I’m a real journalist!

Jaysus, lads. What a few weeks it’s been!

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I’ve landed my dream job doing all sorts of editorial things for XPOSΓ‰ Magazine.

And I honestly think I wouldn’t have gotten the gig if I hadn’t started this blog. It’s exactly two years today since I first signed up to WordPress, and by blogging regularly I’ve been able to demonstrate my passion for writing, my editing skills as well as my personal writing style.

Now, I write content for one of my favourite women’s magazines in Ireland, as well as content for the website and various social media channels.

It’s what I’ve wanted to do for years, and it’s an absolute joy to get up each morning knowing I’m going to be in this exciting, busy environment. 

This post is short but sweet, as I’ve to get back to work! 

Hope you all are enjoying your Wednesday 😘❀

The 4 ladies to follow if you love NYC

​The dream I had of moving back to New York on the 12-month graduate visa quickly slipped away when I realised how much my savings account had been depleted during my final year of college. 

So to soothe my dented heart I’ve been following a number of Snapchat stories, vlogs and blogs of young Irish women who are making my dream their reality.  

Seeing these ladies going about their daily lives in the Big Apple has allowed me to indulge in my favourite city without spending a penny. (Well… unless you count my bill to Meteor for excessive data consumption…)

If, like me, you’re obsessed with the streets, style, food, pets and people of NYC and would like to see it from an Irish perspective then here are the best accounts to follow. 

LC’s Closet

Lorna takes the most beautiful photos of the city’s landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Flat Iron Building and the Brooklyn Bridge. She’s full of random facts and is Snapchat’s best NYC tour guide. 

Life of a Lady Bear

Michaela is the number one account to follow if you like puppies. She always finds the cutest dogs in the city and shares them with her followers both on Snapchat and Instagram. Michaela also works at Teen Vogue and documents behind-the-scenes footage of her job and the people she meets along the way (including JoJo and Emma Roberts!)

Michaela is really down to earth and is honest about how living in a place as big as New York can make you feel quite lonely. But she’s optimistic and reminds her followers that even when things seem ultra crappy they will always get better in time.

Retro Flame

Erika Fox is the most hardworking, dedicated and entrepreneurial person I’ve ever come across online. You can read her full story here, but long story short she moved from County Kerry in Ireland to Manhattan a couple of years ago. After some serious dedication to her blog she is now self-employed and about to move into a nice, spacious apartment (which is hard to come by in New York!) She’s an inspiration to anyone trying to achieve a goal and she really reinforces the idea that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

Tar Mar

This girl is quirky and stylish, blending Irish charm with city chic. Her Instagram shows off her distinguished style so well – with striking black, white and grey images throughout. Tar Mar is also one to follow if you love adorable dogs – and like LC’s closest can be counted on for stunning photos of the cityscape. 

These four young Irish women can be found under the above names on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as well as on their own individual blogs  (linked above) and YouTube channels.

Instagram StoriesΒ 

Today Instagram launched its new Stories feature and it has left social media obsessives like myself feeling both confused and divided.

I’ve compiled a list of pros and cons of this new Insta update and you’ll quickly see what side of the fence I’m on.

Pro:

1. I got to see Taylor Swift’s cat. 

2. I learned that Kate Hudson is like a real, normal person who hates the effort of washing her hair. (Same.)

Cons (and lots of them…):

1. I don’t like how Instagram literally ROBBED the idea of Snapchat stories. They didn’t even put their own spin on it – it’s literally the exact same. Not cool, guys.

2. I’ve found that InstaStories take longer to load / buffer than stories on Snapchat. It sort of freezes on people’s faces mid-vid for a couple of seconds before continuing. 

3. It’s more difficult to find stories I’m interested in because they’re presented horizontally and in non-alphabetical order. Snapchat’s vertical and alphabetical list of friends makes it much easier to find your favourite stories to watch. 

4. When I watch somebody’s InstaStory and it’s SUPPOSED to move on in chronological order – occasionally it reverts back to a few InstaSnaps previous which means I’ve to watch the whole story twice. Feckin twice! 

*and exhale*

So basically what I’m trying to say is Snapchat is where the party’s at and where the party should stay.

Stranger Things – on Netflix

Unless you’ve been living like Patrick Star under a rock for the past couple of weeks you’ll have heard of the latest Netflix series Stranger Things 

Claimed by many to be the best series to binge-watch of all time, it shows the horrors within a small Indiana town when a young resident goes missing.  

Set in the 1980s, the first five minutes involve little boys talking about little-boy things – AKA not really my cup of tea at all.

But within ten minutes of watching the Netflix original, my heart was pounding, my breathing was caught and I found myself hiding behind my mam’s beige sofa cushion.

A combination of flashing lights, quick and harsh sound effects created an intense sense of panic without showing anything particularly scary on screen at all. (Except some freaky dark shadows.)

Winona Ryder plays the mother of the missing boy, Will, and it’s really hard to take her seriously. All I can picture is her dancing in Beetlejuice circa 1988. Hopefully that’ll wear off by episode two. 

I don’t recognise the rest of the cast, but the men who play the police officers convey the part of ‘laid back, and not so helpful cop’ really well. With their feet up on their desks, and donuts in their mouths, they don’t seem too worried about the fact that Ryder’s son disappeared in the middle of the night. 

Meanwhile, a team of men who look a bit like Ghostbusters (wearing protective overalls and face masks) investigate a scary building that seems to be covered in mysterious slimey goo. (Gross.) At twenty minutes in I can’t be sure whether the slimey building is in any way connected to the missing boy. The Ghostbusters are looking for a girl – but the viewers know she’s not there. She’s eating a burger with a big bearded man. I don’t know who either of them are or what their relevance to little missing Will is. Quite frankly I’ve no idea what’s going on.

Oh! The cops who didn’t seem to care about the missing boy earlier are looking for him now. They found his bike in the woods next to his house which is a helpful bit of evidence. 

Scary music and faulty electrics have freaked out one of the cops while he was searching the boy’s family home and shed, and he’s decided to launch a search party in the area.

To be fair, I’m freaked out too. What is it about eerie music and dim lighting that can make you feel all sorts of heebiejeebies!

Oh my Gosh. An old lady with a gun just came into the mix and F’d things up with the little girl and the bearded man. (I’m honestly trying not to spoil everything, but it’s hard.)

By the end of the first episode, I’m eager to watch the second. I can’t say I’m addicted or that it’s the best series I’ve ever seen… 

It just hasn’t gripped me in the way Orange Is The New Black or Gossip Girl did. But I’m definitely intrigued by Will’s disappearance and I’ll continue to watch Stranger Things to find out what happened to him. 

My rating for the first episode out of 10? Hmm… I’ll give it a 6. It definitely fits into the genre of ‘sci-fi horror’ very well but it was really confusing and difficult to follow. That being said, I’m looking forward to watch the rest of the series and I’ll give my overall show rating then.

Weighing In On Swiddleston

​Taylor Swift has been getting torn to shreds online following the whole Calvin Harris / Tom Hiddleston debacle, and I’ve been feeling so sorry for her because of it.

This post is about why I’m Team Taylor. 

Going through a breakup is difficult enough without having your every move scrutinised by hundreds of thousands of strangers online. 

Taylor Swift is a real person with real feelings, and it’s not uncommon for a girl to seek affection from a new guy when the old guy has broken her heart.

It’s natural for a young woman to seek comfort in another man; Rebounds happen whether you’re famous or not. 

Just because she’s in magazines and has more money than we do doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel what we feel.  She’s a girl in her mid-twenties looking for love.

Has every relationship you’ve been in been perfect?

Have you never said or done things that you regret?

Unlikely. 

But lucky for you, you didn’t have the world’s nosiest paparazzi documenting your every move, word, mistake and reaction.

So what if she started dating someone soon after a breakup? She’s not hurting anyone. If anything, she’s helped boost Calvin’s career and popularity. 

Let’s cut Taylor some slack.

My day off in the sunshine

After working my bum off for the past five days, nothing could make my day off any better than this glorious sunshine.

Clifford is absolutely melting, the poor thing.

Snapchat’s temperature filter tells me it’s 23Β°C, but it feels more like 28Β°C with the lack of a cool breeze.

With my pale, freckled complexion and gingeresque hair, I can’t stay outside for more than 10 minutes at a time. But that’s long enough to take these gorge photos!

My plan for the rest of the afternoon is to hang out with my family, indulge in whatever I can find in the fridge, and relax my bones before going back to work tomorrow. 

Payday is this Thursday, thank jeepers. I need moolah for when I catch up with some old friends from college at the weekend. I haven’t seen the girls since January, so we’ve loads to catch up on – and a little Dublin pub-crawl will make it all the more fun!

I’ll leave it at that for now; I want to chance my arm at another 10 minutes in the sun.

Back from my blogging break

Ooof!

I really hurt myself falling off the blogging wagon. But I’m back!

What a busy few weeks it’s been. Not only was it my dad’s birthday, mam’s birthday, and boyfriend’s birthday, but it was also my brother-in-law’s birthday and my sister’s one-year wedding anniversary!

Needless to say that my bank balance has seen healthier days.

Nevertheless, the spending was worth it. Nothing beats surprising the ones you love with thoughtful gifts and spending quality time with them too. 

Mam’s birthday was a big one! The big ‘Six’ ‘Oh’ to be exact. We had a celebratory party at home with her sisters, friends and neighbours and the house is still full of all the sweets and treats that we couldn’t finish on the night. My waist is becoming increasingly rotund as I try to eat it all. #SozNotSoz 

My sister and I surprised mam with a holiday to the ancient city of Rome. It’s somewhere she’s always wanted to visit, and there’s no time like the present! I’ll be accompanying her there (lucky me!) in a few months and we’ll spend 4 days exploring the sights, having tea with the Pope and eating pasta. Can’t wait! (My waistline is less than impressed but sure, ‘when in Rome’ and all that.)

I’ve been busy growing my fingernails too, and I’ll probably do a separate post on that soon with more details on the nail products I’ve been using. I’ve been a chronic nail-biter since I’ve had teeth, so this is a huge deal for me. I’m very excited about not having to pay €50 for acrylics everytime I want to look like a girl. Woo! 

Also, who else is delighted the football is FINALLY over? It felt like the Euros 2016 would never come to an end. But what an end it was! Poor Ronaldo crying his heart out due to injury and the moth landing on his eyeball to make it all that little bit worse. Poor chap.

Other than that, I’ve just been working a lot lately. Those bills gotta be paid, y’know.

And on that note, I’m off to iron my clothes for the morning.