Category: Uncategorized

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),

Amazing Irish Road Trip: Causeway Coastal Route

The Causeway Coastal Route is an incredible stretch of beauty along the north coast of Antrim. There are various loops to pick from for your scenic drive and we did the Carnlough to Ballintoy one. We did veer off a couple of times so I think we covered some extra ground.

If you follow me on Instagram you know I have placed this route up there on my favourite Irish drives list with Connemara National Park. A different kind of beauty but just as gorgeous. Absolutely amazing on a sunny day. We were so lucky with the weather.

We drove and drove and drove. Well Hughie did and I sat there and pointed out the window at pretty things (thanks Hughie😉).

After awhile we decided to stop in Ballycastle and grabbed food. I have a friend from here and she said it won best seaside town so I had been looking forward to seeing it for a little while. It’s a charming town with a lot of great things for small kids like trampolines and a playground with some serious views. We ate at the Marine Hotel’s restaurant and it was lovely! Two happy bellies. You can see below it was a windy day and my denim jacket prevented some Marilyn Monroe moments.

Ballycastle

*dress is from the tall section of Boohoo. Denim jacket, I’m not sure sorry! 🙁

Very very very worth seeing! I wish we had more photos! I focused more on footage of this trip that I’m not really sure what to do with. Have an amazing time if you decide to go! Let me know how if you like it😊

X

Irish Brand Alert: Don’t Kill My Vibe Jewellery

I’m on a mission to give Irish brands a special amount of exposure on Redhead American. I love supporting Irish. It’s not always easy on a graduate budget but I have good intentions for the future. Don’t Kill My Vibe is brand that stands out to me for it’s bold designs! They were featured recently in Lovin’s ‘Eight Irish Brands That Every Fashionista Needs to Check Out.’

This brand describes itself as ‘the love child of two fashion designers.’ The styles range from loud festival pieces to classy statement pieces. Such an amazing selection and really affordable! Not as important as the product but I feel the need to note that packaging is really cute too.

*The designers. Follow them on Instagram.

They super kindly sent me some jewellery to show you! Below is the Lil Hoop Gold Bangle and Delicate Disc Ring.

Some of their jewellery on the website has cute little expressions. This one’s is, ‘Shake yer lil hoop ;)’  

Loop de Loop Earrings Gold

These are all available in silver too!

Some pieces by them I love:

Blue Candy Shop Hoops

Make A Wish Silver Necklace

The Mercury Fringe Pendant

Go check them out on their website here!

x

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!

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

I’m Moving & Life Update

Hello, hello. It has been awhile!

What’s Been Going On

(Maiden Moose Photography)

A lot has been happening! Since my last post I’ve been in Germany, finished and handed in my thesis and have done what feels like a million hours of study and exams. I’m two exams away from finishing university and starting to see the light! So when these exams are done, I’m indulging in a big dirty takeaway and some fine wineeee. I’m also going to a music festival in Belfast, woohoo!

It will be very strange saying goodbye to Maynooth.. This general area is where I’ve lived the last three years and have made millions of precious memories and built a lot of character! However, three years was just enough.

Here are a few photos from the camera of south campus. Part of what drew me in when I was just seventeen looking at Irish universities online. The last one is of my beautiful friend Caoimhe posing playing her flute (pictures for her recital pamphlets!) in the South Campus secret gardens. I love that photo of her. She’s another thing I’ll miss!

I also did a lovely fun photoshoot with Dom and Eben of Maiden Moose Photography in the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. I’ll have lots of photos featured in the post all about it coming up! But for now here’s a small sneak peek. Check them out on their Instagram account in the mean time.

I’m Moving!

Now, this is also exciting. This is just an exciting phase of my life. Bare with me.

Guess who’s moving full time to Belfast?! No more weekends and just time off there, I will actually be a Belfast resident! We got a lovely spacious apartment not all that far from city centre. This has left me endlessly scrolling through IKEA’s website and Pinterest for fun cheap ways to decorate. Last weekend involved day trip to IKEA to have the craic and look about and found plenty of inspo. If you wanna see interior aesthetics I’m loving right now check out my last post, here.

Moving involves a whole new set of challenges that are obvious when starting fresh somewhere, establishing a career, etc. Real life adulting (ahhhhhh). While I basically started a whole new life across the ocean at just eighteen, this is the real deal now being out of university with a degree and experiencing the world…dare I say the 9-5 world. We’ll see how it goes.

If you are doing exams I hope they went well/are going well. You can do it, persevere! 

And to anyone else who read this far, enjoy your day! 

x

7 Questions I Get Asked + Homesickness Tips

When you tell people you’re from another country there’s a few questions that you are bound to be asked. As well as a few randoms! It’s usually whenever I meet someone I get asked a lot of these! It’s been three years of answering them so I have the answers memorized, haha.

Retro Flame’s new video actually inspired this post! She is the opposite of me…from Ireland and moved to America. She’s brilliant and I love her content!

Hopefully these answers give a little insight into my blog!

  1. Is your red hair natural?
    ….Followed by have you ever changed the color? Haha. My color is my natural one! I wanted ombre when I was younger and got my whole head dyed platinum blonde…It was so embarrassing and not my best look. I’ll stick with the red.
  2. Why did you pick Ireland? 
    My parents are from Ireland and they brought me over a lot growing up, which I’m super thankful for. I have always loved Ireland, the people and the culture! University in Ireland just seemed like a great idea to me when I was seventeen and it’s cheaper than most unis/colleges stateside. It’s still my best decision yet!
  3. How’d you pick your uni?
    I had researched all the Irish universities for awhile and thought Maynooth would be the best fit for me. I figured it would be less overwhelming than going to school directly in the city, but if I wanted a city vibe I could just take the train/bus into Dublin. Read more in my post about applying to Irish university here.
  4. Which country do you prefer?
    It’s very tough to pick! Both have amazing places, things, foods and people that I love so much!
  5. What do you miss most about Massachusetts?
    Buffalo chicken pizza tenders/pizza and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. And my family and friends and my sweet little dog.
  6. Where will you live after uni and what will you do? 
    I’m moving to Belfast, woohoo! Cannot wait. I have some ideas work wise, but only time will tell!
  7. How do you avoid being homesick when you live so far away from home?
    Only around my birthday do I get a bit homesick. Mine literally just passed but it’s a day where I always want to wake up at home! It’s okay to miss home/be homesick! It doesn’t make your journey/trip/move any less successful.

    My tips are:
    – Try and stay busy and distracted. Clean, cook, workout, study, whatever!
    Do something that makes you happy. 
    – Meet up with friends! Call your friends and/or family if you can’t meet up.
    And here’s the most important one:
    – I also remind myself I once lived at home and wanted to move to Ireland so badly! And that I am very happy here and have built a wonderful life for myself! The homesick feeling will pass! 

    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

Home for the Holidays: Cape Cod

 

I’m hooooooome! Despite the label of a travel blog, I have yet to discover how to beat jet lag. Maybe someday I will, but certainly not this trip back. It’s 7am and I’ve been up since 5. On Sunday night, I think I passed out around 1030pm Boston time, so like 330am Irish time, yikes (there is a 5 hour time difference). My body is clearly still on Irish time which isn’t the worst thing to keep up if I’m only here for another week. In regards to flying to the east coast of America, I have always flown with Aer Lingus since I was a kid. I hear Norwegian Air has fantastic deals though which is something I want to look into further possibly for my next trip home.

Cream Double Bauble Knit Beanie is from River Island UK but also can be bought right here.

It is so nice to be home for the holidays <3 There was snow upon my arrival but alas, it has melted. I’m hoping for some more before Christmas! There is a lot to do like seeing friends and family and study as well because exams are quickly approaching when I get back to Ireland. There are so many people to see and never enough time unfortunately, but that’s always the way! I usually stay for New Years but this year I’m spending it with my boyfriend and friends back in Belfast. The last few days, I have been between Cape Cod (which is a man-made island that is connected to Massachusetts by two bridges) and the city of Boston saying hello and goodbye to people! Both are great places to be but I’ve been loving the lively vibe in Boston. It has always been my favorite city but I’m biased, of course. I’ll do a separate post on the city as I have a few more days to spend there before going back to Ireland!

Here are a couple of snaps I’ve taken since being back. The first two are from Barnstable village which is a very nice spot to visit if you’re ever on Cape Cod. Nirvana Coffee Company is probably the cutest cafe on the Cape. I also love the idea of the book exchange outside it. Then we have our Christmas tree all lit up (with no star yet, though!) and my lovely doggo all cuddled up on the couch.

Hope you are enjoying the holiday season and spending time with your loved ones! Happy holidays to all!

x

(Photos at top of post by my lovely friend from home Sarah. Taken nearby a marshland area on Cape)

Americans Applying to Irish University Process

Several people have asked during my time at Maynooth for guidance for their American cousins, nieces, etc on attending university in Ireland as opposed to staying state side. It was a very independent project and took a lot of time and patience to be honest. As if American students applying to American schools isn’t tough or stressful enough! 

Hopefully this post will clarify the process for anyone interested in going abroad for the whole degree.

Right, let’s say it’s the beginning of autumn. Many Irish universities don’t open admissions until November-ish. That doesn’t mean you can’t get cracking on this. Things may have changed since I was applying though, keep in mind!
This is a photo I still have from when I submitted my application. I was so, so delighted with myself!

  1. Are you a good academic fit for your school? Check out what SAT scores the uni of interest wants. This will be on their website. See what else they require. If you don’t have the score, it’s not a good idea to apply right then. You should sit the exams again until you get the required score your Irish uni wants. From my experience, it seemed they didn’t really care if I was a well rounded student in high school. I explained I was in lots of clubs on the tennis team, etc…No need for that. Good GPA + SAT scores = acceptance.More info on the SAT: I had submitted everything to them but hadn’t sat my SAT until later that fall. The uni told me just get a certain score and I’m in. It was that simple!
  2. Talk to your guidance counselor and let them know you have interest in an Irish uni or IT. They won’t have much to say. All mine said was, “Whoa. Okay. I once knew a guy that went to Cork.” But they need to know where you’re hoping to go obviously. They may encourage you to apply to a back up school in the US and I don’t believe that’s really necessary. You will know if you’re a good fit for your school based on what I wrote above in #1. 
  3. The guidance counselor is going to tell you that you’ll have to do all the work yourself and this is 100% accurate. It is entirely up to YOU to get the transcripts faxed to the correct university office from your high school and do all the application process on your own. I recommend recording what you emailed to whom in a journal just to keep track!
  4. Get your required documents together. This includes your transcripts, copy of your passport, recommendations (I needed 3! They were from my favorite AP English teacher, my private tennis coach and wow I honestly cannot remember the last one, I’m so sorry to whoever wrote it hahaha but I do remember being very happy with all of them), and whatever else they may require in the application process.
  5. Do your research on what degree you want to study. All the information about each one is on their websites. You apply with your top three picks and they decide based on your application (I believe, mainly GPA) what course you are offered.
  6.  You’ll have plenty of questions. I’m here if you have any specific ones! Don’t be hesitant to get in touch. But when I applied, I was calling the international office at Maynooth nearly once or twice a week only to be told it was tea time and I should call back later. I used to get up early before school to call them (I was running on Boston time then). By the time I’d come home it would be too late and the office would be closed.
  7.  Submit on time and make sure you have done/gathered everything needed for the application. Very obvious, haha but necessary.

It is really about keeping on top of everything. It is long and exciting and worth it when you get into wherever you want to go! By the way, I applied in September and found out in November that I was accepted just for a time span reference on applying.

I could do more posts on Irish uni tips for students from abroad if you like! Good luck on everything. It is a very exciting journey (:

x

(Photos taken by my good friend from home Abby in 2015 during my first year on Maynooth University campus)