Oh my God, What a complete Aisling by Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen – book review

*review may contain spoilers

Aisling is 28, and she’s a complete Aisling.

Living ‘Down Home’ with Mammy and Daddy, she commutes to her good pensionable job in Dublin and stays two nights a week with her boyfriend of seven years, John.

But Aisling wants more. She wants the ring on her finger. She wants the hen with the willy straws. She wants the grand big house with the utility room of her dreams.

When a week in Tenerife doesn’t result in a proposal, Aisling decides she’s had enough. It’s time for a change.

A new start, a love triangle (well, more of a square) and some home truths force Aisling out of her comfort zone and into a life she never imagined. 

I saw this book in various bookshops and famous Irish authors saying it was “hilarious “and “moving”. So since the character Aisling was nicknamed the Irish Bridget Jones, I thought I’d find out for myself what all the hype was about. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.

This was a highly overrated book. There’s a ton of Irish phrases on nearly every page but the thing about these Irish phrases, nobody says them anymore. Even my father is from the country and he doesn’t say half of the stuff Aisling was on about. It seemed like an attempt to fill up the entire 272 page book.

If you ask me it seems like Aisling doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. She doesn’t know what she wants in life or who she wants to be with. First she wants to get married and then later on she doesn’t know if it’s for her or not. Aisling is very indecisive.

Aisling breaks up with her boyfriend of 7 years but proceeds to want to know his every move. Who he’s with and what he’s doing at all times. (Bit stalkerish to be honest).

The repetitive mention of the GAA really made me consider closing the book there and then. It was so annoying. Not every Irish person is involved in the GAA.

There wasn’t really any love triangle/square in this. It was just Aisling deciding who she liked and then comparing that person to her ex John.

There was no character development. Characters such as Piotr, Aisling’s brother and Donna seemed to be thrown in for the sake of it. I didn’t really like Aisling’s character. Aisling was overly emotional, indecisive and did I mention a low key stalker as well? The book was full of Irish clichés. (Oh the cringe). Overall, I’m disappointed with how the book played out.

OkCupid – app review

  screenshot from app

OkCupid is an American-based, internationally operating online dating, friendship, and social networking website that features multiple-choice questions in order to match members. It is free to download from google play. Signing up is easy by using either your email or Facebook.

When you first open the app you are asked a series of questions (answer as many as you can as the matches you get are based on how you answered). Enter your gender, orientation and relationship. You can also enter your height and body type. Enter details about yourself E.g. Do you drink/smoke? Enter what you are looking for e.g. looking for men, within 100 miles, ages 18-26 for long-term dating.

Example of the compatibility of you and a match based on how you both answered questions

On the bottom of the screen there are five icons, double take, discovery, likes, conversations and profile. Like Tinder, swipe left if you’re not interested and swipe right if you are interested. If you like someone before you’ve matched you can also send an intro.

  • Double take – On this page your potential matches are shown. The percentage in the corner means compatibility (how you both answered questions). Age, name, where they are from and picture(s) are also shown. To view their profile, tap their picture. 
  • Discovery – search potential matches
  • Likes – who you like. (To view who likes you, you must upgrade to premium (A – List).
  • Conversations – shows matches across the top and messages underneath
  • Profile – shows your profile
  • Topics – personalize matches

From your profile, you can upgrade to boost by (Get Boost Option). On your profile you can view or update (my profile, my ideal person and account settings)

To sign out, tap account settings, scroll down and tap sign out. (Your name will be shown next to it).

On your profile, you have the option of writing a self-summary. You can also write about your aspirations (to choose a prompt tap the arrow at the side), talent, traits, needs, hobbies, moments, secrets and dating.

  prompt section

To get the most out of your Okcupid account I recommend the following:

  • Pick 2-3 photos
  • No group photos
  • Upload clear photos
  • Be yourself

Is the upgrade worth it?

I tried out A-List for about two weeks and it doesn’t make much of a difference. You are still seeing the same amount of people. If you are trying to increase your chances of getting a date by upgrading, it would most likely be a waste of time. Continue scrolling left or right and keep your money in your account.

In a month, I matched with only 8 people on OkCupid but in saying that 44 people liked me. Out of the 8 matches, 5 guys never messaged and 3 guys did message me. That’s 3 conversations in the whole month. All of the guys stated that they were looking for relationships.

Overall review

OkCupid is a smart, easy to use app however it can seem quite old- fashioned compared to other dating apps. The fact that you are only shown very few people a day is a little frustrating. There are a few fake profiles present but very little. OkCupid doesn’t have the whole “hook-up culture” thing going on. In fact, it has hardly anyone on the app looking for casual relationships or hook-ups. Many of the people on OkCupid are genuinely looking for a relationship. All in all, OkCupid is a good app to try considering that it’s free, easy to use and focuses on matching people for love not lust.

My Favourite Golden Globes 2019 Looks

No copyright infringement is intended

The 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards hosted by Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg was recently broadcast on TV. While it was a good night for several series and movies taking home a golden globe, the highlight was the fashion. Here are some of my favourite outfits from this year’s Golden Globe Awards…

  1. Lupita Nyong’o

The actress looked fabulous in this purple beaded gown complete with silver statement earrings.

2. Regina King

The A Cinderella Story (2004) actress stunned in this pink sequin Alberta Ferretti dress.

3. Isla Fisher

The red head beauty from Confessions of a Shopaholic wore Monique Lhuillier.

Isla Fisher arrives at the 76th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

https://www.dailynews.com/2019/01/06/golden-globes-2019-red-carpet-fashion-see-photos-of-the-stars-best-and-worst-looks/


4. Thandie Newton

The actress stunned in this Michael Kors dress.

5. Penelope Cruz

The Assassination of Gianni Versace actress looked beautiful in this dress designed by Ralph & Russo Couture.

6. Janet Mock

Mock wore this stylish dress designed by fashion company Off-White

7. Kiki Layne

The star of 2018’s If Beale Street Could Talk wore Custom Dior.

8. Amy Poehler

The Parks and Recreation star wore Viktor and Rolf.

9.Alyssa Milano

The activist looked amazing in this Cristina Ottaviano gown complete with Yeprem jewellery.

10. Holly Taylor

The Canadian beauty wore a red satin Ines Di Santo gown with accessories also from Ines Di Santo.

11. Jeannie Mai

Mai wore a green gown for this year’s golden globes.

12. Giuliana Rancic

The E! News Co-Anchor looked stunning in a white Gucci gown.

13.Isan Elba

The golden globes 2019 Ambassador and daughter of actor Idris Elba wore this dress designed by Elie Saab.

14. Camilla Belle

The star of when a stranger calls (2006) wore a royal blue gown by Jason Wu.

15. Jamie Lee Curtis

The star of the hit horror movie Halloween looked stunning in a white dress with a glittering accent.

Let’s not forget about the suits…

16. Ryan Seacrest

Seacrest looked smart in a custom Ryan Seacrest Distinction Collection suit and Givenchy shoes.

17. John Krasinski

One half of this year’s golden globes most adorable couple, Krasinski looked charming in a blue Brunello Cucinelli tux.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 06: John Krasinski attends the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/2019-golden-globes-red-carpet-best-dressed-men-1173632/item/james-van-der-beek-best-dressed-men-golden-globes-2019-1173673


18. Rami Malek

The bohemian rhapsody nominee wore a custom black Givenchy tux.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 06: Rami Malek attends the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lists/2019-golden-globes-red-carpet-best-dressed-men-1173632/item/james-van-der-beek-best-dressed-men-golden-globes-2019-1173673


So those are my favourite looks from this year’s Golden Globe Awards.  I hope you liked this post and thank you for reading x

Who’s Afraid of Mr Wolfe? by Hazel Osmond – book review

Some spoilers may be present in this review

Ellie thinks she’s in love. But then, she doesn’t know Jack…

Ellie Somerset loves her career – obsessed boyfriend Sam and she loves her job as an advertising copywriter. But Sam is always at work and her fresh ideas keep being overlooked.

Her life gets more complicated when new boss Jack Wolfe – Heathcliff in a suit – arrives at the agency. With his brooding good looks, trademark scowl and plans for a change, he challenges Ellie to smarten up and prove herself.

To Ellie’s horror, she finds herself both repelled and attracted to the sexy and dangerous Jack. But this particular wolf has an awful lot to hide…

Who’s afraid of Mr Wolfe? Not Ellie. Not until it’s far too late.

I spotted this book in Dealz for about €2.  This book was originally €7.77 in stores. The cover was just so sparkly and pretty. I read the synopsis and thought well, this sounds good.

In the beginning of the book we are introduced to Ellie Somerset. She’s coming up with an idea involving singing knickers for a campaign which is quite bizarre.

Her co-worker Lesley (also her best friend) is mentioned in the introduction along with other co-workers such as Hugo. The co-workers discover they have a new boss named Jack Wolfe who Hugo has mentioned he’s afraid of.

Ellie works as an advertising copywriter and is hoping to get a promotion for her hard work. Alongside her friend Lesley, they come up with a song for their knickers campaign. Some of the board members think it’s absolutely ridiculous but Jack Wolfe quite likes their idea.

Jack begins to challenge Ellie which nearly almost ends in the pair bickering and Jack being the arrogant boss with a mysterious past. We learn fairly early on that Jack likes to sleep around.

He charms women and sex is always the end goal. But this time something is different, he is very attracted to Ellie but as her boss there’s nothing he can do as his feelings grow progressively.

Ellie can’t stand him always taking a dig at her but later on she seems to grow more and more attracted to the enigmatic Jack. The spark between them is undeniable and the two eventually reveal their lust for one another.

The first half of the book was very well – written. Ellie is a feisty, determined character and is not afraid to speak her mind. The chemistry between Jack and Ellie was enjoyable to read as well.

Reading how the constant bickering plays out reminded of a somewhat old married couple but in this case, the two characters would eventually need to give in to their feelings for one another.

The second half of the book was an utter disappointment. The once determined heroine was now an overly emotional, desperate woman who felt she needed Jack to love her.

Jack continued to sleep with other women and frankly, treated Ellie like shit. And the most annoying part, Ellie let him treat her badly. She was so desperate to be loved by Jack even when he continued to manipulate and insult her that it was difficult to finish the novel without skipping pages.

 Overall, this book had a lot of potential but sadly the second half of the book was disappointing.

Bumble – dating app review

  Image cropped from Bumble app

While there are three modes in the bumble app, the one I will be reviewing in this post is bumble date. I may review the other modes at a later stage.

Wikipedia describe Bumble as a location-based social and dating application that facilitates communication between interested users but with one key difference, women message first.

Bumble is free to download from the google play store. You can create an account using Facebook or your phone number.  For the purpose of this review, I signed up using Facebook.

Bumble have three modes in the one app, bumble date (for dating obvs), bumble bff (for finding new friends) and bumble Bizz (grow a network/business with local people)

bumble date
bumble bff
bumble bizz

Creating a profile is easy, just add a few photos of yourself, enter if you’re active, your star sign, if you drink, what you are looking for etc. Your profile picture and your age will automatically be taken from Facebook. Your location will also be used to suggest matches nearby.

On the main page, your first match will appear. Their picture(s), name, age, and location will also be shown. Swipe left (not interested), swipe right (interested).

The person icon in the left corner takes you to your profile. Your picture, edit profile, contact and FAQ and bumble coins are shown on this page. The gear icon on the left takes you to the setting page. Here you can use snooze mode, set advanced date filters, who you are interested in, age and edit notification settings. At the bottom of this page, you can log out.

Go back to main page. Click the message icon in the corner and you are taken to the match and conversation page. Your matches are shown at the top. To see who likes you in the match queue, you must upgrade to bumble boost.  Conversations are shown underneath.

match queue and conversations page

If you match with someone, you (female) have 24 hours to message first. After you make the first move, the recipient then has 24 hours to respond or the match disappears. In a same- sex relationship, either person can message first and the recipient must again respond or the match disappears.

My review of Bumble date

I was unable to upgrade to boost due to the fact it had an offer of €20 euro but when I went to pay they wanted to charge me nearly €80! Anyway I continued to use the free version and here is how I got on…

In a month, I had gotten approximately 15 matches. 13 answered so the other matches disappeared after 24 hours. I unmatched with two guys due to one guy being inappropriate and the other just wanted snapchat names. So out of 11 guys…

27% wanted my snapchat

22% conversations out of a possible 50 matches

36% were students

19% continued conversation after day 1

81% did not continue conversation after day 1

27% were looking for a relationship

27% didn’t state what they were looking for

18% wanted something casual

27% said they didn’t know what they were looking for yet

I did not meet up with anyone from this app. No dates were arranged.

Pros

  • The app is well – designed. It gives the appearance of a beehive which I liked. The use of colours white and yellow in the app was really cool.
  • I like how the woman has to message first. I’m usually shy to text and in a way this app boosted my confidence in making a move and saying hey.
  • It’s easy to text and you can like a message using the heart icon in the corner.
  • I like how you can send gifs in the conversations.
  • It’s easy to set up and create a profile.
  • Bumble have a great support team and they get back to you fairly quickly.

Cons

  • The location was a big no for me. I hated how it showed my exact town instead of the district like Cork etc. It made me feel uneasy at times. When I contacted them about it they said there was nothing they could do and it goes by your phones location.
  • The payment for bumble boost seriously needs to be sorted out. I was lucky I spotted the €80 at the bottom of the screen before I entered my credit card…
  • There should be a filter for the location. I live in Munster and it was showing me potential matches from Dundalk and Dublin.

Conclusion

Bumble is a well- designed app that challenges society and it’s stereotypes. The fact that women text first is a nice modern idea. The majority of people on the app want something casual or they don’t know. There were very few on the app who were looking for a relationship.

For a while, I enjoyed using the app but it soon seemed like just another dating app in the market. It seems that the app may be headed into the hook-up culture reputation. The idea of the name bumble and the beehive appearance is really well done. The biggest problem with the app was the location. I think that if the location was fixed then it would much better. For now, the location problem is bothersome.

My New Year Resolutions

It’s that time of year again. Gym memberships, throwing out all the selection boxes and trying to perfect the task of writing 2019 instead of 2018. A new year resolution is something that many people do come first of January but what exactly is a new year resolution? According to Wikipedia, a New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behavior, to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve their life.

I have a few things I’d like to accomplish/change in 2019 so without further ado, here are a few of my 2019 new year resolutions:

  • Become healthier – During Christmas my diet just went out the window so I plan to go back on it for the new year
  • Exercise – Get my fitness routine back on track
  • Grow and post more on Instagram
  • Blog – To write more blog posts and engage more on my social media platforms
  • Dating – I’m going to try and wait for the right person to come along while in the meantime being more productive and keeping busy by focusing on college and my blog.
  • Travel somewhere new in Ireland

Blogmas#6 – Christmas Party Outfit Ideas

Whether you’re heading to an office Christmas party, a birthday party or just a night out on the town, here’s some Christmas party outfit inspo for you…

  1. Quiz – Towie gold and pink sequin stripe bodycon dress .  €24 from debenhams.ie. 

2. Quiz – Towie silver foil cowlneck bodycon dress. €24 from debenhams.ie

3. Black and Purple Stripe Sequin Bodysuit. €14.99 from New Look. *Special Offer

4. Multi leopard print long sleeve bodycon dress. €21 from Missguided. 

5. Bershka mirror high neck long sleeved top. €27.64 from Bershka. 

6. Lace Overlay Mini Dress. €24 from Forever 21. 

7. Striped-Trim Bodycon Dress. €19 from Forever 21. 

8. Dasher Burgundy Knit Christmas Jumper. €19.99 from Vavavoom.ie. 

9. Quarry Green Velvet Tiered Mini Dress. €34.99 from Vavavoom.ie. 

10. Venice Wine Cami Culotte Jumpsuit. €15 from Vavavoom.ie. 

Thank you guys for reading. Happy Shopping X

Blogmas#5 – Favourite Christmas Movies

 

 Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/christmas-village-christmas-xmas-1088143/

An essential part of the lead up to Christmas is the showing of countless Christmas movies on TV. Whether it’s a hallmark movie, a Disney film such as Frozen (who can forget kids from all over the world belting out Let it Go) or a classic such as It’s a Wonderful Life. So if you’re looking for something to watch over this festive season, have a look at my favourite Christmas movies… In no particular order

  1. How the Grinch stole Christmas(2000)

This movie is an adaptation of the children’s tale from Dr. Seuss. The green Grinch HATES Christmas with a passion and is determined to ruin it for all the citizens of Whoville.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQV5Pr7pWtM

 

2. Elf(2003)

Will Ferrell is brilliant taking on the role of Buddy the Elf in this festive comedy. Buddy has been raised with Elfs but when feels that he no longer fits in, Buddy goes to New York City in search of his biological father.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gW9wRNqQ_P8 

 

  1. The Polar Express(2004)

A young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole where he discovers friendship, bravery and that the magic of Christmas never fades if only you believe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQhRqtt-Fpo

 

  1. Love Actually(2003)

Love Actually examines love in nine people’s lives in the lead up to Christmas Eve. A Christmas themed romantic comedy for all the hopeless romantics out there with a hint of drama.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOS-HMiVejo

 

  1. Home Alone(1990)

After the family rush to the airport for a family trip to Paris, Kevin McAllister is accidentally left behind. While he enjoys having the house to himself for a while, he later discovers that two thieves plan to rob the McAllister household and Kevin must to do what he can to protect it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEDaVHmw7r4

 

  1. Christmas with the Kranks(2004)

With their daughter Blair in another country, Luther and Nora Krank plan to go on a Caribbean cruise for the festive season but this doesn’t sit well with the residents on the street as they are determined to win a competition. The Kranks soon become social outcasts because of their lack of Christmas spirit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTzyGuB9V6c

 

  1. The Muppet Christmas Carol(1992)

The Muppets take over this Charles Dickens classic. Micheal Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge and Kermit the Frog takes on the role of Bob Crachit. A really enjoyable festive film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1YumE28SPw

 

  1. Edward Scissorhands(1990)

The first collaboration between Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. An inventor assembles a synthetic youth named Edward but when the inventor dies Edward is fit with long , scissor like extremities. He is taken in by Peg Boggs but not long after he finds himself drawn to her daughter Kim who is unfortunately dating the neighbourhood bully.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M94yyfWy-KI

 

  1. Deck the halls(2006)

When new resident Danny arrives in his neighbourhood his big dream is to light up his house so it can be seen from space. This idea doesn’t go well with Steve who declares a war of one – upmanship with Danny.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1A2uWWF1ZU

 

  1. A Christmas Carol(2009)

Disney’s version of the Christmas classic starring Jim Carrey. The animation in this is incredible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZ3lr3urgDU

 

  1. Frozen(2013)

Let it gooooo, let it gooooo, . Ya that’s from this movie. When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff and his reindeer sidekick to find Anna’s sister, Snow Queen Elsa , and break her icy spell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbQm5doF_Uc

 

12. The Santa Clause(1994)

Divorced dad Scott has custody of his son Charlie on Christmas Eve. After he accidentally kills a man in a Santa suit, they are magically transported to the North Pole, where an elf explains that Scott must take Santa’s place before the next Christmas arrives. Scott thinks he’s dreaming, but over the next several months he gains weight and grows an inexplicably white beard. Businessman Scott’s life is about to completely change…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx8FX7etF_8

 

Blogmas#4 – What does Christmas mean to me?

Don’t get me wrong, I love getting presents for Christmas but it’s not what Christmas is all about. For me, one of the best parts about Christmas is Christmas shopping for my family, picking out the perfect gift and then waiting to see their faces shine with happiness come Christmas Day.

Christmas time is about spending time with your family and friends. It’s about laughing together when the snow falls, having a snowball fight and making snow angels. At Christmas time, pictures don’t need to be taken as the memories of Christmas are cherished for life.

When Christmas comes around, magic enters every home, lovers kiss under mistletoe and holly wreaths are placed on front doors. However, the main thing that happens when Christmas comes around is I am reminded to be grateful. Grateful for my family, my home, my health. Christmas reminds me to be good to others, to think of those less fortunate than ourselves, to embrace the moment, to put the phones away for a while and to enjoy the magic of Christmas.

Blogmas#3 – Favourite Christmas Songs

Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/christmas-music-piano-holiday-1333798/

To get into the christmas spirit on this dreary monday, here’s a few of my favourite christmas songs to add to your playlist…

  • Fairytale of New York – The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl
  • All I want for Christmas is you – Mariah Carey
  • Last Christmas – Wham!
  • One more sleep – Leona Lewis
  • Merry Christmas everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
  • All alone on Christmas – Darlene Love
  • Where are you Christmas – Faith Hill
  • Carol of the bells
  • Lost without you(from movie The Christmas Shepherd) – Jeff Toyne ft Melissa. R. Kaplan
  • The power of love – Frankie goes to hollywood
  • Do they know it’s Christmas? – Band Aid
  • Hold you near(for Christmas) – Emily Denton
  •  Christmas Lights – Coldplay