Friday, 26 August 2016

My Trip to Barcelona

On Wednesday 29th June, my family and I arrived in Barcelona airport. We had been travelling since 1am that morning as we had a 2-hour bus journey to Dublin airport and then a 3-hour wait in the airport for our 6am flight. Needless to say, we were pretty tired but also very excited! My mum and dad had been to Barcelona before but my siblings and I had not so we couldn't wait to see what it was like.

We got the metro to the Sagrada Família, the stop nearest the apartment we were renting. I'd heard about the Sagrada Família before, both in Spanish class in school and through researching Barcelona before we went. I'd seen a lot of photos of it but nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I got out of that metro station. It is absolutely enormous! It looks so powerful and is such an incredible building! We were so lucky with our apartment because it looked right out at the Sagrada Família. Waking up every morning, opening the curtains and seeing a world heritage sight right in front of you is something amazing!

This was the view from my bedroom window with no zoom or anything!
After we got settled and unpacked, we were all pretty tired so we slept and just took it easy for a few hours. But we still wanted to do something that evening to kick off our holiday so we got the metro to La Plaça de Catalunya and walked down Las Ramblas, which are famous streets in Barcelona lined with lots of little cafés, shops and stalls. We walked down as far as the port where there were lovely views of the city. It was a nice relaxing start to the holiday and gave us a feel for Barcelona as a city.


The next morning we got up bright and early and took the metro to Camp Nou, the home of Barcelona FC. If I'm totally honest I was a bit disappointed with it as a tourist attraction because we just had to walk around ourselves with no information on the stadium or the team. I would have liked for there to have been tour guides or even audio guides to provide information as we walked around. But aside from this it was cool to actually see the massive stadium! Imagine playing there whilst 99, 354 people are shouting and screaming!


After that we went to Park Güell, a famous park containing a lot of Gaudí's architecture and designs. I really enjoyed walking around it and seeing everything. His architecture has quite a Roald Dahl-like feel to it with curvy, childlike designs. The park also offered amazing panoramic views over all of Barcelona. It's such a beautiful city!



On Friday morning, we went across the street to the Sagrada Família, where we rented some audio guides to listen to while we walked around it. It was so good to finally see the inside after being able to see only the outside everyday since we'd arrived! The inside of it really surprised me. It's a lot more modern that I was expecting! The fact that it's still under construction probably should have given it away that it would be quite modern but I think because the outside looks quite old I was expecting the inside to as well. I'm so glad we got the audio guides because I learned so much in the space of the hour the tour lasted. Gaudí had put so much thought into every single detail of the basilica. It just blew my mind!

This was me not realising a photo was being taken hahah, but you can see the architecture nicely


That afternoon we walked halfway up Montjuïc, a hill in Barcelona, and then got a cablecar up to the top. There, we walked around the Castle of Montjuïc, enjoying the amazing views it offered of the whole city.

After dinner that evening we went back to the bottom of Montjuïc to see the shows that are put on at weekends and during the summer at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc. The water was lit up every colour you could imagine while music was playing, and I guess you could almost say it was dancing along! It was amazing!


Saturday was our last full day in Barcelona. In the morning, we went back down to the port and took a 90-minute boat trip that took us along the coast of Barcelona. You could see everything and the views from the distance were beautiful!


That afternoon, we went to the zoo at the request of my youngest sister, Clare, and my brother, Patrick. The zoo in Barcelona was home to Snowflake, the albino gorilla, until he died in 2003 and they have a lovely exhibit about his life and the history of albino gorillas which was really interesting! The zoo is situated within the Parc de la Ciutadella so when we were finished in the zoo we had a walk around it. It's a beautiful park with a lake and a big fountain so it was really enjoyable to walk around.


Our flight on Sunday morning was early so we didn't have time to do any more exploring of Barcelona unfortunately. I had such an amazing few days there and I can't wait until I can go back some time. If you are looking for somewhere to go for a city break, I would really highly recommend going there! It is so beautiful, has so many great restaurants and bars, and there is something interesting around every corner. I absolutely loved it!

Did you go away anywhere this summer? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Monday, 27 June 2016

Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer | Review

I bought the Clinique Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer last year and it was my holy grail beauty product last summer, but as summer became autumn I wanted something with a bit more coverage and went back to wearing foundation on a daily basis. However, as it is summer again I’ve been increasingly finding myself reaching for this tinted moisturizer and I realised the other day that although I had written a bit about it in my Summer Favourites last year, I haven’t written a detailed review of it so here goes.



The first thing I love about this tinted moisturizer is the coverage. It’s light but buildable, which is perfect for the summer as I find I want to wear as little makeup as possible but still have a bit of coverage as my skin is prone to blemishes and redness. I like that with this tinted moisturizer you can apply it all over your face for a light coverage but apply a bit more over any spots or blemishes to build up coverage, reducing the need for heavy concealer.

Another reason why I love this tinted moisturizer is that it is great for dry skin and I truly mean that. My skin can be drier than the Sahara and when it is in this state, foundation just does not work. No sirree! As this is a type of moisturizer it hydrates the skin and gives it a lovely glowy look which can normally be quite hard to achieve when you have dry skin.

A few other things I love about it is that it’s really easy to blend, it acts as a great base for more makeup such as bronzer and it stays in place all day. Not to mention the fact that it contains SPF 15, which is perfect for summer!



For me, the only down side of this tinted moisturizer is the limited shade range available. I’m normally very pale so I use the shade 1, which is actually a smidge too dark for me. Thankfully being out on the golf course everyday during the summer does give my face and neck a bit of colour so it matches fine a few weeks into July. However, this was one of the reasons why I didn’t use it in autumn and winter when I was extremely pale. It would not have been a good look! In total, there are six shades, which is really unfortunate because it means a lot of people may have to miss out on a great product!

Overall I really like this tinted moisturizer. I think the light coverage and SPF 15 make it a great summer makeup product. I also love how dewy and fresh it makes my skin look and feel. I’m definitely adding it back into my makeup routine for the summer!

Do you have a holy grail summer product? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Weekly Round-Up #4 | June 2016

The beginning of this week was busy but in a pretty mundane way. I'm going on holiday with my family on Wednesday for 10 days and I can't wait! As my parents were working all week and I was the only one in the family with pretty much nothing to do, I was put in charge of organising the sights to see, things to do and places to eat in. So that has been keeping me very busy, which is why I didn't manage to get a post up on Wednesday or Thursday of last week. I'm really sorry about that! I've decided that to make up for the 4 days worth of posts I've missed in my June challenge, I'll continue posting every day from today until the 4th of July. (And then I might take a week off!)

Thursday was a pretty momentous day in my life as I voted for the first time. I think it's kind of crazy that the first time I've ever voted was in what was probably the most important vote of my lifetime: the EU Referendum. I voted for the UK to remain in the European Union and it is something I felt very passionate about after studying the European Union for part of my Business Studies A Level. Also the fact that I'm so into my languages means I'm considering working abroad when I'm older. Being in the European Union opened up many job prospects and would have enabled me to freely travel to and work in France or Spain.

Copyright: ITV News
Also, on Thursday my friends finished their exams which meant that night I finally got to go out and celebrate the end of exams and my birthday! It was such a good night and it was so good to finally be able to just let loose with all my friends! However, I do regret wearing 6-inch heels as my feet were still feeling a bit worse for wear two days later!

A pretty awful photo of my friend Orlaith and I :)
I got home at 2am and sat up for a bit watching the coverage of the EU Referendum results. It got a bit addictive and before I knew it was nearly 5am and they announced that the devastating news that the United Kingdom was to leave the European Union. I am honestly still so shocked about it and I feel that both the short-term and long-term benefits of Brexit could be extremely dangerous, not only due to the impact on the economy and employment levels but also due to a new type of politics that appears to be emerging. I'm also upset that a lot of arguments during the campaign was based on lies. For example, it was not only stated but printed on the side of buses and on billboards that if we leave, we would have £350 million a week to spend on the NHS. On Friday morning, Nigel Farage stated that it was a 'mistake' for Leave to claim this. Sorry but that is not a mistake. A mistake is accidentally saying something you don't mean, but Leave meant this meaning it was a blatant lie. People didn't know this and based their vote on lies such as this. I do fear for the future of my generation and I don't feel it's fair that considering 75% of under 24 year olds voted remain, our future was decided by the older generation. Also, on this note I really recommend reading this opinion piece from The Guardian which sums up perfectly how I, along with a lot of other people my age, feel.


On Saturday, my dad and I went to my holiday house in Donegal as I was playing in a golf competition. I played absolutely awful, but the two ladies I was playing with were lovely and it didn't rain, which is always a positive. In Ireland, any round of golf where you get into the clubhouse dry is a successful round, no matter how you actually play!


My dad and I then got a Chinese and went to my Granny and Granda's house to watch the gaelic match between Monaghan and Donegal and then the Euro match between Portugal and Croatia.

This morning after getting up and packing what little stuff we had brought with us, my dad and I went out for breakfast. I was still full from the Chinese last night so I just had tea and a croissant. When we got back home, we just watched the Ireland v France game and my brother and I made chocolate chip cookies after dinner, which was a nice way to end the week.


- Caoimhe x

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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

June's Tunes #3

Better Place - Rachel Platten 

I first heard of Rachel Platten when I heard 'Fight Song' on the radio last year. A few months later I heard 'Stand By You' and the other day they came on when I was listening to my Spotify playlist and I was thought, "hold on, if I love both of these songs, why don't I listen to her other songs?" So that's what I did and I loved what I heard! I love this song especially because it's so gentle with the piano and strings in the background. It's also just such a happy and heart-warming love song. Also, the music video is just so lovely!



We Don't Talk Anymore - Charlie Puth ft. Selena Gomez

I love Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez as separate artists and together they are just amazing! Their voices go so well together and I think this is such a great song. It's hard to explain but it has quite a smooth, chilled vibe to it and I just really like the tune.



Can't Blame A Girl For Trying - Sabrina Carpenter

I followed Sabrina Carpenter on Instagram but I didn't know anything about her other than she was actress. When I looked her up I saw she was a singer too so naturally I listened to some of her stuff and I really like this song! partly because I can so relate to the whole "'cos I'm young and I'm dumb, I do stupid things when it comes to love," and partly due to the upbeat ukelele vibe. Literally as soon as I listened to the first few seconds, I was like "yes, I love it!" Anything with a ukelele just makes me so happy.



Treat You Better - Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes is just on a roll at the minute with tune after tune! He has a really distinct voice and a different sound. I love how this song goes from a soft and slowish verse and then - boom - a really upbeat and loud chorus. Also, the lyrics are so sweet! "Any girl like you deserves a gentleman"

(Side note: I couldn't find the official audio on YouTube so I'll leave you with his live performance of the song at the MMVAs. It's amazing, like it sounds literally the same as the recording!)



I Think I'm In Love - Kat Dahlia

Kat Dahlia has such an interesting voice. It's quite husky but really strong, which is quite different! This song is great because the verses have a really good beat to dance to but the chorus is so good for belting out. Such a great combo!



To see last week's songs, click here

What songs have you been loving recently? :)

- Caoimhe x

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Monday, 20 June 2016

Weekly Round-Up #3 | June 2016

Monday 13th June
I had a really productive day tidying out my wardrobe. I cleared out all my winter clothes that I hopefully won't need until at least October. But you just never know with Irish weather - I might need them next week! I also gave a few things to charity and passed two or three things down to my sisters. I now have a lot of space that I can fill with new summer clothes, which I'm in dire need of by the way! I realised today that I don't even own a pair of shorts!


Tuesday 14th June
Today I met up with my friend Hannah for a coffee and a chat, although it was raining which actually really put me in the mood for a hot chocolate but I was still up for a chat! I haven't seen her in months so it was great to finally catch up, and boy did we have a lot to catch up on!


Wednesday 15th June
I had another chill day today as I'm still exhausted from my exams! I think 2 or 3 months of surviving on 6 hours sleep a day is finally catching up with me. These days I've literally been getting up at 11am and falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow at 11pm! Or maybe I'm becoming a sloth...

It was a nice day though, and I didn't want to spend it inside watching TV so I went for a walk. It was really peaceful and relaxing just walking without having to think about schoolwork, study schedules or exams. I then went and collected my sister Anna from school and we went and got ice cream.


Thursday 16th June
I had such a lovely day today! I met up with one of my best friends Orlaith, who I hadn't seen in nearly two weeks, and we went out for lunch. It was so great to catch up and have a good old chinwag. After our lunch we went to the cinema to see 'The Boss' with Melissa McCarthy, who is one of my favourite comedy actresses. It was a really good movie with a lot of hilarious moments and I would highly recommend it if you love Melissa McCarthy's other films!

(Side note: while I was adding the photos in to this post I just realised that I didn't take any photos whatsoever that day. Oops, sorry!!)

Friday 17th June
I don't think I fully understood the meaning of the phrase "shop 'til you drop" until today because that's what I did! My mum and I shopped from 9am until 2:30pm when we had to leave to collect my siblings from school. So you know all that space in my wardrobe I said I would fill with summer clothes? Yeahh, I filled that and more... But now I'm pretty much all kitted out for my holiday in 2 weeks time. I'm so excited!


Saturday 18th June
Today was a pretty busy day! In the morning, my dad and I went into town as I had some boring bank things I had to do now that I'm an adult and all that. But something really exciting happened when I was there. I watch a vlogger on YouTube called Lindy, otherwise known as 'Bubz', and I have watched both her beauty videos and daily vlogs for over 2 years now. She recently moved back from Hong Kong to the UK, which was where her and her husband, Tim, grew up. I knew she lives in my town because I recognise places in her daily vlogs and Instagram pictures but I never thought I'd ever see her. When I walked into the bank today, I joined the queue and then looked up at who was being served. It was Tim!!! I recognised him straight away but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to cause a big scene, especially as although there were a lot of people it was a quiet atmosphere. He walked out when he was finished and then a few minutes later he walked past the bank again but this time with Lindy!!! It was really weird seeing 2 people who I've watched on a screen in real life and I so wish I hadn't been standing in a long, slow-moving queue at the bank because I would loved to have been able to talk to Lindy and thank her for her videos. She's such an inspirational person and she has given some great advice in videos that has really genuinely helped me. I would highly recommend that you go check out her beauty channel and her daily vlogging channel. I just know you'd love her!

When we got home (and after I'd told everyone who'd listen that I saw Lindy and Tim haha), we had lunch and then my mum, my sister and I went to a golf shop to get the final part of my dad's Father's Day present. My dad is really hard to buy for because when he sees something he likes or needs, he just buys it himself so we got him a House Of Fraser gift card which he can use to buy some nice cologne or a new tie or something, and some golf balls because he told us he needed more.

In the evening, my family and I went to a family-friend's house for a 50th birthday party. It was a really good night! They had brought in outside caterers and the food was amazing! They even booked an ice cream van to come to the house for dessert, which I thought was such a good idea! Thankfully it stayed dry so we could eat and mill around outside. When it started getting dark and after everyone had a few drinks in them, the dancing started inside. I have to say watching a lot of 50+ year-olds dancing wasn't exactly a pretty sight, but everyone was having a great time which was the main thing! I'd say a few of them will be regretting things tomorrow morning though!


Sunday 19th June
Today had a bit of a late start as we hadn't got home from the party until 1:45am but we all needed that lie in! We made my dad pancakes for breakfast and he was really happy with his present. Unfortunately it rained pretty much the whole day but my dad was happy to watch the gaelic and football on TV, so we had a nice chilled day. Later on, my granny and granda came round for an hour and then we had a roast dinner at my dad's request, of course!

I'm so grateful for my dad and he genuinely does so much for my siblings and I. I couldn't ask for a more loving, inspiring and selfless father, and mother for that matter! They both work so hard and invest so much of time and energy in my sisters, brother and I. They help us with schoolwork, support our extra-curricular activities and pay for things like our violin lessons, and they are always always always there when we need them. They are two of the smartest, kindest and bravest people I know and I aspire to be just like them.

Happy Father's Day, Dad! Thank you for everything! :)


I hope you all had a good week!

To see last week's round-up, click here

- Caoimhe x

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