The things you don’t think about before moving country.

As most of my friends and family will know, I have very recently moved to England. I had a lot of time to prepare so I felt like I had thought of absolutely everything. I’ve made a little list of things that hadn’t once crossed my mind. This isn’t a weighty or meaningful post by any means (big move= less free time) but bear with me, in another week or two I’ll be able to give the old blog posts a little more TLC.


  1. The tap-water is different. It’s very possibly just the area I’m in – I’m thinking it’s a largely limestone area from the white bubbly nature of the water, which I’m guessing is from the calcite (Leaving Cert Geography  yo) and while it does settle, once you’ve seen it I think your brain will tell you it tastes funny regardless of whether it actually does or not.
  2. People will always be surprised by your accent. Almost everyone I’ve met has almost immediately said “Oh your Irish!”, to which I almost invariably say jokingly  “What gave it away?”. The hilarity. Take a minute to control the laughter.
  3. It takes a while to get used to the money. It’s not even like I have never visited England, I have, more than once but still when I look into the coin part of my wallet I’m not sure whether I have enough money to buy dinner and a bottle of wine from Waitrose or enough to get the Tesco brand baked beans and a half pan of bread. The sizes just don’t correlate with the value! How rude.
  4. The structure of phone numbers is different. I have to constantly check and recheck a number when I’m dialing because I feel like I’ve accidentally whacked in about five extra digits.
  5. Finally (for now, I’ll definitely discover more things in the near future) lots of words mean different things. For example in Ireland “foxy” is just an adjective used to describe a person with red hair. In England however, it has a slightly different connotation, a lot closer to someone you feel to be of the aesthetically appealing variety. I’m afraid I learned that the hard way.


Thanks very much for reading, hope you enjoyed this little post!

Slán go fóill,


Alv x


Starting a Bullet Journal: Pretty Functional

So my lovely friends kindly gave me a gorgeous notebook to take with me to London and I was absolutely thrilled because it was the perfect motivation to start my own bullet journal. I had been looking at other peoples blogs and videos about them for a while but wasn’t sure if it would actually be achievable for me. If you haven’t heard of a bullet journal, it’s a personal organizational system contained in a notebook and personalized to your own needs and preferences. And it can be customized down to every single minute detail, because you are doing it yourself. It was created by Ryder Carroll, who spent 20 years developing the idea.

I have seen loads of different layouts and styles, Lily Pebbles has a very clean-cut, straight forward approach while Kara from Boho Berry is more artistic and elaborate in her method. I seem to have fallen somewhere in between the two, I like order and clarity but I also wanted it to be a good reflection of my personality and mind, which of course is not always so black and white. I knew I wanted to be able to see my plans and goals for the year laid out in front of me. I also wanted a financial section, parts dedicated to my blog and some lists to work on for the year.

My journal starts in September 2016 and ends in August 2017 (the time I’ll be abroad) and it’s slowly coming together. I’m finding it’s a very therapeutic activity, partly because it requires focus and partly because it means you can start to see your thoughts systematically written down in front of you, which for me makes them much easier to compute. Beep-boop-beep.

I’ve only just started it but I’m going to keep a track of my feelings about it on this blog, maybe an update every month or two. Currently I’m excited about and enjoying making a new habit and loving the practicality of having a proper system instead of a mountain of notebooks with various purposes. However, what I’m unsure of is my day-to-day planning. I’m used to a full page per day diary and I’m already feeling like I’m going to have a separate day diary to my bullet journal. Also I don’t quite have the hang of the Key, probably because I don’t have day pages just months and weeks. I took down the ones I saw that seemed useful but I am finding it a little difficult to include them in a way that feels natural. I feel like I might have picked out to many to start with.


Stopping the “What if-s”: The Fear of Change

Big changes are generally frightening in my opinion. Yes, exciting and all the rest but still a little overwhelming. Particularly if you feel like you’re headed towards the unknown. I’m sure it’s caused by some sort of basic human survival instinct but nevertheless it’s fact that most of the time we anticipate change with a little (if not a lot) of fear.

I have a big change approaching. I’m moving out of home- to another country. At the moment I’m swaying between elated excitement and jittery nervousness, one day I’ll be nearly giddy with the thought of finally packing my bag and jetting off to start building a life almost from scratch and the next I’ll be occupied with worries of logistics and potential issues that might come up- “What if I end up in a terrible job? What if I can’t afford safe, comfortable accommodation? What if I’m more lonely than happy? What if, what if, what if….”. Unsurprisingly, they never do me any good.

My mum said something to me recently which really helped change my perception. She said something to the tune of “A train of thought is just that, a train, with only one destination unless you change its direction”. And she’s right, one bad thought always leads to another, and another and another until you’re in such a miserable or anxious state that you can barely think straight, never mind try to get back to a positive space. Likewise, good thoughts invite more good thoughts and good thoughts bring with them positivity, motivation and a calm focus. Since my lovely mum shared this with me I’ve been trying really hard to re-train (pun much intended) myself to redirect  my thoughts to a more positive destination. Instead of letting the rhetorical “what if-s”drag me along towards anxiety, I actually answer the questions”I’ll apply for another job and note what it is I dislike about the terrible one. I will be able to because I’ll work hard and make sensible choices. I won’t be lonely, I happen to know a wonderful man living close to the city and I’ll make friends there as I go, as well as visiting home every few months.”

I have found this to be very effective in redirecting the ‘train of thought’. As soon as you identify the pattern it becomes ten times easier to control the pattern. I don’t normally condone manipulation but in this case, it’s all about taking control and manipulating your thinking in a mindful way that re-trains the brain to a new reaction. By doing it consciously enough of times I believe the brain will eventually take over and do it subconsciously (or so I hope).

I hope you found this helpful!


Mo Smidiú Samhradh

Dia dhaoibh go léir!


Tá súil agam go bhfuil tú go maith. Fáilte ar ais chuig an mblag seo. Inniu cuirfidh mé mo Smidiú Samhraidh ós bhur gcomhair. Is iad na tairgí is fearr liom a chur orm i rith an tsamhraidh. Aistríonn siad ó ám go hám so cuirfidh mé cúpla roghanna eile istigh ann. Rud eile, táim ag iarraidh tairgí gan-cruálacht a úsáid ach níl sraith iomlán agam fós. Cuirfidh mé * in aice leis na cinn nach bhfuil gan-cruálacht.

So anois, tá súil agam go mbainfidh tú taitneamh as! Abair liom cad a cheap tú ar an leathanach Contact.



An Bonn


No7: Beautiful Skin Day Cream
Bourjois: City Radiance Foundation

NYX: HD Concealer
Bourjois: Healthy Balance Powder


An Snó


NYX: Blush in Glow
Becca: Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Moonstone



Seventeen: Define and Conquer
Real Techniques: Contour Brush

Na Malaí

Kiko Cosmetics: Eyebrow Sculpt Automatic Pencil in 04


Na Súile


Urban Decay: Naked Palette



Inglot: Freedom Eyeshadow Palette
Look Good Feel Better: Blending Brush



Inglot: Gel Eyeliner in 77
Inglot: Brush T317


NYX: Vivid Brights Liquid Eyeliner


*Maybelline: The Falsies Flared Volume Express Mascara


Inglot: Soft Precision LipLiner 63
*Mac: Creamsheen Lipstick in Mocha


Inglot: Colourplay Lipliner in 316
NYX: Soft Matte Lipcream in Cannes


Kiko: Kiss Balm Lip Balm in Blackberry 

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

No spoilers here!



I wanted to share my thoughts on the latest addition to the Harry Potter universe, which was greatly anticipated by people of all ages from all over the globe. After lying relatively dormant since the release of The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011 , the Harry Potter franchise and world has begun to grow again. As an avid HP fan I was more than a little excited to receive my copy (which my lovely boyfriend ordered for me for last Christmas) on Tuesday evening. I intended to make it stretch over a day or two but (inevitably, really) I was halfway through by the time dinner was ready and finished before the nine o’ clock news was over. No. Self. Restraint. It just grabbed my conscious attention and before I knew it I was completely absorbed into the world Rowling created so many years ago.


Before I start I want to say that I wasn’t sure what to expect, I had tried not to find out much about it (I’m a sucker for surprises). I knew it would be a different to the novels because it is a play, and I wasn’t sure how I would find reading that. I had read plays in school but it wouldn’t be a format I’d be familiar with anymore. I should say I found it as easy as the novels to read, and made for quick visualization.

So, the text opens at Platform 9 and 3/4, and the story begins where the final book finishes. The style of writing is like it was in the books and this familiarity makes the time-jump feel smooth and effortless. It being a play, there are set directions included such as where the characters are standing and when they enter and exit the stage. We are gently fed pieces of information by the characters, filling us in on their careers and positions, the personalities of the children and the relationships they share. I really enjoyed the ‘historic’* references throughout the text and felt like the connections were well established and blended seamlessly between the books and the play. Time-travel plays a huge role in the story and I find that normally time-travel leads to plot holes and confusion but in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child it is executed with precision (both in the story-line and the ‘historic’ references) and ease. I was taken along with the characters, understood their emotions and could empathize completely with nearly all of them. Like in the books, you form almost immediate bonds with various characters, and old ideas are re-established and developed, there is definitely a lot of nostalgia at play here. All the feels.



In terms of plot, this is very strong. Very direct but also some mystery and hidden clues that only come bursting into the limelight at the moment of revelation. This is exactly my kind of thing in both books and film. I love a good plot twist, especially if it’s being silently set up from the beginning. Sneaky sneaks.
Character development is substantial here too, of both the ‘old’ personalities and the new. We are shown very different versions of the famous trio in some of the time-jumps, however it remains believable and the importance of incidence is echoed throughout. We see how the smallest decision can alter a person or an entire world completely. It really is an extremely well thought out plot and it feels very much like a natural development and not a stand alone publication.




I think the use of various medium will work fantastically well for the HP empire, it opens up all kinds of paths of interpretation to its massive audience. I will 100% be going to see the play at some stage and I’m already looking forward to the next film installment (which I believe is more of a spin-off then a continuation) which will be released this coming November.
It has to be said that the Harry Potter world/ brand/ franchise, whatever you want to call it, is in two words; mind blowing. It’s deep complexities of plot, characters and background history are second to none and its extensive following is nothing short of phenomenal.


I expected to enjoy this text but I can tell you honestly, I loved it and I rate it 5 stars without a doubt.
I would highly recommend giving this a read if you’ve read all the novels and if you haven’t read the novels then I implore you to get on that, STAT.

As in right now.



Thanks for reading
Slán go fóill!





*when I say ‘historic’ I mean within the diegesis of the books i.e Harry, Ron and Hermione’s stories from Hogwarts.


Na Feisteáin is Fearr liom faoi Láthair

Dia dhuit a chara, go raibh míle maith agat don cuairt a thabhairt orm anseo!


Inniu, ba mhaith liom cúpla feisteáin a roinnt leat. Ní “gúrú faisin” mé ar chur ar bith, ach is aoibhinn liom éadaí deasa. Dar liom, is feisteáin saghas “coitianta ach fós sofisticiúil” iad – bhuel sin an smaoineamh ar aon nós! D’fhéadfá na feisteáin seo a caitheamh chuig lón na gcailíní, fleá fhulachta Dé Domhnaigh nó coinne le do leath eile. B’fhéidir ar d’áit oibre más mbíonn cód gléasta solúbtha ann. Iad go léir oiriúnach don samhradh ach cuirfidh mé roghanna eile isteach nuair is féidir chun iad a bheith níos fearr don Fómhar. Beidh na mionphointí nó na ‘deets’ faoi na phictiúrí.


Abair liom cad a cheapann tú ar an leathanach ‘Contact’!


Feisteán 1:



Gúna: New Look . Brógaí: Boohoo. Fáinne Cluaise: Parfois.

Feisteáin 2:

Léine: Penneys. Brístí: Dunnes. Brógaí: Office. Fáinne Cluaise: Awear


Feisteáin 3:



Cóta Géine Bán: Penneys. Cóta Leathair Dubh: Penneys. Culottes: Zara. Léine: Penneys. Brógaí: Jasper Conran. Fáinne Cluaise: Penneys. Órdóg: Skagen. Braisléid: Alex and Ani

Five Free Things to Do in Cork City

  1. Visit Fitzgerald’s Park: This spot has something for everyone; families, friends, couples or if you’re looking for a great place to go for a peaceful stroll. FitzPark3BlogThere are a few different sections to the park, the playground (which is built to look like a fort), the gardens (which are by the water and probably the most relaxing part of Fitzgerald’s Park), the relatively new Sky Garden (which is fantastic if large, silver, mirrored spheres are your thing) FitzParkBlog2and last but certainly not least the stage area. On a quiet day the graceful arch of the stage cover is almost like a giant, curved, pure white pebble, dropped in the middle of Cork by some unknown massive bird. On a busy day when there is an event on, it is a hive of activity with people of all ages sitting on the grass in front of it, enjoying the entertainment and no doubt the buzz that is exclusive to such extensive hordes of people.FitzParkBlog
    You can also pop into the Cork Public Museum which is home to a largely archaeological collection, with artifacts all the way from Ancient Egypt, to medieval objects found right here  in Cork.
  2. Walk through the English Market: I’ve no doubt that any travel guide will recommend the lovely English Market to tourists visiting the city. EnglishMarketBlogHowever I would also urge native Corkonians to take a stroll through. I think we’re all guilty of dashing past the stalls when you’re taking a shortcut from Grand Parade to Oliver Plunkett street in the rain (I certainly am) and noticing nothing besides the strong smell of seafood coming from the southern side of the establishment. Taking even fifteen minutes to wander around will engage your sense of smell, sight and hearing in the warmest and friendliest of ways. Stop by The Roughty Foodie for an almighty array of preserves or, if you’re more inclined to go for a sweet treat, try Healy’s Bakery just inside the Grand Parade entrance. I have it on good authority that the Healy’s Bakery Chester cake is, in fact, the best around.EnglishMarket2Blog
  3.  Visit a Gallery: If you are of the artistic persuasion, you need look no further than the Crawford Art Gallery. With a cornucopia of events, collections and exhibitions to choose from (all available for perusal at you won’t be let down by this Cork gem, modestly tucked away in Emmet Place, a thriving, lively confluence at the end of high-street shopping hub, Opera Lane.Blog1        For the hip(ster), cool kids, the Triskel Arts Centre is your place of destination, ETA: before it was cool. Have a look at the website, see if anything piques your interest. Until the 27th of August there’s going to be an audio visual installation created by Danny McCarthy running in the Gallery and while I cannot tell you about this specific installation, I can tell you that McCarthy’s work is always interesting and thought-provoking, and I can also vouch for the outstanding experiences I have had in the Triskel Arts Centre. Not all of their events are free, such as concerts and cinema tickets (yep, they have a cinema, a beautiful, old fashioned, classical cinema) but I can’t recommend the venue as a whole enough. TriskelBlog   It is also home to the very cleverly named duo ‘gulpd’ and ‘plugd’, the former being a top-notch coffee shop and the latter an immensely cool vinyl record shop.  Highly recommend a visit.TriskelBlog2
  4. Visit the UCC Campus: As a very recent leaver of University College Cork I am full of the feels for said campus. It’s free to wander around and explore (although I wouldn’t recommend nosing about the lecture theaters on weekdays, very embarrassing affair to have 200 people simultaneously turn around to see what eejit is either late or in the wrong lecture) and I highly recommend taking in the stunning architecture of the Quad and surrounding Wings, the historic Honan Chapel, the lively Amphitheater and the riverside walk that guides you from the main gates to Gaol Cross, winding past the Glucksman Gallery (while very modern still blends in with the more natural, historic setting because of the use of wood paneling and curved edges) which is also another fantastic  free attraction. UCCBlogYou will have your pick of cafés on campus (the Glucksman does some of the best scones I have ever tried) but for the best coffee and customer service in the city head to Café Depeche on Washington street, less than a five minute walk from the main gates. A close second would definitely be Doppio Coffee on College Road but more on that later, in a ‘Five Best Cups of Coffee in Cork’ post! Rounding it up, UCC would epitomize my ideal place of study and I think having a wander about the campus would be one of the loveliest ways to spend a few hours.UCC2Blog 5. Get a Good Look: This is a simple one to finish with. Cork City is situated in a valley, beyond the North River you’re basically into the Misty Mountains (minus the hobbits). So natural there are plenty of vantage points to get an aerial view the gorgeous city you’ve just explored and no doubt fell in love with. My personal favourite “viewing spot” (it’s not officially so called) is in Sunday’s Well, where there’s a gap in between two houses with some fencing in front of it as it’s about a seventy foot drop into the River Lee. On a clear day you can quite literally see for miles. But don’t take my word for it, walk up there and see for yourself!ViewCorkBlog

An Opportunity for Revival

The Irish language in Ireland is not and for a long time, has not been recognised by the general population as a viable way to communicate day-to-day or in social settings. Apart from in small pockets such as Gaeltacht regions, Colleges and Universities it is regarded as an irredeemable, insignificant part of the Irish culture and history. While it can only be said that the Irish language is overall in decline (while strong and vibrant where it is used and respected) I truly believe that the people of Ireland have an unmissable opportunity to ignite a lasting revival.

I think the main problem faced by Irish is the perception people develop of it in their school years. Children are taught words and phrases in the abstract, they  don’t see the language being used in everyday life apart from place names on signs and maybe the odd ‘focal’ thrown into casual conversation. This is hardly sufficient incentive to learn a language as a child. We learn a language to communicate, not to know the words and the rules of grammar. I believe it is absolutely essential in the teaching of a language that the student has access to immersion in the language or at the very least the opportunity to use it outside of the classroom. Especially because Irish is the native language, it is imperative to its survival that it is elevated to a country-wide level of social acceptance.

The next century will no doubt be filled to the brim with newness but how special would it be to bring the spine of the country’s history back into our own lives and more importantly the lives of our children? Do we want to be the generation that let the embers of the Irish language dwindle and fade to forgotten ash? As Millennials, we have access to more information and more public platforms than any generation has had before us, and the freedom of opinion to express ourselves in whatever way we see fit. If we could use Irish on these platforms it would eradicate the stoic formality most people associate with Irish.

Irish is something that every Irish person has at least some understanding of. It is fact that, generally speaking, people are used to and almost expect fun, comfort and enjoyment in their leisure time. Free Ranganna Comhrá available at community centres, GAA or sports clubs and other venues in each parish in the country, perhaps taught by Third Level Irish students as part of their course for credit. After-school groups and activities trí Ghaielge for children from playschool to Leaving Cert should be introduced, along with social events for teenagers and adults in local communities and also in urban venues. The primary message I want to relate to you is that Irish can be fun, and this is quintessential to its survival in my opinion.


Let me know what you think, does Irish stand a chance? Do you want it to? Head to the contact section to give me your thoughts.


Slán go fóill,



Fáilte Romhat

          Dia dhuit mo dhea-chara agus fáilte romhat anseo (an cuimhin leat “Dia dhuit a mhúinteoir, tá fáilte romhat isteach!”- seo conas a mothaíonn mé ansin) chuig an chéad fográ don bhlag seo.

Ba mhaith liom mé féin a chur in aithne duit. Is mise Ailbhe Ní Chrualaoí (Alv mar a glaoitear) tá me fiche blian ‘s a haon (arís mothaím cosúil le páiste atá sa bhunscoil) agus ta cónaí orm sa chathair is fearr agus is áille ar an domhan; an Chathair Chorcaí (an Ármáil Cheannaircigh – hup). Tá fíor grá agam don chathair seo agus gan dabht beidh neart píosaí ag caint fuithi, so fair ar an spás seo!

Cad eile… Bhuel d’fhreastail mé ar Choláiste Ollscoile Chorcaí, ag staidéir an Cheol agus an Ghaeilge agus tá orm a rá, ba iad cúpla de na blianta is fearr a bhí agam riamh. Is áit suimiúl, neamhchlaonta, éagsúil agus sóisialta í agus tá a fhios agam go mbeidh UCC im’ chroí go deo (maoth, sea, tá a fhios agam). Mhúsclaigh an ollscoil paisin agus mórchúis don Ghaeilinn ionam. Idir na turais go dtí na Gaeltachtaí, Seachtain na Ghaeilge gach bhliain agus an sult ginearálta a bhí ann idir daltaí Gaelach, ba dheacair é a fhágáil an cúrsa gan anam sona, sásta ort.


B’fhéidir ceann de na rudaí is tabhachtaí dom (seachas mo chlann, mo chairde agus mo fear ard, soineanta, dathúil) is ea an cheol. Thosaigh mé ag seinnt nuáir a bhíos ach chúig bhlian d’aois agus bhíos ag cannadh roimhe sin (cuir ceist ar mo teaghlach, bhíos cosúil le taifeadam briste) agus trí mo shaol ní cuimhin liom ám ar bith nach raibh ceol im’ shaol.


Bhuel anois tá achoimre beag agat fúm so sin é don post seo, tá súil agam gur bhain tú taitneamh as. Go raibh míle maith agat agus slán go fóill.