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!

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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 Christmas Tag

As Christmas is looming I thought I’d do the generic Christmas tag most bloggers do around this time.

What’s your Favourite Christmas Movie?

It has to be either The Grinch or Elf.

The Grinch
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Have you ever had a White Christmas?

Ireland doesn’t bring many white Christmases, we barely get snow but I do remember one Christmas when I was younger and we had quite a bit of snow, myself and my brother were building snowmen with my next door neighbours and as we went to collect snow for I went with one of the girls and started steeling the snow she collected cause I was too lazy to collect my own!

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

Usually we spend most of the day in my parents house, we’d call to visit my dad’s mam and his brother but most of the day is spent at home.

What’s your favourite Christmas song?

There’s just too many to choose from, but I think it would have to be Fairy tale of New York -it’s a classic!

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Do you open presents on Christmas Eve?

Nope we never open presents on Christmas Eve, I usually get a new pair of pyjamas on Christmas eve but that’s all that gets opened

What holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Christmas is slightly different for us in recent years as we’re “grown up” but I think my favourite tradition will always be going to my granny’s house after dinner and getting so see so much of my dad’s family in the one place.

Is your Christmas tree real of fake?

We always have a fake tree.

What’s your all time favourite Christmas food/sweet treat?

It has to be either my Granny’s stuffing or her Christmas Cake (which never actually makes it to Christmas Day in our house…)

Be honest: Do you prefer giving or receiving gifts?

Now that I’m earning money and can actually afford to buy nice presents I definitely prefer giving!

What is the best gift you’ve ever received?

I’ve gotten so many great gifts over the years some of my favourites have been:

My dolls house (which I was super excited to get because it was the same as my friends one)

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Fluffy (My soft teddy cat who came in his own cage, with loads of accessories, including a trophy cause clearly he was a winner, Fluffy is now almost 20 years old and definitely isn’t as Fluffy as he used to be!)

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My Pink iPod Nano was definitely the top of my wishlist the year I got it but this little engraving my parents ever so kindly put on the back of it was not. I think everyone who knows me knows I can’t sign but it still doesn’t stop me! 😀

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Where is your dream place to visit for the holidays?

The holidays for me are all about being at home with my family, having said that, I don’t think I’d refuse a trip to New York at Christmas 😉

What’s your most memorable holiday moment?

I don’t think I have any one particularly memorable moment that stands out to me. I have so many happy memories of Christmas Day in my Gandparents house surrounded by my aunts, uncles and cousins, so much laughter and so much good food. I get the warm fuzzy feelings even just thinking about it. I also loved when my Granddad on my mam’s side came to our house for St. Stephen’s Day dinner, it’s probably the tradition I miss most since he passed away.

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

I was in fifth class in school and one of the girls in my class told me, I went home and asked my mam who proceeded to lie to me about it until she eventually caved to tell me the girl in my class was right.

Do you make New Years resolutions?

I used to make the usual resolutions like: exercise more, eat healthier, etc. which would last all of about 2 weeks if I’m lucky. The last few years I’ve started setting myself goals, things I want to do or places I want to go to instead.

What makes the holiday special for you?

For me I just love spending time with my family, its the one time of year you know everyone makes the effort to visit everyone.

Life

Every Charm Tells A Story

As I mentioned in my gift guide and my wishlist post, I love getting Pandora charms as presents. If you know me you’d know I wear my Pandora charm bracelet every day and it’s one of the most sentimental pieces of jewelry I own. Each charm on my bracelet has a special meaning to me and I thought I’d use today’s post to share that.

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To start of with the bracelet itself. I bought the bracelet myself out of combined money I got for my 18th birthday from my Granny and my Godfather. The reason I bought the bracelet was because my Granddad passed away the April before my 18th birthday (my birthday is in June) and it made me realise that people won’t be around forever so I decided I was going to put as much money together from my birthday as I could to buy something that would last forever and I could keep adding to as the years went on.

With the bracelet I bought 2 clips that stop the charms from falling off and an 18 dangle charm for my 18th birthday.

That Christmas my parents got me my second charm which has a pretty funny story behind it. The charm they got me was a snowman, relevant as it was Christmas time but also because of a home video we have of me when I was 5 or 6.

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One year we had really good snow so myself, my brother and 3 girls we lived next door to were all out in our backyard collecting snow to make an attempt at making a snowman. My dad being the old-school “vlogger” he was decided to film us from inside the house. We all went off with our buckets collecting snow from various areas around our garden but the cunning 5 or 6 year old that I was decided to follow one of the girls and steal the snow from her bucket and claim it as my own. The video is funnier than reading it but unfortunately the footage is buried on some hard drive somewhere that we can’t find a the minute.

The birthday cake was the next charm to join the family. This was given to me by my godmother for my 19th birthday.

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Another birthday present I got was my camera charm. My best friend Sarah (shout out to you Sarah 😛 ) gave me this. I love taking pictures and in more recent years I have started to become one of the unofficial family photographers at any of our family occasions. I have two really large families on my mam and dads side, dad being one of 14 and mam being one of 10 there’s always a crowd at our gatherings and I love being able to capture the moments and memories at those events.

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Next up is probably the most meaningful charm on my bracelet because it’s not actually mine. Four months before my 21st birthday my aunt passed away, we hadn’t been close for a lot of my childhood but in the 7 years previous as a family we all got really close and we were always in and out to each other or meeting up for lunches and my 21st kind of became the big event of that year, I was having my entire two large families to my house for a massive party and everyone was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, Rita passed before that and her daughter was going through her jewelry collection and was giving Rita’s Pandora bracelets to her 3 little girls. But she spotted this little present and decided to give it to me as Rita’s 21st present to me. Having a little piece of Rita with me everywhere I go means so much so this charm is definitely the most special one on my bracelet.

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My cousin and his now fiance bought me this little ice-cream cone for my 21st birthday also.

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Christmas 2016 brought me this little charm with my initial on it and I love it. The detail in the charm is just beautiful, and very similar to the Gemini charm in my wishlist 😉

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This year saw two new additions to my bracelet.

First up, my graduation cap. I did a post back in August about my college experience and how I never imagined I’d graduate from where I did with a degree in what I studied so this little cap is pretty special to me. The inside of the cap is engraved with the words “Hard Work Pays Off” which has 2 meanings to me, the work I did in college to get the degree but also the work I did when I was on my work experience in college. I was given an opportunity to really prove myself so I worked really hard and it really did pay off because I got a permanent job out of it.

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Last but certainly not least.. My little Big Apple. It’s no secret I went to New York this year after many many many years of waiting so to add a memento to my bracelet I bought a little “Big Apple” charm when I was in New York to add to my collection so I’ll always have a part of New York with me.

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My bracelet is filling up quite quickly now but there’s still load of room to add more memories and more meaning. If all comes to all I’m just going to have to get another bracelet!

Life

My Christmas Wishlist

I’m one of those people who never really knows what they want when people ask and to be honest I’m kind of at the stage of my life where I’m just buying the stuff I want now so creating a wishlist was a little difficult but there are a few things I have wanted for a while but never got around to buying. I also had my friend Vanessa (shout out Vanessa :P) give me a list of make up I need to add to my collection.

Instax Mini Camera

I love taking pictures and I have always wanted to get an Instax Mini Camera but never got around to buying one myself. I’m always taking pictures but rarely manage to print them so this Polaroid camera would be ideal cause I’d get my pictures printed instantly.

Instax Mini 9
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Pandora Gemini Charm

My birthday is June 6th so I’m a Gemini and although I’m not super into my astrology I do enjoy reading my horoscopes and I put my everlasting longing to be a twin down to the fact that I am a Gemini. I love this little Gemini Pandora Charm.

Pandora Gemini Charm

Now on to the suggested items from Vanessa for my makeup collection.

Zoeva Brushes

Zoeva 102 Brush
Zoeva 102 Bursh. Source
Zoeva 106 Brush
Zoeva 106 Brush. Source
Zoeva 128
Zoeva 128 Brush. Source
Zoeva 317 Brush
Zoeva 317 Brush. Source

 

Mac Brushes

Mac 130 Brush
Mac 130 Brush. Source
Mac 210 Brush
Mac 210 Brush. Source

 

 

Mac Lipsticks 

Mac Velvet Teddy
Mac Velvet Teddy. Source

 

Mac Ruby Woo
Mac Ruby Woo. Source

With all these begin said I’m pretty easy to please at Christmas time. As long as we have our Turkey and Ham dinner, our visits to Granny’s and my uncles and we have a Disney movie on Christmas night, give me a pair of fluffy socks and pjyamas and I’d be as happy as Larry!

 

Life

Christmas Gift Guide for Her

Welcome to Blogmas Day 1 – I’ll be posting different posts everyday between now and Christmas day. Today’s post is a gift guide for her. From mam’s to sisters to aunts and grandmothers each gift can be tailored to who you need to buy for.

Pamper Hamper

One of my favourite gifts to give my mam is what I like to call a “Pamper Hamper”. Basically I fill a basket of a load of different bits and bobs to help your mam treat herself.

Chocolates, pyjamas and slippers are a must for this hamper.

Other optional bits to add to this would be movies (newest rom-com or chickflick is always a good option), my mam loves her tea so I’d throw in some fancy tea and a nice mug.

And finally I’d pop in a voucher for a nice spa treatment, massage or even just for a manicure – something as a little extra treat.

Jewellery

Everyone likes jewelry so something sparkly is always welcome at Christmas time. Personally I love getting Pandora charms for Christmas as I am building up my bracelet & their Christmas collection this year is just beautiful! How cute is this little Santa? €45 form Pandora

Pandora Sleigh

Alex & Ani are also a great option for jewelry with lovely collections of bracelets, rings and also the Harry Potter Collection – how could you not love that? This snowman charm bracelet is available from Alex and Ani for $38

Alex & Ani Snowman

Perfume

I know myself I hate spending a lot of money on perfume but I love having nice perfumes, making a nice perfume the perfect gift. Boots & Debenhams sometimes have great offers on perfumes so definitely worth checking them out.

Hymalian Salt Lamp

I got one of these for Christmas last year and I absolutely love it. They’re supposed to purify the air around your room and create a more relaxing environment.

Salt Lamp
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This one is from saltlamps.ie for €25

Weekend Away

Similar to the Pamper Hamper a weekend away is a great treat to give someone. Be it in Ireland or foreign (if you want to go all out), weekend breaks are perfect gifts & there are so many places now where you can get great deals with hotels & activities.

There’s just a small few ideas of possible gifts for the women in your life, tomorrows post will be Gift Guide for Him so be sure to come back for more gift ideas.