Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hotel/Spa Review: Farnham Estate

Recently my boyfriend treated me to an overnight stay in the Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort. We had stayed there last year and loved it so much that we knew we had to make a trip this year.

Firstly, if you have never been the hotel is a 16th Century Estate house that used to belong to Lord Farnham. It is set on a sprawling 1300 acre estate just outside Cavan town. This is one of the reasons we came back for a second visit. Living and working in a city, we are constantly surrounded by noise and people but the minute we drive on to the Estate all of our stresses just melt away.

The weather was beautiful so we were able to take advantage of some of the many walks that are on the estate. We walked through the forest and around the lake which is just so pretty and really helps you to unwind.


My favourite part of the Farnham Estate is the spa. I have to admit after spending the previous day and night in the Farnham, I was already pretty relaxed by the time I got to the spa the following morning! The spa is amazing, I had the Farnham Estate Signature treatment which starts with a foot soak and a foot and lower leg scrub, which then leads to a leg and back hot oil and hot stone massage and a facial. It is to die for and you will come out of there floating on a cloud! The spa only uses Yon-ka products so your skin will be silky soft after your facial! It is perfect for girly trips or a romantic night away for two. I am already planning my next trip back!

All images from www.farnhamestate.ie

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Product Review: Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate Facial Oil

When I first heard about Kiehl's new daytime face oil I was intrigued but a little bit nervous, would it make my face shiny during the day? I am a big fan of face oils but had previously only ever used them at night time and to be honest I was a bit reluctant to splash out €42.50 on something that I may use a few times and then discard to the back of my beauty treats never to be seen again.

So when my moisturiser recently finished I thought there was no better time to try out the oil.  I popped into Kiehl's one lunchtime and got a Daily Reviving concentrate sample and a Ultra Facial Moisturiser sample. The lady in the store advised me to layer them together as the Facial Oil works best underneath a moisturiser. I tried it for two mornings and I was sold. My skin was so soft. Initially I was worried that it would affect my make-up but it hasn't, if anything it has given me an extra glow which makes my make-up look great.

After my shower and a cleanse and tone, I take a small drop and warm it between my fingertips before pressing it into the skin on my face. As it is an oil, you don't need to use a lot of product and warming it on your fingertips before applying really helps it to move better on your face. Initially I was rubbing it into my face but I have found that gently pressing or patting it into my skin works a lot better for me. I give it a minute or two and then I apply my moisturiser as normal. I have found that I don't need to use so much moisturiser either after using the Daily Reviving Facial Oil. I then put on my make up as usual and this beautiful warm glow appears. Actually the glow is there before I put on my make-up, it just makes my skin look great!

A couple of days after I introduced it into my routine I started getting so many compliments in work about how tanned my face looked and how relaxed I looked. My skin has never looked or felt better. I have had notoriously dry skin for as long as I can remember and I have to be careful about which products I use as my skin is also sensitive but I have had no reactions to this product. It is free from all the baddie ingredients.

Just this weekend I got a facial and for the first time ever the beauty therapist told me there was no sign of any dry skin on my face and to keep doing whatever I was doing! I am also using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil at night-time which is designed to be used alongside Kiehl's Daily Reviving Concentrate Facial Oil. I honestly thought that using face oils day and night would clog my skin and cause it to become oily but it hasn't, if anything it was obviously the level of moisture I needed to be using on my skin to combat the dryness. One tip my beauty therapist did give is to gently exfoliate the T-Zone with a very light facial scrub 1-2 times a week when using face oils day & night.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

My favourite morning green juice

I have recently cut meat out of my diet totally as a challenge to see if it made me feel better. It did and still does. But one of the withdrawals of cutting meat out of your diet totally is that you need to ensure you are still getting all of your daily nutrients but from a different source. Iron deficiency is something that is quite common in women in their 20's and 30's (thanks periods) and can be counteracted by eating a portion of red meat, maybe once a week. Now I needed to find the same amount of iron but not from meat.

When I first told people I was cutting meat out of my diet completely the usual scaremongering started, "Oh you won't get enough iron, you'll become anaemic" is something I heard surprisingly more than once. Initially I ignored these comments and ploughed through, feeling full of energy for the first few weeks but then my energy levels started to wain, and I started to think the critics were right. Needless to say I wasn't going to give up, I hadn't felt so good in myself in ages, so I started thinking. One idea I came up with was juicing. I had tried juicing before with a big old bulky juicer, but the hassle of cleaning it every single time I used it usually meant I was cleaning for longer than I was juicing so as you can imagine that habit didn't last long. I had taken green juice before in the form of Amazing Grass Superfood powder and I can hands down say it is one of the main things that helped me get through my Masters, it gave me so much energy, so  I knew juicing could work for me.

So I bought a Nutribullet. My idea was if I could make sure I was getting as many nutrients as possible first thing, then I had to benefit from it. I stocked up on loads of fruit and vegetables, mainly greens and started to play around with recipes. My juice has now replaced my breakfast and I drink it first thing on an empty stomach. I believe that this helps the goodies assimilate into your bloodstream (or wherever they need to go) much faster than taking it after food. It is important to ensure that you have a balance of fruit and vegetable in your juice, as the sugar from fruit juice can damage your teeth.

The Ultimate Green Smoothie

> 2 handfuls of washed spinach
> 1 green apple
> 1/2 cucumber
> 1 cup of coconut water

Add one if you want
>> 1 kiwi
>> 1 pear
>> 1 banana
>> 125g blueberries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

How to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Dublin

If you are one of the over 100,000 visitors coming from all around the world to celebrate St Patrick's Day in Dublin or if you are Irish and are looking to celebrate St Patrick's Day by doing something different, then you are in the right place. I have compiled a list of some really cool events that are taking place in Dublin over St Patrick's weekend. Now traditionally people associate St. Patrick's Day with a lot of alcohol being consumed throughout the day but for me this is only part of St. Patrick's Day. Yes St. Patrick's Day is the time to celebrate being Irish but it is also a time to celebrate our culture and history.

So first things first, The Parade.

The Parade starts at midday in Parnell Square and continues down O'Connell Street, over O'Connell bridge, up Westmoreland Street, across College Green continuing along Dame Street, Lord Edward Street, turning onto Nicholas Street and ending at St Patrick's Cathedral. So if you are anywhere along this route, you will see the parade but bear in mind the parade is very long and will last a couple of hours from start to finish. The parade route gets very busy so you might want to get your space early.

Celebrating St Patricks Day at the Guinness Storehouse

The Guinness Storehouse are celebrating St Patrick's Day from March 16th-20th, with a daily ceili, food, marching bands and live music topped off with a pint of the black stuff.

GAA All-Ireland Club Championship Finals

If you are inviting Ireland especially for St Patrick's Day, you might want to take the opportunity to see our national sports in all their glory at GAA Headquarters. crokepark.ie/match-day

Visit the President

On Saturday March 19th, there will be free guided tours of the Presidents residence, Aras an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park. Tickets are free and are issued on a first come first served basis. http://www.phoenixpark.ie/visitorcentre/

See the Plough & The Stars

When Sean O'Caseys play was first performed in the Abbey Theatre in 1926 there were riots. Now returning to the Abbey Theatre 90 years later to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising when it was set. http://www.abbeytheatre.ie/whats_on/event/the-plough-and-the-stars-2016/

Follow in St. Patrick's Footsteps

Take a walking tour around Dublin to discover the truth behind St.Patrick. This tour finishes in the beautiful St. Patricks Cathederal. http://www.walkingtours.ie/en_GB/

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hotel Review: Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi

Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

Recently I was lucky enough to be able to stay in the Yas Viceroy, Abu Dhabi for a couple of nights. When I realised my flight from Bangkok to Dublin would be stopping in Abu Dhabi, I just had to take full advantage of this opportunity and squeeze in a 2 night stay at the Viceroy. The Yas Viceroy has been on my "Must Stay" list since my last trip to Abu Dhabi in 2012. The hotel is obviously located on the renowned Yas Island and straddles the Formula 1 race track so for an F1 lover like me it was a must.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Track View
Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

The Viceroy hotel group is very well renowned for giving five star service and having beautiful decor in some of the most lustworthy locations in the world. Their instagram account will make you want to book a vacation asap.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Spa View
Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

Yas Viceroy is located less than 10 minutes drive from Abu Dhabi airport so you can skip the expensive chauffeured cars at the arrivals area and grab a cab instead if you wish. The island itself has a water park, Ferrari world, a mall and a beach. There is a shuttle service that runs continuous loops of the island so getting around to any of these areas is very easy, with the shuttle bus collecting and dropping at the door to Yas Viceroy.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Pool
Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

The main attraction for me at the Yas Viceroy aside from the F1 track was the instagram worthy pool, this is where you will spend most of your time at the hotel as it is so hot in Abu Dhabi! The pool itself is so nice and the food is amazing so there really is no reason to leave! We mixed our days between the pool and the mall so it was a perfect stopover on our trip. We didn't go to the waterpark or Ferrari World as I felt they were just to expensive and I was pretty tired from our travelling in Thailand so I really just wanted a couple of days in Abu Dhabi to relax before coming home.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi
Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

The hotel rooms are so nice and are so big compared to what we are used to having in Europe or the US. Our hotel room overlooked the racetrack but you can have a view overlooking the Marina either which is right beside the hotel. The hotel rooms are luxury and from the minute I stepped into ours I just relaxed. The beds are huge and so comfy and the bathroom is so big and nice which is something I love having! The shower is amazing which is important because you will be showering 2/3 times a day in the heat.

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Lounge
Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

We didn't eat in the hotel during the evenings so I cannot comment on that but the quality of breakfast was unbelievable, there was a buffet featuring food from all across the world which made me really happy :) I could vary what I ate depending on how I felt that morning, they had cold pressed juices which I loved for the quality. I also ate at the pool which was simple food, I think I had a sandwich and fries, but was made from high quality ingredients so it was delicious and hugely filling. This is why I did not eat at the hotel during the evening as I did not need to eat again!

Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi at night
Image Rights: ViceroyHotelGroup.com

I would recommend staying here to anyone who wants to chill in Abu Dhabi for a few days in luxury. I will definitely be making an excuse to have stopovers in Abu Dhabi from now on.