fushi's Virgin Organic Coconut Oil and I'm really impressed! My makeup just dissolves off my face and it even removes waterproof mascara without any harsh rubbing necessary. It has also helped with reducing the dryness of my skin which is great! However, I definitely wouldn't recommend it to people with oily skin because high oil levels can wreak havoc with your skin.

I then take a cotton pad and wipe the oil off, which takes the makeup off with it, and then to ensure the makeup is totally removed I take another cotton pad soaked in Garnier's Micellar Water and wipe it all over my face. I absolutely love this micellar water and it makes my skin feel really hydrated.

2. Cleansing
I use La Roche-Posay's Effaclar H Cleansing Cream and use my Konjac Sponge to give my skin a really deep cleanse. I love the Konjac Sponge because it's more gentle than electric facial cleansing brushes so it's perfect for sensitive skin. Also, it's a lot more gentle on the pocket too at only £8.99!

3. Toner
I use the Pixi Glow Tonic, a liquid exfoliant toner. I won't say too much on this because everyone and their mother in the blogging world has heard about this product. I feel that it has been a key player in clearing my skin a bit more because it removes dead skin cells and really evens out the surface of the skin, making it really smooth.

4. Night Cream
I use Simple's Kind to Skin Vital Vitamin Night Cream and have done so for over 2 years. It's such a staple product for me because it's so moisturising and keeps me skin hydrated all night long. When I wake up in the morning, my skin has a nice glow to it and feels so moisturised!

- Caoimhe x

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Wednesday, 15 June 2016

My Summer Reading Bucket List

I love reading but unfortunately during the school year I get hardly any time to actually read for fun. As a student, I spend so much time reading notes and textbooks and when I do get a spare hour or whatever, sometimes the idea of reading even more seems a bit exhausting and it's easier to sit down and watch a movie or a TV programme, which I know is so bad!

During the summer I love spending my free time relaxing with a good book and I recently came across the idea of a Reading Bucket List, so I decided to make my own for the summer and share it here maybe to inspire some other people to read more.
  • Read a book with more than 500 pages
  • Read a book published this year
  • Read a book with a one-word title
  • Read a book set somewhere I've always wanted to visit
  • Read a book written by a celebrity
  • Read a book based on a true story
  • Read a book that was originally written in another language
  • Read a book set in high school
  • Read a non-fiction book
  • Read a book from my childhood
  • Read a book recommended by a friend
  • Read a book with magic
  • Read a book I started but never finished
  • Read a book I was supposed to read in school but didn't (don't tell my English teacher!)
  • Read a mystery or thriller

At the end of the summer, I'll make an update post and tell you what book I read for each and maybe give mini reviews of the ones I particularly enjoyed. Happy reading everyone! :)

- Caoimhe x

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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

June's Tunes #2

This One's For You - David Guetta ft. Zara Larsson

This is the official song for the Euro 2016 and I absolutely love it! I love how it has a really inclusive message, showing that we're stronger when we stand together. Also, can we just talk about how incredible Zara Larsson's voice is?! She's just absolutely smashing it at the minute with hit after hit, and I can't believe she's only my age! She's achieved so much!

Kill Em With Kindness - Selena Gomez

I really like this song because it has a really good message and one that I feel is very important in today's society. Killing with kindness is an idea which I strongly agree with. I'm not one for violence at all and I don't really like confrontation (which I know isn't always great) but I frequently go down the path of 'killing with kindness'. Selena's voice sounds really different in this song but she sounds really mature, and I really like the whistle parts in the song because it's quite different!

Oh What A Circus from 'Evita'

'Evita' is one of my favourite musicals and I love the film of it! It is based on the life of Eva Perón, the First Lady of Argentina from 1948 until her death in 1952. I was so interested in the real story behind the musical that I chose to talk about Eva Perón in my discussion in my A Level Spanish oral exam. In my research I found out that she was quite a controversial figure. She did some amazing things, like passionately campaigning for women's suffrage in Argentina which was granted in 1947, and setting up the Eva Perón Foundation which she used to help the poor and establish schools, hospitals and orphanages. However, some people, particularly those of the upper class, didn't approve of the fact that she was a former actress and they didn't really take her seriously. As well as this, she cut the government funding of some elitist groups so she had a lot enemies of the upper class.

I really like this particular song from 'Evita'. It's pretty much the opening number and is set just after Eva's death and pretty much sums up what I said above, setting the scene for the rest of the musical. Also, at the end we get a verse from an alternative (albeit slightly creepier) version of 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina', which is such an amazing song!

Just Like Fire - P!nk

This song brings me back to 2008 when 'So What' was out. That song was my jam when I was 10! I love how 8 years on Pink is still so feisty and hasn't lost any of her fire! The music video for this song makes me quite dizzy at the start and the ending is quite disturbing as she ends up in a mental institute. But apparently in 'Alice Through The Looking Glass', which this song is from, Alice is in a mental institute at one point, and I think Pink is also showing how society sometimes dismisses people who dream or who are a bit different, which is sad.

Hair - Little Mix

I love this song so much! It's so full of sass, not to mention soo catchy! I also love the music video - it really makes me want to be a member of Little Mix! It looks like so much fun and Jade's facial expressions are just the funniest thing!

To see last week's songs, click here

What songs have you been loving recently? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Monday, 13 June 2016

6 Stages Of Clearing Out Your Closet

If you're anything like me and love buying clothes, you'll know there comes a point where you wardrobe kind of maybe begins to overflow a bit. When that happens, you know it's time to carry out the dreaded task of clearing out your closet. I hit that point a few days ago so this afternoon I decided it was time for me to clear out my wardrobe. Whilst doing so, I realised that when you love clothes, there are 6 stages you go through when clearing out your closet...

1. Motivation
Right before you begin clearing out your closet you feel motivated. Something about getting rid of thick, dark winter clothes to make room for colourful and light items of summer clothing is quite exciting. You feel summery and ready to take on the challenge.

2. Surprise
When you take all your clothes out of your wardrobe or drawers, I guarantee that you will find at least one item of clothing you didn't realise you owned. I found a really pretty top from Next earlier that I have no recollection whatsoever of buying, but it's cute so I'm not complaining!

3. Embarrassment
Once you see all the clothes you own laid out, you start to feel a little bit embarrassed at the amount of clothes you actually own or even the amount of a particular item of clothing you own. For me, it's jumpers. I counted earlier and I have 15 jumpers...

4. Denial
When you start going through your stuff you realise that this isn't going to be as easy as you thought. You make excuses for everything: 'Oh I know I haven't worn that for 4 years, but I just know I'll find a reason to wear it soon!' 'But that dress brings back so many memories!'

5. Acceptance
You realise the only way you can get new clothes is by getting rid of old clothes and that there's no point holding on to a top you haven't worn in a few years. At this stage the process starts to become therapeutic. It feels like you're letting go of the past, becoming freer and turning over a new leaf...

6. Pride
You're finished! Time to reward yourself with a shopping spree!

- Caoimhe x

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Sunday, 12 June 2016

Weekly Round-Up #2 | June 2016

Monday 6th June
Today I had my last A Level, which was bittersweet as it marked the beginning of summer and the end of exams, but it also marked the end of my time at school. I'm really sad about leaving school - the teachers, my classmates, the familiarity of everything, the school community... But I'm also excited to see what the future holds. It's now just a waiting game for my results to come in August and then I'll find out where I'll be spending the next four years of my life.

(I wrote a post all about my thoughts on leaving school, which you can read here. I actually cried a bit when writing it. HA!)

Tuesday 7th June
I feel that people who haven't done exams for a while forget how much they really take it out of you! I'm physically, mentally and and emotionally exhausted. I had a chill day today and watched an embarrassing amount of Netflix. I'm currently addicted to Jane the Virgin and I've started re-watching How I Met Your Mother from the beginning so that gives me plenty to watch!

Wednesday 8th June
Today my sister, Anna, and I went for a walk on a trail near our house alongside a river. It was a bit of a strange day because it was cloudy but really warm so it was quite a sticky heat. We walked about 5.5km and it was so peaceful!

Thursday 9th June
Today was such a busy day, which was why I didn't manage to get a post up. Sorry about that! Anna, my mum and I went shopping because we are in dire need of clothes for our holiday to Spain at the end of this month! Today we focused on Anna because it was her last day off school before her summer holiday, so I didn't really get anything except for a pair of Sketchers Go Walk 3's, which are the comfiest shoes I have ever owned! I thought they'll be good for walking around Barcelona and will be handy for slipping on and off during the summer.

Tonight was my other sister Clare's P7 show. In my primary school, they have a tradition that before the Primary 7's leave, they all put on a musical. Clare's year did Beauty and the Beast (which brought back memories of our school musical in October!) and she was Belle. Of course, as she was one of the lead roles, her hair and makeup had to be done well and it took me 2 hours because her hair is so thick!!! But the show was so good! She did me so proud up there and brought a wee tear to my eye!

Look how comfy they look!!

Friday 10th June
I woke up with such a bad headache today, but I would have felt lazy doing nothing so I went for a run. Unfortunately I couldn't run for too long as my head was pounding so bad, so I decided to just go back home, shower and have another Netflix afternoon. This evening, I went up to my holiday house in Donegal to spend the weekend there. I had a sleep in the car and my head felt better afterwards so I think I was just really tired.

Stream near where I went for a run

Saturday 11th June
Today I played in a golf competition with my auntie, my granda and my dad. It had been raining really heavily this morning but by the time we were teeing off it had eased off and thankfully it stayed off the whole time we were out. In fact, the sun even came out for an hour or two! It was such an enjoyable round of golf. I didn't play too well because I have properly played since Easter but it was great craic and my auntie actually ended up winning in the ladies' section!

Sunday 12th June
This afternoon we went to the beach to go for a walk but as soon as we got there, the sky filled in and it just poured! So, we took as a sign that it would be better to just go for a coffee! We went to a new café that had just recently opened and it was really nice! It overlooked the beach and the views would be amazing on a nice day. Afterwards, we went back to the house, got packed up and went home. As a side note, in the car I was reading Giovanna Fletcher's new book 'Always With Love' and I really like it! It's the sequel to 'Billy and Me' which I absolutely loved! I'd highly recommend both books!

Hope you all had a good week! :)
To read last week's round-up, click here

- Caoimhe x

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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

High-End Makeup Wish List

1. Nars Sheer Glow Foundation
I love a glowy look and this foundation is so popular for achieving that. It is apparently good for normal to dry skin as it is very hydrating and the coverage seems to be sheer but buildable. For me personally, these are all the things I need in an ideal foundation!

2. Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette
I absolutely adore the pink and rose gold tones in this palette and I feel they'd be especially nice colours to wear in the summer. I already have the Naked 1 palette and the quality of the eyeshadows is so good! They're really pigmented and last for hours!

3. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette
I feel like I don't even have to explain this one - just look that highlight palette! It's beautiful!

4. Charlotte Tilbury Mini Miracle Eye Wand
I have pretty bad under eye circles and I've heard really good things about this concealer! On the Charlotte Tilbury website it states that it "creates the appearance of 8 hours sleep in two clicks by expertly covering dark circles and lines, smoothing out bags or hollows, brightening the eye contour and hydrating the skin’s surface for a dewy, luminous finish." That's exactly what I need!

5. YSL Touche Éclat Radiant Touch Concealer
I'm in need of a good highlighting concealer and my friend has this highlighting concealer and loves it. It looks amazing on her when she wears it!

What's on your high-end makeup wish list? Have you tried any of these products? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Tuesday, 7 June 2016

June's Tunes #1

It's no secret on my blog that I am a huge fan of music and just under 2 years ago I started a series on my blog called 'Top 5 Tunesday' where on the first Tuesday of each month, I would share with everyone my top 5 most listened-to songs of the previous month. I stopped writing them in October last year because I stopped enjoying writing them but I've actually missed the series! Therefore, as I'm posting 5 days a week in June, I've decided every Tuesday to tell you the songs I've enjoyed the previous week. There won't always be 5, for example this week there's 4, some weeks there may be 8 or 9! So without further ado, these are the songs I have been listening to and loving throughout the first week in June.

Send My Love (To Your New Lover) - Adele

I have been obsessed with this song lately! Don't get me wrong, I like Adele's normal sound but this is so different and I think it's just great! There's something about the tune in the chorus - it's really catchy and upbeat, which I love. Also, I so appreciate the level of sass in this song!

Leave Me Lonely - Ariana Grande

I love this song! It's a bit slower than Ariana's usual stuff but I feel like that gives a bit of a mysterious air. It also really shows off Ariana's amazing vocals, not to mention it's a great song for belting out when you're home alone, which is always a good thing in my opinion!

Querido Tommy - Tommy Torres

As I'm sure you guys know, I have recently just finished my A Level exams and I took French, Spanish and Business Studies. When I am preparing for a language exam, one thing which helps me get into French or Spanish 'mode' is by listening to French and Spanish songs. My friend had told me to listen to this song and I completely fell in love with it right from the first time I listened to it and had it on repeat the whole time I was preparing for my Spanish exams. It's such a beautiful song about a guy writing to Tommy Torres asking for a more poetic or romantic way of telling a girl that he loves her. The hopeless romantic within me just makes me absolutely adore this song! The language is so beautiful and if it doesn't make you want to learn Spanish, I don't know what will!!!

Even if you don't speak Spanish, I would really encourage you to listen to this song and you can click here to read an English translation of the lyrics. There are a few lines that don't really make sense, but you'll get the gist.

Time Is All We Have - Barrie Gledden

I have been addicted to the SacconeJolys' vlogs over the past two months and Jonathan frequently uses this beautiful song in the background of vlogs, so naturally I found it on YouTube and have been listening to it so much! It plants such a pretty image in my head of two people watching a sunrise while it feels like the rest of the world is sleeping and they are the only two people on earth. (There goes the hopeless romantic in me again. Okay, I'm going to stop now before I've written a flipping romance novel!)

What songs have you been loving recently?

- Caoimhe x

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Monday, 6 June 2016

Leaving School

So today I had my very last A Level exam, meaning I’ve officially left school. After 14 years of being in education saying that I have no more school is a pretty scary statement. I can honestly say that I have loved my school years. Yes, it wasn’t all easy but is there anything that ever is? It was definitely a rollercoaster – there were a lot of ups and a lot of downs. Thankfully, for me I feel that there were a lot more ups than downs and I am so sad to be leaving the place where I have spent the last 7 years. To think I’ll never again walk down those familiar corridors, see the familiar faces of teachers or classmates or put on my lovely *ahem* blue uniform every day makes me so sad, which I actually think is a good thing. It shows how much I enjoyed my school days.

When I think back to my first day of first year, it doesn't feel that long ago. I remember it so well. I was terrified! I was going from a year of 30 people in primary school to 180 in secondary school, so it was a huge change for me and only 7 other people from my primary school class were going to my new school. But I quickly settled in, made lots of friends and just absolutely loved it right from day one. It's crazy thinking that I went in there as an 11 year old and came out as 18 year old and I feel that my school has really had a huge impact on the type of person I've become.

When it came to leaving, I noticed there were 3 types of people within my year group. Those who were sad to leave, those who didn't mind and those who couldn't wait to get out of there. When I looked at who fit into each category, there was one common factor I noticed about most of the people who loved school and didn't want to leave. Most of them were the ones who were involved, who gave up their time for the school and were members of different clubs and groups within school. I was a member of all the school choirs and orchestras, mentored younger pupils, was a member of the debating club in Year 10, participated in the school music earlier this year, and when the school needed volunteers I always signed up when I could. I truly feel that with school the more you put in, the more you get out. By being a member of all these different things, I could meet more people and have the opportunity to pursue my hobbies within school, which made me enjoy it even more.

If I could pass on any words of wisdom to anyone who is still in school it would be just to get involved as much as possible. I don't mean joining everything going because there is no way you would have the time and energy! Instead find a healthy balance and go with it. You'll be amazed at how much it'll change your school experience. When I look back in years to come I know for a fact I won't think 'oh, remember that time I did that Maths test in Year 11', I'll instead remember the 7 Spring Concerts I played and sang in, the school musical, performing at the heats of BBC Radio Ulster's School Choir of the Year in March, the Spanish exchange I went on in 2013...

Another thing I would say to anyone still in school is to fully appreciate your teachers. They just want the best for you, even if that does means hours of homework! Everything they ask of you will benefit you in the end. Also, if you're struggling, don't be afraid to tell your teacher. They have been through education and will likely have a lot of teaching experience so they understand if you don't immediately get something! Sometimes they mightn't even know you're struggling if you don't tell them - they're only human, not some sort of robotic mind readers!

I was so lucky in that I went to a really good school with a really good team of staff. Every single teacher in that school cares about so much more than academia. They are the some of the kindest, most caring and smartest people I've come across. They really inspired me and showed me that when you work hard, anything is possible - something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I'm so grateful that I had so many amazing opportunities that came my way and made amazing friends that I know will be life-long friends.

Even if you find school hard, remember that every setback you receive, every not-very-nice person you meet, and every bad experience you have will make you a stronger person in the end. Just work hard, stay positive and do your best :)

- Caoimhe x

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Sunday, 5 June 2016

Weekly Round-Up #1 | June 2016

Monday 30th May
I had spent the weekend with my family at our holiday house since I had a full week with no exams, meaning I didn't have to spend all my time indoors studying. We took advantage of the good weather and this afternoon my sister, my parents and I went out golfing. It was my first time playing since Easter so needless to say, I was a bit rusty on it! But it was such a nice day so I was glad I could get out and enjoy it. Unfortunately, when we got back we had to pack up and go home as my siblings had school the next day and my mum and dad had work the next day too. But it's made me so excited for spending time up there in July and August!

Tuesday 31st May
Today was a scorcher - 24°! I can't remember when it was last 24° in Northern Ireland! But I ain't complaining... Okay, maybe I will just say one thing - why is it always nice weather during exam season?! It's so hard to concentrate when you're roasting and just want to be out enjoying the sun!!! So, yeah, incase you couldn't guess I was studying all day for my French exam on Monday.

Actually, now that I come to think of it, it's quite ironic that it was so hot and sunny while I was studying French because I was revising L'Étranger. I'm sure some of you know this book but for those who don't it's basically about this man known as Meursault, who is an outsider in society as he doesn't conform to traditional social values. But the irony is he is really sensitive to physical sensations such as light, heat, smells and sounds and it actually drives him to kill another man. In fact, he says in one part about how the heat prevents his thoughts from forming which sounds a lot like my sentence earlier! Oh noo, please don't tell me Meursault is having that much of an influence on my life!!!

Wednesday 1st June
Today was another really hot and sunny day. I think it was warmer than yesterday - my weather app was saying it was 20° but I don't believe it! It was another day that I had to spend inside studying - yay-.- I was also a chauffeur for my siblings and my, collecting my brother and 1, coming home and then heading out for my sister again at 2:30 and then collecting my dad from work at like 8pm, but it was nice to actually get out and about. I just so want it to be 12:30pm on Monday already so A Levels can be over!!!

As you can see, when the weather gets nice I like taking pictures of my garden haha
Thursday 2nd June
Today was another warm day spent studying (the end is in sight!). I did, however, have an orthodontist appointment and got my full bottom brace put on. In my June Round-Up last year I explained how I had to get half on my bottom brace on as I had to get teeth extracted after. It's a bit uncomfortable but it'll just take a bit of getting used to. It's always funny after getting braces on though because for a few days after your lips feel like they're really sticking out and you feel like you have Kylie Jenner lips hahaha. In the evening, we had a barbecue and it was so good!

The sky looked really nice tonight!
Friday 3rd June
It's no surprise that today I was studying again today. In the evening, my mum, my sister and I went for a walk in a forest park near our house. It was nice to get some proper fresh air and the views across the lake were amazing! Afterwards, my uncle came round for dinner and a bit of a catch-up, which was nice.

Saturday 4th June
I just studied (yet again!) this morning and afternoon and then in the evening, my brother and my other sister were doing a show with their musical theatre group. The group is for children from the age of 4 right up to 13/14 so they did a few different songs altogether and then split up into their classes and each class did a bit from a different show. The oldest ones did 'We Will Rock You' which is a musical with all Queen songs in it, the 9-11 year olds did 'Bugsy Malone', the 6-8 year olds did 'Hocus Pocus' and the youngest ones did 'The Jungle Book'. It was a really good show and the youngest ones were just adorable! Some of them just stopped singing and dancing to wave at their parents and everything. It was so cute!

I forgot to take a photo today so instead please enjoy this photo of a nice flower from my garden :P

Sunday 5th June
Today was just a chilled out day spent - you guessed it - studying. My last A Level is tomorrow though, so from 12:30 tomorrow I'm freeeee! I'm so excited to be able to actually do stuff I enjoy again and to get my social life back! Fingers crossed it'll go okay!

Hope you all have had a good week! I promise my life will get more interesting from tomorrow! :)

- Caoimhe x

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