Have you ever caught yourself questioning all of the decisions you made in life? Wondering if you did one thing differently how your life might be right now? That’s pretty much where I’m at right now. Questioning everything about what I’ve done so far and what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I always thought I knew exactly what I wanted from life. Since the age of 4 I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up, it’s no secret I wanted to be a Primary School Teacher and well we all know that didn’t work out as planned. I always assumed I’d become a teacher as planned, live a quiet life, more than likely in my home town, get married, have a family and that would be that.
But now 9 months after finishing college after studying a business degree, I’m starting to think a little differently. I’m craving a change, but what change I’m craving I just don’t know. I want something different; I want something new & exciting & adventurous. Right now I feel like I’m a passenger in my own life repeating the same thing week in week out and the last thing I want in life is to be boring.
I’ve always lived my life inside my comfort zone. I always hated new challenges, I always got anxious over anything new in my life, I don’t deal with change very well but now I’m looking for it. I want change, I want to challenge myself, I want to test myself and push myself to realise there is a life beyond my comfort zone. There’s a whole world of possibilities out there to explore and I’m starting to think it’s time I started to do some exploring.
I’m not sure exactly what I’m looking for or what I need from life but I know that I need something different. I don’t know whether I just need a holiday and explore a new place or what but I feel like I need something more than the life I’m currently living.
January for most people is all about New Year, New Me. Everyone sets their New Years resolutions and attempts to keep on top of them and if you’re anything like me you generally give up after a week or 2. “Self Care” is a hot topic at the minute with a lot of people taking about how we need to start looking after ourselves before starting to look after others, so I thought I’d put together a list of 10 ways you can practice self care.
Designate Some Me Time into Your Day.
We all have busy lives be it work, school, college, family life or sport it can be hard to designate alone time just for yourself but taking 5 or 10 minutes out of your day to do something just for yourself can have a huge benefit for you. What I’ve started doing recently is before going to bed I turn on my Salt lamp and I sit at my desk and do some colouring.. yes colouring, I got some of the mindfulness adult colouring books a while back and started using them again and I find it really helps me switch my mind off and just focus on doing the one task.
Put That Phone Away!
I’ll hold my hands up and say I am a smartphone and social media addict! I’m constantly on my phone, be it checking messages, catching up on friends Snapchat stories or aimlessly scrolling through Facebook or Twitter I find it hard to look away. I look at a screen for 8 hours a day then come home and do at least another 4 on my phone, it can’t be good for anyone! I’m really trying to put my phone down in the evenings and just switch off from life online for a little bit.
This is something I’ve been doing for quite a while now, as a teen I had the usual diaries and actually stuck pretty rigorously to them writing in them every night, now I do it less often but if something is on my mind or something really good happens I like to write it down to either get it off my chest or to remember it.
Develop a Skincare Routine
I am so so lazy when it comes to taking care of my skin. My skin care routine currently consists of a bit of moisturiser. One thing I want to master this year is a proper skin care routine. Find the products that actually suit my skin and use them rather than have them sitting on my bathroom shelf unopened.
Drink More Water
I’m generally not too bad when it comes to drinking water but I could definitely do with a boost in my intake! I’m a tea-addict, I could easily drink 6 cups or more during my 8 hour day at work so I’m trying my best to switch a cup or 2 of tea to a bottle of water to increase my intake.
This one is a bit of an unusual one. I was always a bit of a skeptic when it came to meditation purely because whenever we tried it in secondary school no-one ever really paid attention and eventually we’d just start talking and it ended up just being a waste of time. I tried again recently using the app “Headspace” and I enjoyed it. It’s a 10 minute guided meditation and it’s a great way to take some time out of your day to relax. Only problem is I get lazy and don’t continue doing it!
De-Clutter Your Wardrobe
I’m a clothes hoarder, why I don’t know I just find it very hard to let go of some things – I even have some old sports gear from my various teams I played on as a kid but every now and then a good aul root through the wardrobe and getting rid of all the crappy stuff you don’t wear any more is well worth the effort.
Another thing I am terrible at is making time for exercise. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a super lazy person and I kind of hate it cause I wasn’t as a kid. I was always active and doing something so once it gets bit warmer and a bit less miserable I’m hoping to incorporate some activity and fresh air back into my life!
Read A Book You Always Wanted To Read But Never Did
Ah reading, one of the pastimes I struggle most with. Why, I don’t know but I never took to it. I am challenging myself to start reading more this year and a book/books I’ve always wanted to read but never did are the Harry Potter books. I love love love the movies but never took to reading the books and I kind of feel like I’m missing out on a whole other world inside the Harry Potter world. So this year I’m hoping to get through some if not all of the books, I have the first one read and I’m about 90 pages into the second one! We’ll see how far I get by my 2018 Year in Review post in December!
Make a “Feel Good” Playlist
The songs I listen to have a huge impact on my mood for the day. Creating yourself a playlist of all your favourite upbeat/ happy songs is one of the best ways to spread a little joy into your life!
If you haven’t guessed it already, Christmas is my favourite time of year. Although unfortunately the days of getting up at 6 am on Christmas morning and rushing to see what Santa left under the tree are well and truly behind me there’s just something about this time of year that makes my heart happy. It’s pretty un-explainable why I love it so much I just do, as soon as September hits, my mind bypasses Halloween had hops on the Christmas band wagon.
Since my brother and I are, for lack of a better word, “grown-ups” now Christmas has changed slightly in our house. As I said, no more me waking the entire house up at 6 am to open presents, I’ve actually become quite partial to a Christmas morning lie in would you believe! When I eventually manage to drag myself out of the bed, our family Christmas routine is fairly the same.
Dad would have the stove in the sitting room lit, mam would have the turkey in the oven and all the veg pealed (perks of that Christmas morning lie in, everything dinner wise is almost done by the time I get up) so we all gather in the sitting room to exchange gifts.
It always starts with my brother and I opening our gifts from “Santa” (I still like to convince myself he’s real) then it’s on to giving my parents theirs, which in recent years has become a strong contender for my favourite part of Christmas. In the last few years I’ve actually been earning money so I’m now able to spoil them a little. After we open presents I generally start the day with a breakfast of a few sneaky Jelly Tots we get in our bundle of gifts. I tend to abandon the cooking for about an hour or so and get myself ready for the day.
In the mists of me getting ready and the dinner getting cooked my uncle calls to us. We stick on the kettle and crack open the tin of biscuits.
After some slightly large servings of turkey, ham, potatoes, veg and granny’s famous stuffing, the washing up is quickly done and we’re out the door to go to my ganny’s house with the aim of being home not later than 6 or 7 pm.
Dessert stop #1 takes place in Granny’s house. Granny’s house on Christmas day is probably my favourite place to be. Crowds of aunts, uncles and cousins flood the place, the chatter and the laughter had on Christmas day just gives me that warm fuzzy happy to be alive feeling.
Moving on to dessert stop #2, we go to visit my dad’s brother and his family. There’s a bit of a cross over here with godparents and godchildren so we exchange our gifts, and tuck into dessert number 2 before we eventually realise that it’s about 7:30 and we should be well gone home at this stage.
When we get home the fire gets wound up, the Christmas pj’s get put on, ham, turkey and stuffing sabmos get made, and like the big children we all are.. the years newest Disney movie gets put on.
This is how we’ve spend every Christmas since I was a child, minus the one year when we didn’t have an oven, but that’s a story for a different day. I love the tradition of us all descending on my granny’s house and being surrounded my so much family.
Oh Christmas Eve, what a wonderful day, Christmas ham gets cooking, last minute rush around the shops and the excitement of Christmas day setting in!
Christmas Eve is pretty relaxed in our house nothing too crazy. Dad generally looks after cooking the Christmas ham so while that’s happening myself and my brother head into town for a while to avoid the mayhem involved in that. We are usually pretty organised when it comes to our Christmas shopping so we generally are either in town to pick up a small few bits, eating or just wandering around to get into the Christmassey spirit .
Recent years we have been stopping in at our favourite Asian restaurant – Aroi. Conor introduced me to this place about 2 years ago and it’s just fabulous! It’s our must go to spot when ever he comes down to visit so naturally it’s our go to spot on Christmas Eve when we’re in town.
After we get home from town I usually get all my presents wrapped and ready to go for the next morning.
Depending on when we get back from town we might go visit a few of our cousins that live near us and drop off a couple of presents.
After that comes my favourite part of the day. Every year for as long as I can remember Christmas had the long standing tradition of new pyjamas and a bath. Yes I am 22 years old and my parents still buy me pyjamas for Christmas Eve – this is probably a tradition that is going to stick with me forever.
Once pamper-time is over it’s generally down to the sitting room where the fire is lit, Mam dad and Conor are all tucking into the ham (I never want to spoil the taste of before Christmas dinner so I opt out of Christmas Eve ham) we watch a few Christmas specials before calling it a night ahead of the big day!!
Reading is something I always want to do but somehow never manage to find the time to actually finish the books. I start off with great intentions but rarely follow them through to the end. I spend so much time looking at screens, be it my laptop in work, my phone, laptop at home or my TV it can’t be healthy! In 2018 I’d really like to change that and start reading some more so here’s a list of books I hope to read by the end of 2018.
Girlboss – Sophia Amoruso
I started this book in about May of this year and still haven’t managed to finish it yet even though I actually find it to be quite an interesting read!
Shrill – Lindy West
Again another one I started just after I finished college and it’s still not read!
Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling
I’ll hold my hands up and fully admit I’m not a true Harry Potter as of only a few weeks ago I have read the first book and the last chapter (the 10 years forward) of the last book in the series. I adore the movies but never took to reading the books but I feel like I’m missing out on a lot in life if I don’t read them so that’s a challenge for me for next year!
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
I love love love this movie, I start crying after about 10 minutes of watching it because I know what’s going to happen and I feel like the book is just one of those I need to read!
Some Kind of Wonderful – Giovanna Fletcher
Although 6 year old me would not be too pleased with myself now, I have become quite a fan of Tom and Gi Fletcher through their YouTube channels. (Tom of course is from McFly and Gi is his wife, but for those of you who don’t know me or didn’t at the time won’t know that 6 year old me detested McFly with a passion.. Purely because I was a die hard Busted fan and for some reason thought McFly and Busted were rivals. Turns out they were and still are all really good friends and I missed out on a lot of years of McFly music for nothing!) So after following Tom and Gi for a while I’ve been wanting to read one of her books and this is her newest one so I may pick it up and give it a go!
Beyond them I’m not really sure for now what else but it’s a starting point at least and honestly if I can get through at least 3 of these in a year it’ll be a great achievement for me!!
FOOD!! My favourite part of life. I come from quite a large family of food lovers! All our family parties revolve around the food and Christmas time is the one time of year you can eat whatever you want and no one can judge you!!
One of the best parts about Christmas night was cracking into the Santa Sweets (or Lemons as more commonly known). We only ever got these at Christmas, to be honest I don’t think you can get them any other time of year! My favourites are the Iced Caramels and the fruity ones.
Roses, roses, roses, the classic Christmas sweets! I’m the weirdo of my family who loves the strawberry dream ones that everyone else in my family hates so whenever I go to visit my Granny I get to take all my favourite sweets with me! 🙂
Okay, jelly tots aren’t a Christmas food but we always get the tube of them in our stockings every year so to me they are Christmas!!
Ham & Turkey Sambos
Yes, Christmas dinner is a wonderful thing but I look forward to the ham, turkey and tayto sambos at the end of Christmas day sitting down by the fire watching a Disney movie.
My favourite favouite part of Christmas dinner is the stuffing. None of this bread stuffing nonsense I use my Granny’s infamous recipe which includes sausage meat (cause why wouldn’t you stuff meat with more meat?) and always goes down a treat when I make it for Thanksgiving in my brothers.
My breakfast in December generally consist of cake, cake and more cake. Once we collect the Christmas cake from my Grandmother myself and dad usually some how manage to have it gone by Christmas day. It’s kind of nearly becoming a tradition/challenge to do it every year now!
Yet another one of Granny’s recipes is her wonderful Christmas Pudding. This one though we manage to save until after Christmas. We usually do a big New Years day dinner with my dads brother and his family so we save the Christmas Pud til then cause we usually steal some in Granny’s house on Christmas day on Dessert stop number 1!
I always get new pyjamas on Christmas Eve, it’s one of my favourite traditions since I was a little baba and it’s still my favourite about Christmas Eve! Here are some of my favourite PJs I’ve spotted dotted around the internet recently.
I know the last two aren’t necessarily Christmas but Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is one of those movies that’s always on at Christmas time & Mrs. Browns Boys Christmas Special is a must watch for us every year!
Not everyone is super duper organised for the holidays so here’s a quick last minute gift guide for all you last minute shoppers.
I feel like nowadays most people tend to post their pictures on their Facebook or Instagram accounts and no one ever prints them anymore. So one of my favourite things to do is to print a photo of myself and whoever I’m giving the gift to and get it framed nicely. This is a real easy cheap idea but it’s a nice personal gift to give to a relative.
I love buying Christmas decorations as gifts for people. They’re a perfect keepsake and so easy to pick up in a hurry. Newbridge Silverware or The Ornament Shop have lovely ones. I particularly love The Ornament Shop as you can get the decorations personalised for whoever you’re buying them for. This is where we got the McNamara Snow-People decoration from.
I come from a big family who all love their food so dinner vouchers are a perfect last minute gift for someone who loves their food.
Continuing on in the food theme, cook books or baking books are always a great option for the chef or baker in your life.
You can’t go wrong with a good aul pair of Christmas pyjamas! Pennys is your best friend when looking for pjyamas. I love these Grinch ones (have I mentioned The Grinch is my favourite Christmas movie?) they had in stock a few weeks ago.
Vouchers, Vouchers, Vouchers!
You can’t go wrong with vouchers if you’re really struggling to find a gift for someone. One4All vouchers are the perfect one to get for someone you’ve no idea what to get them! They can be used in so many different places so your gift receiver will be spoiled for choice with this one!
Party season is well and truly here! I had my work Christmas party last Friday night so I thought I’d share how I did my make up on the night.
I’ve been using the benefit POREfessional primer for a while now and I’ve been finding it pretty good.
I’ve recently been using the Inglot YSM foundation & just got a couple of shades darker than my usual ghostly colour cause I was slightly covered in fake tan!
The old reliable Rimmel Stay Matte translucent powder. I think I’ve been using this since I first started wearing make up!
The Inglot Under Eye Concealer is becoming a trusty companion in my make up collection.
Contour and Highlighter
I mentioned this in my 2017 favourites post. I used both the contour powder and highlighter from the Sleek Face Form palete but in the “Fair” shade because of my ghostly complexion.
Again one of my 2017 favourites – the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade.
I love love love the Naked Palettes for my eyes and for the Christmas party I used one of my go too looks, I didn’t want a very dramatic eye look as I was going for a dark lip so I used the Naked 1 Palette.
I used the colour Naked in the crease, Sin for the lid and toasted in the outer corner.
A thin line of Inglot’s Gel Liner, a little dust of Inglot’s Pure Pigment (no. 75) and a quick swoop of Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara and the eyes were done!
As I said I went for a dark lip so it was Mac’s brick for liner and my absolute favourite Mac Diva for the main colour.
Sprayed a bit of Urban Decay Setting spray and I was ready to go!
Putting up the Christmas tree is one of the things I look forward to every year however in my house I’m never allowed put it up too early. It usually goes up a handful of days before Christmas. We’re not ones for having the most stylish Christmas trees, our decorations are a collection of things we gathered over the years so here are some of my favourites.
I’m not sure where this one came out of but I love it and it’s always the first decoration on the Christmas tree whenever I decorate it.
This is one of the more sentimental decorations we have on our tree. Christmas 2015 my aunt hosted a Christmas get together in her house and bought us all this angel decoration for our trees. The March after that my aunt sadly passed away. It’s a nice touch to add to our Christmas tree to remember her.
Mickey and Minnie
Quite a few years ago my aunt, uncle and their kids went to Disneyland Paris and brought us back a Mickey and Minnie tree decoration. They went to Disneyland in Florida this year and brought us back another Mickey and Minnie decoration!
Mickey and Minnie Paris
Mickey and Minnie Florida
Again this is another one I’m not too sure of it’s origins but it’s a little Santa decoration I absolutely love.
The McNamara Snow People
In one of my many trips for Christmas shopping in Galway my brother and I decided to get a little decoration made up for our tree at home. Just 4 little snow people with our names on them.
Another sentimental decoration. This one belonged to my Granddad before he passed away. Christmas time was always a special time for my family and again having something that belonged to him hanging on our tree helps me to remember all the memories I have of him.