Tuesday, 13 June 2017

How to feel better about yourself after a breakup

I can't tell you guys how many times I've been asked this question from my readers, friends and family. It's obviously very apparent and obvious to you guys how much happier I am since I broke up with my ex. I went out with my ex for 6 years and I won't go into too much detail, but I'm a much happier person since I became single. Breaking up with someone is a very hard thing, especially after six years. Even though I initiated the breakup it was still very hard for me. I still cared about how he felt, I cared about his family that became my second family and I was also extremely anxious about whether I was making the right decision. I'm sure other girls can relate to this, but it's even harder when your boyfriend/ girlfriend breaks up with you, especially if you still want to be with them.

I swore to myself I wouldn't be the stereotypical 'Cry into a tub of Ice cream' kind of girl, and instead I'd reinvent my life and become a happier human being. Don't get me wrong, I had a few hiccups along the way which included a few snots and tears, some silly text messages and a few cheeky dominos orders.

'Lets try and be friends...'

While it may work for some, it definitely didn't work for me. Initially that's what I wanted, but my ex had a new girlfriend within about 6 weeks of us breaking up which was somewhat hard to take. Even though I didn't want to be with him, it was hurtful he could move on so quickly (typical woman, I know!). We would text or meet up from time to time, but things would get awkward and old habits die hard. You find yourself going out for a bit of food and end up spending 4 hours with each other, purely out of comfort and familiarity.  Generally one person wants to be friends and the other wants more, queue the awkwardness. When your ex starts getting involved romantically with someone else, it's definitely time to cut the cord. No one likes the ex girlfriend hanging around, and for me it was more stress than it was worth.

'Forgive and forget'

It's a very common thing for people to over-analyse what happened in the past, why they broke up and think what they could do to fix it. I made many a mistake while I was in a relationship, I reacted to things badly, sometimes I didn't react at all. I allowed myself to be treated very badly, I was cheated on several times and I allowed it because I thought I could be the girl to change him. Some people may think its an awful thing for me to write this on a public blog, but it happens to so so so many of us and I wanted to share more and be more honest.

I had the most amazing friendship with him, we met when we were 16. We went through so many stepping stones in life together, finishing school, starting college, getting our first jobs, graduating from college, travelling the world together and laughing a hell of a lot. We got on like a house on fire and he treated me like a princess when we were together, but not so much on his own time. I suppose I was very much blinded by love. I'm a very positive person and I always aim to see the best in people. I had this image in my head that he was the first person I ever loved and we'd end up together, I was desperate to make it work. And so, I compromised my confidence, my mental health and my dignity to achieve something that very few young couples do.

When we broke up I thought about everything that had happened detail by detail. I thought about what had happened throughout the relationship and knew that he didn't cheat on me because of ME, he cheated because he was insecure, he lacked self confidence and he lacked self respect. I was labelled crazy, insecure and untrustworthy, even though I had every right in the world to feel that way. Once I realised this, my mindset changed for the better. Everything that happened made me a stronger person, more secure, more confident and more determined to never allow myself be treated poorly again. So for that, I have to thank him.

'Don't scheme to win him back'

This is honestly the worst thing you can do. There will be stages post breakup where you feel insecure, you'll want the comforts of a relationship and you'll panic. I still panic and think 'Am I ever going to find someone?!', that hasn't happened as of yet and I'm in no rush, but I know when and if I do I'll be a lot more mature and have a lot more self-respect. You broke up for a reason, things weren't working for one or both of you. Better things are on the horizon, even though I haven't found that yet I'm a definite believer.

'Surround yourself with good people'

I am incredibly lucky to have people in my life who know me better than I know myself. When you're in a relationship, you often prioritize that person. Take this free time to spend it with people you love and that love you.  My mam and my aunty Marie are the best people on this planet, the older I get the more I appreciate their opinions and their advice. I couldn't have gotten through this year without them. I've gotten so much closer with them both, they are the most inspiring people and have instilled so much confidence in me over the past year.

My best friends Sarah and Rachel have been there with me every single step of the way. Spending time with me, drinking with me, dancing with me and minding my phone so I don't send any stupid / drunk text messages! I went on my first girls holiday in March to Las Vegas with Sarah, and I laughed my head off solid. Spending time with your friends is definitely the best therapy.

'Focus your energy elsewhere'

When we broke up I started walking by the coast every single day before work. I would walk about 7KM every day, it gave me such good headspace and clarity. I blared some upbeat music and it definitely relieved some stress. It also helped that I lost a bit of weight along the way. If exercising isn't your thing take up a different hobby; dancing, cooking, join a club etc. It's a great way to fill gaps in your day that may otherwise be unoccupied, and you find yourself thinking about them. It's time to focus on YOU and your future, stop putting your energy into negative things.

'The secret'

I read this book on a constant basis to retrain my thinking. Positive attracts positive. Trust me on this one, get the book.

'Take things extra slow'

More than likely, other guys are gonna find out that you're single through the grapevine. Remember that you're in a bit of fragile place, and we all like what we are used to. Don't be a creature of comfort, the past year has been the best year of my life because I broke out of my comfort zone. Have fun, date, but definitely don't chase a new relationship. You may think you've found a really nice person, but be patient and wait. If it's meant to be it will work out and they will respect you need time to heal. After 8 months of being single I went on my first date, and while it was a decent date I didn't pursue it any further because I knew he wasn't for me. Why? Because the time I took for myself I figured out what I wanted and I'm not going to settle for anything less. If you jump into a new relationship you are going to bring problems and insecurities from the last relationship with you. Figure out your own shit, smash your goals, become a more confident person and the rest will follow.

'Figure out your shit'

I focused on myself more than I ever have. I focused on relationships with my family and friends. I focused on my career and bagged myself a promotion. I focused on my fitness and feel so much more confident in myself. I've set short-term and long-term goals. I went to counselling about other things going on in my life and it set my head straight. I see things more clearly, I'm more focused, more confident, more outgoing and I know what I want and I won't stop until I get it.

'Be a bad bitch'

I never really understood the meaning of this word until one of the girls explained it to me. And regardless of whether you are single or not, this should be your goal. Know what you want and do everything in your power to get it. Be strong physically and emotionally. Do everything with class, don't ever let a situation bring out the worst in you. Being single is a learning curve, do it with grace. In saying that, if you need to cry allow yourself. Just try your best not to do it in the local pub where you might bump into your ex's friends! Force yourself to smile as much as you can, even if you don't want to. Don't let people outside your circle know that you're hurting.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post, it is very different to what I usually write about. You all seem to like my more personal posts and so many of you asked how I'm so happy after the breakup, I couldn't possibly respond with an answer this long to everyone. Just remember that what's meant for you won't pass you by, things happen for a reason and that there is always something better ahead.

Love,
Ally
x
















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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Festival Outfit Inspiration

Festival season is well and truly upon us! I am going to London in July to the festival Lovebox. It's my first festival EVER and I am so excited. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Frank Ocean and for the festival fashion.

I've gotten so much inspiration from social media, my head is bursting with ideas about what to wear, how to do my makeup and how to style my hair. You can't go wrong with festival style, you can go totally outside your typical look and have so much fun with it.







Knowing me, I'll probably go for quite a glam festival look! Here are some of my favourite pieces online now.


Trousers from ASOS




Dress from Crave Closet



Rain Mac from Pretty Little Thing


Dress from Peppermayo


Crop top from Missguided


Jacket from Pretty Little Thing



Dress Zara


Belt from Missguided


Rainbow hoodie from Pretty Little Thing


Two Piece from Crave Closet



Shorts PLT at ASOS


Maxi Dress from Crave Closet


Festival Glitters from Its In Your Dreams



Jacket from ASOS




Dress/ Kimono Zara



Playsuit River Island at ASOS



Blouse ASOS



Playsuit River Island


Dress Zara

Hope you enjoyed!
Ally
xxx



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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Spotlight Whitening: Review

I'm often asked what products I use to keep my teeth so white. Over the past 6 months I've been using a new product called Spotlight Whitening. They are an at home teeth whitening treatment which consist of 14 strips for your top and bottom teeth. Spotlight Whitening was created by two Irish Dentists, Lisa and Vanessa Creaven. Their dental clinic specialises in cosmetic dentistry, and they wanted to create a reasonably priced and effective at home whitening treatment.



You are encouraged to use the whitening strips every day for 1 hour for 14 days in a row, I got amazing results from Spotlight Whitening. This is not a paid or sponsored Spotlight Whitening review, I just absolutely love the product. I didn't get any sensitivity from the whitening strips, they contain the perfect amount of hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth without causing any damage to the enamel. They are a pain-free and sensitivity-free way of whitening your teeth. I used the brand Crest Whitening Strips for years and although the results were brilliant, I wouldn't be able to eat or drink for days after I used the strips as I was in so much pain with my teeth.

This week I topped up my teeth by whitening them for 4 days in a row. This removed any surface stains and I'm thrilled with the results. Here's some photos of some unedited and unfiltered photos.




Spotlight have brought out a new whitening toothpaste which also contains 1% hydrogen peroxide, which will work amazing alongside the whitening strips. You can get the whitening strips online here for €39.99 for a two week supply or in pharmacies nationwide.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post!

Ally
xxx







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Monday, 17 April 2017

My hair transformation


I've had every colour hair and style possible in the last year, finally I decided to go back blonde and for my recent trip to vegas I treated myself to extensions. I was always very skeptical of extensions and scared to get them. I did so much research on them, asked my hairdressers, asked friends and you guys on my instagram. There was no way on earth that I was paying a month's wages to get extensions put in. I came across a salon called Hair Rocks that came highly recommended. They use Elite Hair Extensions which I had heard amazing things about, and they were very reasonably priced too.

Aisling did my colour that day and took my hair from dull to bright blonde and I was thrilled with the results. She then applied the elite hair extensions and the transformation is mind blowing! They blend in so naturally with my own hair, you'd never know that it isn't my own hair. The whole process took about 4 hours in total, I expected to be sitting in the salon for the whole day so I was thrilled it was a quick and easy process. Aisling has been doing extensions for years and she is an absolute pro.

Before photos



After Photos



How I look after my extensions

Many a time I've heard that it is recommended to use sulphate free shampoos when you have hair extensions but the Cocoa Brown Shampoo and Conditioners claim to be extension friendly. I use these products quite often and they have been very kind to my hair. My hair always feels very clean, soft yet light when I use these Cocoa Brown products, you can get them here for €2.95 each.

I use a product called Revlon Uniq One which is an all in one hair treatment, you can get it in a lot of hair salons or online here. This is such an amazing product, I don't know how I ever lived without it before. It repairs damaged hair, detangles hair, gives longevity to hair styles and gives heat protection.

How I style my extensions

I always make sure I dry my extensions until they are bone dry, I never leave them to dry naturally in case the hair matts. Most of the time I curl/ wave my extensions and I use the instyler to style them. I love how it gives the hair a bouncy look, and it takes all of 5 minutes. The instyler is without a doubt my favourite hair styling tool, I got mine on offer for €59.99 here.

If you have any other questions, get in touch! If you are looking for a quote for hair extensions you should pop into the salon. The girls are all so welcoming and seriously talented!

Ally
xxx





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Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Why I'm considering shutting down my blog

After a crazy day in work the first thing I always do is sit down with a cuppa tea and flick through my instagram and facebook news feed. This evening there seems to be a lot of controversy surrounding a comment that Marissa Carter of Cocoa Brown has made;

'When I started Cocoa Brown, bloggers still had credibility. They were telling the truth about products that they had tried. Now, the value of a blogger endorsement is nothing- there are no bad reviews anymore. There was an authenticity in the market when we started, you sucked up the bad reviews and delighted in the good reviews. But at least it was real.'

If I'm totally honest that comment really touched a nerve. I've been blogging since 2013 because I LOVE writing, I love beauty products and fashion. I've been blogging for purely my own enjoyment, I have never been paid to review products or post about a product. For those wondering; yes, I am sent samples quite often. 

How often do you see me mention them? Very little, because they aren't worth mentioning. I don't feel any pressure to write a post or mention a product unless I actually like it. A free sample doesn't mean that I am obliged to write a positive, glowing review. I'm a very positive person and I was always raised with the motto 'If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all'. I always thought it would be nasty to write a poor review about products. Firstly, because someone has put their heart and soul into something. Secondly, something may not work for me but may work wonders for you. Thirdly, a hell of a lot of products sent to me are from hard working women, and it's important to support each other.

I will agree with some (not all) comments that bloggers are not honest anymore. In my opinion this often relates to bloggers who have a much larger following, who are sponsored/ paid to promote products. There are definitely a few Irish bloggers I would class as sell outs. You may disagree with me but I laughed my head off at every blogger who worked with the Road Safety Authority. Yes it was fantastic for the RSA to get so much publicity, but if these bloggers REALLY cared about road safety they should have done the job for free. It isn't fair to tar everyone with the same brush though. I've never worked with a brand in this way, as the only brands who have come to me I (A) didn't like, (B) hadn't heard of them and mostly (C) I didn't feel that they worked well with my blog.

But after reading this comment I'm very torn as to the direction my blog should go, should I be the same positive blogger, should I slam every product I dislike or should I give up blogging completely? Marissa has on several occasions sent me products to try out, she has invited me to press launches and I get sent emails about every new product launch. Why bother with me since I'm a blogger? The value of my opinion is worthless apparently. Through the grapevine I've heard that the biggest blogger in Ireland is launching a tan of her own, and it seems as though Marissa is trying to downplay the authenticity of bloggers for the fear of losing market share. Or maybe it is a really smart marketing ploy, as she is currently on a press trip launching a new product and she is generating a heap of publicity.

I was always a massive fan of Marissa, her work ethic, her intelligence, her ambition, her ideas and her apparent kindness whenever I have met her. But for her to state that bloggers opinions are irrelevant and worthless is ludicrous, she has just hosted a launch with irish bloggers, she has sent emails with the details of the new products to bloggers and she is on a tour with press in Monte Carlo right now. 

What are your thoughts on this? I'd love you guys to leave a comment below the link on facebook. This comment has made me think twice about why I blog. I work 40 hours a week, I run my own business the other two days as a makeup artist. Should I give up my spare time to write if no one really trusts me?

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Monday, 20 March 2017

Vegas Outfit Round-Up

I took a trip of a lifetime with my best friend to Vegas for a week, I had an absolute ball! Lots of you asked where I got certain outfits from so I've done a round up of my vegas outfits here, I'll tell you where I got them, the cost and will include links. I was panicking over what to wear in Vegas and what the Vegas style would be like, so hopefully this helps if you are going to Las Vegas, on holidays or just need some style inspiration.
We took this shot on our balcony, what a view! This embroidered playsuit is from Peppermayo, an australian website. It cost about €50, you can shop it here.


This swimsuit is an old one from ASOS, you can often find it on ebay or depop. My sunnies are from Quay Australia and were €20 on sale.



This was definitely one of my favourite outfits. This sequined dress is even more stunning in person. It's from Pretty Little Thing and costs £100, shop it here. My barely there heels are from Missguided, you can get them here for €30.


I absolutely loved this bikini from Missguided, even though it gave me some crazy tan lines. It cost €42 and you can purchase it here.



This dress was soooo glamorous and heavily embellished, an amazing dress if you have a big birthday or occasion coming up. It is from the Missguided Peace and Love Range, it cost €270 and you can get it here. My heels are also Missguided brand, I bought them in Schuh here.

The next two pieces were made by an amazing Designer called Gina.Gado. Her designs fit the body so perfectly and make you feel so glamourous. 




This two-piece is called the Anabella, which you can order in many different colours. I was lucky enough to get this limited edition print. It costs £105 for the bodysuit and skirt, you can see all of the other colours and purchase here. I paired this outfit with my iridescent mermaid heels from Missguided @ Schuh .





This particular Gina Gado design is called the Elle Dress, I ordered mine in the shade Mocha and it cost £70. You can order it here.

I hope you enjoyed my outfit posts!
Lots of Love,
Ally

xxx

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Friday, 3 February 2017

My favourite clothes stores and how to save money when shopping online

As I'm sure you're all aware by now (because I never shut up about it), I'm going to Vegas in March. I've always had a bit of a shopping addiction but it's pretty full blown at the moment, I love nothing more than summer style. It's normally a nightmare trying to find summer clothes so early in the year, but I've picked up lots of amazing pieces and shared them on snapchat. A few of you asked for a blog post of my favourite shops for summer style!

In Store Shopping
You just cannot beat Penneys, you find the best gems in there for the cheapest of prices. I always stock up on footwear for holidays here and accessories like sunglasses.

River Island is another go to for me and luckily they have started rolling out their spring summer collection! They have the most beautiful pieces this season, I'm going to be BROKE. I usually try items on first in store to see how they fit, I find that clothes aren't always true to size in RI.

Forever 21 is another cheap and cheerful place to shop, I think of it as a slightly more expensive Penneys. When I went to Cancun I purchased soooo many of my clothes from here. They have new arrivals coming in constantly and if you can't find your size in store you are nearly always guaranteed to get it online.

Online Shopping
ASOS is always a go to for me, for any season. They always stock a great range of styles and always have a great swimwear/ beachwear section too. I've nabbed a few bargains too, they tend to have pretty regular sales. I always save my favourites to my account, usually within a few weeks they are on sale! Some items sell out really quickly so if you seriously love it, nab it!

I'd say half of my wardrobe is from Missguided, they have the most on trend fashion with new arrivals constantly. It's one of my go-to online shops, they offer free 48 hour delivery in Ireland which is unreal and free returns also. Pretty Little Thing, In The Style and Oh Polly are some of my other fave online stores.

I cannot recommend an independant designer called Gina Gado enough, I purchased the most stunning dress from her which was handmade. For the first time in a long time I feel super confident when I wear this, all her pieces are made to flatter and enhance the body. Worth every penny! Another website which sells amazing body shaping clothes is House of CB, they stock the most eye catching, glam clothing you could think of.

I adore the Australian Boutiques like Peppermayo, Baby Boo Fashion, Sabo Skirt, Verge Girl and Tiger Mist. It's summer in OZ and their fashion is insanely gorgeous. I wish we had something like this at home!

How to save money when shopping online

We are getting absolutely hammered when it comes to online shopping since Brexit and most of us are oblivious to it. My top tip for saving money when you are shopping online is to shop in pounds, you can change the currency option on most websites and save yourself some serious cash. I always check XE.com to see how much I'm saving!

So enough rambling, here's some of my favourites from the stores at the moment!

Swimwear


ASOS
Bikini Top:  https://goo.gl/Np5m4C 
Bikini Bottom:  https://goo.gl/5rsPMK



Topshop


ASOS
Bikini Top:  https://goo.gl/llXUyr
Bikini Bottom: https://goo.gl/SKG1tV

Topshop


Forever 21


Missguided
Bikini Set: https://goo.gl/7l3BBp


River Island

Day Time Clothing




River Island: https://goo.gl/Qk5EXQ




Peppermayo: https://goo.gl/NYoJZX


Pretty Little Thing: https://goo.gl/yOoyol



River Island: https://goo.gl/yCd9pP




River Island @ ASOS: https://goo.gl/fDFq9M

Evening Outfits


Peppermayo: https://goo.gl/V4ukPs


House of CB: https://goo.gl/m6Aivl


Forever 21: https://goo.gl/iOO5lP





Missguided: https://goo.gl/tk6zqs


Peppermayo: https://goo.gl/46eOhn


Missguided: https://goo.gl/jXgQz4


Peppermayo: https://goo.gl/nW8o7x


House of CB: https://goo.gl/ohVmND




Pretty Little Thing: https://goo.gl/2zEkAu


House of CB: https://goo.gl/7YbNXi

Accessories and Footwear


River Island: https://goo.gl/71qe1O





Missguided: https://goo.gl/cQYY71




New Era 9 @ ASOS: https://goo.gl/00nLul


ASOS: https://goo.gl/Ng14PN


Skinny Dip London: https://goo.gl/yjnpi6

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog post about my favourite stores, how to save money when shopping online and seeing some of my favourite pieces at the moment.

Ally
xxx






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