The Sweetest Gift for your Friend Far Away: BFF Box

My best friend since I was 16ish is named Sarah. We found each other in choir class sophomore year of high school and she made me try Nutella. The rest was history! She’s the person I’ve been closest to since then and she’s always had my back💓 We typically text every few days and are always laughing. We are lucky we’ve stayed such great friends!

With 3,000 miles between us, it’s sweet to remind each other how much we appreciate one another. That’s why I think the BFF box is such an adorable way of showing a friend you care. I think the box design and packaging is so cute and the contents are even cuter!

This box comes complete with a card in an envelope, a shot glass, face mask, lip balm, bath bomb, two pins and chocolates.

The box smelled amazing when I opened it earlier. I know Sar would love it too.

It’s such a unique, brilliant idea for a gift! I love the concept.

*Sarah and I back in 2015❤️

*Thank you to BFF box for sponsoring this post!

What do you think? Would your BFF love it too?

x

 

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

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

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

What to Expect at a Bloggers Event

Hello, hello.

*This is the lovely Arlene Gill and I at my second ever event for BPerfect! Check her out: Girly Inspo Corner

I was invited to Lunn’s Jewellers for an exclusive peek at David Yurman’s new collection, so I went in July and I actually really enjoyed it! It’s pretty nerve wracking walking into a room where you don’t know anyone. But I knew it would a big step in the right direction as a newbie Belfast blogger and I’m super glad I went.

While it’s gonna sound obvious when I explain what happens at an event, I wish someone had prepared me. So if you’re a relatively new blogger or someone who is building up the courage to start a blog and find this blogpost amongst your Googling, here’s the story…

What to Expect:

1. A lot of dressed up people you recognise from online, and some you won’t know at all. But that’s okay! Everyone is there to socialise and network. The hardest part is building up the nerve to say hello to someone and introduce yourself. You will want to feel presentable so wear something you love and feel good in.

2. Socialising, and a lot of it. One blogger told me the hardest event is your first and I believe it! It’s because you’re diving in and don’t know anyone. I’m proud of myself for going to a couple now. It’s easier to go knowing you know someone there.

3. Nibbles and bubbly probably. Events will provide some sort of drink and light bite. If no food, definitely a drink.

4. Photos
People are grabbing selfies for stories and Instagram shots. There’s usually a professional there shooting the event.

Tips:

– Do your research before the event on the brand.

– Look your best. People are taking photos and tons of them.

– Stick out your hand and say hello!

– Be friendly and be you!

– Some people won’t be super social with you and thats okay, that’s on them. Find ones that want to talk to you and give them your time.

– just have fun (:

*Me, Emily Desmond (check out her blog) and Cathy Martin (check out her blog: The F Words)

Goodluck!

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