The Normal Girl’s Guide To Health & Happiness #2

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If the last week is anything to judge by, the 12 weeks of the Bikini Body Guide are going to fly by. As I mentioned, last week I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Workout Guide and HELP Nutrition Guide. It was a really scary journey to start because whenever I start something I always want to give it 110%, but already I’ve gotten into the swing of things somehow.

I found that the key to completing all of the workouts I need to complete, and eating all of the food I need to eat, is planning and recording everything on my phone. I sat down last Sunday, and last night and planned out the days I’d make it to the gym this week and which days I’d do my LISS or power walks. That way it’s easy to keep track of what I need to do and I can plan the rest of my week. I also make out a menu for the week, with a list of the foods I eat for breakfast every morning, different lunches and dinners for during the week, as well as snacks. We do our food shop on a Monday so it means that there are plenty of healthy food options available for the week and I won’t have to resort to eating something unhealthy. I use The Clean and Lean Diet and I Quit Sugar books to get ideas for dinners and they’re all really easy to make and really tasty.

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Kayla recommends certain amounts of foods to eat everyday, and while I’m by no means a little eater, I actually found it hard to tick off all of my servings for the day. I’m getting more used to it though, and already feel better for eating healthier. I made a juice during the week with five carrots, five apples and half a lemon to use up food that was sitting in the fridge. It was so delicious and refreshing, although I hate cleaning up the juicer afterwards!

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As for the workouts themselves, I’ve really enjoyed doing them. They’re hard and challenging, but really rewarding at the same time. Each circuit workout lasts just 28 minutes, so knowing that it’s such a short amount of time pushes me through. I was really nervous about doing the workouts in the gym (#introvertproblems) but I just stick my headphones in and try to forget about everything around me. At the end of each workout I’m sweaty and red and resemble a tomato, but I feel great on the inside. I’ve been doubling up my LISS power walks with going along the seafront with my dad or having a catch up with my friends. It makes them a lot more enjoyable and the time goes by so much quicker.

That’s my update for this week, let me know if there’s anything you’d like to hear about next week or if you’re doing the BBG yourself!

Five Photo Week #14

Another week, another five photos to summarise the past seven days! This week I started Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and went back to college after an 18 (!!) week break. As much as I enjoyed my long summer, I’m so excited to get back into the swing of things and have a routine again!

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As I said, I started Kayla Itsines BBG and HELP Nutrition guide on Monday. Stay tuned for a full post tomorrow on how I got on ;)

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I whipped out my juicer machine after having it in hibernation for months and soon realised that juicing is probably the only way I’ll consume all of the vegetables I need!

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There’s only one way to celebrate going back to college – cocktails with friends after a lecture on Friday.

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I had to stop and take this picture of the River Liffey when I was running over O’Connell Bridge yesterday. The city looked absolutely gorgeous and it reminded me that although my heart lies in New York, I’ll always love Dublin.

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Myself and George went for dinner after work last night, where I found my new favourite restaurant. It’s called Pacino’s and it’s on Suffolk Street in Dublin. It’s right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of town but as soon as you step inside it’s like you’re in Italy! The food, atmosphere and staff were amazing, as well as being reasonably affordable. I’m already looking forward to going back!

I hope everyone had a great week – am I the only one counting down the weeks to Christmas already?! (It’s 12 btw)

Two New Lip Loves

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It’s no secret that I’m a total nude lip lover. You’re more likely to find me eating brussel sprouts for breakfast than see me wearing a red or bright coloured lipstick.

I came across these Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils when I was in Holland, and after hearing so much about them I just could’t resist picking them up. I’m home from Holland nearly three weeks now and it’s safe to say that I’ve worn these every time I’ve worn makeup since then.

Pictured above is Minimalist and Nude Perfection. Both colours are easy to apply to the lips, unlike some velvet lip pencils which tend to drag. They’re really pigmented and just one application gives enough colour pay off to last a few hours. The finish isn’t creamy nor matte, it’s somewhere in between. The formula reminds me of a lipliner – long-lasting colour on your lips without any glossiness or dryness.

I love wearing these on their own or underneath a lipstick. Minimalist is a gorgeous pink, that I love wearing underneath MAC Angel. It’s pink without being too pink yet is girly at the same time. Nude Perfection, as the name suggests, is a warm nude. I don’t have any lip products this colour and I absolutely love it. It’s something different from my usual nudes, and makes a statement without the upkeep of a bold colour. Sometimes I layer MAC Brave over the top of this for intensity.

I’m counting down the days until payday when I can pick up these in a few more colours, they’re around €7 each so I might have to pick up more than one! If you’re looking for a new lip product I would 100% recommend picking these up for easy application and gorgeous results.

 

11 Things To Tell Yourself Everyday

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If you’re anything at all like me, you’ll spend your days complimenting your friends and family, and even strangers, but would rather eat a pan of stale bread than say something good about yourself. I’m in no way my biggest fan – if I was to hear my best friend talking about herself the way I talk about myself I’d think she was crazy.

The only person who will be  in your life from the moment you are born until the moment you die is yourself. You’re the only one who will be there through every single second of your life, and you are the only person you will ever be. Sounds crazy but it’s true. So we might as well learn to love ourselves and be happy about the person we are. I always try to think ‘what would I say if I was talking to my best friend?’ You wouldn’t tell her she’s ugly, or stupid, or no one likes her, would you? If you would, clearly you’re not a very good friend. Anyway, here’s a list of 11 things that you should remind yourself everyday – because you’re amazing and you deserve to feel it.

  1. You are strong and can make it through anything that comes your way.
  2. You are perfect the way you are. Every flaw makes you who you are and they are part of your identity.
  3. You are smart.
  4. You are confident.
  5. You deserve the best life and to be surrounded by amazing people.
  6. You try your best at everything, even though it doesn’t work out sometimes.
  7. You deserve to be happy.
  8. You are worthy of being treated with respect and deserve to be loved.
  9. You can achieve anything you set your mind to.
  10. You are a good person.
  11. Your thoughts and ideas are worthy of being heard.

This post might sound a bit crazy, but I hope that it helps someone who needs to hear it. Let me know what you think in the comments below! Telling yourself these things every morning can make the hugest difference to your day/life/attitude. Although even writing them and trying to think about myself makes me wince, we’ve no choice but to support ourselves because at the end of the day, we are the number one person in our lives.

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College Series | Wardrobe Essentials

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When it comes to dressing for college (or anything, really), comfort is always the biggest factor for me. There’s nothing worse than wearing uncomfortable shoes, a top that sits just a little too low, or jeans that mean I can’t breathe out for the duration of my day. I’d like to think that I’ve found a balance between comfortable, casual and stylish, that means I can walk to and from college without hobbling, and I can go the day without having to adjust my top/skirt/jeans.

There are a few pieces that I found myself wearing repeatedly last year, so I stocked up on a few different variations of them and realised that no matter what, wearing a crop top won’t be an option, no matter how pretty it is. I like having pieces that I can mix and match, layer and dress up or down as needed. They’re all available from H&M, Topshop, Penneys, New Look, Forever 21, Zara, and nearly every high street store, which means they’re affordable and won’t break the bank. Obviously these clothes aren’t reserved just for college, they can be worn nearly anywhere!

These are the items that my college wardrobe revolves around, let me know in the comments below what your essentials are!

*Warning: grab a cup of tea, this is going to be a long one*

  1. Check shirt - A check shirt is a really good piece to have in your wardrobe because it can be worn on its own or layered over a t-shirt. I always buy my check shirts in a size or two bigger than what I’d usually wear so they’re oversized and really comfortable.
  2. Grey tee – Having a few different t-shirts in your wardrobe is really handy. I personally love Topshop’s basics range, but I’ve heard great things about the tees in H&M. A plain t-shirt paired with jeans and a statement necklace can look really well put together, although it’s really simple. Having a few tops of the same colour but with different necklines, sleeve lengths or fits gives variation to your wardrobe and outfit.
  3. White tee - A white t-shirt is such an understated piece, but is really gorgeous. I love wearing white t-shirts when I have a tan because it makes it really stand out. Try to avoid eating anything with sauce while wearing this!
  4. Black tee – I only added a black tee to my wardrobe recently, but I absolutely love it. I think that black always looks so expensive, and worn with skinnies and some gold jewellery you’ll wonder why you didn’t have one in your wardrobe sooner.
  5. Stripe tee – A stripe tee is one of my favourite things to wear, although I haven’t found the perfect one yet. A black and white striped tee worn with black jeans looks really classic and is a nod to the monochrome trend without looking like a mime. Put a slick of red lipstick on and you’ve taken the outfit from drab to fab (cheesy, but I couldn’t resist).
  6. Converse – I couldn’t write any wardrobe essentials post without mentioning Converse. I live in these shoes – they’re so damn comfortable. Plus, wearing trainers is no longer reserved for just sport, they were even worn on the Chanel SS15 runway. My most worn Converse are low-top white leather, which are great for keeping clean and keeping warm! I’m looking into buying a pair of white and grey New Balance, but can’t decide if I’d get the wear out of them! Let me know what you think in the comments below.
  7. Boots - Forget autumn and winter, I wear boots all year round. My black Chelsea boots from Topshop are my most worn pair of shoes, I think I might just have to pick them up in brown too. They look great with everything – jeans, dresses, skirts – and make an outfit look a little more dressed up if you don’t want to wear Converse. I wore my Jeffrey Campbell Coltrane boots to death last year – they’re a statement in themselves. Investing in a good pair of boots is always a good decision because, chances are, they’re what you’ll wear most.
  8. Leather jacket - A (faux) leather jacket is something I’ve always had in my wardrobe. Again, they dress up an outfit and look just as nice worn with jeans as they do worn with a dress for a night out. I picked up a leather jacket in Mango a few days ago and know I’m going to wear it to death. The thing with leather jackets is there are so many variations – you can get ones with loads of zips and hardware, or none at all, with ribbing and quilting or cropped, the list goes on. A good leather jacket will only get better with age, and there are loads of affordable options on the high street at the minute.
  9. Blue jeans - Of course, jeans are an essential. Topshop Leigh jeans are my absolute favourite because they’re so soft and comfortable. I’m not really a skirt or dress-during-the-day kinda gal, so I live in jeans. Skintight jeans are the only kind I wear because I love wearing oversized tops, but find the shape that suits you and you feel most comfortable in and you’ll never look back.
  10. Black jeans - As I said, I think black looks so expensive. Plus, it goes with everything, so you really can’t go wrong no matter what you pair it with. Black jeans are really handy because they look great for nights out too, so if you’re heading out after college you can just bring a change of top (or lipstick) and bam – you’re good to go.
  11. Big scarf - If you saw my autumn outfit post, you’ll know how much I love scarves. The bigger the better because a) they keep you warm and b) they dress up a dull outfit. You can buy coloured ones, patterned ones, or just plain ones, either way they always add something to an outfit. Penneys have some gorgeous ones in at the minute for less than a tenner, while Zara have some more expensive, similar options. I currently have my eye on a monochrome one that I just might have to pick up when payday rolls around.
  12. Big bag - A big bag is an absolute essential for any college student. I’m more of a fan of handbags and tote bags than backpacks (because I’m always afraid something will fall out without me noticing), but whatever floats your boat. Chances are you’ll have a lot to carry, so make sure your bag is big enough to fit everything comfortably in and won’t rip en route to a lecture.

*Takes deep breath* – Wow, who knew you could talk so much about clothes?! Anyway, I hope this was of help to anyone who’s starting college for the first time, or who’s going into another year, or any shopaholic like myself. Of course everyone’s style is different, these are just my favourite pieces, so wear whatever your heart tells you!

 

The Normal Girl’s Guide To Health & Happiness #1

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Hello and welcome to a new weekly series on WhatSheDoesNow! If you haven’t guessed by the title, this series will be about my journey to becoming a stronger, healthier and happier version of myself. I really do believe that a good diet and exercise routine is crucial for your mental health and being happy, so I’m hoping that the positive changes in my diet and exercise routine will have a domino effect on every aspect of my life.

In order to do this, I purchased the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide and HELP Guide. I found Kayla through Instagram (@kayla_itsines) and was hooked on her pictures of the transformations of girls using her guides. After much consideration and research, I decided that I wanted to give it a go and purchased both books. They’re ebooks, so you can print them out or read them on your phone, tablet or computer. I thought that having a hard copy would be easiest, so I printed the guides out.

I started the guides with three of my friends so we will be able to support and motivate each other. The workout guide is 12 weeks long, so it’s a big commitment and lifestyle change but I’m so excited about it. Both books are really informative and easy to understand. The HELP Guide, which is a nutrition guide, is full of information and meal ideas, as well as the suggested servings of the different food groups you should have a day. All foods are inexpensive and easily accessible too, which I love.

I started my first day of both guides today, and so far it’s going pretty good. I think that preparation is key when it comes to healthy eating, so I’ll share with you in the coming weeks what I’ve been eating and how I’ve been managing my time.

I did my first workout today and found it really easy to follow and understand. Although, the workout itself made sweat come out of my belly button and by the end of it I was redder than the time a gust of wind blew cream and boiling water from a take-away hot chocolate onto my face. But it was so good at the same time. The workouts only last 28 minutes, so they’re really easy to fit into your day and the fact that they’re so short makes you push through.

I’m just a normal 19 year old girl who’s in college, who works and who has a social life. I’m not a fitness queen or the healthiest eater in the world. I’m always tired and am susceptible to the odd chocolate biscuit (or five) so this will be a challenge, but one that I’m more than happy to take on!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried the Bikini Body Guides, and what posts you’d like to see in the future!

 

Five Photo Week #13

I’m not going to lie, this week was a bit of a blur and I kind of forgot to photograph interesting things for FFW. In contrast to two of the pictures here, this week I actually made an effort to plan my meals and eat healthier, although looking in hindsight it didn’t go so well. I hope everyone had a good week, here’s to next week being better!

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I had way too much fun flicking through the IKEA catalogue on Monday. PS: How cute are my sticky tabs?!

 

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I wrote a whole post about this outfit during the week. I can’t wait for autumn weather to start, it’s my favourite season!

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Eddie Rockets with one of my bests during the week. We went for sweet potato chips in an effort to be healthy. It all counts, right?

 

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A mini health food haul on Friday in preparation for next week – you’ll see what I mean on Monday!

 

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Sometimes you just need a Nandos. I went for lunch with another one of my best friends today during work – it was needed so much after having a really bad day.

A new series will be starting on WhatSheDoesNow on Monday, so keep an eye out!

Another Kylie Jenner Lip Post

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will have seen Kylie Jenner’s ah-mazing pout plastered all over Instagram and Facebook. The beauty world has been going crazy over her nude lip, and as a total nude lip-lover I’ve happily been part of the craziness.

Picking up Kylie Jenner’s exact lip colour wasn’t planned, but I’m so glad I did. I was in MAC in Dublin airport and couldn’t decide between picking up two nude lipsticks, Angel and Brave. Angel is a pink, creamy colour while Brave is a darker, more matte pink. When the girl in MAC told me that Kylie Jenner wears Brave, I was immediately sold.

To recreate Kylie’s full lips, I used Spice lipliner by MAC to line the lips, then used Maybelline Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Nude Perfection to fill in the lips, and finally Brave over the top. I love how the combination looks, and I think it’s a really nice autumn nude.

While I don’t look like Kylie Jenner in any other way, wearing this lipstick makes me as close to a Kardashian/Jenner as I’ll ever be!

Let me know what you think of the Kylie Jenner lip in comments below, and what your favourite nude lipsticks are!

 

 

The Autumn Outfit – Scarves and Shreds

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This outfit kind of happened by accident but I absolutely love it. I was heading into town to meet one of my best friends so I wanted to wear something comfy and effortless. At first I was just wearing the grey top on its own with a silver statement necklace, but threw on the scarf for fear of being too cold and loved how it looked. It’s so big that it could double up as a blanket, and is a really nice way of incorporating colour into an otherwise 50 shades of grey outfit, literally.

I’ve wanted a pair of jeans like these since I saw them in Topshop nearly six weeks ago, so when I saw them in Penneys for €15 I thought it was too good to be true. They’re really soft and are skinny but stretchy and structured at the same time, and have a really nice mid-rise. I genuinely can’t wear jeans that come up any lower than my belly button, high waisted jeans are my favourite.

Paired with my Chelsea boots from Topshop, some midi-rings, a big watch and my Michael Kors Selma bag this is my ultimate go-to autumn outfit. The huge scarf keeps you warm without having to wear a jacket, and it’s still warm enough out to wear ripped jeans without getting frostbite on your knees.

I can see myself wearing different variations of this for the next few weeks, it’s everything I love in an outfit!

Let me know in the comments what you think and what your go-to autumn outfit is!

 

Haulland

Excuse the pun but I just couldn’t resist. As I said in yesterday’s FFW, I went to Holland on Wednesday for a couple of days, and while I was there I picked up a few pieces. It wasn’t a shopping holiday, so I didn’t expect to pick up much but I’m really happy with my purchases. A few of them are available here in Ireland, so I thought I’d share them with you!

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We went to a couple of different clothes shops, but ironically the only place that I picked up something in was Penneys. I nearly died when I saw these jeans for €15 – I’d very nearly purchased them in Topshop for €61 so many times. They’re an exact dupe for the ripped Jamie jeans – comfortable, stretchy and structured. They’ve a medium-rise on them, which I love, and I couldn’t be happier with them! I’m so glad I waited instead of buying them in Topshop, the fashion gods were looking out for me!

I also couldn’t resist picking up the khaki jacket, which I know half of Dublin will be wearing, but I love it so much that I don’t even mind. It has everything I love in a jacket – fur, leather, quilting and khaki! It’s surprisingly warm, and has a tie around the waist on the inside so you can make it more fitted. Now I just have to wait for the temperature to cool down before I can wear it…

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I have such a weakness for stationary, I couldn’t help picking all of these up! We went to a shop called Hema, which had the prettiest stationary that was so cheap. I know that these would all be at least €3 each in Dublin, so for around €1.50 each they were a total bargain. The mint notebook with the elastic around it looks exactly like the Moleskine notebooks, and I thought it would be a really nice background for blog photos (and for taking notes, of course). My aunt spotted the small notebook that has ‘to blog’ on the inside, so obviously I had to pick that up! Plus, I think they’ll look super cute on my new desk.

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Of course, I had to pick up some makeup while I was over there. It was inevitable that I’d head straight to MAC in Dublin airport, but I wasn’t really sure what to buy. I loved the look of the two lipsticks, Angel and Brave, but didn’t want to buy the two of them. After deciding on Angel I told the lady at the till of my (very serious) dilemma and she informed me that none other than Kylie Jenner wears Brave. I stuck to my decision of Angel and made it half-way through duty free before returning to the till looking to pick up Brave as well. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? I also picked up a Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Bare Study as I’m totally obsessed with the one I have in Vintage Selection. It’s a gorgeous champagne, gold colour that looks great on its own or as a base.

After hearing such great reviews of Maybelline Colour Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencils, I had to get my hands on them. I got them in a chemist in Holland and they were €7 each, which is pretty good considering they’re said to be a dupe of NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. I went for Minimalist and Nude Perfection, which I’m in love with already. Expect to hear about them on these parts soon…