Afternoon tea with Eimear Varian Barry

On Sunday I met one of the most fabulous people, the most down to earth, friendly and inspiring person. Did I mention she is also a super fabulous, accomplished blogger?! Eimear Varian Barry!

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EVB speaking with IrishFashoholic, Emer O Mahony

Corkonian Eimear started out in RedFm after studying film making, but her love of life and travel has taken her all over the world, not that you’d think it though as she hasn’t lost bubbly cork accent! An inspiration to all of us she started out taking photos of her new life as a mother and turned it into a career- her Instagram feed is the stuff of dreams filled with beautiful thematic images representing her iconic brand. It really gave me the kick up the arse I needed!!

The mother of two spoke so eloquently for 2 hours alongside Lockdown & IrishFashoholic’s Emer O Mahony, who, is probably more stylish pregnant than I may ever be in my life! The talk was held in Cork’s newest Afternoon Tea venue, Electric, where the prosecco was flowing along with gorgeous savoury and sweet nibbles.

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Sweet Tray from Electric Cork

Eimear’s message was simple to us aspiring bloggers in the audience, if you want it, work for it. It is clear that while she has an eye for fashion and photography, Eimear Varian Barry has balls! She made her blog work because she had to- and everything in her life has brought her up to this moment. She didn’t sit at home waiting for her following to grow and for collaborations to come knocking, she went out and asked for them, she made it happen- all this while staying true to the brand she wanted to create, she now collaborates with the likes of Julian MacDonald!

The Afternoon tea was incredible, from Electric’s new menu launch and I already can’t wait to go back!

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It was the loveliest event I have been to, such a different, relaxed atmosphere filled with a wealth of inspiring knowledge about improving my blog and succeeding in a digital environment. So here is to taking chances, putting myself out there and making it work!

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Hanging out At The Fitness Centre- Week 1

Total Loss: 6lbs

Total Gains: Energy, Confidence, a new lease of life and there’s probably some muscle somewhere too!

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It has been exactly one week since I officially began my starter program in At The Fitness Centre, and while I can safely say I am hooked on the endorphin fueled mood enhancement, this week has been an intense rollercoaster, but I genuinely feel for the first time in a long time, like since my original weight loss journey, that I have a realistic routine in place and I am well on the way to my bikini body!

My fitness test last week was a wake-up call, I wasn’t as strong as I used to be, let alone fit and this needed to be sorted- but I love exercise when I do it regularly so that part is fine, for me it’s the food side, but Chris and Anne were incredibly reassuring!

The weigh in was the scary part- Admitting you have a problem is terrifying and entering a gym or fitness program for the first time is something that should be admired, Well Done to anyone who is making a change this January, it’s not easy and you’re doing great!

I have been to so many places that make you feel worse after stepping on the scales, despite you obviously wanting to change, but Anne’s approach was TOTALLY different, I am incredibly body conscious, but Anne instead calmed me down by simply telling me- God you don’t look that weight at all, you’re very narrow, such a simple thing to say but this has had such a lasting effect on me and this encouraging work ethic boosted my confidence before I even lost weight.

Last Thursday I completely overhauled my eating and began a new food diary, re-introducing Naturespharm Green Tea and writing down everything I ate and I was FAB for about three days. I eat normal enough, I try to eat porridge and fruit regularly and avoid eating too much bread. I don’t believe in cutting out treats so I did still have some dark chocolate or a bag of low fat crisps- Everything in moderation, but I cut out the wine!

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I was very strict with my eating and I enjoyed it for about three days until the hunger pangs set in, but I ignored it and instead of making good choices, like having some potatoes with my dinner instead of just veg, it result in me ending up in the crisp aisle in Lidl which led to a crisp and cracker filled evening of regret.

When I arrived home, I felt disgusted, here I was with this fabulous opportunity to get in shape and I was sabotaging myself, I began researching supplements and vitamins that help in staving off naughty cravings, when my friend simply suggested a little bit of will power and a little bit of mouthwash LOL!

This involved brushing my teeth, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash after I was finished my evening meal, that way I wouldn’t reach for a biscuit and 8 o clock at night!

And so I drew a line under Sunday and prepped my meals for the week, consisting of healthy chicken curry and wholegrain rice and a chicken dinner with a small bit of potatoes, as well as this I introduced 6 almonds for my afternoon snack and started eating avocados as recommended from the guys At The Fitness Centre!

So I actually began eating more! Making small changes here and there and documenting it! I also used the mouthwash technique, but I don’t feel as hungry in the evening so I hardly need the will power!

The workouts consist of weight training, and trust me I feel the burn, I started with a legs session last Friday and my thighs still hurt until the following Tuesday, despite having an arms session in between on the Saturday! But it was a good sore!

The second session was chest and back with a little bit of arms thrown in and I will find out what the third session of the week is this Saturday- post night out! Each session begins with a quick warm up on the cross trainer, which I like as it eases you in nicely before the pain!

The legs sessions surround squats and lunges, each exercise focusing on different parts of the legs for a total workout- You can definitely feel it, I’m like a waddling penguin at the end of each session!

The chest and back sessions mix up free weights and machine use, (I’m no expert- you will have to contact them to find out more).

Yesterday I trained arms, shoulders and back, and I’m not joking it actually hurts to type and I struggled to dress myself this morning but I’m feeling great, I have bundles of energy and I’m in a better mood- long may that continue LOL!

In terms of weight-loss, I had to weigh in yesterday and I get incredibly nervous for weigh-ins, I feel the pressure to perform each week, and while in the majority I had an extremely good week, thoughts of Sundays spiral was still playing on my mind and my own weighing scales broke, so I had no idea what was facing me!

But the guys At The Fitness Centre were so reassuring, they aren’t solely driven by results on the scales, but more so about you and changing your body, it has to be fun!

Thankfully, for my own goals I lost 6lbs this week and half an inch under my bust, a whole inch from my waist and even half an inch off my hips, but I don’t think I’ll ever lose my hips, I was completely ecstatic as my actual goal is to lose 10lbs on the program, so fingers crossed!

But more so, I am driven to take on the next week and the week after that until it’s a habit and then a lifestyle!

Contact them here, you’ll thank yourself later!

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Lash Extensions at Shirley’s Beauty Clinic

I recently made a trip to Shirley’s Beauty Clinic in Glanmire for a set of eyelash extensions, I have previously had two separate sets of lash extensions that have cost a fortune but have only lasted between a week to 10 days so I was hoping that I would have better luck this time!

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Shirley’s has been open in the heart of Glanmire since 1998 and provides a massive range of different treatments and a very high level of experienced therapists.

They do Russian volume lashes which are a technique using ultra light extensions, your technician hand makes a fan and places it on one natural lash.

 The end result is a dense lash line with a soft, fluffy finish that’s lighter in weight than traditional extensions and healthier for your natural lash.

Also known as 2D, 3D, 4D etc Eyelash Extensions, Russian Volume is the newest technology in Eyelash Extensions that are proven to out-perform classic (or 1D) Eyelash Extensions in density and comfort as well as being healthier on the natural eyelash because of the lighter weight application.

 The volume acheiveable with Classic Eyelash Extensions is limited to the number of natural eyelashes a person has. Those with thin and sparse natural eyelashes weren’t able to acheive a volumous look due to the damage the weight of a heavy extension would cause. 

They offer three different levels of eyelash extensions looks depending on the amount of eyelashes you want applied and the intensity of the look desired.

Keria was my therapist and I chose the most natural option Shirley’s has on offer but the results were still absolutely incredible.

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Eyelashes with mascara vs Ms Elegant Eyelash extensions

Russian volume lashes lasts between 4-8 weeks provided they are cared for correctly.

Shirley’s give a detailed aftercare leaflet and lash brush in order to care for your lashes.

  1. Brush lashes daily.

Keep your lashes looking nice and fresh with a little brush throughout the day. You should receive a brand new mascara wand after every appointment to keep them nice and aligned. Lashes should not need to be force brushed. If they are done properly, a little light brush is all you need. They should never look messy.

2. Cleanse lashes daily.

It’s so important to cleanse your lashes daily. Eyelashes catch debris and dust from entering into your eyes. If you are not cleansing daily, those debris and bacteria’s build up on your extensions. Yuck!

3. Maintain them by getting fills no later than every 3 weeks.

Because of the natural lash shedding cycle, you need to maintain your eyelash extensions to keep them looking fresh and full, nice and even.

4. Use oily substances.

Oil degrades the adhesive slowly. So be sure to steer clear of all oily lotions and potions that get near your eyes.

5. Pick or pull on your lashes.

Natural eyelashes go through a shedding cycle, just like your hair! Lashes fall out, with the extension attached, and a new lash grows in its place. Picking and pulling on those extensions runs the risk of premature shedding, and there is only so many pulls before lashes don’t grow back! Eyelashes are the most delicate cycle on the body, so treat them with care.

I booked in for an eyelash top-up after four weeks.

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Eyelashes after 4 weeks

The full set of Ms. Elegant lashes took 1 hours and cost me €65 and the lash top-up a month later cost €30 and only took 30 minutes to complete.

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After eyelash top-up

I am now completely hooked on lash extensions and will definitely be back!

Appointments can be through Shirley’s Beauty Clinic’s Facebook page here.

Until Next Time.

Happy Shopping

Not So Dumb Blonde X

 

 

A Solo Performance- A Cut Above the Rest

A year ago I had the worst hair cut ever!

My desire for that “oh so current” grey blonde, lilac washed toned bob was sadly met with a dodgy yellow toned blonde mixed with dark purple highlights which I fondly referred to as my racing stripes. It was a “hair-tastrophy”. Fast forward 6 months of bottle bleaching my blonde to mask the remnants of purple mess that was my hair I nervously took the plunge to once again enter the door of a hair salon! That’s when I stumbled into Solo Hair Design with my brassy, fried tendrils of hair.

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Solo Hair Design

Centred in the heart of Cork City, Solo Hair Design, resting at 2 Camden Wharf is where I met my hair guru, the miracle worker himself, senior colourist Dean.

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Gone was the yellow mess of brassy blonde, as my hair was transformed into an icy mixture of dark and ash blonde balayage.

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From Brassy to Classy

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The Before & After photos just speak for themselves, you really get what you pay for. The condition and shape of my hair lasted for over 12 weeks without a top up, which really gave my hair a chance to recover after months of bleach abuse.

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Solo Hair design- Best Blow Dries

Solo Hair Design is a real gem of a salon, each and every member of staff is so friendly and professional, and above all incredible at what they do. I have gone there, time and time again and their skills are second to none.

They really are a cut above the rest!

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Samples of their amazing work can be seen on their Facebook: here

Happy Shopping,

Not So Dumb Blonde X