Category: 2018

36 Hours in Düsseldorf, Germany

Hiya,

I’m back on my grind this week for blogging content and can’t wait to share stuff coming up! Wahoo! However, this post is long overdue. I was in Germany at the beginning of this month for the very first time! I have been saying I’d do go there while I was in Ireland since I was like 18 and finally got around to it! The chance to visit came about because my boyfriend is working on a short term contract in Düsseldorf which is a small cosmopolitan city in the west of Germany.

For the majority of the trip, I was totally on my own which was challenging. I flew over on my own and that was totally fine. But figuring out public transport was DIFFICULT. I have 0 German so thank goodness a majority of Germans speak English. A guy sent me on the wrong train, leaving the city, to which a woman on it kindly got off with me and put me on the correct train and told me to get off in five stops. Maybe that man who misdirected me was confused, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. The woman who helped me was SO kind, I couldn’t believe it. Five stops later, I thought I was getting off at what was city centre. It wasn’t but at least I was somewhere within the city haha. City centre was a stop before apparently but didn’t look anything like the centre of a city?!? I walked for about an hour and a half with Google Maps leading me astray multiple times. I felt hopeless as my phone’s battery drained. EVENTUALLY, I found the hotel later on and dropped my stuff and was very relieved! We stayed at the Nikko Hotel which I’d recommend, very modern!

After wandering for ages, I camped out in a park for awhile as an attempt to chill out. I took this selfie there under a tree to document the sunshine and moment of being wicked lost in a foreign country. Pre-sunburn selfie. It was super hot outside.

At the evening, I reunited with Hughie for dinner and drinks. I didn’t try any local German cuisine. Actually, the city didn’t feel very touristy. A German lady asked me what cultural experiences I had there and I wasn’t able to formulate anything. I’d like to see other parts of Germany in different areas to compare! Hamburg and Munich are high on my list of destinations to explore. We got Italian food the first night and Japanese the next. There is a large Japanese influence in Dusseldorf which you spot in the shops and restaurants! I would also like to take this moment to thank Hughie for being a great Instagram husband. He took all the photos. Except for this one of him obviously!

So, overall it was challenging but a great experience that put me out of my comfort zone. I’d recommend the city as a weekend away as there’s not loads to see so two days is just right. It’s small and walkable with a nice easy going vibe. There are plenty of high end shops along the Rhine River (which I adoringly gazed at from the outside) and it is a fashionable city in general! War World II actually destroyed most of this area so there’s a lot of new architecture mixed in with the old.

Along the river I found a little tourist stand which was the only one I saw while I was there. I bought a few postcards and magnets for friends and family. I’ve been putting together a little collection of them from everywhere I go. Can’t wait to stick the magnets on our new apartment’s fridge this week 😀

On my way back to the airport, I approached a German woman on the street to ask whether she thought I should take the train or bus to the airport and she actually brought me all the way to the train station (about fifteen minutes) and made sure I was getting on the right one…I’m absolutely amazed at how helpful and kindhearted German people were there…Seriously, they made everything a million times easier for me and I am very thankful!

It was an interesting 36 hours for me haha! Dusseldorf is a lovely spot. Especially with all the sunshine!

Have you been?

x

10 Interior Pins to Recreate

I’m currently trying to find productive ways to give myself a break from final year studies…Obviously blogging and social media is a fun space for me. I make it fun, if it’s becoming negative I take a break because I don’t see a point in scrolling aimlessly if I’m not in a good headspace. Pinterest is another great creative outlet as well and I like pinning some of my blog material on there. So I’ve been pinning some interiors inspiration A LOT lately haha. A new apartment is on the horizon.

You can follow me on Pinterest here.

Fun fact: When I was 12-15 I wanted to be an interior designer. Genuinely thought I’d pursue it. I even used to move my furniture around my room constantly to change things up and imitate room set ups I’d see in Pottery Barn Teen magazines. Ah, young Laura, here’s your big break…decorating your adult apartment.

Click the picture to link you to the pin!

Cute Decor

Living Room

Kitchen

Bedroom

As you can see I’m liking a minimal look, very neutral with a pop of warm color. I love the clean aesthetic. I also like the idea of statement mirrors like the round one pictured above. They make the room appear larger. My friend Olivia got me a light box (like in pin #2) for my 21st and I love it! It’s fun to change up the statement on it and Pinterest has plenty of cute ideas. I’m big on plants and candles too.

Will it turn out anything like these dreamy pins? That’s a big no. But it’s all about inspiration. My goal is to do it all on the cheap and make a lot of the wall art myself. A lot of DIY stuff as well.

Are we Pinterest pals yet?

x

Sunday Adventure: Belfast Castle

Happy Sunday!

Hope you had a lovely weekend and you’re prepped for the week ahead…I’m handing in my final year thesis this week so a day to unwind and take my mind off of it was well needed. Hughie and I went to Belfast Castle estate finally! It was really beautiful and a glorious day for it…until it rained but that was later on after we had left. Typical Ireland. Can’t complain though, it’s been a gorgeous few days for the island.

There are cat symbols (as seen in on the ground decoration I’m standing on) and little cat statues around the estate garden. They symbolize good luck to the visitors!

Even when you’re in front of the castle, you have an incredible view of the water and Belfast and it’s surrounding areas. There was a cute girl taking communion pictures at the castle, such a good idea! Very picturesque.

The castle is set on Cave Hill. There is several trails to hike on the mountain, some of which looked quite steep and challenging. Asthmatic me took the flattest one but it was still great and offered a nice view.

Story of my life. Sees dog. Must pet dog.

Glad I went and would love to make a habit of going here for walks and work my way up (and bring my inhaler, haha) to the more challenging ones. We spent the rest of the day walking about and ate at District in Stranmillis.

Outfit Details – simple for walking about!

Earrings – The Beady Mama. You can shop the Etsy shop here.

Top – Dunnes

Leggings – Primark

Shoes – Converse

Have you been to Belfast castle or Cave Hill?

x

Taking the Scenic Route: Galway to Mayo

Hello, hello!

I’ve had this week and last week off uni. I spent the first week just hanging out and writing essays (exciting, I know) and then got a plane to Birmingham at the weekend for a 40th birthday party which was good fun. After coming back from England, my boyfriend and I said we’d take advantage of both having this week off and head out west to visit my family. We traveled to Galway to visit in Connemara and instead of taking the motorway to Mayo, we decided on going the scenic route through Connemara National Park. It was STUNNING. There was constantly a view until the more main roads in Mayo. All the stops we made were fab.

Connemara National Park, Galway

Very rural, very pretty. We pulled over a couple of times throughout the mountains just to capture the prettiness.

Kylemore Abbey in Kylemore, Galway

My Dad text-suggested that we stop at Kylemore Abbey, one of Ireland’s top tourist destinations. The building itself is run by Benedictine nuns and there’s a lot of fascinating history there if that’s your kind of thing. There’s a gift shop and lovely Victorian gardens to explore as well. The famous Kylemore Abbey church is further over to the right and blends right into the trees but is still visible if you look for it. You can also hike the mountain/hill (who am I to decide what it is!) that it’s nestled into at the bottom of. To be honest, we just saw it and got photos and went on our way. 

And it wouldn’t be an Irish road trip if we didn’t run into these guys on the road…Take your time, lads.

Leenane, Galway….or Mayo….

We stopped in the Galway/Mayo border town of Leenane for a quick bite in a local pub. The only place we could find that would take card, haha. There is no ATM in the entire town! What Leenane lacks in money dispersing machines, Leenane makes up for in her stunning beauty. Quite possibly my favorite view in Ireland. These photos were taken in the parking lot just on the water.

Ashleagh Falls 

A small waterfall about a two to three minute drive from Leenane village. Keep an eye out for it on Irish postcards, it’s everywhere! If you look closely there’s a little house on the small hill behind it. I’ve ALWAYS wanted this house since I was little. What a dream!

Ashford Castle, Cong, Mayo

I love the very old movie, The Quiet Man starring American film star John Wayne and beloved Irish actress Maureen O’Hara which is filmed in Cong. Some of my friends think it’s cheesy that I like it so much because it is a very American view of Ireland and they think the stereotypes in it are quite exaggerated. They’re not wrong but it’s still a sweet movie! We are actually studying The Quiet Man presently in my sociology class on tourism in Ireland. Anywho, there’s a statue of John carrying Maureen right outside one of the entrances to Ashford Castle. We parked right near there for free and walked up to the castle. Luckily the sun was shining and it wasn’t that chilly. A lot of tourists were floating around taking pictures like us.

There are plenty of photo opportunities around the castle grounds. The gardens directly behind the castle are well manicured and basically perfect looking. You’ll find them in front of the water view. If you like to walk there’s a good few paths that trail through the woods. My dad just informed me that on the little islands across the water (Lough Corrib) there are little old churches that you can get a boat to check out.

This was not my first time going this route, but it was my first time photographing it. Thank god my boyfriend has taken a photography class (back in secondary school, but still) because I couldn’t have gotten as lovely shots as he did. I’m so happy with the photos! But more importantly, I’m so happy we went!

Let me know if you have been to any of these places or are planning on going! I’d love to hear what you thought! It really is a stunning corner of the world.

Chat soon x

Day in Derry & Weekend Recap

Heya!

This past weekend I ventured up to Belfast, as I usually do, but this time a bit earlier in time to see a Foil Arms and Hog show. Definitely see them if you get the chance! This was my second time seeing them. They have YouTube videos on their channel which you can check out for a laugh. Afterwards we went out for drinks with our friends but were sensible because the boys had to work the next day. Saturday was the day we set aside to go visit Derry. I got little gifts for my boyfriend’s family for Christmas in America and they were still laying about in Belfast. So I gave them their long awaited presents from me…finally!

We were a good bit outside the town in the countryside. The views are stunning. And especially the drive up to Derry from Belfast. It gets prettier and prettier. I think anywhere you grow up you get used to the scenery and potentially forget how beautiful it is because you see it so often. When I was new to Ireland the Irish thought it was funny how much I loved photographing fields, hills and horses and cows, which I get because that’s probably really American of me. But it’s nearly three years later and I still love taking photos of Ireland…But now with a great camera and even greater company (:

All in all, it was a lovely day full of catch ups and scenic driving. Derry in general is a really gorgeous county with a ton of interesting history. I especially love the town itself. It’s very hilly though so be prepared to work them legs. I can’t wait for the day I get to show my Dad around Belfast and Derry. I know he’ll love it!

Speaking of Derry, have you been watching Channel 4’s new show ‘Derry Girls’? It’s brilliant. All the characters have crazy good Derry accents (most of them are from Derry in real life I believe except for a couple of the actors). I learned a new term from it the other day…A nicker bocker glory! When a character on the show ordered one of these at the diner, I thought he said ‘nichol bockel something’ and immediately texted my boyfriend to ask what it was. After a few confused texts, he eventually decoded my gibberish and confirmed it was indeed a nicker bocker glory they were referring to. It’s a layered strawberry ice cream sundae and it is on my list of things to try!! I also want to go to that diner from that scene in Derry Girls.


On Sunday, it snowed and I was praying for a snow day off from uni but no such luck. We did a quick run to ASDA. I love ASDA because big grocery stores remind me of home, haha. Then went bowling. If you watched my Instagram story, you probably saw me humbly bragging about being in the lead. That went south really quick when my boyfriend caught up to me and we tied.

Hope you enjoyed your weekend too (:

x

The Big 21 & OOTN

The big 21…on the side of the ocean where I can already legally drink. A party was had up north with some rooftop cocktails at The Perch, followed by some dancing at Filthy’s not too far down the road…but the girls got a cab because of our high heels. If you know the distance between The Perch and Filthy’s you’ll think we’re insane, haha. The night somehow flew by but I was so happy with how it went! 

 

I had a ball getting my hair and makeup done by the lovely and funny Maria Gorman (Click her name to see her post about the ‘soft glam’ look on me and follow her for more) at Blue Hairdressing. Everyone at the salon was so nice and they kindly gave me a glass of wine to celebrate turning 21. I must be a light weight because it went straight to my head…after one glass. I’m so lame!

As a student I tried to budget what I was spending on a special birthday outfit but still wanted to feel fab on my big night. I did a lot of searching online and in stores and eventually was pretty happy with how my outfit turned out. I went for a simple all black outfit with pearl details (you can’t see unfortunately but there’s pearls all down the back of my heels – I’d snap a quick pic but I left them in Belfast, whoops!). My heels have been broken in for awhile now, thank goodness, and I can’t find a direct link but they’re from Pretty Little Thing I believe. All in all, it was an affordable outfit for a birthday! I’ve provided links for all items I could find down below.

LBD – Boohoo

Earrings – Accessorize

 Purse – Accessorize

Tan – the local NI brand Bellamianta (I love this stuff – great for even the palest of the pale!)

On my actual birthday (Monday) my two best uni friends and I got dinner and some unreal cocktails at Sophie’s in Dublin. Yes, that’s the place you see on Instagram that has the swings! Check out our swing pic below. Did you even go to Sophie’s if you didn’t get a signature swing snap? It’s fab and was such a good shout from my friend Caoimhe. I ordered a ‘Thinking of You’ so yummy.

(The dress from Monday night can be found here)

I don’t know where the weekend went but it was awesome. I’m such a lucky gal to have such great friends and a wonderful boyfriend who made it all so special for me! We celebrated all weekend long, Friday-Monday, and I think I need to sleep for awhile haha. Here’s to 21! I have a feeling it will be a good one.

x

Follow Me on BlogLovin’

Heya!

Just a very, very, very quick post to say I’m now on BlogLovin if you wish to follow my page: Follow my blog with Bloglovin. Bloglovin is a better way to follow the blogs you like to read and keep on top of their recent posts via your phone, laptop or PC. It just keeps everything nice and organized for readers! You can also discover other lovely blogs on it! If you’re out and about a lot and need an app with some fun blog reads, download the Bloglovin iPhone app.

To keep up with me throughout the day, follow me on Instagram where I post Instagram stories almost daily. If you’re not following already, my other social media accounts can be found here.

I have so many plans for Redhead American and it’s content in 2018 and am so looking forward to sharing it!

Thank you! (:

x

8 New Year Resolutions for 2018

Happy, happy New Year! First off, I want to say a big thanks if you followed my blog and/or blog’s media platforms in 2017. I know it’s a baby in the world of blogs but any support is appreciated. Blogging was something I was contemplating for a long time and I finally worked up the courage to post Redhead American this past August. I have received really kind feedback since then which always makes me smile, so thank you very, very much!

I hope you had a fun and safe New Year’s! NYE celebrations for me took place in Belfast at a small house party. Maybe I can’t even call it that, let’s say a gathering. There was drinks and dancing and overall it was just very fun. I’m bummed that I hardly took any pictures which leads to resolution number one…

  1. Take more pictures!!! This one frustrates me. I need to take way, way more! I’m hopefully getting my good camera fixed up this week or next. I use an iPhone 6 most of the time, but it’s pretty old so sometimes photos are a bit fuzzy. It still works well otherwise though so I don’t see a point in upgrading. So stay tuned for better quality pictures…
  2. Unplug more. I know it’s great keeping in touch, especially when you live far away. I’m definitely a little guilty of getting stuck on my cell phone sometimes. Especially when I’m traveling!
  3. This leads into…read more books when waiting for planes, trains, buses, you name it. (If you have suggestions of any good reads, toss them my way!) I’m not going to set a specific number of books per month because final semester of uni should be enough work. My brother got me this one for Christmas so that’s my next read.
  4. Get comfortable AND simultaneously cute traveling shoes. I have yet to find a good pair. My go-to is my white low-top converse to allow me to walk more. I don’t like bringing a lot of shoes. I usually bring just one so it’s tricky because sneakers/runners can’t always get into bars/clubs (some bouncers just don’t allow you to!) Suggestions?
  5. Less chains, more local cafes. Self explanatory. Support local businesses whenever you can! Here’s a read from Love.Live.Local (based in Massachusetts) about why shopping local is important.
  6. Skip the cab and walk more (if it’s wicked cold or raining I may get one, understandably) and discover more.
  7. See a country I never thought I’d go to. Like I said in my recent post, traveling opens your eyes. I’m really excited to see what adventures 2018 holds.
  8. Be kinder to the planet while traveling. Less plastic (particularly plastic water bottles)! I’m gonna invest in an eco-friendly water bottle very soon. 

    Of course I have all the typical ones like, establish a more structured exercise routine, eat healthier, drink more water, etc. but these are ones are more travel oriented. I’m super stoked for 2018 and hope you are too! What are your New Year resolutions?

Best of luck on achieving yours!

x