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The Thermal Village at Galgorm








I could imagine nothing better to be doing on a slightly grey Northern Irish afternoon that head to the spa with one of my oldest friends. I've written about Galgorm Resort & Spa on my blog before. Located about 30 minutes from Belfast, it's a little piece of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of life. The last time I was at the spa they were undergoing a little bit of construction. The spa is now home to a brand new, innovative thermal village. With private outdoor hot-tubs, a fire pit, a Celtic sauna, an indoor pool and much more.... the choice of things to do at the spa was endless.

Galgorm kinded invited me to enjoy a wellness day along with some other lovely bloggers. We kicked off our day by having some delicious smoothies (that reminded me of a cocktail!) and fruit skewers in the orangery. It was lovely to chill out and relax before we even kicked off the day- I flicked through a stunning book about Chanel and my friend did some colouring in! We then enjoyed an exercise class in the River House - it was simply the best location for exercise ever! The pictures in this blog don't do it justice. Following this, we had a Celtic Sauna ritual. I don't want to spoil this for you but it was probably the coolest spa experience I have EVER had. If you get one thing done at the Galgorm, ask for that! I've never felt so fabulous after a treatment before. We had a stunning lunch back in the Orangery from Elements located in the Spa and then headed to the River House for a mini-facial. I finished off the day in a private hot tub, putting the world to rights with my friend.

If you haven't been to the thermal village yet, it is worth a visit and definitely has the That Belfast Girl stamp of approval. It makes for great girly bonding time - I honestly felt like I was on holiday for the day!

Wellness Parties start at £90 per person, inclusive of lunch based on a minimum of 10 people. 

For more information, please see: http://spa.galgorm.com 

Normality


Picture taken at Carlingford Lough, County Louth,  Ireland. 

'Oh you don't do that? You're missing out'. 

So many conversations I've had lately have included the above line. This growing up business is absolutely no joke. It was easier when you were younger - there was at least some form of standardised line of what people were doing - your GCSE's or A Levels or uni. Post uni is when the panic seems to really set in. I've looked around me in the past year - people older than me, people the same age as me and people younger than me are having babies, getting engaged or married and buying houses. At 24, I feel I'm just about ready to buy a house but I'm not sure about the rest of the things but I could wake up tomorrow and just feel ready.

What is it about our society that makes us feel so pressurised and abnormal? What's normal for one person might be your idea of a nightmare (*see above... my personal anxiety of big weddings with 200 guests and pushing a baby out of my hoo ha etc*). I have friends who think I'm crazy for wanting to get a mortgage rather than living rent free with my mum until the right man comes along. I am sick of being made to feel like my normal is not societies idea of normal. Normal is whatever you want it to be - whether that means being single, married or other. I think as I've become older the pressure feels more evident. I'm such a strong willed person but even I have wondered over the past few months, "Is there something wrong with me?".

After going to dinner with one of my best friends last week, we both launched into a topic that all of our friends seem to discussing at the moment. The topic subject doesn't particularly matter but it was something that both of us as 24 year old women felt uncomfortable with. I breathed such a sigh of relief when my friend said "I really don't get what the fuss about it all!" - finally someone I agreed with! Like me, her feeling of abnormality was coming from a feeling of missing out, even if you didn't agree with what was going on!

I've really mulled this topic over for the past week as I'm not a conformer. I will never decide to run with the crowd so I started to scare myself that I seemed to want to question my individuality and my own "normality". I came to the conclusion that normal is whatever you want it to be. Those little doubting feelings are just often gut feelings reminding you that, yes, you are different and thank goodness. Wouldn't life be very boring if we were all the same? Embrace being different and your own normality - not societies norms. 


Urban Decay Vice Lipstick






I will always be a lipstick girl. I could leave the house with no makeup as long as I had a drop of lipstick on - my mother is the same. I was therefore delighted when the latest lipstick offering from Urban Decay dropped into my mail box. The new VICE lipstick range is fronted by Orange Is The New Black super babe Ruby Rose and had 100 lipsticks in 6 different finishes. I was sent a real mixture of colours. 

First up, the glittery pink Big Bang in a metallized finish. This definitely isn't for the faint hearted and I can imagine wearing it to a 80s party or a festival. The consistency is lovely considering it contains so much glitter - it isn't grainy or rough. The pink pigment is bright but not luminous. 

Next up was another crazy shade - Purple Pandemonium in a mega matte finish. This finish was hugely different from the previous one I had tried. Although it is a matte finish, it's not drying or uncomfortable. It's easy to wear. This would look amazing on darker skin tones as a super fun, playful shade. 

My two favourites of the range where Back talk (a warm nude) in a comfort matte finish and 714 (a hot red) in a mega matte finish. These are two colours I could wear easily everyday. The nude shade has a warm undertone making it warm the face up rather than create that "pained over" lip look. The red reminds me a lot of Ruby Woo by MAC only the texture is much nicer. Again, although it is mate, it is easy to wear without feeling uncomfortable. 

The last colour I tried was Firebird - a purple/pink shade in a cream finish. I didn't particularly like this shade on first look but when watched, it's much more wearable than imagined. A fabulous summer shade that can transfer into autumn with lots of eyeliner. 

Overall, the VICE lipstick range from Urban Decay is so impressive - I can't wait to go in store to try out more colours. The lipsticks retail for £15 which is average in the premium market (and 50p cheaper than MAC lipsticks). The packaging is sturdy and much more luxury than other packing of similarly priced lipsticks. I have my eyes on the colour Insanity - a orangey nude that looks like the perfect summer shade!

*PR Samples. All opinions are my own

Celebrating 50 Years of Boots Northern Ireland


It's hard to believe that Boots has been going for 50 years in Northern Ireland! That's almost twice as long as I've been on the earth and even longer than my mum who doesn't turn 50 until next year!

I have always adored Boots. It definitely started my pharmacy obsession as a child. No 7 tan was a huge feature of my childhood - so much so that my mother used to apply it to my pasty white legs for PE in primary school! My early teens featured a lot of Seventeen and Barry M makeup but now at 24, I've turned to a few different brands to help keep me looking my best. I've picked three products that I'm loving from Boots at the moment that I highly recommend. 

I've been using this product to help combat my post acne breakout skin. Coming in at £60, it's definitely an investment product but a worthwhile one in my eyes. I tried a sample of this before I bough it and saw results the following day - it's THAT good! This has helped to make my feel more nourished and also has helped my general skin texture - the redness, the acne scars and exciting breakouts. It truly is a wonder product that I couldn't speak more highly of. 

This is a recent discovery and it has slowly worked its way into my everyday routine. This is the perfect under eye concealer. It's has lots of luminosity in it with a light coverage to hide the under eye circles. The greatest reason I return to this is the fact is doesn't crease - concealer miracle! 

Before we even start on the product, how cool is this packaging? No7 Lash Impact is one of the ranges best selling mascaras. With a huge wand that helps to separate lashes (and works very well on bottom lashes) and gives lots of volume, this mascara is the perfect everyday companion. One coat provides enough volume and length for the office but when multiple coats are applied, the formula remains glossy, not clumpy! A great mascara for all occasions. 

Happy 50th Birthday Boots! I also have to give a shout out to my local store (Boots Abbeycentre). Through many operations and different forms of sickness, their pharmacy team have always looked after me and my mum so well - forever indebted!