Showing posts with label Lifestyle Blogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lifestyle Blogger. Show all posts

Monday, 24 July 2017

Lagos, Portugal : Part 3 ft. Inish Pharmacy

Being Irish and fair-skinned is a clear indication that I've had ancestors not too acquainted with the Sun. As much as I love it for the surge of Vitamin D and the great benefits to my mental health, I still am cautious of its dangers.

Tan, courtesy of Bellamianta and maintained by Palmers 

Before I left I asked Paul of 'Inish Pharmacy' for information for you and I to keep in mind during our days of being in the sun, even when it comes and pays us a visit to Ireland. Albeit, not very often. 

People often ask me why I love the sun so much if I wear SPF 50.

Well, the reality is that whilst I would tan eventually after a long time in the sun, I just don't see the point in trying to get a tan just for it to fade. I don't want to risk getting skin cancer for vanity reasons. I just wear a moisturiser with a self-tanner in it. I apply it every night whilst I'm on holiday.
Before I go on holiday I apply Bellamianta's 'Self-Tanning Gradual Moisturiser' in the run up, and then two nights before I go I put on Bellamianta's 'Rapid Mousse'.

To continue the maintenance of tan throughout the holiday I wear Palmer's  'Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Lotion'

Otherwise if I didn't, I'd just get paler as the holiday progressed!! 

So why does SPF really matter?

Pharmacist Paul of Inish Pharmacy told me 

 "When exposed to the sun, our skin needs to be protected from UV rays. The most high profile risk from sun damage to our skin, is skin cancer. With over 10,000 new cases in Ireland each year, it is the most common form of cancer in Ireland. When choosing a suncream, it's important to check that the product has enough protection for your skin type. There are two main things to look for, the strength of protection or SPF level but also whether or not the product protects against both UVB and UVA. Some products will only protect against UVB, which gives protection against harmful UVB rays that are the main causes of skin cancer, but offer no protection against UVA, which mainly causes skin ageing and winkling. La Roche Posay Anthelios Light Fluid and Bioderma Photoderm Max Cream are excellent choices in this regard with the Photoderm cream slightly more moisturising" 


If you're anything like me and the rest of the population, you really don't want premature ageing in exchange of a fading tan, right?

So fake tanning is the healthiest and safest way to be tan before, during and after your holiday.

Laughing at the sun trying to penetrate the Factor 50 on my skin

 I was also curious to ask Paul about 
Food Poisoning and Dehydration because my stomach hasn't really recovered from my younger days of Whisky and Raw Chilli's (WTF?!) and so I'm a little susceptible to getting sick.

Last Summer in Sicily I got Sun/Heat Stroke because I went for a run in the morning and then spent the day on the beach without being in the shade the entire day. I thought it was from food I had earlier because I was being uncontrollably sick when I got back to our place. I was so scared because I thought I would have to go to the hospital as I wasn't even keeping water down.
Eventually I had stopped being sick and I slept for 15hour straight whilst my boyfriend bought out half of the local pharmacy. 

From that point on I vowed I'd come more prepared if there would be a repeat occurence.

I explained to Paul that this was what happened and he was able to clarify that it was Heat/Sun Stroke.

Paul explains that Heat/ Sun Stroke is 

" a condition where the body overheats and cannot cool itself down like it normally would, leading to symptoms such as dizziness and headache, cramping, feeling sick, a fast pulse rate and heavy sweating and a dark coloured urine. This can happen if you are in a very hot climate but also if you are exercising vigorously you can suffer from heat exhaustion / heatstroke. 


What to do?

"The main thing is to move to a cool place, out of sunlight. Lie down and remove as much clothing as possible so that the skin is exposed. This will help the body cool down. Have someone apply a cold wet towel to dampen the skin and gently fan the skin, this will help your body regulate temperature again. It is very important to drink plenty of fluids."


I find that when I'm sick even at home or abroad, Dioralyte are usually what I would use or recommend to others. Even Paul recommends...

"...everyone to pack some Dioralyte before travelling. These sachets are easily packed and contain vital salts and electrolytes which your body needs to replace in times of excess fluid loss. This doesn't necessarily need to be after having diarrhoea or vomiting, even when you sweat a lot more than usual it is easy to become dehydrated in hot weather if you are not replacing the fluids by drinking plenty of water."





I understand that we don't want to be bloated on holiday, especially when our mid-riffs are seeing the light of day for the first time in 6 months. I always wanted to know how to stop that bloating and irregular 'movements' if you know what I mean, but Paul answered my question without me even having to ask it because he suggested that taking...

 "...a good quality probiotic, such Bio-Kult or Proven, can help you avoid some stomach upset while travelling. When we are on holiday we are out of our regular routine, often eating different foods and at different times of the day. All these things can contribute to upset stomach, with diarrhoea, bloating or constipation all possible. Probiotics not only help your digestive health, they are also good for your immune system and skin, so if you are worried about getting sick on holidays, this is a good idea to start a probiotic a few days in advance of travelling."

No sucking in that tummy needed, just pop a probiotic 

Thanks to Paul with his generous advice to myself and you, I was able to enjoy my holiday with a little less bloating, and a lot more confidence in keeping myself safe from sickness and sun dangers.



Stephen and I

My Godmother/Aunt and I

My boy modelling for 'Daz' washing powder advert...

Probiotic Perks

Playsuit thanks to DV8

I've always loved the combination of Orange and Blue





                     I hope you've enjoyed my holiday posts as much as I've enjoyed my holiday.

Out of them all, which was your favourite outfit I wore out of  Part 1 and Part 2?  I'm curious to see if it's the same as my favourite.

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Monday, 17 July 2017

Lagos, Portugal : Part 1



Lagos is a rustic town in Portugal's Algarve. Its coast is chopped up with the strength of the Atlantic ocean, renowning it for having some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

I've been here for four full days and I've just (about to use a cliched word) wanderlusted about. The first day I lay by the pool and read. I'm reading J.D Salinger's 'The Catcher in the Rye'. I don't even don't what to make of it, even though I'm half way through it. I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

Medieval Gate


I see a dog...
...approaching dog...


Dog was non-responsive to me...Burned!


The next day we rented a car. I've been the designated driver. I must say, it was quite the novelty driving on the RIGHT side of the road on the left side of the car on the motorway. I've picked it up quite easily...

We drove to a place called Villamour, about an hour away.




Sunday arrived.

And with it came the moral obligation to go to mass. Yes, MASS!

In 27 degree heat my Mother and aunt had me in a beautifully ornate chapel may I add, for 1 hour and 10 mins listening to a Portugese version of mass.

I was silently quoting Father Ted quotes to keep myself amused...

..."Sure didn't the Lord himself go on holiday for two weeks to get away from his Father..." I murmured to myself.

In a bid to divert their attention from actually going into mass: "Mammy g'on take a photo of me"






 Thankfully, an hour later I was on the beach...










My beach bag contents


 Keep an eye out for a few more posts...

Remember to have a look at my 'Packing Process' video on how I managed to fit 10 days of outfits into cabin luggage.



Snapchat: @red_dutchess
https://www.instagram.com/red_dutchess/





Monday, 26 June 2017

Letting Go...


I lay in my bed and stared at the prismatic colours on my wall that were coming through the blinds. I was trying to figure out whether or not this meant the sun was shining.

5 minutes earlier a dead silence woke me up. An unfamiliar calm, a heavy stillness. Submerging from my unconscious, I remembered.
Just like I have been remembering every morning for the last two months.

He’s not here anymore.


What was once a bed not big enough to hold those who lay in it, was now a bed that felt vast; A large tombstone with the memory of weight and expired dreams engraved upon it.


It’s been two months since he left my life, my dog.

Yes, a dog as opposed to a human. Loyalty as opposed to betrayal. Unconditional love as opposed to conditional love.  Comfort as opposed to hostility.

My dog gave me everything that humanity couldn’t.

I looked down at the bottom of my bed, and in place of where he slept for the last 17 years was a little wooden box with his name emblazoned on it. ‘Rico’, it read. His ashes.



For 17 years ‘Rico’ was the name that echoed off the walls. I would shout it loud, to rival his playful bark. Now his name is whispered, to match his silence.
 
Forever, that’s how long I’ll love him.
Someday, is when I’ll see him.
Never, is when I’ll let him go.

I’ve let go of his body, but the memory remains. That is enough for me.

To hold on to him, to his memory strengthens me.
To hold onto other things, weakens me.

After meditating on my love for him, I got up from my bed and I started.
Something in me starting buzzing, an enthusiasm, a motivation.

I started to clear away.

I de-cluttered, I deconstructed, and I declared that everything must go.
I pulled every irritating piece of clothing off the clutches of its hanger, threw it in a bag and continued on my rampage of evicting every piece of fabric whilst the quiver of the now bare wooden hangers were the soundtrack to my epic mission.

“Don’t think about keeping it anymore, just let it go” I murmured to myself as I held up a dress that had been worn a couple of times too many.

Of course I had many brilliant nights, and yes perhaps that dress was a symbol of my young, wild years.  Now I choose to enjoy the memory, but don’t cling to it.

We cling to the times that were good. In our older years we find it hard to let go of the social life we once had, and will never again have, for it was our youth that made it so. So maybe it’s not letting go of the short dress that is the problem, perhaps it’s what letting go of the dress means.

We struggle to let go of the notion of what we think our life should look like.
A wardrobe full of good-intentioned dresses for the much fantasised glamorous parties will not serve us well when we have to get work done, or run to get to the bank before 1pm on a Saturday.

To let go isn’t to forget, it’s to allow room for change.

Change is what we fear.

Why?

It’s because we’re afraid we won’t be able to ‘cope’.

We are not just one person. We have many ‘selves’. Like a Babushka doll/Russian doll we are made up of different versions of ourselves. These versions of our identity can adapt to new environments and situations, we just don’t realise that we’re able to because we don’t expose ourselves to change. We hide from it. We stay within the confines of our comfort zones.

But, change is necessary. To be human means to grow and to grow is to require change.

Put it this way. We outgrow our clothes and yet we find ourselves hoarding them and keeping them for what they signify. Time outgrows us, and yet we cling to everything that is reminiscent of that time.

But holding on to an expired time weighs us, and stops us from the process of change. Holding onto worn clothes takes up room, and inhibits expansion of our developing style.

We shed our clothes, and we shed our skin. Yet, we throw neither away.

Change is inevitable. We can choose prepare ourselves, or we can choose not to.
Either way, it’ll come. And whether or not you want to, you’ll find yourself adapting to this change. So why not embrace it?

Like trends in fashions, change comes in cycles.

To change is to let go.


The future scares us because it means change.  We fear that who we are not is not able for the future. However, who we are now will develop, grow and transform into a person who can deal with the inevitability of the future. It’s hard for us to comprehend that person now.

But we can’t be our future self if we don’t let our present grow.

And to do that means letting go of expectations of what you think life should be, de-cluttering your life of everything that was once important, but no longer serves you.

Clear your space of old reminders and it’ll clear your mind. Shed your skin and it’ll shed your old perspective to reveal a fresh perspective, ready and ambitious for change.


Let go of all that once was, and embrace what is yet to be.



Tuesday, 14 February 2017

When I discovered him...

I watched as my sister struggled to get comfortable on the chair, she was due in a few weeks and I observed her, as we waited for my then 3year old nephew to get his hair cut in the hair salon. As I looked at her I thought about who would I have children to, what my future held for me, because a few months prior, I thought I ‘knew’ what would happened because I had everything planned.    


   Then LIFE happened…

I was newly single; it was a novelty, a new freedom that gushed from the wound that started as a 7year itch; a beautiful pain, a necessary pain.
I was excited, but I was scared. I had just turned 25, who would I find now?
I was with someone who slid out of my life like a pair of glasses sliding off a perfectly straight nose, and I couldn’t see my future anymore.

But I trusted in the NOW. I didn’t think about what the future would be like, the present was already bright, and distracting me from looking behind or too far ahead.
I was awakened, and everything around me that was once was dull beamed with colours that I had never noticed before.

I watched as my nephew was being served hot chocolate in his throne, a distraction from the terrifying clippers that would soon be cutting away his unruly, child-like hair, like the loss of innocence and in that moment I yearned for my own childhood, a time when no expectation laid upon me









Now, I would be watched to see how I would cope, how would I react, being newly alone. 

For the 90th time that day I scanned my social media apps on my phone, the usual ritual of scrolling, like a magician pulling an unending supply of tissues from his pocket.

Within a fraction of a second a curtain had opened a scene on the stage of MY life, because just then, in that moment, my life changed upon giving a photo a ‘like’ on Instagram.  The photo stood out to me, because it was of the very salon in which I was sitting. I was curious to see who took the photo.


Then I discovered him…

I didn’t know who he was.

But the photographs he took, what he took the photographs of, were of the small, common things in life, but he made them majestic.
Then I spotted a photo of him. With a sharp jaw-line and virile height he looked convincingly German. My only clue that he was Irish was his collection of Instagram photos of my own city. 


“Who is he?” I quietly murmured to myself. I had never seen him before.

Why was I feeling so drawn to him and his photographs? 

I was meant to be enjoying my new single life. Surely I couldn’t be showing interest in someone already?
Against the ‘logic’ of my mind, that was often infrequent, I sided with my intuition that I had been neglecting recently. 
And so, I ‘followed’ him. 
He ‘followed’ me back. The first time he made me smile.
I soon discovered, with the help of Facebook, that whilst he was from my hometown, he actually lived in Germany.

‘Add as Friend?’, you bet.

“Guten Tag”, I messaged him, trying to impress him with my G.C.S.E German.

And so it began.

We messaged every day for two weeks before he suggested ‘Skyping’. 
I was not used to this new-age digital romance. I was nervous, unsure of what I would say and what he would think of me.
It rang, doot doot –doot doot- doot de doot doot. He was ‘Skype-calling’ me. 
I answered, but didn’t appear in front of the screen until I could see him and get a good look at him. He stared blankly, wondering where I was.

He was wearing red, which made his sparkling blue eyes pierce my computer screen. I was envious of his beautifully arched eyebrows, and his cute ski-slope nose.  He was beautiful.
I appeared on the screen to him, smiling and my heart pounding, already knowing that he was something very, very special.
We spoke for hours, completely at ease, enthralled with each other, yet mystified at the fact that we had never seen each other before despite having mutual friends.
He would be in Dublin the following week and he asked if I would meet him. 
Of course I would.
“I’m meeting that guy from the internet in Dublin”, I said to my parents. 
Having heard me talk about him since the first day I discovered him, they knew that he was the real deal, and I didn’t have to convince my Daddy that he’d have to do a Liam Neeson stunt.
For the 4hour bus journey to Dublin I sat, not moving and not daring to snooze so not to ruin my makeup. My nerves wouldn’t let me sleep anyway.
He told me he would wait at the bus station.
As the bus pulled up I tried to look for him, and I couldn’t see him.
Doubt filtered through.
I stepped off the bus and proceeded to walk, and then I discovered him. He walked out from the shadow of a pillar and dazzled me with a smile.
“Hello” he said to me, as he kissed me on the cheek. A gentleman.
“I have to go to the toilet” was my reply. I casually walked off to the bathrooms until he stopped me to tell me that I would need a Euro to get into the toilets. He gave me the euro.

I checked my reflection in the bathroom mirror, almost ready to ask myself  “You’ve never done anything like this before”
I smiled at myself, ready to explore this new discovery.

We walked towards the hotel we were staying at, IN SEPARATE ROOMS, of course.  I observed him as we walked.  He had a smile that triggered my own smile. His eyes had a soothing effect on me. 
I checked in to my room as he had been already staying in the hotel the days before. He would wait for me outside my room whilst I left my bags in and changed my shoes.

I opened the door.

“Oh somebody forgot their…”

Then I realised, the beautiful rose in the vase wasn’t left behind by anybody else, it was there for me. Him, he had done this.
I looked at him and he stood at the door, looking at the ground and smiling bashfully.
The card on the roses had the lyrics of  ‘Guns ‘N’ Roses’ on it, my favourite band, my favourite song, the most beautiful lyrics.

“You did this?” I asked him.

His vibrant eyes and animated smile was his response.





I stood, in awe, at what he had done. The fact that I thought the rose was left behind was evidence that I had never experienced such a surprise before.
I discovered in that moment that he was considerate, kind and I was surely falling in love with him
It’s almost three years since I stood in that hotel room looking at him, incredulous at how I, little old me, was the object of this beautiful man’s affection.
For three years we have been in a long-distance relationship. For the last three year’s we’ve discovered so much about each other. We meet up and travel every three or four weeks. Some day we will be able to spend everyday waking up to each other, but for now, we're still discovering the world.

In Rome, he laughed at my uncontainable excitement upon seeing the Colosseum and quoting the lines from the ‘Gladiator’ movie.

In Barcelona discovered how I considerate he was when he scoured the entire city at an unsociable hour to get me painkillers for my sore ear.

I discovered how funny he was in Australia when after a night out, a group of us sat in McDonald’s at 3am, and having found sunglasses, he sat and gave his best rendition of Stevie Wonder.

I see how he treats my family. I see how he treats me. I see how he loves me. I constantly see, and I constantly discover.


                                    I want to keeping discovering him for the rest of my life...


Australia

Ramsay Street, Melbourne








Melbourne

Christmas at home

New Year's Eve 2015

My nephew, Stephen and I

Christmas 2015

Skype 



Rome











We love our night robes


Celebrating my nephew's 1st birthday


Sicily, Summer 2016

Germany, Summer 2016


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