My Vegan, cruelty- free, natural, organic picks of the Irish Beauty show

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My Vegan Cruelty-free picks of the day at Dublin Beauty Show.

I won’t lie, I was in no form for the show, I had been up since 6am to drop my parents at the airport and had decided to make a day of it and at the last minute I registered for tickets. We arrived at 9.50 to find a MASSIVE queue waiting to get in and immediately my back was up. I was under the impression that I would have the place all to myself (how silly of me).

Anyway, I gave up after about 40minutes so I gotta say, I didn’t see every single stall, nor did I take many pictures. I am a cranky lady when I’m tired (hehe) and the crowds bumping off me were starting to annoy me, but here is what I did see and get and love.

1. Blank Canvas Brushes

I had my eye out for these babies so I was delighted to pick up a few. Of course I wanted to get a million more brushes but thankfully the boyfriend was there to restrain me.

Blank Canvas have a range of synthetic hair brushes that are 100% Vegan, they are made using man made fibres such as taklon or nylon, synthetic hair is easy to clean, soft and lovely to work with.

Check them out on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/BCCosmetics

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2. Anneco

 Irish made organic, natural, ethical, mineral make-up.

Anneco is made using organic ingredients and has no chemical additives, perfumes or preservatives.

I absolutely had to try it! So, I sat down and got a shade match and went for medium minus. This mineral foundation is beautifully scented with orange essential oil and has a natural spf 40. I used it for the first time yesterday and it glides onto the skin effortlessly, silky almost and offers enough coverage for day time wear. I also noticed that they had a vegan brush set too but I really wanted to hit up blank canvas so I had to restrain myself that time. They also had some mineral colour correctors in green, yellow and blue shades which would be great if you needed extra coverage. You could build up a colour corrector and add the mineral foundation on top, id love to try one actually so I may have to purchase one and do a blog dedicated to Anneco. They also stock mineral blushers and bronzers.

Check them out on Facebook ; https://www.facebook.com/annecobeauty

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3. Celtic Candles

I wrote a whole blog on these babies because I loved them so much xx Check it out!

https://brenda89b.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/celtic-candles-100-organic-plant-wax/

100% soy wax candles

Check out their Facebook page; https://www.facebook.com/CelticCandles

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Here are some other brands I came across.

Powder and pout Brushes

This brand has been set up by a make-up artist, that has worked with M.A.C, and she has developed these high quality brushes at a fraction of the price of other brands. There are a lot of brushes made with goat hair but they do have a lot of synthetic brushes too.

Check them out: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Powder-n-Pout/257302731079217

Neantog

 Natural Irish skincare products hand made using nettles.

Their range includes face creams, hand creams, and aftershaves.

Check them out: https://www.facebook.com/neantogbeauty

Glo Minerals

This brand boasts premium grade ingredients  containing no perfumes and offer parben and gluten free formulas and are cruelty free. They have a fairly extensive range of products so check them out too.

https://www.facebook.com/skinlogics

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Celtic Candles, 100% Organic Plant Wax

As I strolled around the RDS on Sunday at the Dublin Beauty Show, being handed leaf-let after leaf-let, pushing my way through the crowds, wondering why I even went there in the first place, I stumbled across Celtic candles.

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What a treat in the middle of all the madness.

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I don’t enjoy crowds or people pushing past you, others pushing their products on you!

I enjoy strolling around myself and if I have a question, ill ask when Im ready and that’s how it happened at the

Celtic Candles stand.

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Celtic Candles are a unique range of organic, natural products that are both kind to you and the environment”

They use 100% organic plant wax, no parbens, sulphates or petro-chemicals, boasting eco friendly glass and packaging and the best part, they are Irish owned and run and have been around since 1993.

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When buying candles, you never think about things like synthetic fragrances, wax and all the potential hazardous chemicals that are emitted when you burn them.

Well, now is the time to question that! Have you ever burned a candle that creates black smoke as it burns??

I have, I won’t mention the brand but I will say that it’s bloody dangerous, not only for your health but for your safety too.

Some people have even told me horror stories of falling asleep and waking up to find a black ceiling over where the candle had been lighting.

This is where soy wax, a plant wax comes in.

Other candles are made of paraffin oil and therefore increase the CO2 amounts in your home and the atmosphere.  Soy candles contain no known carcinogens and are naturally biodegradable and can be removed from glass jars easily. They can be scented with essential oils, therefore no dangerous synthetic fragrances are needed.

Soy wax candles also burn 50% longer than regular candles.

And the important part, soy candles burn cleaner than paraffin candles and they do not produce that black soot like paraffin candles. (known to discolour walls and ceilings and contain carcinogens)

So make the move to soy wax candles and be pleasantly surprised by their wonderful scent.

Here is the link to Celtic Candles website ; http://www.celticcandles.ie/

Facebook page ; https://www.facebook.com/CelticCandles?fref=ts

They make a range of different sized candles that have the most beautiful scents!

I opted for wild fig and grape although I was sooooooooooooo tempted to get the lavender one.

You can also get packaged candles or non packaged versions.

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They make tartlets, lip balms, personalized candles for weddings/christenings, private label candles to match your brand/store, reed diffusors and hand and body creams.

These candles are a pleasure to burn and have 50hrs burning time for just under 12EURO. They are my newest addiction.

Go on, treat yourself!

Thanks for reading

xXx

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Aroma Bliss Eye Balm Review

 

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Cork based aromatherpist Molly Hartigan makes her own skincare range using plant oils and essential oils, the most potent anti-ageing ingredients!

Her company is called aroma bliss and I am obsessed with them, so on turning 26 last month I decided I needed to invest in an eye cream, I mailed Molly and mentioned that ‘I was giving myself wrinkles, worrying about getting wrinkles’

She promptly mailed me back with descriptions of her two eye care products, an eye balm or an eye cream. I opted for an eye balm and a few days later it arrived at my house via post. ( very convenient) .

A balm is just thicker than cream and melts onto your skin like butter (probably because there is Shea butter in it ).

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This one has generous amounts of carrot seed oil which is full of vitamin A, this is great for dark circles and eye brightening properties. Aloe Vera  gel which is cooling,  avocado and jojoba oil for antiaging , and again full of vitamins and essential fatty acids which keep the skin plump and firm. While Vitamin E oil and frankincense are perfect for delicate skin area around the eye and really help in the prevention of wrinkles. Or as I call it, ‘The fight against wrinkles’

Molly makes the products weekly so you know your creams haven’t been sitting on a shelf for months or even years and therefore won’t be laced with toxic preservatives. Vitamin E acts as a natural preservative and that is why I opted for the balm, no preservatives or binding agents needed, as natural as it comes xx

Another bonus is that the jar is absolutely jam packed, you don’t see the corporate giants being as generous as this, and it is a steal at 15EURO. This will literally last ages and I have been using it all over my face as a serum too.

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Just as sourcing locally grown food and produce is important , sourcing locally made cosmetics and skincare is as important for your health and well being!

Try it out, you will see great results. I have always had dark circles, this eye balm has reduced them and left my skin nourished and revived.(especially after late nights) The aloe Vera is cooling after a hard day, the lavender scent is up-lifting and the simple fact that you know you are doing your skin a favour makes you happy.

Check out my previous blog on their cream , lips balms and hair oils xx

https://brenda89b.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/aroma-bliss-blissfully-chemical-free/

Find aroma Bliss on Facebook here;

https://www.facebook.com/mollyhartigan1

Thanks for reading

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What will you leave behind for your children’s children!

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On the 22nd of April 2015, YOU could be apart of the biggest grass-roots effort in history just by planting a seed or a tree in an effort to ‘ give back’ to the earth!

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Our planet has been scavenged, harvested, flooded, battered, torn apart, bleed for it’s commodities, all so that humans can thrive ( or kill each other in wars) !

Now it’s time to give back to this wonderful place we call home, we have taken enough!

‘It is important to keep a certain portion of the planet covered with forests as it is essential for regulating the distribution of rain and snow over the surface, thus, controlling the climate. Every tree planted will assist in stabilizing the climate and provide habitat for various species.’

I have mentioned before that humans have become extremely disconnected from nature due to our modern lifestyles.

I personally believe that depression and this come hand in hand.

Ever since I started gardening, growing my own food and appreciating the beauty of nature that I have surrounded myself with, I have become so positive and happy in my world.

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I have even gone as far as growing indoor plants to help with the seasonal blues we all experience during winter.

If you live in a city I would highly recommend this.

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When my nephew was born, I planted a plum tree in my mothers garden with the idea that the tree will grow with him, providing him with food, oxygen and a feeling that nature will always be with him.

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So, here are just a couple of the beauties I plan on planting over the course of my life that when I’m gone will bring future generations, joy, happiness, beauty, life, wonderful scents, colour, food and shelter!

I will be leaving trees, fruit treas to feed a population, pretty acer and cherry blossoms to feed the mind as well as some floral escapes.

Wisteria Wonders

Wisteria Wonders

Lavender Escapes xx

Lavender Escapes xx

Trees that melt your trouble's away! Japanese Acer

Trees that melt your trouble’s away!
Japanese Acer

 

Romantic Cherry Blossom Trees

Romantic Cherry Blossom Trees

So, start now if you have to but please get your children involved and explain to them why trees are so important, go to your local councils, schools, playschools!

If you are working with a small area, speak to garden centre’s and find out with varieties will suit your space.

There are no excuses!

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Please plant something that is organic, perennial and suitable to the growing conditions in your area. If the temperature is not conducive to planting on April 22nd, please start growing a plant indoors or commit to planting your tree once the outdoor temperature is warm enough. If you live in an apartment , please plant something in a container or donate a tree to a garden in your area. Please nurture your plantings, like children, until they can sustain themselves on their own.

Trail some creepers along your balcony!

Your world can be as colourful as you want it to be!

Your world can be as colourful as you want it to be!

You can also opt for flowers that help save bee’s and butterflies.

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essesntial oils

 Here is the pledge to plant link ; http://forestnation.com/earth-day-tree-planting/

https://www.facebook.com/events/327883710751172/ for more info, check out their facebook page.

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As the season begins here in Ireland, I will be sharing this years gardening journey with you all, from seed growing to landscaping, so stay tuned!

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Red Hot, Vegan, cruelty-free Valentine’s Lips

We should all support companies that don’t test on animals, and especially stay away from those that use crushed bugs to achieve a strong red pigment.

It can be hard to know which companies are cruelty-free so here are my top red lip picks for Valentine’s day xxxx

Of course you don’t have to wear red, you could always rock a black lip or a flirty pink, whatever colour takes your fancy really!

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(Lime Crimes salem Velvetine)

 From flirty reads to dark reds, here are some cruelty-free, vegan reds for this Valentine’s day.

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1. Inglot Ireland do not test on animals and have some wonderful colours when it comes to lips. This beauty is now only 12.99 too, check them out; http://inglot.ie/lips/lipstick/lipstick.html

This shade is 279, 278 is also a lovely vibrant red.

You will find inglot stores in Limerick, Cork and Dublin.

Remember to always line your lips before applying a red lippy, you don’t want to end up looking like the joker!

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2. Lush – Lush have sooooooooo many beautiful shades of red but I love this one, power. I really, really recommend using liner and a setting powder for Lush’s lippy though. They are made with jojoba oil with candelilla and rose waxes so they can be greasy and bleed without prepping your lips first.

Check out their other colours here; https://www.lush.co.uk/products/lips-0

You will find lush stores in Cork and Dublin

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3. Manic Panic – ‘tested on celebrities, not animals’ I love this brand, I use their hair dyes and lippies all the time!

Sadly, in Ireland, they only have an on-line presence , go on, have a stalk! They are really reasonably priced too x

http://www.manicpanic.biz/store/c/296-Kitten-Colors-Lethal-Lipsticks.aspx

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4. Benecos – A chemical free, natural company! You will find them in most health food shops around the country and if not, here is their site. Again this ‘just red’ lippy is reasonably priced and heavily pigmented.

http://www.pravera.co.uk/shop/benecos-natural-and-organic-make-up-and-toiletries/make-up/natural-lipstick

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5. Lime crime – Naturally one of my favourite cosmetics companies, if your looking for a darker more gothic lip, try their Velvetine, wicked. Here is a previous blog it wrote on it xx

https://brenda89b.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/lime-crime-lover/

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Lime Crime ‘s perfect purple… pansy!

Screenshot_2015-02-10-20-04-21Look at it in all it’s glory xx

One of Lime crime’s newest velvetine’s , pansy!

As you know, Lime Crime cosmetics are 100% vegan, 100% cruelty free and their colours are bloody amazing x

The minute I saw this one i had to buy it. Here is how I wore it.me

Just like the other velvetines, they go on liquid and dry to matte within seconds which makes them touch proof. I love the WOW factor you get with this colour.

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Here is a swatch with their Lime Crime sisters utopia and wicked xx

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Again, I got this directly from their website and it took about a week and half to get to me from the states. (totally worth the wait) , the velvatines are $20US and international shipping is $10US.

Here is the amazing re-usable box it was shipped in xx

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Please see my other Lime Crime review

https://brenda89b.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/its-all-unicorns-and-rainbows-xx-lime-crime-cosmetics/

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Natural Skin care Routine

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Hello Ladies and Gents

Here are my NATURAL beauty secrets for flawless skin.

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As you know, I’m all about being as close to nature as possible and so this is my top priority when looking after my skin!

Here is a step by step guide to my skin care routine xxx

Step 1. CLEANSE

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I make my own cleansing oil using Macadamia oil, caster oil. Jojoba oil, Vitamin E (which acts as a NATURAL preservative) and a few drops of whatever essential oil I have at hand. A natural cleansing oil like this is massaged into the skin and lifts dirt out of your pores, I then wipe it away with a damp, warm face cloth.

If you don’t want to make your own, there are loads of other natural options, lush have an amazing cleanser called ultrabland that is great for removing make-up and health food shops have loads of chemical free cleansers too. Be selective about the ingredients and make sure they are parben free and as natural as possible.

Step 2. TONE
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Floral Waters!
If you haven’t come across these miracle toners before then you are missing out!
They can also be blended with clays to make face masks and loads more.
Floral water is the by product of obtaining essential oils from plants.  It is this condensate water that remains after the extraction of an essential oil by water or steam distillation.
I use floral water in the morning and evening, sometimes I use it thought-out the day to calm and sooth my face (lavender water) especially if I have had a heater on in work all day. Floral water evens out skin tone and the lavender water is great for acne prone skin while the rose water is good for aging skin. You can get so many different ones depending on your skin type so again, research it and check ingredients and source.
These floral waters can be found in chemists, health foods stores and online.
Lush also have some amazing toners, my favourite is tea-tree water xx
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Step 3. MOISTURISE
Okay, so again, you can make your own moisturiser (I’ll leave that for another post as it’s complicated) but here are a few of my favourite chemical free, natural moisturisers!
Sukin – rose-hip day cream

(www.sukinorganics.com)

 
Lush – gorgeous, enzymion, vanishing cream (both good for oily teen skin)
Aroma bliss – handmade in Cork by an aromatherpists
At the moment, I am using a balm and a moisturiser I made myself coupled with sukin rosehip day cream, I find that using a different one each day is good.
Again, you will find some excellent chemical-free, natural face creams in health shops, chemists and tkmaxx, check out this blog I wrote on the wonder that is TKMAXX.
P.S, for extra moisture during the winter, you can add oils like vitamin E, rose-hip etc to your moisturiser.
Step 4. BED TIME LOVIN’ (cringey?)
So, when we sleep our skin starts to regenerate and make new cells.
This is why sleep is so important for our whole body and this is why, at bed time, I put some extra love and attention into my skin.
OILS, OILS, OILS!
PicsPlay_1423045994550IMG_20150204_102405 IMG_20150204_102332Oils like rose-hip, Argan, almond, coconut, vitamin E, jojoba, olive oil etc are rich in Essential Fatty Acids and are easily absorbed by the skin. These fatty acids keep our skin looking youthful and plump, they even out skin tone and are soooooo moisturising.
I put a different one on every night and I swear (would I lie to you) my skin has been amazing ever since I started. My make-up also goes on  easier and my skin tone it so even. Trust me, just try it xx
Again, these oils can be blended together or blended with essential oils to target more specific needs, for example, frankincense is the most potent anti-ageing essential oil, so you could blend a few drops with any of these oils to reap the benefits.
Not to sound like a broken record but you must only buy pure, un-fragranced, natural and organic oils to get the benefits.
Please also read my blog post ‘Your mother was right, you are what you eat’
And as always, follow my on social media xxx

My ‘Boudoir me’ Photo Shoot Experience

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Hey ladies xx

When I was studying in Wales two years ago, my boyfriend got me a lovely gift. A boudoir photo shoot and so I am gong to share some pictures with you. I got my amazing friend Deirdre to do my hair and I did my own make up.

(How very student of me)

I had to get the bus to the back arse of no where and then walk down a country lane with sheep in the surrounding fields to get to the photographers house. She had a lovely log cabin in her garden where she took the snaps.

She was very easy to work with, she guided me through all the poses and made me feel relaxed and comfortable. Boudoir me by Donovan & Donovan photography. I got a glass of bubbly on arrival and I had been told I could do three outfit changes.

 The deal I got from groupon is still going for any of you living in or around there.

http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/swansea/boudoir-me/1534611

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In the hope that it will inspire you to do a boudoir shoot. I love to look back on these beautifully edited photo’s of me, they make me feel sexy, empowered and one of a kind. When I’m 90, I’ll be sitting in a nursing home showing them to my carers, what I’m trying to say is that pictures like this are lovely to have and to cherish.

I’m not perfect nor do I want to be and these photos, in a way, celebrate that.

They have taught me to love myself and have given me great confidence in my own skin xx

So much more that I would love to do more shoots.

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A generic Irish trait… The January blues!

Let’s face it, everyone feels a bit down in January and even February. Actually, I even hate the change from Summer into Autumn. Something about watching a day turn into darkness makes me feel lonely. I don’t start to feel myself again until I see some spring flowers in March and April. I hate finishing work in the dark and not being able to spend my evenings in the garden surrounded by nature.

Maybe I suffer from SAD’s , or maybe it’s just a generic Irish trait. So here are my tips on over coming the downer that is the month of January.

Get yourself some Vitamin D supplements!

Vitamin D acts on the areas of your brain that are linked to depression. We naturally  produce vitamin D in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight and due to our absolute lack of sun at the best of times that is why all Irish people need to take a supplement in Winter. When you think about it, it makes so much sense. Irish people can be so negitive… i say, lack of vitamin D.

I got these in Dargan’s health food shop in castletroy €7.99IMG_20150123_211659

Eat a diet high in fruit, veg and natural foods and exercise!

Processed food makes us feel sluggish, heavy, tired and the high suger content once the initial rush goes can leave us feeling low. Juicing is a great way to get lots of veg into you. Good food = happy body = happy mind! Exercising releases natural happy endorphins so get active too.

House Plants My house plants are my only link to nature in the winter. Get some greenery into your home and watch it blossom and add colour to the dullest of days. Some plants are brilliant for purifying the air in your home although all plants will produce some fresh  O2 for you. I love bonsai trees because they constantly need pruning which means long evenings can be filled with with plant care even in winter.

Essential oils and Aroma diffusers

IMG_20150123_211722 IMG_20150123_211813 Aroma diffusers are small plug in devices that disperse essential oil into the air around you while also adding moisture to the air. Essential oils enhance our phycical and psychological well being sending signals to our brain acting as a healing therapy. The oils are absorbed thorough the skin and carried in your blood stream therefore promoting whole body healing.

Essential oils can relieve stress, anxiety and fatigue as well as boost memory and promote health. Mixtures can be as simple or as complicated as you want them to be. You can usually use 10-15 drops of essential oils in the diffusiors. You could simply add your favoutite one, mine is lavander! or you can mix them for different effects.

here are some mixtures I found helpful;

if you have a cold or flu you can wake up your immune system by mixing scots pine, eucalyptus,  tea tree, mandravasarotra. To clean the air and ease breathing mix eucalyptus radiata, eucalyptus dives, maritime pine and green mint. relaxing mixes include bergamot, sweet orange, lime, lemon, neroli, frankincense.

And remember, summer is never to far away x

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The desire to desperately call somewhere home…..

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Unlike my other posts, this one is a bit deeper!

Maybe I’m wasting my young years

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Now that I am the ripe ‘old’ age of 25, I’m starting to see a trend in my friends. That kinda awkward time when half of them are still loosing their phones and handbags on a night out and the other half are buying houses and getting married.

I was never one to follow the crowd but ever since this started I have been evaluating and re-evaluating my life. Graduating college and becoming an adult is hard.

Working for 40hours a week for crap money is hard, especially when you have put the investment of a four year degree into it.

I am sure I am not alone on this, I won’t call it pressure, but it’s a feeling I have been, well, feeling lately.

Half of me wants to pack my bags and head off in  search of my place in the world, to meet people who think like me, to be happy again, really happy, like, care-free kinda happy.

Maybe a small seaside town in the South of France where I can work, grow my veggie garden and enjoy the seaside, or a remote Greek Island where I could run a b&b and enjoy the simple life, slow paced, no pressure.

The other half of me wants to be a business woman and open a shop here in Ireland, buy a house and become half an adult at least. I say half an adult because I will still dress outrageously and have rainbow hair. I want a space to express my personality, a home, a garden.

I am the kinda girl who gets home in the summer and heads straight out into my garden to enjoy it, then , in the winter I get restless because I am cooped up indoors every evening. I hate that!

So, what do I do? Where do I go from here? A big factor is, of course money, which I don’t have! With a college loan and a car loan looming,

I can’t just take off and with the crap wages I’m on, ill never have enough money to open my shop, buy a house, which leaves me back at the start.

So, what is the whole point of this blog post?

If you feel restless………………. You are not alone!

If you feel pressure from society to ‘grow up’…… you are not alone!

If you are not ready to settle down, that’s okay!

If you want to go off on a self indulgent trip to find yourself, that’s okay!

Maybe the answer is, you can have both. Maybe I should head off and maybe I would come back to open my shop here or maybe I would find somewhere on my travels to set up shop.

I hope my ramblings have helped some of you in the same boat as me and please, if you have any advice then comment below.

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