Category: 2018

Irish Brand Alert: Crann Co. Sunglasses & Watches

I’m really happy to have worked with Crann. Co who are a fantastic up and coming brand who are Irish owned and operated. They sell hand made wooden watches and sunglasses made from Irish wood. If you dont know Gaeilge, ‘crann’ is Irish for tree, hence the wooden aesthetic. All their products have and Irish name. I’m all about repping Irish brands and this is a cool example of a brand that has taken a product and made it truly Irish. So naturally, I love it.  It’s the little cultural touches that make it special!

Plenty of Irish bloggers are rocking their pair online. So here’s little ol’ me in mine. I love how lightweight they are. Also am a big fan of the tortoise shell. Not a sunny day, but a warm overcast one requiring some sunnies.

*I’m wearing the Bo frames in these photos. Sunflower field is outside Ballymena, Antrim. It costs £2 to get in and walk around the maze is £1 for a sunflower of your very own. See more on my Instagram here.

“During my time living and traveling south east Asia I had seen wood items for pretty much everything but what really caught my attention was the sunglasses and watches because I’m a watch freak! I love the idea of them being handmade from Ireland and just beautiful simple and timeliness. From over three years ago I guess I have been building up the courage to start a new business. I think building a brand is hard but it’s so rewarding and Crann is no different. For the brand I wanted to make match my love of nature, travel, being Irish and sustainability… Yes, it’s a weird mix but I believe that’s what makes a brand stand out, being different and standing for something. I come from a marketing and business background so I love building something fresh and new but the product side is something very new for me. I needed to learn a lot about product design and development so it took me quite some time before launch testing suppliers and designs until I had every product right. As every item is handmade and I wanted each item to be  unique so getting this right was had but I’m so proud of what we have created!”  

– Crann Co. creator Eoin

Check out Crann Co online:

Website

Instagram

Slán (sorry couldn’t resist),

July Favourites

Hello and happy August!

Overall, I’ve had an amazing two months here in Belfast! I feel like I say this in nearly every post but, time flies so fast and it’s hard to believe it’s another month gone! I lost a little motivation this month with the blog and took some time off. Conveniently, I was also locked out of my account and “broke my website.” It’s fixed now though, thank goodness! I had a phone call with someone I had been looking to connect with for awhile which put me back in the blogging game and reminded me why I’m doing this and why I started. The phone call resulted in something you’ll see later this month or next!

Anywho, July has been a fun month and I thought I’d share some of my favourites of all sorts. It’s really the little things that make me happy. I’m going to pick a thing, a food product, a past time and a place.

  1. FOOD – Halo Top Ice Cream

    My friend Niall told me about Halo Top ice cream and one VERY lucky day I saw it at Tesco, where it hasn’t reappeared since that week. So, I jumped on the bandwagon and then started seeing it all over Instagram. It’s popular for a reason. I got cookie dough which is only 360 calories for the entire tub with limited sugar and high protein. It takes the entire guilt out of ice cream. I went through two tubs that week and have been scanning my local Tesco’s frozen section in hopes of it being stocked again ever since. This is their website.

  2. THING – Indian Block Print Co. Stationary

    I LOVE stationary! It’s something I get nearly every Christmas from my mom. I’m always drawn to the stationary aisle of Marshall’s and TK Maxx (TJ Maxx in the US) and can’t remember a time where I wasn’t doodling or writing in some sort of journal. Indian Print Block Co. really caught my eye because it wasn’t just a notebook with a design, it’s a design with background and meaning. Usha, the creator behind the company, is an amazing example of someone honouring her roots. Something I like to think I do too with my parents being Irish. Indian Print Block Co. is based in Birmingham, England, where Usha operates her business from her home while juggling being a mother and a wife!
    “When I was a teenager, my parent used to take me to India every few years for a family holiday… and the highlight of every holiday was the road trips that we took to Rajasthan. My dad would take his open top Jeep, and drive for about 4 hours from Harayana, where dad was from, to Rajasthan, where my mum came from. We used to drive through mountains, deserts and old forgotten towns, and I would know we were near Rajasthan when I started seeing local women in their bright and block printed outfits… I always loved these trips and was mesmerized by the whole Indian culture thing, as someone born and raised in the UK, It was a world away from what I was used to. I always knew I wanted my kids to experience a bit of that culture from back home, but unfortunately both my parents passed away before I had my two girls…So I did the next best things.. I brought a little of that culture and designs into their lives in the UK, through my business ‘The Indian Block Print Company’… by using traditional Indian stamps in all my designs and products. Maahi, my 4 year old, already loves my notebooks, and wants to take them in her bag to school when she starts in September.. and Zia, who is 8 months old, loves sitting next to me and looking at the bright colours products and gemstones that I use. I still want to take them on road trip to India when they are older, but until then, I will try and bring a bit of the culture and colours that I love into their lives through my business.” – Usha for RedheadAmerican.

    Links for Indian Block Print Co:
    Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Etsy

  3. PAST TIME – Marriage Games

    An absolute hoot! Marriage Games is raved about online by many and has great reviews. I won’t say too much and give it away but it’s a fun way to pass time with your other half and/or another couple.

  4. PLACE – Tollymore Forest Park

    A follower suggested checking this spot out. It’s about an hour’s drive from the city in Down and almost like being in another little world. I compared it to Narnia on Instagram (C.S. Lewis is from Belfast!). We took the red path and it was fairly easy going. Very pretty.

    Hope this post opens your eyes to something or somewhere new!  Have a wonderful August!
    x

Hidden Gems in Northern Ireland

Thanks to my lovely followers for NI suggestions. Without your suggestions I wouldn’t have stumbled upon some really lovely places.

Basically, one person suggested the Gobbins. So I gave it a quick Google and thought ‘yeah looks great’ and we got in the car in the afternoon and went. To our surprise, it’s a three and half hour intense hike along the cliffs that require boots and helmets and bus to and fro the information centre. Do your research, guys!! However, and ever-so fortunately, the woman at the information desk directed me to a few more casual spots that my flip flops could handle.

Portmuck Harbour

Twenty minutes away from the Gobbins is Portmuck Harbour. A pretty little place hidden at the bottom of a very teeny tiny narrow Irish road that opens into a parking lot set right near the sea. There’s some stairs that lead up to a point where you can grab some nice photo ops. I love some of these photos so much and will probably cherish them forever. I had a really great day.

Skenaghan Point – Brown’s Bay Beach

And the second spot only less than ten minutes away is Skenaghan Point, Browns Bay in Islandmagee. It actually is right near the actual Gobbins walking path. One day I will do the Gobbins! But it certainly wasn’t that day in that new ASOS top. We went up a little path to the right of the water and you could stay on path but somehow we veered off into a field of sheep who scurried away from us as we walked up towards the cliff’s end. Stunning views and a lovely little walk. One of those spots that makes me go, “Ahhh I love this country.”

So! Those are two spots I hadn’t heard of, no one suggested, and no tourists really seem to go. Hope you enjoy if you visit!

X

Loving What Makes You Different & Hair Care Routine

Heya! Hope you’re enjoying this hot Irish weather. God knows my hair’s volume is.

As part of my brand’s name is ‘Redhead’ I thought I’d share my current hair care routine. I’ve recently made the pledge to myself to take VERY good care of my hair which includes daily vitamins, eating healthy fats and washing it less. Obviously it’s not good to wash it everyday so I am currently washing it every other day and am gonna challenge myself to try every two days to keep more natural oils to keep it healthier. Brb, going to stock up on Baptiste dry shampoo. I’m hoping since I’m publishing this to an online audience maybe this will motivate me to achieve this and let you know how it goes…

I’m also showing you a girly summery OOTN I wore to an event I was invited to at Lunn’s Jewellers in Queen’s Arcade for David Yurman’s new collection. I had an amazing time! There’s more photos on my Instagram from it.

*Dress is from New Look over a month ago in the Belfast Donegall Place store. I can’t find it online, sorry 🙁 Bag is Charming Charlie

LEARNING TO LOVE WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU. 

It took a longgg time for me to accept these red locks. I hated them growing up and wanted to be blonde and have shiny silky hair that a brush could elegantly run through without getting awkwardly caught on vicious tangles. Princess Mia Thermopolis style! I dreamed of her transformation from frizzy big hair to smooth. So it took some years and a lot of products, some upsetting haircuts and heat styling tools but I really am at peace with my hair. I actually love it! It makes me stand out, which is why I chose the name ‘Redhead American’ for my blog. Those are two things I’m known for being since I moved to Ireland. It distinguishes me from the rest. Learn to love and embrace what makes you different!

CURRENT ROUTINE

I’m currently using Aveda’s ‘Be Curly’ set which I got at Christmas from my boyfriend’s sister which was super kind. Hence, this is not a sponsored or collaboration post. It’s natural ingredients are super gentle on the hair while defining and enhancing natural curls and it’s pretty great.

Smells good, works good, looks good = pleased Redhead.

I use a GHD hair dryer I’ve had since first year at Maynooth and it works brilliantly. Then brush out with a Tangle Teezer. These are actually game changers and really help my hair avoid damage that normal brushes usually offered and leave it softer.

Thennnn, if I’m feeling like I want more defined curls, I leave my hair the slightest bit damp after blowdrying and add in the Be Curly ‘Curl Enhancer’ serum. I usually always wear it down and let it do what it wants, only straightening fly-aways and my fringe/bangs. Occasionally I straighten it for a night out to change things up but I avoid putting a lot of heat on my hair. And for that I use a GHD again.

Before I go I’d like to mention my hair looks different from one day to the next. It’s honestly uncontrollable but this shampoo seems to give me the most steady results! This is definitely the shampoo I use the most.

And, voilà! That’s my hair.

x

Monaco Photo Diary

It’s been a week since I got back from the south of France and luckily the sun has followed me back to Belfast so I’m still feeling the whole ‘holiday-mode’ vibe. As I said in my last blogpost, the Saturday was spent travelling to Monaco from Toulon, exploring Monaco, and travelling back. The train was only two and a half hours and the views out our windows were pretty spectacular so there was always something to see.

Monaco itself was absolutely stunning. Definitely a place to put on the list if you haven’t considered it before. Ever since I saw the Disney channel movie ‘Monte Carlo’ with Selena Gomez, I’d dreamed of going! That was at least ten years ago. To be honest I never thought I’d make it there until I was way older because it’s known for being so pricey, but the way to do it is to make it a day trip. You can see it all in a day because it’s small enough and super walkable (just bring sneakers/runners for all the hills). Nice is only 25 minutes away by train and it is definitely cheaper to stay there. Food and drinks were only about 20% more than the south of France prices which isn’t too bad considering the cheapest apartment we saw advertised in Monaco goes for 6 million euro and the restaurants have iPads for menus…yes, absolutely absurd, I know.

Two cups of coffee plus a crepe was €12. The next place we ate we got huge portions including big drinks for about €60 all together I think. I spent about another €12 on postcards and magnets for friends and family.

The views are unbelievable and make for an incredible backdrop. There’s a photo opportunity pretty much everywhere. So here are all of the photos from Monte Carlo/Monaco! They speak for themselves. It was the highlight of the trip?

*Dress: Zara.

Sunglasses: Oliver Peoples.

Handbag: Charming Charlie.

Sandals: River Island.

Hope you enjoyed!

x

Four Days in the South of France

Bonjour (;

France, you’re as beautiful as ever! What an unreal place between the natural scenery, rustic architecture, cuisine, culture…Basically everything is amazing and I’m constantly amused in France. French architecture has a lot of charm with it’s bright colours and a ‘hasn’t been touched in years’ aesthetic so I’m always happy just roaming about taking it all in. If you have followed me from the start of Redhead American, I was in the north of France last summer with a good friend from home. I loved it then and I love it more now! Also on that trip, there was the laughable confusion that I believed I was in the south of France when I was actually in the north…ALWAYS do your research, folks!! Seriously if I can suggest anything from my brief year of traveling Europe, get out Google and take some time to digest your destination’s map and acquire some useful background to where you’re going.

We flew into Nice in the south of France and took a train for two hours that went through Cannes and some other towns over to Toulon where we stayed in the town centre. It was so fabulous and our accommodation had two balconies with some pretty sweet views! It’s safe to say I was spoiled this trip with some seriously stunning sights. The reason I was there actually was because I was invited to join my boyfriend and some of his family there for the Grand Prix in Le Castellet, near Marseille. Kinda unrelated to what I was just saying but, but I love saying ‘le’ and I love how everyone that goes to France tries to speak French in a French accent. It’s great craic and you feel super European.

I went to the race track on Sunday for the big qualifying day. It was unlike anything I’ve done before! The race track was massive (to me anyway, I have no idea about car racing and what’s normal) and the amount of people that showed baffled me as well! I’m really glad I got the experience and can say it’s something I’ve actually attended. Lots of fast cars, interesting accents and sun. It’s my understanding that Lewis Hamilton won. I was more excited by the fact he’s dated Nicole Scherzinger. I am such a girl.

*bikini from Missguided. Sunglasses are Oliver Peoples. Outfit info on Instagram.

So that was Sunday. I’ll go backwards here. On Saturday, my boyfriend and I got up early and took a train to Monaco, a place I have always, always wanted to visit. It was back past Nice so the journey took about two and a half hours. We were pretty much glued to the windows for the duration of it because of the views. France really is a natural beauty, especially along the coast. Monaco, a principality of France, is going to be a separate post! So I’ll stop talking about it now.

Friday was sleeping in after a lot of wine on Thursday and then exploring outside our doorstep, Toulon. We also went swimming at the beach where a French woman thought I was a wimp for saying the water was cold and splashed me until I was soaked. It helped me get in though!

The ironic thing that commonly happens to me on most foreign trips is that we somehow ended up in an Irish bar. Surprised? If you’re Irish and reading this, probably not haha! Now Toulon isn’t a place I can say I’ve actually heard of before this trip. Like at all. And I have no idea why not because it’s pretty special. Sometimes I haven’t heard of towns or small cities in Europe simply because my American education’s geography didn’t cover them growing up. I had heard of Nice when I was in high school I think. Then obviously more when I moved to Ireland. It’s a lovely spot from the brief time I spent traveling through it. But Toulon deserves so much more hype! Every corner of it is gorgeous. Very consistently pretty as I was saying on the trip. Everyone was quite friendly that I talked to there which wasn’t the case in Monaco.. Food and drink was delicious as to be expected. Hmmm, what obvious travel bases haven’t I covered here? I guess if there’s any questions you have please comment them or find me on social media to ask and I’ll be happy to reply. You’ll find I’m fairly brief in my writing although this is a denser post than usual. I don’t fancy writing ridiculously descriptive paragraphs, I think it’s easiest for everyone to just have initial impressions said then and there and said like you’re having a conversation!

I am an actual wheel of cheese after that trip and my body may as well be 50% wine. No regrets though. I lived in sundresses and summery clothes and only got a minimal sunburn which I consider impressive for how much I was prancing about in 27C weather. It was pretty awesome. The photos we took there are such sweet memories for the future (:

What’s your favourite part of France? I think mine might be the south!

x

Botanic Gardens Belfast

Hello!

Another Botanic Gardens visited and this time just a short walk from my new home! Well I’ve been twice now but the first time I didn’t photograph too much and really soaked up the moment with company! David and I went a bit Instagram mad this time. The Belfast Botanic Gardens are much, much smaller than Dublin’s. However, they’re just as beautiful! If you like one, you’ll like the other. If you like gardens or plants or any nature at all, you might appreciate them.

There’s one main building, the Palm House and then the Tropical Ravine (very steamy) which is a minute’s walk away. They’re so nice to walk around.

My good friend from university David came to visit me and this was on his Belfast to-do list. He’s very good to photograph with because he’s big into his social media and is extremely creative! I’m always impressed by his posts.

Palm House

 

Tropical Ravine House

We also went to the Ulster Museum which is beside the Tropical Ravine in Botanic Park and admired it’s many displays until we got hungry enough to leave and head over to Town Square for some lunch. Town Square is a fabulous spot as well whether it’s for a coffee, a cocktail or a full on meal. We got a killer day of sunshine since Ireland’s currently facing another heat wave. Something the Irish can’t handle is heat!! Despite breaking a serious sweat, it was a lovely afternoon! (:

Check out David: @dvidmaguire on Instagram and Twitter. He also has a beautiful Dublin Instagram: @DublinMyDarling.

Have you been? 

x

Belfast Buzz & Giveaway

 

The Craic in Belfast

So it’s coming up on a month in Belfast, Northern Ireland!

The apartment is really coming along the way we want it to be! I’m loving it more and feeling more comfortable and at home in it everyday. I also love the public transport in Belfast. The bus flies into town, only taking five minutes to get to city centre, otherwise I’m walking a nice 25 minutes which still is pretty great. And the bus drivers are typically nice here?!? I swear the drivers in Dublin would bark at you or say nothing at all. People are generally friendly here in Belfast. Another bonus, which to me, is a big one.

The weather was very generous and we got two weeks or so of pure sunshine. However, it’s back to drearier days now. I don’t mind though! I’m away to France on Thursday and I’ll soak up the sun there (;

I’m still job hunting but keeping busy by socialising with friends, making new friends (I’ve met some lovely ones so far!), networking and running errands. I’m also taking this time to dive into things I’ve been wanting to devote some time to like lifting weights, baking & cooking, and reading. Life is pretty good.

And blogging of course! There is much more to come for RedheadAmerican.com!  (; I’m very excited to share more plans this summer.

Giveaway Time!

Speaking of which, have you entered my giveaway on Instagram? I’ve teamed up with Crann to giveaway these Irish wooden sunglasses in the style ‘Gra.’ Aren’t they fun? They’re comfy too.

‘Gra’ means love in Irish. ‘Crann’ actually means tree, hence all their products are Irish wood, which is brilliant, so local! I do love to support local where I can. I always have ever since my dad opened up his own glasses store in my hometown about ten years ago. It’s so important to support local businesses. And I mean in any scenario, skip Cafe Nero or Starbucks and hit a new cafe run by your town or city’s residents!

Anyway, back to the giveaway! You can win these if you’re in the UK or Ireland for free. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! All you have to do is comment on my Instagram post tagging a friend, make sure you and your friend are following both me and @Crann.Co and then comment on @Crann.Co’s giveaway post with me in it for an extra chance to win! Closes June 29th. Winner picked randomly that day.

My Instagram: @redheadamerican

Crann’s Instagram: @Crann.Co

Best of luck. Go enter for a chance to win!

National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

Hello (:

If you’re exploring Dublin, here’s an idea. Check out the National Botanic Gardens.

When Dom of Maiden Moose Photography found me on Instagram and got in touch about a photoshoot I said yes! And after some planning, she suggested the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin (Dublin 9) and I immediately said definitely. It was always a place I was interested in going and I’m so glad we did! It was so impressive. And there’s a plant for everyone! I’m a big flower gal and the beds of colourful flowers of all different kinds would make anyone happy (unless you hate flowers?).

I’ll let the photos do most of the talking!

My personal favourites were the really leafy greenhouses! They’re so beautiful and make you feel somewhere tropical. Hughie seemed to enjoy the fuzzy looking cacti. As well as other prickly plants you shouldn’t touch but he did…

I love Maiden Moose’s black and white shots. They are such creative souls and you can tell just by talking to them!

Dom and her husband Eben moved to Dublin six months ago from South Africa and love travel, photography and storytelling. They were very warm and friendly and it was brilliant shooting with them. It had been a good while since my modelling days (back when I was like 16 haha) so I was out of my comfort zone shooting with someone I didn’t know but Dom made it me more comfortable by being so lovely and easy to communicate with. I cannot recommend her and Eben enough, they really are talented! You can find their social media and check out their artistic photography here:

Maiden Moose Website

MM Facebook

MM Instagram

MM Pinterest

I’m so looking forward to seeing the Belfast Botanic Gardens next week with a friend! Dublin’s amazed me!

Have you been to the National Botanic Gardens? 

x

Being Genuine Online & OOTD

Happy June (I can’t believe its June)!

Recently I’ve noticed a lot of heavy photoshopping to curate this ‘ideal’ image with bloggers and even just Instagram users in general. I can identify where an image was altered quite often and I do think some people take it way too far honestly. Hear me out, I’ve nothing wrong with perfecting your art and I know for some people, they want this very perfect, colour-coded and filtered shot that matches their Instagram aesthetic! That’s cool if to you, it’s your art and you’re not doing it to present yourself in a different way. We all may be guilty of cropping to exclude and include what we desire but when it comes to editing myself, I don’t. All I do to my photos is enhance them with one VSCO filter, mostly always from the ‘A’ row selection on the app.

Today, I’m wrecked. I didn’t sleep as much as I should’ve because I was out last night with friends and that’s probably apparent in these photos. I didn’t put a lot of effort into makeup today and just wanted a comfy but cute casual outfit so I threw this together! I like how the outfit turned out and I don’t mind that I look exhausted in these photos. It’s real, it’s me and I don’t feel a need to change that. I felt good, despite looking hangry haha!

This top is in New Look now and it’s so cute! Of course I’m wearing florals, it’s summer! And the not so summery shade of black which I can be found wearing A LOT…the jeans are the ‘Tall Moto’ jeans from Topshop, which is brilliant for tall gals. I’m about 5’9 and they’re a great length for me. Love ’em! Annnnnd Topshop do a student discount, so bring those student cards and show them at the till. I finished uni last week and don’t graduate until September so I think I can still make use of the discounts haha. I paired them with a pair of low top converse!

I personally love seeing natural photos that show imperfections! It’s so real. And often times on social media it’s easy to get carried away into thinking everyone looks so perfect. I’m staying loyal to my beliefs by not editing my photos to bits or altering how I look in my images. Being genuine is valuable. I have always said this and always will!

Do you like seeing more natural photos in your social media feeds too?

x