Tuesday, 15 December 2015

5 Things To Do This Christmas

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Welcome to my version of Christmas; what to do this winter to feel even more festive! Because this festive season lasts so long (but seems to go by so quickly…), sometimes things can get a bit repetitive and you find yourself sitting on your sofa wondering what on earth you could do. Well, I’ve got you covered.

I’ve put together a list of 5 festive, fun things to do this winter break. I love to do all of these things, whether with a couple close friends of even by myself (no shame - we all do it!). Let’s get Christmassy !

1. Visit a Christmas market
It doesn’t get more festive than this; Christmas themed shopping in the snow (erm… or in the rain in my case), holding steamy hot chocolates while browsing the stands. I used to live in Germany, and I know from experience that they have the best Christmas markets. Where I used to live, a Father Christmas used to travel over the shoppers heads in his sleigh (on wires overhead - obviously) and say Fröhliche Weihnachten. Such a brilliant experience, and I love German tree decorations, which you can see are pictured above. If you ever have a weekend free, catch a train to Cologne, Dusseldorf, or Hamburg, they are beautiful. Of course, you can just as simply wander through the stalls of a market near you, anything works, and all of them are so festive!

2. Go ice skating
Ah, ice skating, I do love it. Although, I’ll admit, I’m not the greatest figure skater in the world, but there is something so wintry about whizzing round with your friends, attempting cool tricks without falling on your bum. Or going out to sip on hot chocolate and let your feet warm up as you watch the actual figure skaters, wide eyed with disbelief (how do they spin so fast?!). Some ice rinks set up Christmas trees and most string fairy lights every. Tip: if you’re renting ice skates, wear thick socks!

3. Bake Christmas cookies
Probably an obvious festive activity, Christmas cookie baking is so fun. One year, I got together with lots of friends and we made a right mess of the kitchen. The place was covered in red and green sprinkles and white icing from our attempts at drawing snowmen. It’s tons of fun, even if you take the shortcut and buy a mix that you can stick in the oven so you can skip straight to decorating. Some ideas can include snowmen, Christmas trees (my favourite), Santas, gingerbread men or snowflakes.

4. A festive movie marathon
I love getting together when friends, be it one or loads, to sprawl on the sofa with a cuppa and watch some movies. At this time it’s a perfect way to spend long, dull days when the rain won’t stop. Make sure you have an unlimited supply of hot chocolate or tea, and eat some Christmas cookies. My all time favourite Christmas movies are Home Alone, Elf and Arthur Christmas. I love a feel good film, especially around this time of year. Just watch movie after movie and have a laugh with your friends.

5. Tree decorating
Or any decorating! Many of you will have already set up your Christmas tree (or trees, depending on how Christmassy you’re feeling), so this might be coming a bit late, but there is always more decorating to do. Put up fairy lights while blasting Michael Buble’s Christmas album, light your festive candles, wrap presents and put them under the tree, anything that makes your house glow with Christmas spirit. A happy house makes happy people!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my must do’s this Christmas and have inspired you as to how to spend your December evenings. Only 9 days left til Christmas !


Niamh x
Sunday, 13 December 2015

My 5 Favourite Blogs

It’s that time of year when, at least in Brussels, my Sunday afternoons are dull and rainy. As much as I try keep my festive spirits up (queue hot chocolate and Christmas movies), sometimes I get a bit bored watching the same films again and again (and again and again). My solution: blogs! I love reading blogs, it’s right up there with my favourite past times.

For today’s post, I’ll be sharing my 5 favourite blogs. You can find me here and see what I’ve been loving blog-wise lately, but I thought I’d put together a list of blogs rather than posts that I love to scroll through endlessly. In no particular order…

1. The Sunday Girl was the first blog I ever properly got into, and for good reason. It’s a lovely British beauty blog that features reviews, dupes, gift guides - the works! Perfect to gather beauty inspiration and to read when you feel like perking yourself up with some online shopping. A lovely, honest voice that covers ever beauty topic imaginable.

2. Kate La Vie is definitely up there with my top three. This blog features everything from interiors to beauty to fashion to photography - there isn’t a lifestyle category it doesn’t cover! The gift guides on this blog are probably the best I’ve found, and the photos are so gorgeous they make me hate my own… it even has some tips for the ammateur blogger (perfect for me) Definitely a lifestyle blog to check out, it’s right up my street.

3. Thirteen Thoughts is one of my newer blog discoveries, and much like Kate La Vie, features a wide range of lifestyle-blogger content. This is the blog I go to for a pick me up post or inspiration. Also, a whole section for blogging and photography basically has my name written all over it - obsessed! It has a bit of everything and definitely something for everyone.

4. From Roses, another British lifestyle and beauty blog, is another recent discovery. This blog caught my eye the moment I saw it’s photos; the epitome of beauty. Beautiful photography plus original posts equals blog goals. No. Joke. There is a wide range of posts, ranging from beauty reviews and routines to pick me ups and simple how to’s. Lovely to scroll through on rainy days.

5. In The Frow was originally introduced to me as a YouTuber, but I was even more excited to hear the founder Victoria also has a blog! Firstly, the aesthetic of this blog is great, very user friendly and it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. Here, there is a wide range of content, lots of fashion (lookbooks, etc.), beauty (tutorials…), advice and travel. Do check out her YouTube channel as well!

I hope I’m not the only one who scrolls through years worth of content within an hour! I love reading blogs even more than writing on my own. Go ahead and check out my top 5 blogs - they won’t disappoint, I promise!


Niamh x
Sunday, 6 December 2015

Gift Guide: Small Somethings

As Christmas is getting closer and closer, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and share with you all a little gift guide; small somethings for everyone. I’ve included books, beauty, and pamper bits and pieces, so no matter what type of girl you’re buying for, you’ll find something perfect to put under the Christmas tree...

First off, the beauty guru. I’ve picked out a small Benefit kit that I found was a great gift (after receiving it once). Benefit do some lovely Christmas sets, but this, called Do The Hoola, one is perfect for someone who prefers sun over snow. It includes a mini Benebalm, a mini lip gloss in Hoola, a mini They’re Real! mascara, a mini Hoola bronzer and a mini Dew The Hoola liquid bronzer. It even comes with a large mirror and tips and tricks on how to use it all. I’ve included an Essie nail polish in Sole Mate, perfect as a stocking filler.

Also, for the pamperer, anything from Lush makes a perfect prezzie. They do gorgeous sets filled with bath bombs, face masks, the works, but even a single product from them is a lovely gift to receive. On top of that, I recommend something from Zoella or Tanya Burr’s beauty range for the younger girls. I’m a sucker for the packaging!

For the planner and the bookie, much like myself, a dinky little book is always a winner. For example, something like 14,000 thing to be happy about, a cute little pick-me-up flick through of a book, packed with thousands of lovely messages. A 2016 planner is perfect, especially as we’re on the brink of a new year. Fox and Star do lovely planners and desk pads for someone who always stays organized (ie. moi).

We all know that one person who just loves to cozy up, either watching a movie, reading a book or simply going off for a snooze. I’ve gathered a couple items to satisfy their cozy needs. First of all, I found these gorgeous eye sleeping masks from Hunkemoller that are soft and fluffy and have a cute face on them. Also, I find collecting a couple items into a mug is such a cute, personalized gift idea. Perfect for this type of person too, because tea and hot chocolate just screams cozy to me. Inside, you could stuff some fuzzy socks, maybe some tea bags, and create your very own ‘cozy kit’.

I hope you enjoyed my small somethings gift guide and it inspired you! A small tip: chocolate goes down well with everyone, so be sure to throw in some Celebrations, Quality Streets, or Cadbury selection boxes under the tree!


Niamh x

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Acai Bowl

It is times like these that I pity the poor YouTuber. To have to figure out how to say difficult words on camera, like acai, is a real struggle. Poor, poor YouTubers. But thankfully, instead of uploading videos, I share my thoughts in writing, and today’s is about the famous acai bowl.

Healthy food is having quite a moment right now, take Hemsley & Hemsley, Deliciously Ella, or Madeline Shaw for example. My lifestyle is very healthy, I enjoy eating well and it makes me feel great. Flicking through Deliciously Ella’s book this morning, I came across the much talked about acai bowl.

After a few modifications to the recipe, it tasted delicious, more along the lines of a healthy dessert than a smoothie breakfast bowl, but delicious. With it, I added some greek yogurt, granola and chia seeds. The perfect start to a festive weekend :)

My Take On Deliciously Ella’s Acai Bowl Recipe

1 tablespoon acai powder
1 ripe banana
2 Medjool dates
1 tablespoon almond butter
100g frozen mixed berries
4 tablespoon almond milk

Pit the Medjool dates and peel and chop the banana. Put everything in the blender with around half of the almond milk and blend, while slowly adding the rest of the milk. Once it’s the creamy consistency you want, pour in into a bowl. If you want, add yogurt, granola or fresh fruit.

There you go, a delicious and incredibly healthy breakfast bowl. Thank you Deliciously Ella for the inspiration !


Thursday, 3 December 2015

How To Learn To Love Yourself

Many people don’t notice the way we constantly put ourselves down. Maybe we’ll joke about it, playing our insecurities off like it means nothing to us. I sometimes this, everyone does this now and then. I suppose if someone says something bad about you, our first reaction is to cower and agree with them, laughing it off, even though maybe it actually hurts. Then we’ll go home and wonder why we had to be so bloody stupid/ugly/embarrassing… the list goes on.

We’re not any of those things, whether we believe or not. But does that stop us from letting these thoughts haunt us? No, it doesn’t.

Just a note before I start; I am in no way an expert. This is just what I believe will help based on experience and nothing more. So I’ve put together a list of simple ways that you will learn to love yourself, inside and out.

1. Be yourself. Understand what you are, not what you think you are. Accept your flaws, but equally accept your talents. Love who you actually are, not who you are pretending to be.

2. Stop comparing yourself to the type of person you wish you were. You’re more beautiful the way you are now and you can’t change yourself.

3. Journal, blog, do something to write down your thoughts instead of locking everything inside a box and hiding it. Getting it out in some way or another will help.

4. Don’t put yourself down, even if it is a joke. If you do, you will slowly start to believe it’s true, which it isn’t.

5. Forgive. Don’t worry or get angry about something you can’t control. Forgive people and don’t hold grudges; accept it and move on from it, it happened and it’s in the past.

6. Every cloud has a silver lining. Find it, find another. Every failure has its perks. If you find it, you’ll pick yourself up and be even better next time around.

7. Smile more. At anyone; strangers, friends, colleagues. Spread your happiness, smiles are infectious!

8. Hold your head high. You are just as powerful as any other human being. Own it.

9. Meditate. This will make your life calmer and less stressful.

10. Find something you enjoy doing; a hobby. Something that’s your ‘escape’. Do something you love every day.

11. Be OK with not being OK.

12. Tell yourself positive thoughts. Anything from my hair looks good today to I’m proud of this achievement. The more you say it, the more you will believe it. After all, it’s true.

13. Nothing but you defines you. If you choose to be small, people will look at you as small. Decide to be happy and people will see you as happy.

14. Spend time with people who make you happy and feel good about yourself, not those who make you feel like crap.

15. Also take some time alone, to reflect, to wind out, to de-stress. Spend time with yourself to learn to be OK with how you are.

16. Have fun, dance, sing, shout, whether you look like a madman or not. Chances are, the person who thinks you’re mad isn’t having any fun themselves.

17. Voice your thoughts. Tell people if you’re not okay with something or if they are bothering you.

18. Be grateful with what you’re given and forget what you want. Make the most of what you already have.

19. Go outside, be with nature, go for a run. Just get outdoors. Not because you think you’re fat - you’re not - but because it motivates you and clears your mind.

20. Set small goals for yourself and be open-minded. Go step-by-step, trying to achieve something big all at once will most likely not work. Pace yourself, be patient with yourself.

I hope this has provoked new realizations about yourself, or if you’re struggling with loving yourself you will take my tips into account. Don’t worry about being unlovable. Being loved begins with loving yourself. You may not see it, but someone else does. Find the beauty in yourself - I promise it exists. Just be yourself.

I love myself, from my flaws to my talents, and this advice helped me get to where I am today. I still have insecurities, no one doesn’t, but I’m OK with that because I know that no one is perfect. I love me for who I am, not who I wish I was or think I am.


Niamh x
Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Bitesize Beauty - Holy Grail Products

Holy grail beauty. I often see posts like these and have thought often of what products I would pick as my essentials. After a little deliberation, and a while of wanting to recreate one for myself, I have finally put together a collection of 4 products that I love and adore.

My ‘style’, I suppose, regarding beauty is very au naturel. I like a no-makeup makeup look, and so my list is very minimalist. I rarely concealer and have never tried foundation in my life, so if you’re looking for some life changing product along those lines, you will unfortunately not find one here.

Shall we begin?

1. Rimmel London Natural Bronzer in Sun Glow
This product is the bee’s knees (and yes, I just used that expression). If you’ve seen my November Love List, you’ll know that I adore this product. It is a warm tone that doesn’t look orangey at all. I don’t contour - nor do I know how - so I lightly dust this on and it leaves my skin with a natural looking sun kissed glow. There are some sparkles in it, which usually would not not appeal to me, but you can barely notice it. Brilliant, and the one product I always reach for in the morning. Find it here.

2. Dior Lip Glow
A product similar to a tinted lip balm, this beautiful balm adjusts its colour to what suits you best. Also mentioned in last month’s love list, it is one to remember. It isn’t sticky, it hydrates your lips and is basically gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Find it here.

3. Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara
I have tried multiple Benefit mascaras, including BagGal Lash and They’re Real!, but this has to be my favourite. My eyelashes are naturally curled and quite long, and although I usually don’t want the whole volume-length shebang, I was smitten with Roller Lash. It has a curved applicator so is very easy to put on and stays for the longest amount of time. When it says ‘super curling’, it means super curling! Like many bloggers out there, I think it’s a keeper. Find it here.

4. MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Bountiful Brown
Like I said, I’m not one for over the top anything - eyes included. But this liner, this liner, is gorgeous. I haven’t tried a black eye pencil before, and I doubt I will anytime soon. Bountiful Brown is a shimmery, bronzey brown that looks gorgeous, and it lasts forever. And according to it’s description online, waterproof as well! Find it here.

Done and dusted, my four holy grail beauty products that deserve a place in my minimalist makeup bag. Most of these aren’t drugstore; I rarely buy makeup for myself but rather receive them as gifts. All of the mentioned products will make great gifts for a newcomer in the beauty world (ie. someone like me!!). I hope you enjoyed this and found my top picks worthy of their place on this list.


Niamh x
Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Me, My Blog, The World

Hello everyone! Today’s post is a little on the reflective side, but I thought I’d give it a whirl. The title isn’t exactly self-explanatory. You might be thinking, ‘Me, My Blog, The World?! What is this nonsense?’, but it is actually much simpler than it sounds.

This is just a little reflective post with my goals for December, to help myself and my blog grow and to hopefully go a little Ghandi-style and change a small slice of the world for the better.


I am usually very confident. Meeting new people isn’t a problem, nor is (most) public speaking. Unfortunately, I have been struggling a lot with anxiety recently. I wish I was that person who didn’t care what other people think - and a lot of the time, I am - but the whole Facing Your Fears issue is still something I’m yet to overcome. I seem to stiffen all the time, and my words come out in a jumble when I’m nervous. I hope that I’ll be able to walk into my classes that provoke anxiety and nerves with my head held high and ready to be a risk taker soon.

Goal: Take another risk. Raise my hand in class more often and be OK with messing up now and then. Everyone does it. Perfectionism can sometimes be useful - but when it comes to fears, ZONE IT OUT!

My Blog

I’m seeing all these posts recently that I just want to recreate Niamh-style, but I know I can’t. I want to be original, but originality takes time and thought. I need to stop taking random pictures just because the sun is still up, and know what I want to write about before I begin. Even though I’m an ammateur blogger, I’m not particularly worried about how many followers I have. I suppose it starts with good content, right? So, good content is where I shall begin. This requires planning, and lots of it. Plan posts, plan when to take pictures for posts, plan when to upload posts. Hopefully the better my content gets, the more my blog will grow…?

Goal: Planning is key, so don’t be random. Take time to write posts and take photos for both the blog and social media. Get a planner or notebook to remember ideas and turn them into successful, interesting content.

The World

It is December, which obviously means CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS! When I was very young, I would wake up on Christmas morning and wait impatiently for present-opening to begin. But now that I’m older (and hopefully more mature), it’s more than that. The other day I was out and about in Brussels and realized how freezing it is now that Jack Frost has visited, and how terrible it must be to be homeless at a time like this. People rushing around the streets, carrying bags labelled with expensive brands and turning their nose up at homeless people. So, walking past a poor woman with her two sons, I dropped 2€ into her hands. My heart breaks for all the people who suffer when all we can think about is the pricey presents we can’t wait to receive.

Goal: Donate time and money to people who need it most. Visit a homeless shelter to make soup, or a women’s shelter to give Christmas prezzies. Help someone get the Christmas they not only need, but deserve.

I hope this has inspired you to reflect before we plunge head-first into Christmas shopping and everything else this holiday requires. Stop and think, how do I make myself better to make the world better? Some people are much more in need than we are.

I just thought that in such a busy time, we all need a moment to sit down and think, to zone out the ridiculousness that is reality.

But please, this does not mean don’t get your shopping done. Being generous starts with those you love, meaning family and friends. Love yourself, love them more, love the world you live in. It’s a step by step process.

Good luck with everything (be it reflecting or Christmas shopping),

Niamh x

November Love List

Can you believe that December is upon us? I know I have been repeating myself time after time, but I can remember New Year’s Eve in 2014 like it was yesterday. Yet, here we are, on the brink of 2016 and, of course, CHRISTMAS (only 23 days to go!).

I have been loving - and obsessing over - lots of things this month. I’ve put together a Love List, similar to a monthly favourites but for more general categories. Let us begin…

Favourite food?
I’ve been cursed with a sweet tooth this month and have reached for Côte d’Or’s orange 70% dark chocolate countless times. Amazing and so hard to put down once you’ve taken a square.

Favourite film/programme?
Every single week I wait for a new episode of BBC One’s Apprentice. As much as I despise Lord Sugar and his gang of sidekicks, it is addicting. Catch it on BBC One every Wednesday at 10:00pm Belgian time (that’s 9:00pm for you in the UK). It’s basically about a group of entrepreneurs who endure pointless challenges in pursuit of becoming Lord Sugar’s business partner (and I know, what a ridiculous name!).

Favourite item of clothing?
Although I have been obsessing over many things this month (beanies being one of them), I cannot stop wearing this America Today cardigan. It falls just below my bum and has slightly long sleeves, it’s so warm and cozy to wear over anything and everything!

Favourite moment?
Beating a three year undefeated team at my volleyball tournament, by far. I have never been so excited in a volleyball match in my life, and even though my team came 3rd, our winning moment was definitely that victory. So proud of us :)

Favourite beauty/skincare products?
I tend to get very pale at this time of year, which doesn’t bode well with my coziest (yet inconveniently colour-draining) jumpers - I’m so white I look like a zombie! Every morning I’ve been dusting my face with Rimmel’s Natural Bronzer (in Sun Glow). It gives a gorgeous, sun kissed finish that I love. There are some hints of sparkle, but nothing that couldn’t be mistaken for a healthy glow. On top of that, Dior’s Lip Glow. It is a gorgeous pinky balm that is surprisingly hydrating and looks beautiful. Won me over!

Favourite song?
This is a hard one, I have to admit. I’ve been listening to my Christmas playlist on replay, but all those songs are throwbacks. But, because I’m a mainstream girl, it has to be Adele’s Hello. Such a brilliant voice, and so many funny memes… what more is there to say?

Favourite way to spend my time?
This one is easy: reading blogs and writing my own! This month was the birth of Little but Fierce and I love writing on it, even if my only audience is my mum! I have been obsessed with reading blogs, there is something so cozy about evenings curled up on the sofa with a cuppa at hand scrolling through blogs. Right now, I’m loving Kate La Vie, Jasmine Talks Beauty and Thirteen Thoughts. Have a look at them!

Favourite drink?
I do love a cup of tea, and seeing as it’s winter, Lipton’s Moroccan Mint tea has to be my winner. It tastes like Christmas in a cup, minty yet cinnamony. Amazing and definitely worth a try if you like chai tea or mint tea.

Random favourite?
November’s random favourite goes to the Calm app, which I talked about in my post on Facing Your Fears. It’s a meditation app that allows you to listen to tranquil sounds in guided meditation sessions, like rainfall or birds. If I’m feeling stress or anxiety, this is what I use - I promise it works a treat!

Tah-dah! November’s Love List complete, and not another one coming until the end of December. Speaking of which, IT’S ALREADY DECEMBER! I will repeat those words until it seems real. CHRISTMAS !!!

Have a lovely, festive evening,

Niamh x
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