Sunday, 30 October 2011

Buy it in the USA - 1 week blow dry

So I'm over in the States at the moment visiting family and decided to go to CVS pharmacy to sniff out what's new in the world of cheap store products. I came across the relatively new Garnier Fructis Blow Dry Perfector and decided to give it a go. It says that it will leave you with silky blow dried hair for up to 7 shampoos. Sounded a bit too good to be true?

How it works:
First you wash your hair. Then with a pair of gloves on your hands you add in the 'smooth-it' cream. This gets spread throughout the hair, combed through and left for 20 minutes. (Be prepared, this doesn't smell so great!). Rinse your hair. Then add on the 'perfector' cream. Again making sure to get all the hair. Avoiding the roots this time. Then simply blow dry your hair like normal.

The results:
It did take a bit of effort to do but my hair looked so glossy and amazing after it was done. In terms of did it last? Not really is the answer. It looked great for about two washes and then was back to normal. Is it worth it? I'd say yes if you've got some event to go to and you want to look glam for the evening, no if you're expecting week long results for a holiday or something.

If you do want to give it a try.... so far I've only seen this in the USA so either stock up next time you pay a visit or look online. There's loads available on ebay and other similar sites.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Rockabye Baby!

Looking for an interesting present for your trendy friends that have just had a baby? Look no further than This brilliant website has taken some of the top rock albums of the world and turned them into lullaby renditions for babies. They have samples of all the tracks on the website so you can pick whichever album is your favourite. There's lots to choose from with CD's of Coldplay, AC-DC, Radiohead and so on!

A new take on the old: Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Avocado

Ok so I'm not a real lover of brussel sprouts, but my other half is, so it's something we would cook on the odd occasion (just to keep him happy!). I was looking online the other night to find a recipe for them that might make them a bit more interesting and appealing than plain old boiled sprouts. I came across this delicious and simple recipe from  New York chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. This Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Avocado dish is very seasonal. “The recipe uses contrast and opposite flavours and textures to achieve a dynamic harmony,” says the chef, referencing the “unctuousness” of the avocado.

Served by Vongerichten as a side, the dish may also be served alone.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Pecans and Avocado
Serves 4

3 tbs olive oil
2 c brussel sprouts, trimmed, blanched, shocked, cut in half
1 tsp thyme leaves
¼ c pecan halves, toasted
1 ripe avocado, peeled, medium dice
Salt and black pepper
Aged balsamic vinegar

1. Heat a sauté pan with olive oil until smoking and add brussel sprouts.
2. Season with salt and pepper and cook until crispy and deep golden brown. Add thyme, then pecans and avocado and toss gently to warm.
3. Spoon into a serving dish and drizzle with balsamic.

Photo: Courtesy of Jean-Georges Management

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lust after item of the week - Reiss Thalia striped skirt

Love, love, love this skirt! It's as gorgeous online as it is in-store. Such a pretty navy and cream striped skirt that can either be dressed down with tights, pumps and a navy t-shirt for work or dressed up with a lush navy silk blouse, some killer heels and a chunky gold bangle.

DIY iPhone cases using your favourite Instagram pics

Addicted to Instagram? Me too! If so you'll be excited to know about the debut of Castegram, a fancy new iPhone case that allows you to use your own Instagram shots as your graphics, instead of letting them disappear into Internet oblivion. It's super easy to do. All you have to do is log onto with your Instagram ID and password and choose one of four layouts—Golden Grid, le Corbusier, the Cheese, and Polka Dots—then populate the design with your favorite Instagram shots. If you like what you see, simply buy the iPhone 4/4S case for $34.95 and they'll ship free worldwide!

The perfect pair! Eyebrow threading by Shavata

I have always had the fear of god when it comes to eyebrow shaping. I had one very bad experience in my teens which left me looking like a plucked porcupine for quite a while after! It took a lot of courage to get it done again so after hearing some great reviews from friends about the brow studio in Harvey Nichols I decided to give it a go.

Shavata brow studio in Harvey Nichols specialise in eyebrow threading. All you have to do is sit back in the seat and let them do their magic. It's such an interesting treatment to see being done. I'm mesmerised as to how they do it with just two pieces of thread! It's not a very painful process although it can make your eyes a bit watery. When they're finished they wipe them down to take off some of the redness but you're pretty much ready to go straight after.

The cost is €20 a go. A little hefty in this day and age, however they do offer a loyalty programme of one treatment free for every 5 you pay for so in my view it's worth it!


Monday, 24 October 2011

DIY Saba dinner - stir fried beef

Tried this one last night and it was yummy! Such a simple recipe to do. I added in loads of extra veg to what they suggested such as broccoli, bean sprouts and baby corn. It's super healthy and super tasty. They have lots of other great recipes on the saba recipe to try out. It's worth a look!

All your beauty, hair and body favourites at a great price and FREE shipping!! is one of my favourites websites for stocking up on my beauty, hair and styling products. You'll find the majority of  items are cheaper than they normally are in store and you also get free shipping (great for the winter to save you having to trek to town to pick up Shampoos, make up etc!). They have literally everything on this site! Including electronics and tools  like GHD's, wands and so on. It's got lots of great gift ideas for Birthdays and Christmas including lovely gift sets. If you sign up to their emails you get regular offers such as 10 - 20% off - worth holding off for these if you can! Their shipping is quick and most items are received within a week of your order.

My advice ladies, get your Christmas shopping done now and spend December enjoying the merriment of time with friends and family and not the chaos of the crowds!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Winter warming food - Avoca Banana Bread


I adore this Avoca recipe in the winter time. There's nothing more comforting than banana bread and a good cup of tea! The best time to eat it is about ten minutes after it's out of the oven. It's still warm but you're not going to burn yourself and when you put butter on, it spreads nicely over it without totally soaking in. The aromas in the kitchen after I make it are to die for!!!

8 oz plain flour
1 t. salt
1 heaped t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
4oz sugar
1 egg
3 oz oil
few drops of vanilla essence
2 1/2 oz pecan nuts, chopped
4 medium bananas, mashed

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, stir in sugar. Then mix in the egg, oil and vanilla essence, but do not beat. Fold in the pecans and mashed bananas, using a fork (again do not beat).
Bake for 50-60 mins in an oven at 180c and leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing it.

Dine in Dublin week Oct 24th - 30th

It's dine in Dublin week from the 24th - 30th of October. There are some great offers from some of Dublin's top restaurants. It's a great excuse (if you even need one) to get a bunch of your girls together for some great food and chats. Some of the highlight offers for me are Il Segreto and Fallon and Byrne offering 3 courses for €30 and Citron in The Fitzwilliam Hotel offering 3 courses for €25.

For more details log on to:

Pale and interesting or bronzed and gorgeous?!!!!

This is my desert island product! It's amazing. I've been searching for years to find the perfect tinted moisturiser that I could either use on its own for holidays during the day when you don't want to be too caked looking and for under foundation at night time to give my face a bit of extra colour without having to buy a darker foundation. I have tried numerous different brands and found that many were too heavy, too red, a bit glittery or quite difficult to apply without being noticeable. The Sheer Focus from Smashbox is everything these other brands weren't. It comes in a number of different shades (I use the medium which works well with a Mac face and body C4), it's easy to apply, has a lovely texture and is natural looking. It's amazing  when you're away and don't want to be seen lounging at the pool with a full face of make up. Instead it gives a gorgeous bronzed glow and really brings your skin to life.

I usually buy this on ebay as you'll find you can get it for half the price but I've also seen it on all the Smashbox concessions and all the beauty websites.

Top tip for application: Apply with a foundation brush.

It's worth the purchase.... I promise you!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Taste of Christmas 2011 - 25th-27th November

My favourite time of the year.... Christmas..... is coming quickly upon us. I'm a big fan of the Taste festivals so was thrilled last year when they decided to make it into a bi annual event. As a big foodie I love to check out the dishes from some of Dublin's top restaurants, buy lots of goodies from the local stands and treat myself to umpteen cocktails and wine from top brands such as Baileys, Smirnoff, Jacob's Creek etc. This year I'm excited to try their Beer Academy as I have it on good authority from a work colleague that it's "brilliant!!!!!". It's a great day/night out to enjoy with family or friends and a good way to get into the festive spirit!

As always, the early bird catches the worm. Why not get your tickets now at and enter the code taste35 to get 2 entry tickets for only €35. This offer is only available for the next 3 days so get in there quick!

Top Tapas - La Bodega in Ranelagh

A recent enough entry to the Ranelagh restaurant scene - La Bodega is located on the main street in between Smyths and McSorleys. I've been here a couple of times now and have to say that on each visit I haven't been disappointed. The food is fantastic as is the ambience. Some of my favourite dishes include the Pa Amb Tomaco (Bruschetta), the mini steak and for dessert the delectable profiteroles! What makes this tapas restaurant stand out against the others is it's extensive menu. If like me you can be a little picky with food at times you'll find that there are multiple somethings on this menu for every taste. I'm always excited when I go back to see what new dish I'm going to try.

Along with this extensive menu they have an excellent wine list with lots to choose from. Again I'm yet to be disappointed with the wine choices I've made. Both the food and wine menu are reasonable in price and you won't find this restaurant breaking the bank!

My only tips is to get here early to avoid disappointed. They don't take booking for under 6 so on a Saturday night you'll need to get in early to make sure you get a table.


Awear are reducing all their stock by 70% tomorrow so most dresses/knits (this season) will be reduced to €10/€12!! All the concessions are reducing their stock too, so dresses that were €60 will be reduced to €20 – I'll defo be popping down tomorrow to pick up a bargain…

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Horny Hooves by Brown Cow

So it’s winter time AGAIN and the woolie socks and boots are back on. It’s the one time of year I find that I tend to really neglect my feet and then find it takes another whole Summer to get them back in shape. This year I’ve decided this isn’t going to be the case! So on a rainy, chilly Saturday last week I booked myself into Brown Cow Beauty Salon in Stepaside. I availed of their ‘basic’ pedicure which was €35. All I can say was that this was money very well spent! For the more ‘basic’ pedicure on offer they really did the works! My toes came out looking Hollywood glam! They had lots of gorgeous polishes to choose from including the latest colours from Chanel. So I chose Chanel Graphite to add a bit of sparkle to the cream dress I was wearing later that evening. Also included in the price are little crystals for your big toes which really add a bit of bling!
All in all it was a fab pedicure and I will definitely be back. There was something really nice too about getting it done in the winter... an extra special pick me up treat!
If a pedicure isn’t your thing I would still check them out. They’ve a few locations around Dublin. The prices are really reasonable, the staff are lovely and the salons themselves are lush!

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Luscious Lashes – Mink Lash Extensions

So I was sitting there over lunchtime with my girlies in work and I kept finding myself getting distracted. I couldn’t help but notice one of the girls incredibly long, curly and fabulous (yes I’m actually gushing about them) lashes. I had to ask..... were they her own? Phew.......... big relief, they weren’t. I don’t have to be envious forever now! So I got stuck in investigating how I could get myself a pair of these bad boys!
Well the details are as follows....
The beautician: Alyson Smyth
Her number:  0868107969
The cost:  €95
So I arrived to her salon near the KCR only to be greeted by an absolutely charming Alyson. I was at ease from the moment I arrived! After lying down on the table, she applied a sort of silicon plaster under each of my eyes (which is strangely soothing) and got to the task of applying each individual lash. The process takes about 1-1.5 hours and is quite relaxing so you find the time flies. Throughout the process she gives you tips of how to maintain them and get the most from your new lashes. Well I have to say I was shocked at the difference once she finished. They were AMAZING!!!! The journey home was almost dangerous as I kept glimpsing at them in the car mirror!
The lashes last about 4-6 weeks and Alyson does a great deal to top them up after about 3-4 weeks for €45.
I would highly recommend these and I have to admit.... I’m addicted. It’s well worth joining her facebook page as she regularly offers great deals and specials.