Category: lifestyle

Feel Good Vintage Vibes & Belfast Photoshoot

A bit of glamour came into my life last month when Una of UW Brow Studio Belfast asked me if I’d model for her ‘Feel Good’ photoshoot collaboration with photographer Katrina Taggart. It was a fun filled evening with the girls who made me feel extremely comfortable in Katrina’s studio, located on the Lisburn Road right next to Bob & Bert’s coffee. I was their doll for the evening! They dressed me up and styled me and we had a blast.

Vintage Vibes

I do everything really simply and naturally. Makeup, outfits, jewellery…everything! So it was a huge treat to sit and be pampered to hair and makeup and some really fun clothes that I’d never normally select myself. We went for a vintage look.

The Photoshoot Package

If you’re a Belfast lady or are trying to think of a fun gift for one, here’s the craic! The package valued at 95 per person starts with you being greeted with prosecco. If this doesn’t make you feel comfortable in front of the camera, the girls will (: They are both so lovely and passionate about what they are doing. Once in the studio, Una will do makeup for an hour followed by a shoot directed by Katrina after. You’ll be given plenty of direction and can pick any style of shoot that you want! Perfect for Christmas presents for yourself or a friend! 

Check them out and book your session here:

Katrina Taggart Photography

UW Brow Studio

*Post in collaboration with Katrina Taggart Photography and UW Brow Studio

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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!
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Game of Thrones Locations to See in Antrim

Heya!

If you know me you know I don’t watch the wildly popular show, Game of Thrones. However, I’m a big supporter of it bringing a lot of tourism to Northern Ireland. It’s given a lot of well deserved recognition to Belfast and some of Northern Ireland’s areas of outstanding natural scenery which previously (in my eyes) were overlooked for Irish vacation destinations.

So while I’ve been a big fan of Belfast and the county of Derry, I only got to visit some of the Antrim GOT spots this week. I am not embarrassed to admit I’m an absolute tourist and my inner American pops out when it comes to castles and ruins. I LOVE them. I studied the sociology behind it and could go into it for hours as to why Americans have such romantic notions of Ireland’s landscape but I’ll just leave at the fact I am one of them and I’m in no way ashamed. Ireland’s beauty and history is a marvel to me.

So! With that said, we went to Dunluce Castle and the Dark Hedges. Right near the Causeway, which we have already visited within the last year so we didn’t go again. However we drove right past it and through Bushmills.

DUNLUCE CASTLE

Dunluce is an hour outside Belfast and well worth a visit. I believe it was £8 for our tickets (I’m still using my student card, it’s valid until September. Even past then, I’ll keep using it). It’s mainly ruins but a pretty vast amount and it’s fun to just explore. Maybe this is only fun to me and other castle loving freaks. It’s a beautiful backdrop for photos since it’s right on a cliff in the countryside and overlooking the sea. You can learn about the background and history of Dunluce through posted signs around the grounds and a pamphlet given to you at the information desk. Parking is available right there and is free. There’s a little cafe too for a nibble if needs be.

THE DARK HEDGES

The Dark Hedges are around 25 minutes away from the Giant’s Causeway. They too are in the middle of the countryside in Ballymoney and pop up pretty randomly. One side of the road is a large estate and modern farm house and the other is the hedges which was full of people walking the length of them. They’re surrounded by open fields, making them all the more intense looking. Apparently this is where they ride horses up and down in GOT. Sorry for my lack of knowledge regarding the show and its relation to these spaces.

I enjoyed both spots! It’s nice to make a little day out of it. You can see more GOT scenic spots here.

Hope you go!

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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!

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?

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