Life

Favourite Decorations

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.

Snowflake

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.

Snowflake

Angel

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.

Angle

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!

 

Santa

Again this is another one I’m not too sure of it’s origins but it’s a little Santa decoration I absolutely love.

Santa

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.

The McNamaras

Train

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.

Granddads Train

Life

Merry Grinchmas

We had Christmas Decorating wars at work this week where each section of the office was going up against each other in a battle of who could decorate their area the best. We decided to go with a Grinch/Whoville theme as it is one of the best (and my favourite) Christmas movies however, much to our disappointment we ended up loosing to a Polar Express theme, a “snow experience” ( a bucket of Styrofoam beads, which I must say was pretty cool) and a pretty nifty home made snow globe machine. Although we lost I thought I’d share some of our Grinch/Whoville decorations anyway!

Grinch and MaxGrinch ChainGrinchs LairHis Heart Grew 3 Sizes that dayPost OfficeSignpostWelcome to Whoville

Many hours were put into these creations and although unfortunately we did not win, I’m still pretty impressed by our hidden artistic talents we managed to uncover!

 

Life

Christmas Traditions

I love traditions and our routine at Christmas is something I look forward to every year. Although some traditions have changed in the last few years some have stayed the same even though I’m technically an “adult now”.

Christmas Eve Shopping

My brother, dad and I used always go into town to do a last bit of shopping (usually to get mam’s present cause she was with us every other time we went shopping!) Although now we’re usually much more prepared in our Christmas shopping, myself and my brother generally always go into town on Christmas Eve. I love just walking around a busy town on Christmas Eve watching everyone rushing to get their last few bits, plus we’re killing two birds with one stone as we’re not cluttering up the house as dad is preparing the Christmas Ham!!

Christmas Pyjamas

One of my favourite parts of Christmas Eve as a child was having my “Christmas bath” and getting a new pair of pyjamas. Thankfully my parents know I’m still a really big kid at heart and I still get my new pyjamas every Christmas Eve!

Christmas Morning Routine

As kids my brother and I shared a room and me being the younger more excitable child, I always woke SUPER early! I remember a couple of times being sent back to bed cause it was way too early! Luckily for me Santa always left our stockings at the end of our beds so when I did wake super early I had some gifts to keep me occupied in the early hours of Christmas morning. At a more respectable hour of the morning my brother went upstairs to my parents room to give them their presents from us.

One rule in our house was that we were never allowed open our under the tree presents until after we had our breakfast. After a quick scoff of a bowl of coca-pops, when the fire was lit and the video recorder was set up my brother an I were allowed to open our presents.

As we’ve grown up this has changed quite dramatically, for one I don’t get up SUPER early anymore, in fact in more recent years, all my family is up before me and I have to be nearly dragged out of the bed. I blame college and exams on this one so here’s hoping this year might be different!

Visitors

Just before dinner on Christmas day my mam’s brother always pop in for a cup of tea and some foxes biscuits on his way to dinner in my mam’s sisters house. I don’t see this uncle as often as I see a lot of my other relatives but it’s lovely to get to catch up over Christmas.

Dessert Stops 1 & 2

After dinner every year we go to see my Granny. This is probably my favourite part of Christmas. Ever since we were kids we always went into Granny’s house to show off all the cool stuff Santa brought us and spend a couple of hours there with dad’s family. This is still very much a big part of our Christmas day and is still my favourite part because I get to see so many relatives in the one place. Plus it’s also the first stop on our mini dessert tour!

Dessert stop number 2 is in my dad’s brothers house. As I mentioned before there is a bit of an over lap of godparents and godchildren between this family and mine so a lot of time is spent here, presents are exchanged and many more desserts are eaten.

Sandwiches, Movies & Mrs Brown’s Boys Christmas Special

It wouldn’t be Christmas day without coming home after eating all those desserts and not having turkey, stuffing, & ham sandwiches taytos and chocolate while watching the newest Disney movie of the year and staying up to watch the Mrs. Brown’s Boys Christmas Special.

St. Stephens’ Day

St. Stephen’s day was always special to me cause that’s when Mam’s dad would visit us fro Christmas. He’d come out for Stephens Day dinner which was always cold turkey & ham with chips. Since Granddad passed away in 2009 Stephen’s day just doesn’t feel the same anymore as we have no tradition it’s just like any other ordinary day in the McNamara household.

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Life

2017 Favourites

I love reading and watching “Favourites” posts and videos so I thought I’d do one and share some of the things I’ve loved this year.

Beauty

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Dream Curls Shampoo

 

Frizz Ease
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Sleek Face Form

Sleek
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Anastasia Bevery Hills Dip Brow Pomade

dipbrow-medium-brown
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Inglot YSM Foundation

Inglot YSM
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Benefit POREfessional Primer

POREfessional
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L’Oreal Clay Mask

Loreal Clay Mask
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Movies

Girls Trip

Girls Trip
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Flatliners

Flatliners 2017
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Baywatch

Baywatch_poster
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IT

IT 2017
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Songs

Good Times – All Time Low

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Everything I Need – Picture This

PictureThisAlbum2017_large
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Glorious – Macklemore ft. Skyler Grey

Macklemore_Glorious
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Tell Me You Love Me – Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato Tell Me You Love Me
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There has been many more products tried, movies watched and songs listened to that I’ve loved but these are the highlights and most loved things of this year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life

Stocking Fillers

I always loved my stocking presents, I have a thing for the nick-knacks you get in them. Our stockings were always the only presents we could open before we had our breakfast on Christmas day.

Besides the obvious tube of jelly tots, toothpaste and toothbrushes here’s some inspiration for some stocking fillers this year.

Power Bank

Power Bank
Harvey Norman €19.99

Travel Mug

Asos Travel Mug
 Asos £11.99

Mindfulness Colouring Book

Asos Mindfulness Colouring Book
Asos £4.99

Microwaveable Teddy

Cozy Cuddles Asos
Asos £12.99

Movie Night Kit

Asos Movie Night Kit
Asos £14.99

Phone Case

H&M Phone Case.jpe
H&M €19.99

 

 

 

 

Life

2018 Goals

As I said in a previous post, I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions anymore, I tend to make goals for myself for the year and try to focus on achieving them throughout the year rather than giving up on my resolutions 2 weeks in.

Photography

One of my goals this year was to take a photography class – which I did do, but I find it difficult, or else I stop myself, from going out and actually using my camera. I bought my DSLR camera 3 years ago and I’m still not sure how to use it properly. Next year I would love to somewhat master it and actually start using some of the functions on it rather than just auto!!

Travel

I guess it’s safe to say I’ve some what been bitten by the travel bug and there are so many places on my wishlist to go to but the big one for 2018 is my trip to Philadelphia and Chicago (and hopefully a day in New York, just cause) with my brother. It’ll be the first time myself and my brother go on holidays together outside of family holidays and I’m really looking forward to seeing other parts of the US.

Panorama
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A sun holiday this year will also be a must come the summer, I’m not 100% sure where I’d like to go yet but somewhere where I can sit, relax and enjoy many a strawberry daiquiri!

I definitely want to do some city breaks next year. There’s been a few places pretty high on the list for the last while including London, Berlin, Rome, Amsterdam and I’d love to go back to Edinburgh again. Obviously all of these are not possible next year especially since I’ll be saving most of my pennies for my long awaited trip to Melbourne in 2019 but I definitely want to get one or two in before the year is out!

Events

It’s always a goal of mine to include some charity events and the main one I always make make the time to do is the Darkness Into Light Walk for Pieta House. For the last 4 years, usually on the morning of one of my college exams myself and my mam have walked the 5km walk for Pieta House to raise money and awareness for the suicide and self harm crisis center. There’s something about this walk I find really inspiring, I’m not sure if it’s the dedication of the participants and volunteers who get up in the middle of the night to do the walk, the fact that it’s a global event to raise awareness for these issues or the feeling you get after completing it, whatever it is, it is incredible and it’s something I want to be a part of for as long as I can.

Darkness into Light
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For the last 2 years mam and I have done the Cook Medical Women’s Mini Marathon, although it’s a bit tougher it’s definitely something I would like to do again this year.

Moving Out

Although I do love my home comforts and the fact that I live 10 minutes from where I work, this year I want to move out of my parents house and into somewhere in the city. This has been on the cards for a while now and I think next year it’ll be time to bite the bullet and become an actual grown up!

Finances

Speaking of being a grown up, one thing I’ve been massively struggling with lately is managing my spending and my savings, or lack there of savings. I’ve a lot of stuff coming up, including that trip to Australia, so saving and minding my money will unfortunately have to be a big priority for 2018.

Fitness

One thing I’ve seriously let slide since starting college is my fitness. I was never super fit but I was always active since I was a child between playing camogie, Gaelic football, basketball and Irish dancing but after my first semester in college I gave up the last sport I played which was basketball and since then I haven’t really gotten back into exercise at all. Next year I definitely need to try and do some form of activity. I kind of want to give boxercise a try but I haven’t managed to find a gym near me that does it.

Blogging

I definitely want to become more consistent with my posts next year and keeping my blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages more up to date with new content frequently. I’m already trying to plan out my January posts!

Life

My Christmas Playlist

When I was trying to pick out my favourite songs for this post, I realised I’m a real sucker for Christmas songs, so I have quite the lengthy list for my Christmas Playlist.. but because I’m super nice, if you don’t feel like reading the entire list just skip to the end where there’s a link to my Spotify Christmas playlist!

All I want for Christmas is you – Marhia Carey

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – Johnny Mathis

Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney

A holly jolly Christmas – Burl Ives

White Christmas – Elvis Presley

Have yourself a merry little Christmas – Frank Sinatra

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Andy Williams

Merry Christmas everyone – Shaken Stevens

O Holy Night – (not sure which singer I prefer this by but I love the song)

The Little Drummer boy – Johnny Cash. Also Bing Crosby & David Bowie’s version

Merry Christmas everyone – Slade

Silent Night – Elvis Presley

Step into Christmas – Elton John

This Christmas – Picture This

Happy X-Mas (War is Over) – John Lennon

Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues & Kirsty McColl

There’s definitely so much more so I’ll probably be updating the spotify playlist as I find more of the songs I love!

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/niamhs_world/playlist/5sQ2bsvobadTep6vGu6llo?si=WPvBJvzBROWvXz2hRCjRKQ

Life

2017: Year in Review

Well, 2017 you’ve been interesting! You were off to a pretty rocky start trying to balance final year of university with working part time and trying to cope with all the stress that that brought on.

January to May was probably the busiest, most stressful and exhausting few months I’ve ever spent in college, and I was one of the few students who was lucky enough to not have to do a final year project, I’d have gone totally bananas if I had to add that to the list!

After just about surviving the semester, the assignments & group projects, many mental breakdowns and exams university was finally over. Desperately needing a break from the craziness that life brought over the previous few months myself and my parents set off for a holiday in the sun in Fuerteventura.

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June 1st came around and it was time to officially go out into the real work and start my first ever full time job. Luckily enough having worked in the company since January 2016 it wasn’t a massive change for me, I just needed to get used to getting up at 7am daily.

June also saw the beginning of a friendship with a girl I could not imagine my life without. Having met on St. Patrick’s day at a friend of a friends party myself and Vanessa were both delighted to meet the “other girl in Mark snapchats”. Vanessa and I spent most of the summer drinking and dancing the nights away but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Niamh & Vanessa

August came around quickly and so did my college graduation, probably the biggest day of my life so far. I know I said it before but I genuinely never thought I’d graduate from where I did, studying what I did and have been so proud and happy about it!

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September hit and I decided I needed to start saving my pennies for my impending trip to New York so the Saturday nights out came to a halt and the countdown to New York began. I also made a trip with mam across the Irish Sea to Cambridge to meet a cousin of mine I had never met, it was really great to be able to put a face to the name.

October saw me off to New York and do I even need to tell you how much I loved it? It was everything I hoped it would be and more, so far it’s definitely my favourite place I’ve traveled to. I’m already planning my next trip back!

IMG_4259

2017 has been a whirlwind of a year for me. I graduated university, started my first permanent job, partied my way through the summer, made some new friends, and made my first ever trip across the Atlantic. Some highs and some lows but thankfully 2017 you brought more highlights than lowlights & I’m excited to see what 2018 has in store!

Life

My Favourite Christmas Movies

I think by now you have all gathered that I’m somewhat of a crazy Christmas obsessed lunatic so obviously I’m gonna have a list of Christmas movies I absolutely adore correct?

Elf

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing it loud for all to hear!!”

Elf
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Santa Clause Trilogy

These are just classics that have to be watched every Christmas! I Can’t quite decide which one I prefer the most so I just watch them all!

Santa Clause 1
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Santa Clause 2
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Santa Clause 3

Home Alone

Is it even Christmas if you don’t watch Home Alone?

Home Alone
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Harry Potter

Although the Harry Potter movies are not necessarily Christmas movies, they’re always on at Christmas time. I really want to do a Harry Potter marathon weekend someday and watch them all back to back!

Harry Potter
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The Grinch

The Grinch is my all time favourite Christmas movie. Why? I’m not too sure but I just absolutely love it!

The Grinch

 

Life

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Visiting Santa in the Crescent Shopping Center was one of our many Christmas traditions so I thought I’d embarrass myself and my brother (sorry Conor) and share our Christmas pictures with Santa through the years.

1995 – My First Christmas 

Santa 95

1996- Like Butter Wouldn’t Melt

Santa 96

1997- The Devil Year (I’ll explain later)

Santa 97

1998- Green Must Have Been In This Year

Santa 98

1999 – Aren’t We Sweet?

Santa 99

2000 – The Year of the Hideous Bob

Santa 2000

2001 – The Year Mam Knitted Myself and Her Matching Jumpers…

Santa 01

2002 – The Year I Was Finally Allowed Grow Out The Hideous Bob

Santa 02

2003 – Clearly I Wanted To Dress Like Santa

Santa 03

2004 – The Year the Magic Ended

Santa 04

So back to 1997 being the devil year. If you haven’t already noticed Conor and I took pictures on the same side of Santa every year except 1997 hence why I call it the devil year. For my 18th birthday my mam made me a lovely “Your life in Pictures” book with a 2 page spread of these photos and 1997 ruined the flow of pictures (OCD much?).

In recent years we have been tempted to visit our old pal in the Crescent and recreate some of these pictures but I imagine we would get some strange looks from confused children.