Game of Thrones Belfast Exhibition

Today I was invited to the media press conference for the Game of Thrones Touring Exhibition which is situated in the TEC Belfast which as of tomorrow – Thursday 11th April – will be open to the public.

I am a long time fan of Game of Thrones, having read the books before the TV Show was even a thing and oh my GOD, I enjoyed this exhibition so much. Whether you are a super fan or haven’t even watched the show, I can guarantee you will enjoy walking around this exhibition. If you haven’t watched it, this exhibition will make you want to watch it! From King’s Landing to the Kingsroad, from the North to Castle Black you can immerse yourself in these fantastic props and memorabilia from one of the world’s most loved TV shows.

Before we viewed the exhibition we were introduced to the fantastic panel who answered all of our burning questions, unfortunately none about season 8! We had before us our very own Northern Irish gem, Ian Beattie who played the devilish Set Meryn Trant. We had Isaac Hempsted Wright who of course, plays Bran Stark who spoke very well and expressed a great love for his time in Northern Ireland. Our third cast member was the one and only Liam Cunningham who plays the one and only See Davos Seaworth. I’ll not lie to you, I was a little starstruck listening to these fantastic actors talking right in front of me, but I managed to keep it together and not squeal.

I was very excited to hear from Michele Clapton who is a costume designer for Game of Thrones – Emmy award winning thank you very much. The clothing and intricate designs are one of my favourite things about Game of Thrones. Even during the busiest of scenes I love looking at what they are wearing! I wanted to be in the show just so that Michele can make me a super fancy dress.

Walking around the exhibition and seeing all those costumes and outfits in real life I didn’t realise just how intricate they all are. They are absolutely beautiful and I can only imagine how long it takes to make those pieces. When asked about it Michele said it could take anywhere from 5 days to 5 weeks and even longer to make just one costume. Which is insane! I don’t want to spoil what you can see there but I just want to leave some of my favourite clothing items from the exhibition.

Varys’ outfits are up there with my favourites because again, the attention to detail is just insane. Michele had mentioned that because Varys has all the whispers and all the secrets, for that reason his hands are always covered. With his hands in his sleeves, it creates an air of mystery and I always feel like Varys is hiding something! He is so mysterious!

Now, let’s discuss Daenerys. Yes she is the reason I dyed my hair platinum blonde and wore plaits. Yes, she is awesome and yes, she is an absolute boss! She’s not necessarily my favourite character but her story line in the show is my favourite. What she goes through and what she has to handle, makes her iconic and of course, she’s going to need some iconic clothing to match!

I think it’s pretty safe to say that the White Walkers are absolutely petrifying. That cold, icy skin and those pale blue eyes that could cut you in two as soon as look at you. I near jumped out of my skin walking through and seeing this figure in the exhibition.

One of the best things about this exhibition was that you can actually have your face put into the Hall of Faces like in Season 5.

Weird, but I like it.

I absolutely loved this exhibition and I don’t doubt that I will be back again soon! You can check out the website here and you can buy your tickets from here

Tickets
April – May
Monday – Thursday: £15
Friday – Sunday: £17.50
June – August
Monday – Sunday: £17.50

Advertisements

What It’s Like Being The Biggest Girl At The Party

Before you jump straight to the comments section to compliment me about something, that is not why I am writing this post. I am not fishing for you to tell me that I’m pretty or that I look good for my size or anything like that. I am simply here to talk about why sometimes I can feel down on my size and why it’s hard knowing you’re the biggest girl at the party.

When I say party, I don’t literally mean a party. I don’t think I’ve been to a ‘party’ since I was 11. I’m talking about being in work, on a night out with friends or even just meeting someone for a coffee (I actually don’t drink coffee, but Hot Chocolate doesn’t have the same ring to it). I am so comfortable with the size I am, for those of you that don’t know me or have never seen me before I am a size 16, give or take a size.

Now, size 16. I know that that’s perhaps not very big and that there are women who are larger and there are women who are smaller. I’m just talking about this from my perspective.. I am confident and comfortable knowing that I am that size and have no immediate plans to change the size I am.

That being said, that’s my thought process right up until I am standing beside someone who is considerably skinnier than I am or is wearing a top I like but couldn’t wear because of my boobs or anything like that. It’s so easy for me to get myself down about how I look and I work so hard at building my confidence up so that it doesn’t get to me but every so often those thoughts creep in. It gets to the point where I will look around and I know I’m the biggest person there, which I’ll admit is a horrible mindset to have. I’ll sometimes decide not to go somewhere with a group of people because I know that I’ll be the biggest out of that group. I have toyed with the idea of not going on a night out this weekend because of the same thing. That same thought process of ‘oh my God, there are going to be photos of us together’ or ‘I don’t look as good in night out clothes as them.’ It’s not a nice way to feel – and yes, before any haters come and say ‘well of you don’t like feeling that way then go lose weight.’ I don’t want to lose weight. I am happy the way that I am. Usually I have the mindset of that ‘everyone is beautiful no matter what shape or size they are’ and do truly believe in that. Sometimes that mindset shifts when you’re standing in front of the mirror.

I want anyone reading this that has ever had a worry about their appearance, or thought they are bigger than they should be or are bigger or smaller than their friends that it is okay to have these thoughts. Just know, that it is true that everyone is beautiful no matter their size or shape, it’s okay to have the odd thought about your appearance but trust in yourself and wear your confidence with pride. Your confidence is the best thing that you could ever wear, no matter the size.

Do any of you ever feel this way or go through that mindset? I’d love to hear how you deal with it.

The Junction, Antrim

I was recently invited down to check out The Junction, Antrim as part of their Connection Club Weekend.  The Junction is an amazing shopping destination situated about 20 miles from Belfast with not only over 30 retailers but an amazing 10 screen Omniplex cinema.  The Connection Club is a promotion that enables you to receive extra discounts, offers and exclusive events.  Think of it as a VIP card that allows you to save a little money while you shop – allowing you to shop more!  You can sign up for the Connection Club here and view what stores are available here.

Of course me being me, I quite literally ran straight to the beauty outlet as it has my name written all over it.  I went in fully confident that I would walk around and have a nosy at all the amazing offers however, as soon as my foot stepped over the threshold I completely lost all ability to think and went from the front to the back up and down the aisles telling staff that ‘this is amazing’ and obsessively congratulating a girl called Mags who keeps the lipsticks looking so neat on doing such a good job.  Mags, I am sorry.

View this quick video of me walking around the store and keep scrolling for a more in depth view of the offers available – perfect for dare I say the C word?  Christmas.

Thank you so much to The Junction and Beauty Outlet who gifted me with a voucher!  If you follow me on Instagram then you’ll see all the goodies I got!

unnamed

As soon as you walk in there’s a fantastic beauty bar area with chairs and glorious light up mirrors surrounded by amazing offers.  A great area to sit and try on makeup!

unnamed (17)unnamed (16)

I first had a rummage around at the foundations and while there is a huge variety o products I did however notice that there are not full shade ranges.  I was able to find my colours very easily and there is still a great range but you may have to sacrifice going a little lighter or darker if you cannot find your shade – but that’s okay, because they have bronzers.  One of my favourite foundations, Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation is available there and you can see my first impression of this foundation on my YouTube here.

unnamed (19)

unnamed (10)

I think my favourite part about walking around this store had to have been the lipstick section.  Not only was it just so satisfying to look at but the lipsticks were around the £1.99/£2.99 mark.  I mean, my Starbucks order costs more than that.  If you watched my Instagram stories then you’ll know that I got so overwhelmed by the lipstick aisle that I actually only left with two lipsticks and two lips liners.  It is just so unlike me.  I can’t wait to go back and buy more!

unnamed (1)

I felt like I was walking around Willy Wonka’s factory in this store, honestly.  Just look at all those brushes and beauty blenders?  I was in total heaven and all for a fraction of the price that you would pay in places like Boots and Superdrug.  I love getting things like these as little presents, if you were starting to think of mini gifts for *whispers* Christmas then these are all perfect!

unnamed (18)

Again, on the gift train – whether it’s a gift for yourself of you are in need of a present for someone these are amazing and come in the cutest packaging.  W7 were one of the main brands I seen in the beauty outlet and I have used some things from them before and they are actually pretty good, amazing for the price!  How amazing is this brush set below?

unnamed (22)

unnamed (13)

unnamed (5)

In addition to makeup and accessories they also have a great range of skincare, bath and body and fragrances so there really is something for everyone!  So looking forward to going back to the store and The Junction in general as all staff seem so friendly and The Junction is an amazing place to walk around.

Have you been before?  What are your thoughts? Let me know!

You can follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebook and YouTube

EDŌ Restaurant, Belfast

I am not a food blogger and nor do I know an awful lot about the ins and outs of writing about food.  Unless we are watching Masterchef or The Great British Bake Off then I am an expert. That being said I recently ate in a restaurant that actually made me utter the words ‘Oh my God’ very audibly for the next table to hear.  Meg Ryan style.

EDŌ Restaurant, (pronounced Aye-Doh, Latin For ‘I Eat’) in Belfast is one of the nicest restaurants I have ever set foot in.  Walk through the doors and you are immediately greeted with not only pleasant smiles and a friendly welcome but a smell of food overtakes the sense, transporting you to a drooling state.  My eyes darted all around the restaurant from the bar as you enter with bottles piled high, the fantastic seating arrangements and brilliant décor.

Jonny Elliot, Head Chef and Owner brings you the best ingredients and extensive knowledge having worked with some of the best chef in the world like Gordon Ramsey and Gary Rhodes.  Jonny knows his flavours and has a Bertha Oven in the kitchen which allows the chefs to cook with apple and pear wood giving their food a smokey flavour.  The best thing about this restaurant is that the menu really does appeal to everyone, whether you are a starter and a main dish kind of person or a tapas style sharing theme is more your thing, Edo has got you.

We decided to try a few dishes while there as everything on the menu sounded unbelievable and we couldn’t decide.

Pimientos de Padron, £5

I looked at this on the menu and thought ‘nahh’ but I was guaranteed that they were lovely and so, I had to try them.  Oh my days, I honestly don’t know what was done to them but the peppers melted in my mouth and were unbelievably tasty.  With a little salt and I am assuming some olive oil these were the perfect dish to have while deciding what other dishes to have.

Jamon Iberico (Bellota), £10

snapseed

A type of cured ham produced in Spain and Portugal that is just quite simply delicious. You get so many slices, we were full at the end of this dish… obviously that didn’t stop us! Also, we went straight in on this before I could get a photo, it looked too good to wait.

Ham Croquettes, £4

Yes, you read that right.  I haven’t stopped thinking about these for the last 3 weeks.  I actually got croquettes in another restaurant and they were nothing in comparison.  Thinking about them now I am starting to drool.  In fact, heading back to this restaurant in a few weeks and I may have to order about 4 of these.

Goats Cheese Fritter, £5

If anyone knows me at all, or at least listens to me when I talk about food, if there is Goat’s Cheese on the menu, it gets eaten.  It is always delicious and this time there was absolutely no exception.  Normally when I order Goat’s Cheese it come dressed up on a fancy plate with lots of dressings that I don’t even know what they are.  I loved that this dish came down just as it is.  Edo’s food is so good that it doesn’t need to hide behind the garnish.  It stands up with confidence, front and centre saying ‘eat me.’

Ham Hock, Celeriac, Pickles & Brown Butter Breadcrumbs, £16.50

Moving away from the smaller dishes and onto main dishes, what you see before you is the most delicious ham that I have ever had.  It actually wasn’t even what I ordered however, I stared at Joel’s plate dribbling, I had to have it.

Normally when I eat large cuts of meat they can be quite tough, dry and sometimes hard to swallow but I swear that ham actually fell off and melted into my mouth.  Not only that, but it was a taste sensation.  When it arrived to the table my first thought was, ‘how is that only £16.50?’  Such a glorious dish for such an affordable price.

Kebabs, Flat Bread, Tzatziki, £12

I am surprised I chose this as when being ‘bad’ and ordering take away I would never really get a kebab.  I did however, spy someone else in the restaurant who had ordered it and I could smell it wafting over, so it was either order it or ask that gentleman for a bite.

Unbelievably tasty and I wouldn’t dare touch a take out kebab after tasting this kebab.

Churros

Believe me, I was busted at this point and I really needed a nap.  That didn’t stop me ordering dessert because – why not?  You honestly can’t go wrong with churros in my eyes, they were deliciously warm and sugary and an accompanying chocolate dip.

So whether you are having date night, night with the girls or a big celebration EDŌ is the place to be.

View their website here and make a reservation!

What Turning 27 Does To My Brain

So today is my birthday.  I always loved my birthday and couldn’t wait for it for all the wrong reasons – couldn’t wait to see if anything fell out of my birthday cards to spend it on shite clothes I don’t need.  Couldn’t wait to rip through presents to see what was inside.  All of a sudden, this year I don’t care.  I’m sorry but what the fuck?  Why am I not an immature, selfish girl anymore?  Is this adulting?

giphy (1)

Before I write anymore there is a 83% chance I am about to have a mini breakdown writing this, so just bare with me. The very fact I have to now say mid to late twenties instead of early twenties knocks me over completely.  I definitely have to tick a new age box when filling out forms now…

What happens when you turn 27?  When I was younger the age 27 was the age I associated with girls who had purses full of credit cards, engagement rings, perfect jobs and big beautiful houses.  Now that I am at that ‘scary’ age, what the hell was I thinking?  There is something about the age 27 that makes me feel like I am being forced into being a grown up.  Like, don’t get me wrong, I have my shit together enough – I live with my wonderful boyfriend (puke, sorry), I love my job and I love all my little hobbies and I am by all means happy, but what is it about being 27 that makes me feel inferior?  Like, I still don’t feel like an adult but I guess I technically am.

Being 18 was amazing what with the whole I can drink legally thing.  Being 21 was amazing as I was living away from home in Scotland, living my best life and again, can drink legally everywhere.  If anything I felt more like an adult at 21 than I do now at 27.  Maybe because I was single at 21 I felt a little more independent as opposed to now where I need to split that rent or else I would be eating ramen noodles all month.

There are certain things that I feel I just can’t get away with now that I am 27.  I really can’t forget to make a payment on a card, I can’t go into my overdraft because that’s completely ‘irresponsible.’  Also, it’s not okay for me to not watch the news anymore.  I don’t like watching it because it is just full of terrible news, but at a certain point it just isn’t funny that I don’t know what’s going on in the world.

I was in Tesco buying drink for my birthday, you know… my 27th.  I wasn’t ID’d.  I don’t look old, I don’t look young but I was still very offended when I didn’t get carded.  Then I thought, I would have been over the moon when I wasn’t carded when I was younger, how can it irritate me now?

I think I am just pissed off that I can’t blame being young if something goes wrong.  At a certain point, I need to take responsibility and unfortunately I think that’s now.  I have been known to have a slightly self destructive pattern in the past however, instead of ruining lives I am now adulting hard and the only thing I really ruin are my plants.  Seriously, I can’t keep those things alive and if anyone has any tips – other than simply watering them – please let me know.

I mean, I have learned a lot in the last 27 years most of which I documented in another post 26 things. 26 years.  and I am so thankful for that as it has made me who I am today bla bla bla but unfortunately, I think that that has made me an adult.

Also, what’s with having more money when you’re still in school than now?

giphy (2)

A Blog For Bloggers

This one is written as a blog for bloggers, whether you are starting out or are fully fledged within your field hopefully there is something you can take away from this post today.

As a fairly new blogger – I have tried and failed to keep my blog going for the last 10 years but anxiety used to overcome me and I would delete the posts I wrote in case someone I knew seen them and made fun of me.  I recently developed an ‘I don’t give a shit’ attitude which has led me to keep writing posts for this long.  Anyway, as a newish blogger with an amazing local blogging community around me I have learned a few things along the way and yes, you guessed it I am going to share them.

Opportunities

When you start out as a blogger the fear can get to you as it got to me, that no one would care about what you are writing about.  The odd time a brand will approach you because they love your work and it is still so flattering when this happens.

giphy

I said yes to every opportunity that came along but looking back I now realise that that may not have been a good thing.  While you should be open to writing and talking about everything, have an end goal in mind and remember that you are your brand.

What I mean is if you are a beauty lover and you predominantly talk about makeup or skincare, don’t out of  the blue start pushing a toaster because a brand approached you about it.  It took me awhile to get on my feet and get a theme but now that I have a theme, I find myself politely declining certain opportunities because I have no interest in them.  I value my blog and brand far too much to start polluting the page with items that I am not passionate about.  You won’t care about what you are writing and your readers won’t care either.

There are pros and cons to this point and I completely believe that if I hadn’t have said yes to everything that my blog and social channels may not be where they are today.  That being said, I definitely would recommend to just research your opportunities thoroughly before agreeing as they can knock off your brand and blog image.

Know Your Worth

Now that you have your blog up and running, or maybe it has been up and running for awhile and you are still unsure but it is important to know your worth.  Blogging and writing posts, especially when in collaboration with brands can feel a little like a hustle.  I have been very lucky with brands I have worked with and everyone seems normal but I have heard horror stories where brands have taken fellow bloggers for a complete ride.

What I am saying is, know how much to charge brands that are contacting you and don’t be afraid to charge for your work.  The social media game has changed so much in the last few years and it is a great way of making money, especially when you are putting so much effort in.  I’m trying not to make this point sound money hungry, I for one very rarely charge for posts to my blog or to Instagram.  I am however trying to explain that you should not get shortchanged for work that you do with brands.

I for one am over the moon when I am sent PR Mail, and I more often that not will use what I have been gifted to talk about across my channels and blog for free.  It’s when brands expect a little more than that or they explicitly ask you for more that you should know your worth and don’t settle for anything less.  As my future best friend Kanye West says “Know your worth. People always act like they’re doing more for you than you’re doing for them.”

Individuality

Individuality is so important.  You need to be a little different in order to stand out in crowd, not only in your blogging community but across your social channels too.  There are so many beauty blogs, lifestyle channels and fashion advice accounts that yours needs an edge, something to set you apart from the rest of the crowd.  Write about what you love and what inspires you and I promise you, your engagement will boom.

Not only is your uniqueness important, but so is what you are actually writing about.  Don’t write about something or post something just because someone else is doing it.  Just because someone wrote a great post and it received great feedback, doesn’t mean yours will.  It can be hard in a world where there are so many people with similar interests but if you are putting your own spin on your work then it’s guaranteed to stand out.

It’s Only A Number

When I started my Instagram I’ll admit I used to be so focused on how many followers I had.  I would be looking at people with 10 more to 10 million more than me and was always looking for more followers.  I am ashamed to admit it took me awhile to realise that the number doesn’t matter at ALL.  When you start a channel or blog your numbers are always going to be a little lower and they will grow with the more posts and content you create.

Do not be disheartened when you see someone with 20k on Instagram who is posting similar content to you.  Do not be disheartened because someone else got thousands of likes and you only got 100.  Instead, change your attitude and focus your attention on the people that are on your account, instead of looking for ones that aren’t.  Engage with them, comment and follow them back and get to know your followers.  The best advice I can give to anyone interested in blogging is that you shouldn’t give a crap about the figure at the top of your Instagram page as honestly, the way the algorithm works now it is all about your engagement.

Don’t get me wrong, I will be buzzing to reach the 10k threshold on Instagram so I can take advantage of the swipe up feature…

You may be reading this blog as someone who isn’t a blogger or as someone who isn’t remotely interested in becoming one but, these points translate equally into everyday life.  Life your life like the perfect individual you are and you will receive more appreciation for it.  Know your worth in your work life, no matter what you do these points still apply.

I hope you take something away from this post whether you a fellow blogger or not and please comment or let me know some of the things you have learned along the way.

How To Grow Out Your Bangs In Style

I don’t know about you, but I am one of those I love my fringe, I hate my fringe, I love my fringe, I hate my fringe kind of people.  So I am forever getting a fringe, then deciding that I am bored and need a change.

If you have ever graced your head with the presence of a fringe then you know how difficult and moreover, annoying it is to grow out when you don’t like it anymore.  I am here to give you some top tips on growing out a fringe in style as growing it out can be a huge pain in the ass.

041811-Alexa-Lead-400_0

Depending on how you want the end result to look will depend on how you grow them out so I really only know what I do to keep my hair looking cute.  If I want my bangs to eventually taper off the to the side then you are going to want to keep trimming your fringe in the middle only à la Alexa Chung.  This will not only keep your hair out of your eyes but when it is long enough, it will be easier to sweep to the sides.

Currently I am trying to create a side fringe so I have my hair clipped back with a bobby pin until it is long enough to take down.  When it gets a little longer then I will have the option of having cute little hairstyles instead of a boring clip.  Whether it’s keeping it up with a half knot on top of my head or the many different styles of plaits starting at the base of the fringe my hair will get more interesting with every millimetre of hair growth.

 

It’s a dark few weeks when you decide to grow out your fringe but with commitment I know you can pull through!  If in doubt, hair spray my friend.  Hairspray.  I always use L’Oreal Elnett Precious Oil Hairspray (contains Argan Oil to help with smoothing and shininess) or the Supreme Hold Hairspray.

Happy fringing!