My Manchester Trip(s)

As all you regular visitors/followers on any of my sites will know. I have been to Manchester twice in the recent past. Once at the start of July and once at the start of August. You may also wonder why I have been there so often. It’s quite simple really. Danny, the boyfriend, is originally from Manchester, so it is the perfect excuse for a weekend away. When we went in July it was pretty much for a quick visit to see his mum as he hadn’t been home since early March. August was to see Anberlin in concert and spend some time with Danny’s sister for her birthday.
I always get so stressed before going away. I have to have everything planned in advance. But thankfully as we were going to visit Danny’s family I was able to leave it all up to him to sort both times. I mainly took charge of printing everything off and arranging a hotel for gig night. I also made sure we got to the airport on time. I did this by making sure we left the house four hours before our flight. It worked fine the first time when we were getting to the airport by bus. The second time not so much as we got a lift and had to arse about for some time. Ah sure. Better to be safe than sorry.
The one thing I was very worried about was actually getting to Danny’s mum’s house. Thing is she lives in a lovely little town called Ramsbottom. As lovely as it is it is still 40 minutes from Manchester City/Airport. The local taxi company had a deal on which was pretty handy. It cost us £25 to get to where we were staying. It was either that or get a Train, Bus, Metro and taxi.
I of course got some shopping in both times we went over. The July visit consisted of me getting disco pants and LOADS in Primark and pretty much cost me all my money. The second visit I was a bit more smart, choosing to invest wisely in make up brands I can’t get at home and such. To be honest though, the days in Manchester were probably the part of the trips I wasn’t too fussed about. At the end of the day shopping is shopping and I much preferred hanging around Ramsbottom than bashing around Manchester hoping to find nice presents. Especially when shopping grates on my nerves at the best of times.
The best part of the days where we were actually in Manchester City had to be staying in the Ibis Hotel and going to see Anberlin in Manchester University. Anberlin has been one of Danny’s favourite bands for a long time and they have decided to call it a day at the end of 2014. Before that day arrives they have released a final album and gone on a final world tour, which Danny had tickets for. The first song Danny ever got me to listen to was an Anberlin song and we have listened to them every day since so not only did he get to see his favourite band but I felt like I was also seeing mine. It was a bonus when we got to meet them all after. 
I love gigs, I love the music and the atmosphere and I had such a great time that night but I have to say the best part for me was dragging my sweaty, weary body into the shower after the gig and getting into a nice, plush, hotel bed. The shower was UNREAL even if it does look like the inside of the space ship.
I just realised I’m pretty much blabbering on and I don’t want to bore you. I’m sure if you wanted to know ALL about my trip you would have gone yourself. I will point out two more things I ADORED and then I will leave you to enjoy the rest of this not so awful day. Yes they are both food related.
The first is a restaurant called Spice Garden. It is Thai and the best you will ever get. The one problem is everything is cooked there and then and it is quite small but also takes take out orders, so you can be waiting on the food for a fairly long time. But I will say it is always worth it. Their Pad Thai is my favourite meal in the world and I genuinely can’t wait to go back to Ramsbottom to get it again.
The second is a café and again I look forward to going back again. We went there during our first visit and all I wanted when we got home was to go back to The Chocolate Café. I was so happy when Danny’s sister said she wanted to go there for her birthday. I have no pictures to show you how cute it is but basically downstairs is a little chocolate shop and upstairs is a café selling all manner of chocolate infused foods. They do the best hot chocolate I have ever have. I PROMISE I will get photos when I go back.
That’s all for me. My next post will be live just after the weekend as it is mine and Danny’s birthdays and I will delve a little further into my anxiety. Until then I will share the few photos I took on my trips with you.
PS. I’ve been shortlisted for the BEST LIFESTYLE BLOG in the BLOG AWARDS IRELAND. Thanks for all the support.
PPS. Please send me post ideas or #AskLynnJo questions via my email which is listed in my information 😀
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Blog Awards Ireland Launch Party

Am I a socialite now? 

So last night I went to the launch of Blog Awards Ireland 2014 last night and I came very close to not going. In the days I got very socially anxious about going to such a big event. I knew my boyfriend wasn’t too keen on going either so I tried desperately to find a friend (a bloggy friend) to go with me, but unfortunately we don’t all work nine to five. 

To try pump myself up for the event, and so I wouldn’t have a major panic attack, I went out and bought a nice new outfit, that was somewhat out of my comfort zone, and got all dolled up.

When I got there it was very busy and I did start freaking out a little. The event description had said there would be ‘fun and games’ which I think played on my mind. I really did not want to be called up in front of everyone. If I know I have to get up in front of a crowd and perform or speak, it’s no bother to me, but it’s the unexpected ones and the thoughts that it might happen that cause me to freak out. 

Thankfully I did not get called up. The large crowd did make me a bit uneasy as I kept getting bumped and had to move out of everyone’s way. It thinned out though so it’s okay. 

I did really enjoy myself though and so did Danny, I think. We were downstairs in Pacinos which is such a nice venue. There were lovely complimentary cocktails provided. Madeline over at Tea Lady Tales played bartender for the night and did a brilliant job. 

The food for the night was courtesy of Glenisk. I had eaten before the event so I wasn’t too hungry but I did manage to grab some of their Coronation Chicken Cups which were DELISH. So much so I demanded the recipe. You can get this recipe as well as all the other treats they served here.

All in all it was a fabulous night, thank you so much to Amanda and Lorna for putting it all together. Whilst I only chatted to two other people it was two more than I’d normally be comfortable talking to so I am pretty happy about it. It was definitely a step in the right direction. 

Have a look at some photos of the night taken by the wonderful Damien over at Cearbhuil Studios, I hope you don’t mind me nicking some of these. 

If any of you give those recipes a try make sure you send me some snaps on Twitter.

CHAT SOON!  

Some nice organiser ladies / Photo Cred: Cearbhuil Studios

The lovely girls who kept us fed / Photo Cred: Cearbhuil Studios

Glenisk are amazing sponsors / Photo Cred: Cearbhuil Studios

Myself and the handsome Danny / Photo Cred: Cearbhuil Studios


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Easter Beauty Box Swap

Hey Guys!
I’ve been enjoying my treats for over a week now and I felt it was finally time to share the goodies the lovely Helena got me with you all. You can find Helena over here by the way.
Helena was so good and absolutely spoiled me. I don’t feel what I got her even comes close to the quality of what she got me. One of the joys of Sterling -vs- Euro I guess.
There is nothing I like more than getting parcels and packages in boxes, full of stuffing. Someone must have told Helena because that is exactly what she sent me. She also included a lovely note highlighting why she got me everything she did. I absolutely loved this as I so often wonder why people get me the things they get me.
Amidst all the stuffing and cute fluffy little Easter chickies I found five fabulous surprises (and let us not forget my two edible surprises also).

Helena and I had a little chat before the exchange so we could each get an idea of the others tastes before going shopping for each other. 
Helena really listened to what I told her regarding beauty products I liked or had been having a wee nose at lately in order to test them out. 
First of all she got me some nude lippies as I have been dying to try them out and find one to suit me. She sent me some darker nude colours which I was very happy with as I don’t think the peachier nude shades suit me very much.
Helena got me two lipsticks and one lipgloss. 

The lipgloss, Collection’s Cream Puff in Cotton Candy, has become quite a permanent feature in my make up bag. I have been using it in either of three ways:
– on it’s own
– over lip liner
– over either of the two lipsticks

As for the other two lipsticks, I have had mixed reactions to them both.
The first lipstick was Smitten from Accessorize. I really liked the packaging for this lipstick. However the stick did break which leads me to believe the formula isn’t the strongest, although we do have to remember that this came in a package from England so this may have had some effect on it.
The second lipstick was from the Little Mix collection for Collection and is Jade’s Lipstick. I’ll admit I haven’t used this lipstick all too much but I do love the red-brown shade and the formula is very non sticky which I like.
Helena also included two pastel coloured nail polishes for me as I have been trying to get into wearing pastel shades for summer. 

The first shade Helena sent me was from Revlon and was the shade minted. Mint green seems to be my colour for summer so I was chuffed to get a mint green nail polish to match everything else I have, well mainly my sunglasses.  Helena said she loved the formula and I must say I have to agree, although I did find the formula a bit thin so I have been using three coats as opposed to the recommended two. However paired with my Sally Hansen top coat/strengthener it has some serious staying power.

The second nail polish Helena gifted me was a Sally Hansen Sugar Coat textured polish in Sweetie. I had never used a textured polish before so I was a bit skeptical and now I have used one I find that I still am. I loved the bright yellow shade of the polish, it was perfect for Easter. But now I find that any make up, for example eyeshadow, had gotten caught in the crooks of the texture while I was asleep or out and about and no amount of washing would clean it. You may suggest that I wear a darker colour of polish but I feel the texturised effect would be waster on a darker colour and not as noticable. 
Helena also threw in some super cute choccies which I still have saved as I took so long to take the photos for this post.

Thank you so much Helena for spoiling me I hope you enjoyed your treats.
Although it is a few days late I will be uploading my Bloggers Do It Better post tomorrow before I head to London for the weekend to see McBusted. I’m sorry it has taken so long but it has been a busy time. 
I uploaded a new YouTube video today which some of you may like. You can check it out below.

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The New Clerys.

Having worked in Clerys for the past five years I have earned quite a few luxuries.
One such luxury was being told by Jessica that mine and my mum’s names were on the list for the Clerys VIP friends and family night before the media and public were allowed in the store. One luxury I lost the day I left was my staff discount:(
I was in work so I only got there about 7pm just before they closed at 8 and whilst my mum wanted to get a jacket it was nice to have a wee look about.
I did take some pictures, they are really bad though because I was afraid I’d get in trouble having my phone out taking photos… then I remembered, I don’t work there anymore. 
We went in a side door as the main doors weren’t being used yet. There was a red carpet and a guest list. That was definitely a nice touch.
My first impression of the inside was that it was lovely. But I don’t like it because it’s not the old Clerys. The store is completely open plan and all very white and clean an modern. At times it reminded me a bit of Harrods. 
I’m sure a lot of people will agree with me when I say it’s not the same. I kind of found it a bit annoying that I could never tell which department I was in, it reminded me of House of Fraser in Dundrum too much and that was a feature I hated. I grew up in Clerys and while I love the store now and think it is gorgeous. It isn’t home…
As someone who used to work there though I wasn’t happy. First off not one single staff member acknowledged me. Yes the people I knew there said hi. But not one staff member in a department I was shopping in, who did not know me, asked if we needed a hand or even said hi. We were in one department and my mum was saying to see if there was a different side in a coat and two staff members stood with their backs to us about a metre away and carried on their conversation ignoring us. Saying that I asked a girl in Elverys for a size in something and her and the male sales assistant were super helpful to us and we bought from them. See customer service works. I definitely feel that Clerys needs to do some serious customer training over the next few weeks because they lost all their best staff when they closed and their new staff haven’t a clue. They were all rude. While my mum was paying for her last purchase three sales assistants pushed past her to start a chat with the guy serving her and have cakes with him, ignoring us. Not to mention he didn’t have a great bedside manner. Bit sad when the store hasn’t even fully opened yet. Customers always told me the reason they love Clerys was the staff and the service. I don’t think many people will be saying that from now on. 
I was also a bit disappointed to see the store still stocking the brand I used to work for but without it as a concession or without keeping any of us on. That and there were more new faces than old faces and bar an interview for a concession I applied for in July that I chose not to attend, not once was I contacted for a position there even though it was known I was seeking work. Poor form. Also there were very few sales assistants around. Get more of a staff presence Clerys.
I’m glad I left to be honest. It’s not the same store and I don’t think I’d like to work there now only for the friendships I have there. But I can always go in to visit them. That isn’t lost, but I think I will be praying to be made permanent in the Kilkenny store after Christmas. I love it there.
If you do want to nose around Clerys, some concessions have 20% off. The store opens this Thursday, November 21st, with events from 10am and the official opening at 11am. Bressie will be there.
All my love,
Lynn Jo xox 

Stay Matte Challenge | Introduction.

Hey guys!
I have been asked to take part in Rimmel’s Stay Matte Challenge. Today I got a lovely purple package containing my sample of Rimmel’s Stay Matte foundation in Light Porcelain.
For the next 7 days I am going to be putting the foundation to the test.
Each day I will upload a blog post with pictures of my makeup when I first applied it and before I took it off. I will also outline what I did for the day so you know what the foundation went through.
At the end of my 7 days I will upload a YouTube video letting you all know how I got on.
The posts won’t be too long just a quick fill in type thing!
All My Love,
Lynn Jo xox

Lush Haul | Review

Hey internet friends.
If you watch my YouTube videos you will know that I recently bought some new lush pieces.
If not here is the video:
(I really need to change that thumbnail)
Well I have finished using up the three items I bought and the results are in.
Soot Ball
Yeah I mean it was cute to look at. Add some googly eyes and they could have called them soot sprites! This one was nice when it was dissolving in the bath and the black gave way to a nice orange. It didn’t give out much scent though and was the colour of tan water when it was all dissolved. It also took me ages to wash the residue off my tub so all in all not good.
Secret Santa

This one was a lot more pricey than your usual bath ballistic (€7.50) but it was slightly bigger and worth it. It dissolved into a nice pink/orange colour and smelt so nice. The fragrance lasted the whole bath too. That and it looks like a little Santa’s grotto. I would definitely buy this again as a treat every now and again. I thoroughly enjoyed my bath though and spent the night snapchatting people while pretending to be a mermaid.
See below photo 😛

Candy Mountain

Now this is a bubble bar that is pink and shimmery and smells super sweet, kinda like candyfloss or bubblegum. It also reminded me a bit of the Comforter bubble bar which is the main reason I got it. Instead of just breaking little bits off I just chucked the whole thing in and broke it up just before I got into the bath. I loved that you could smell it but not too strong. It turned the bath pink too and created some bubbles, though I find bubble bars never give you the bubbles a bubble bath do. I don’t know how likely it is that I would buy it again though because bar colouring the water it didn’t do much. Although my skin was super soft when I got out of the bath.
Have we all seen this? Are we super excited? 
I got to see McBusted play in September and it was AMAZING! 
I posted a video of it on my Facebook which you can see here.
How do you all feel about the pop supergroup? Let me know in the comments. Also what are your favourite Lush products? I’d love to give them a try!
Until next time,
All my love,
Lynn Jo xox

I LOVE LUSH! | Review(ish)

My Mum and I both love Lush and it is one of our favourite stops when we take a trip into town. A few weeks ago I posted about a customer evening they held and I was raving about it.
On Hallowe’en my Mum and I popped into the Henry Street store again and I enjoyed my shopping trip as much as I always have if not more. 
According to my receipt I was served by Keith it was he who helped Jean and I in the store. By helped I mean showed us stuff and laughed at my Mum because she kept just saying “yeah I’ll have that, oh I’ll have that too.” Between us we spent about €40 on Lush products but I just wanna say a huge thank you to the guys in Lush on Henry Street for being such lovely helpful people. You wouldn’t find a bunch like them anywhere else and they make it such an enjoyable experience.

Products Bought:

Candy Mountain x2
Soot Ball x2
Secret Santa
Christmas Eve
Fun (Gold)
Also I realise this is a very small post but I will have a mini haul video for you all tomorrow, YAY 😀
Also. How nice are my nails? My friend Jessica recommended Hollywood Nails on Aungier Street and I think they did a great job!
All my love,
Lynn Jo xox

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush | Review

When I was in London I had one thing on my mind. I wanted to buy a Real Techniques brush. I’d heard everyone raving about them and they had actually been recommended to me. Bar my egg shaped blendy thingy, which I lost AGES ago, I had yet to find a brush that applied my foundation in a way I really liked. Flat foundation brushes just left stroke marks and the stippling brush I was using just wasn’t for me. 
I didn’t actually find the brush in London, they were all sold out, but I did get one in the Boots beside work. I have been converted and I definitely think I will be expanding my collection. First of all the brushes are such good quality. Just looking at them you can tell they will last. They don’t seem as breakable as some of the wooden handled brushes. They are also really comfortable to hold, I’ve noticed now I take a lot more time doing my base since I got the brush because I don’t mind holding it and putting decent effort into it now. The brush is so soft but sturdy at the same time, even on my first use no bristles came out and I can see it lasting even after repeated use.
As for using the brush it really is a godsend. I know stippling brushes were always said to make you look like you were airbrushed or something but this brush really does. It makes my make up look quite natural. I like that I can properly buff my foundation into my skin rather than just laying it on top of my skin. It just gives it a better finish.
Verdict: Very satisfied.
I will have another post for you all on Friday but I haven’t quite decided what I want it to be yet as yet but stay tuned.
I went out last night with my best friends for Hallowe’en and Ciara did all our faces up. How awesome do we look? I think I make a brilliant cat don’t you? I don’t condone irresponsible alcohol use but I am very hungover now and need junk food. Bring me some please.
Finally, if you haven’t already seen it, check out Tom from McFly’s latest YouTube upload. How cute is that?
Congrats you guys!
Any suggestions for new YouTube videos?

All My Love,

Lynn Jo xox 

My Frank’s Hot Sauce Addiction | Recipe

OKAY. So I owe ya’ll a recipe. So I thought I would do a nice combined post. It kinda has some recipes in it so it counts.
Internet, meet Frank’s.
Frank’s meet the internet. 
Frank’s Hot Sauce and I have a very passionate relationship. This one time back in the day I made me a Frank’s Hot Sauce bake thing and I was HOOKED.
RECIPE ALERT!
I found ya’ll a recipe that has measurements for the butter and sauce but I normally wing it.
PRE HEAT an oven to between 180 and 200 degrees celsius.
MELT 3 TBSP of butter in a pan.
ADD IN 4 TBSP of Frank’s Hat Sauce.
MIX TOGETHER and throw in some paprika, salt and pepper.
LINE a roasting tin/baking dish thing with some chopped potatoes, sliced carrots, chicken fillets and some red onion for flavour. 
POUR the sauce over everything in the dish.
BAKE for about an hour. (You may need to removed the chicken and give the veg another few minutes, mainly the potatoes.)
THANK ME LATER.
But seriously I really have a problem. I go through so much of this stuff. There’s a shop somewhere that sells it by the gallon and I mean I want that stuff. I dip crisps into it (straight from the bottle), and lately I have started making it as a sauce/dip for sandwhiches and veg. 
RECIPE ALERT
Pour some mayo into a bowl and add some Frank’s Hot Sauce to flavour.
If you want the sauce thicker add more mayo because the Frank’s Hot Sauce ‘waters it down’ so to speak, making it more runny. 
For sandwhiches I tend to have it slightly more runny as I like more flavour with the chicken or ham. When I have it as a dip I make it thicker with more mayo. You could throw some paprika or cajun spice into the mayo either as well or instead to make some tangy dips for carrot sticks.
Yesterday I went too far though. I added Frank’s Hot Sauce to the water I was boiling my pasta in. It wasn’t a bad thing though. It was the nicest thing I ever tasted, especially when I held back some of the water for my sauce.

Everyone should try this sauce, but be warned… you could end up like me freaking out in case they don’t sell Frank’s in London.
My bottle is almost out by the way if anyone wants to send me more 😛


Lynn Jo xox


PS. Literally only hours left for the giveaway so get your entries in.
Maybe I should give away some Frank’s Hot Sauce next time.

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