Red or dead! West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week Press Launch

event, fashion, Hotel, Local events, makeup, mua, NI blogger, photography, Shopping, style

Hi, 

Last Thursday 24/08/17 was the press show launch of the 24th season of West Coast Cooler Belfast Fashion Week and yours truly was lucky enough to be invited by none other than Cathy Martin of CMPR! (Thanks Cathy!)

The show was held in Bullit a fairly new hotel/bar/restaurant in the city centre. I hadn’t had the chance to visit yet so I was really pleased to see this was the location for the event! It was held at lunch time 12-1 so a little different to most other events I have been to. Working full time and not in the city centre I normally wouldn’t have been able to make the event but as luck would have it I had booked the day off well in advance as I was heading to a wedding reception that evening so it worked out great! I am so glad I was able to attend my first fashion week launch! 

We were greeted with a complinatary west coast cooler on arrival in the most stylish glasses (I need to get one). And we got our photos taken as we went in. The place was packed with PR people, journalists, influencers, bloggers and fashionistas all of whom were really excited to see the show. There was a great buzz and it was so nice to see so many people I knew. 


After a little catch up it was time for the show. I had a prime spot at the beginning of the catwalk so I could see the CMPR models as they began to strut their stuff and also got a little sneak peek of who was up next. 


The biggest theme was definitely RED. It’s really got me thinking what red items I have in my wardrobe and I will definitely be on a look out for some statement red pieces coming into the autumn months. 


There was a mixture of highstreet as well as designer which I love as this makes it accessible for everyone. Some of the highstreet pieces I was sure were designer, it was so hard to tell! One of the pieces I know caught a lot of people’s eye was this shearling coat form George at Asda at only £35 I believe! 

-What I wore-

With only a couple of days notice to prepare I had a slight panic as to what to wear. We were sent out a list of all the inspirations behind this years AW17 show in order to help us plan our outfits so thankfully I had a little something to go on! I wouldn’t say I am fashionable but I do like to follow the trends (assuming they suit me and aren’t too out there!) to a certain extent. I had a rummage through my wardrobe and came across a dress I had bought recently in the next sale for only £20. I didn’t have anything in mind when I bought the dress I just thought it was a good bargain and when I tried it on I felt comfortable and dare I say it ‘stylish’. I felt the dress was flattering on me and although a bold lime green, the black panelling made it look a bit more sophisticated. I don’t have too many mid length dresses in my wardrobe so I went for it despite the daring colour. I noticed on the list of AW17 trends coloured fur was mentioned and although not fur I thought the brightness of my dress might somehow lend itself to the theme. Also bare in mind we are still in August and it was a particularly warm day so fur really wasn’t an option! With the dress I knew I needed something to go with it and so my trusty leather jacket from George at Asda which I wear all the time came too! As it would happen leather was also noted on the AW17 trend list- winner! 


For shoes I was a bit stuck! With a midi dress I would tend to wear heeled sandals but it felt too spring/summer when I tried them on. And then I had a brainwave! I had recently bought a gorgeous pair of cut out shoe boots from primark which I had yet to wear! Personally I don’t think I would have paired them with my outfit had I not been going to the fashion week launch but I guess the invite made me be a little more daring with my choices and pushed me out of my comfort zone which is great! The shoes have insect embellishment which is huge at the minute and I’m sure will be going into autumn/winter 17. The shoes also have a red floral design which fell into one of Cathy’s other inspirations for the show, RED.  The shoes although only having a little pop of red still (I hope) gave a little nod to the trend. I picked them up in the abbey centre primark recently and they were a huge hit in my Instagram at the time! (@scientist_in_the_city)


Overall I loved my outfit and what I put together, I got so many compliments and I felt really good in it. I loved that an invite to the fashion week launch pushed my fashion boundaries even just a little and gave me the confidence to wear something I hadn’t worn before in way I normally wouldn’t. I can’t wait to wear this outfit again over the autumn winter season!

Me and some of my blogger buddies! Photo credit: Debbie Deboo

When we were leaving we were given a fabulous goodie bag filled to the brim with some local producers. From Ballymaloe relish to He-Shi tan! We were very well looked after so a huge thank you to all those involved.

I can’t wait for fashion week to begin now! It’s running from 26th-30th October and the shows are being held in Belfast St.Anne’s cathedral, a beautiful venue! Top of my list is the highstreet heaven show on 27th October! 

For tickets and more info visit:

https://visitbelfast.ticketsolve.com/event-categories/126495828

http://www.belfastfashionweek.com

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

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Skin Salve review for eczema prone skin

NI blogger

So the following blog post is a guest post by my boyfriend Robert! Really pleased to feature him here on Scientist in the city! Check out his thoughts and review of Skin Salve!

Hi there
So for 2 and a half years I have suffered from a very common condition called atopic dermatitis or to use the more well known name, “eczema.” 
I developed the condition after working in a very stressful job, and unfortunately over the past few years, it has gradually got worse and became more difficult to manage. 
After trying all kinds of ointments, antibiotics, and treatments, nothing was really working for me. After getting in touch with a company called “Skinsalve,” my girlfriend, being the wonderful blogger that she is, told them I would write a blog reviewing their eczema treatments.
So a few days later I received in the post their hand moisturiser and their sensitive soap bars to use in the shower. After 3 weeks of continuous usage, and integrating the hand cream into my moisturising routine, I noticed a couple of things.
Firstly, as advertised, initially my skin did not cope well with the new treatment and to be honest It felt quite painful. However I stuck with it, and eventually the pain stopped and my skin became used to the treatment. As you can see from the photos, after three weeks and although not a cure, my hands didnt feel as uncomfortable and felt more moisturised than they had in two years! I couldnt believe it! 

Before:


After:


I would recommend this product to anyone looking to bring their eczema under control, particularly during flare ups! I am now using it daily and it’s helping to manage my condition quite well. Initially like myself you may find your symptoms worsen but give it time and persevere as this should start to die down leaving you with more controlled and better managed eczema. 
Rob.

Skin Salve is available at http://www.skinsalve.co.uk

The Craft Loft, Newcastle Co.Down

Craft, Crafting, event, NI blogger, Upcycling

Hey, 

So yesterday I made the lovely journey to Newcastle in Co.Down to visit ‘The Craft Loft’ at Annetts childrenswear and nursery. I love Newcastle and although it was raining I was determined not to let it ruin my day as I had a fun filled afternoon ahead! A few weeks prior a lady called Phyllis Annett got in touch with me about a blogger event she was hosting in her craft store, a craft workshop with afternoon tea. It sounded a bit unusual and not something I have ever really blogged about and so I thought why not?! I have dabbled with crafting in the past; a little decoupage and jewellery making and I have always really enjoyed it and actually find it therapeutic so I wasn’t a complete novice but I still knew I had lots to learn! Prior to our arrival Phyllis gave us some options of crafts that we could do and when I seen upcycling a chair listed I jumped at the chance as this is something I have always really liked the idea of but upholstering and using chalk paint has always scared me away. 

When I got there I met the lovely Phyllis who honestly couldn’t have been more welcoming! She is so warm and friendly and really adds a special something to the family run store. The Craft Loft above the childreswear department is a little treasure trove full of little craft bits and bobs, some joules homewear and I also spotted some Sass and belle (I love their stuff!). But most importantly the craft loft is a stockist of Annie Sloan chalk paint and fabric. So yesterday we got to grips with learning exactly how to use it and got a flavour of the various different projects that it can be used for. 


I wasn’t sure who else was going or how many but there were three other bloggers all of whom I have met at one event or another and so I felt at ease really quickly knowing I was in great company. Phyliss had kindly laid out an apron for each of us and had sourced me a chair to upcycle too! 



The first thing to do was select my fabric and paint colour which might sound easy but there is so much choice! I first of all was drawn to the world map print of this Annie Sloan fabric so from here I chose a paint colour to match. 


I decided to go for country grey which is a dark cream kind of shade but darkens when wax is applied.



Although everyone was doing a different craft the principle to applying the chalk paint a was the same so Phyllis showed us all how best to use the Annie Sloan brushes in order to get the paint on in the most effective way. I initially was being to neat and delicate with my application but Phyllis showed me that it was better to add more to my brush. Having never worked with this type of paint before I was unaware that you could thin it by simply adding water in order to make it easier to manipulate so every so often when the paint felt thicker and less easy to transfer from brush to chair Phyliss showed me how adding a little water really helped. 

With one coat of paint on my chair I could really see it starting to take shape. The other girls were also getting on great with their crafts. After leaving that to dry and applying another coat it was definitely time for tea! One thing I notice about crafting is that you never see the time going in! 

Phyllis had set up the most beautiful table full treats; a cake stand of traybakes, a homemade cake as well as homemade scones with cream and jam! We were also privledged enough to useher late mother’s China tea set (another beautiful personal touch). It was the most beautiful set up and such a lovely treat! 

I had to steal this photo from the craft loft Instagram as it perfectly summed up our day!


Tea and chats over and it was back to some crafting to finish our masterpieces! Time to wax our pieces, upholster my chair and for the girls to put the final touches to their various different projects. 


Phyllis really helped me with the upholstery but I put the final staples in…she was very brave to trust me! 


And with that my chair was practically complete! Her husband (another friendly and welcoming asset to the store) helped screw the seat back onto the frame and ta da look at my final product! Delighted!


I really can’t thank Phyllis enough for all of her hard work and kindness! Her enthusiasm for what she does shines through and for that I hope the craft loft goes from strength to strength! Phyllis runs workshops from the craft loft for groups or one to one basis as well as hosting groups out in the community for both children and adults. If you would like any further info don’t hesitate to get in touch with me or follow the craft loft on Instagram @the_craft_loft or tel: tel: 02843722293

The craft loft can be found at 35 Main Street Newcastle above Annetts childrenswear. Definitely go and visit to see it’s quirky interior. You will definitely leave with lots of craft inspo! 


I will include some pictures of the girls pieces to show you below:


Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

Gallery Cafe-Bar, Dublin Road Belfast 

event, Food, NI blogger, restaurant

Hi, 

Since leaving Queens University (a good few years ago now!) I don’t find myself in south Belfast as frequently as I once did. I used to frequent the Dublin road quite a bit and would have found myself in that area a lot. Having heard of the swanky new accomodation being built on the Dublin road recently I was intrigued to hear that below the 58 one and two bedroom apartments that there was a ground floor and mezzanine Cafe-Bar!

A couple of weeks ago I was very excited to see an invite to sample the new Gallery cafe on the Dublin Road, Belfast pop into my mailbox!

On arriving at the cafe I was first of all drawn to the outside and how striking it looks.

I love the large windows and the luxe feel of the building. 

When inside I was greeted by the lovely LKCommunications team and some of the other NI bloggers who had been invited along for breakfast. 

The inside is just as breathtaking as the exterior of the building and you could be mistaken for being in New York instead of grey old Belfast with the stunning decor and laid back vibe! 

With a glamourous yet industrial feel this cafe is worth a visit if not just for the amazing food but for the incredible artwork which can be found dawning almost every inch of every wall! 


When I managed to tear myself away from looking around me the next task was choosing breakfast! 


With an extensive selection I struggled to pick but I figured you can go wrong with the famous Ulster fry – Gallery style! 



I enjoyed every bite of my breakfast though did have a moment of guilt when Tiffany Brien (previous Miss NI and author of the Fit Body Bible) looked at my plate and said ‘Wow, if you finish that I will be impressed!’ 😉

I won’t lie, it was a struggle but I gave it my all (for blog research purposes only of course…)

I didn’t do too bad in fairness and oh my, what a breakfast! 


And the orange juice was the perfect accompaniment! Delish! 

After breakfast and chats I went for a little look around and took in more of the gorgeous surroundings. 


The mezzanine floor has some lovely quirky seating, perfect for socialising with friends. I can imagine the Gallery is not just a great food venue but a cool place for a few drinks too.


Myself and Zoe from ‘A little bit of life’ blog loved these chairs! 

So, would I return to Gallery cafe-bar? Absolutely! This is a great addition to the golden mile and I cannot wait to visit again!  Thanks so much to Sarah from LKComminications for inviting me along! 

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

The Food Hall, Belfast

event, Food, Local events, NI blogger, restaurant

Hey, 

A few weeks ago I was invited along to the launch of The Food Hall in partnership with ohh social.


The Food Hall is situated on York street in the heart of the buzzing Cathedral Quarter, in Belfast. The eatery can be found nestled at the University of Ulster complex which is bound to make it a hit with students, academics and the like. 

I was really impressed by the design of The Food Hall. It’s very cool and modern with a very relaxed almost New York style feel. It fits really nicely within the Cathedral quarter and is sure to be popular too with young professionals working and living in the city. 

From the moment I arrived at The Food Hall I felt warmly welcomed by the lovely staff who couldn’t be friendlier and were so helpful. They had put on a really great selection of different food and drinks for us all to try. You wouldn’t believe the variety this place has to offer. The Food Hall is not only a cafe but a Creperie as well as a smoothie and juice bar! They make fresh crepes as you wait, both savoury and sweet. I tried a bit of the Nutella one with cream and strawberries, unreal! 


The Food Hall is divided up into different sections, and at each bit we were treated to a different delight! We sampled freshly made wraps (the sweet chilli chicken one was delish!), juices and milkshakes as well as LOTS of sweet treats. Yum! 

If you are local or simply passing through the area I would definitely recommend popping in for a bite to eat or to pick up something to eat on the go. You certainly won’t be stuck for choice! The hardest decision might simply be what to pick from the huge selection! 

Here was my favourite from the night!


If you haven’t already signed up to OhhSocial then check out their app as their partnership with The Food Hall means you can avail of some great discounts when in store. 

Thanks OhhSocial and The Food Hall for the lovely invite I will for sure be back soon! 


Check out OhhSocial at: http://www.ohhsocial.com

Thanks for reading,
Emz xx

KISS Summer Party at The Merchant Hotel, Belfast

event, Hotel, lashes, makeup, mua, Nails, NI blogger

Hey,

Last month I received one of the most exciting blog related e-mails I have ever had! If you follow my Instagram (if not then why not?!) @scientist_in_the_city then you will already know that I was kindly invited by the lovely people at Alex Silver PR to attend an event for KISS who specialise in nails and lashes.

Now, when I get invited to any event it’s a privilege and I’m always excited but this one just so happened to be on the rooftop of The Merchant hotel in Belfast! Again, if you have followed me for a while now you will know this is one of my favourite places ever! My boyfriend has taken me to stay there for my last two birthdays (lucky girl!) and it’s become one of our favourite places. So of course any excuse to go back and I’m all over it! 



The event itself was held on a lovely sunny Wednesday evening in June which worked out particularly well considering we were on the roof, so thanks for bringing the nice weather with you to Belfast, Alex Silver PR! There was so much hype and a real buzz surrounding this event as so many NI bloggers had been invited and I think we were all as excited as each other about not only seeing what KISS had to offer but it was really nice for us all to be in one place and to have a bit of a catch up or indeed to meet new people and put faces to the online names! 

KISS is one of Alex Silver PR’s client brands and so the purpose of the event was to showcase what they have to offer in the world of nails and lashes and also I believe it was the first time Alex Silver PR had visited the Emerald Isle. On arrival, we headed up to the rooftop and were greeted by the Alex Silver PR team and Alex Silver herself. The guys provided us with a little card giving us all the social media hashtags and links we would need for the event in order to share it with our followers (a nice touch!)

We were straight away handed a Bellini and then shown all the fabulous products on display. The infamous Paddy McGurgan MUA and some of his team from the Make-Up Pro store in Belfast were there at their own little lash and nails stations where we were treated to manicures and lash applications. Now having heard of the brand KISS before only briefly I was aware of their nails but wasn’t just so knowledgable of their lashes and I especially didn’t know they had their own lash adhesive which you can purchase separately. I first of all got a manicure and I selected the KISS salon acrylic French style nails as I figured you can’t go wrong with a classic French manicure. It was so strange having someone apply false nails for me, but a nice change from having to do it myself! 


There were so many other styles I could have chosen from and to be honest once I started to see what the other girls had went for I was a little jealous! KISS do some really cute yet professional looking nail styles in a range of colours and effects but I figured with work in the morning I best play it safe and go French! The nails felt so secure, the glue provided is fantastic. I had to remind myself occasionally that they weren’t my own nails. They are thicker than most false nails I have tried so maybe this made them feel more real. They are definitely a quality product. 


But trust me, those sparkly ‘love’ nails that Alison from the blog ‘passionsandpreening’ got are the ones I’m going for next! Adorable (see below!)


Next up I headed to the lash bar and got the style daisy applied by one of the make up pro store team. Luckily I hadn’t put any lashes on myself before the event! These lashes were subtle but a bit more exaggerated towards the outer corner and I was really chuffed with the result. For me, when I go to the effort of wearing false lashes it’s to create a more dramatic look and so I want them to be noticeable. This tapered lash give the right effect. 


It was such a lovely evening, the weather was great and the atmosphere was superb. The hospitality from the Merchant was (as always) fantastic from making sure we all had a drink to the delicious nibbles that were provided! Those burgers were every bit as good as they looked and the little fish and chips were so delicious! 


Everyone I met seemed to really enjoy the event and it was a great opportunity for us all to catch up like I said, but for me I also met a lot of new bloggers who I maybe followed but had never had the opportunity to cross paths with. 

Catching up with the lovely Siobhan from the blog ‘shivonstyle’

So thank you Alex Silver PR and KISS for a great event and welcome to Northern Ireland! I for one can’t wait until you come back! Looking forward to trying out all my goodies and will have a KISS giveaway up on my Instagram once I hit 1000 followers…getting closer! Eek!


KISS products are available from Gordon’s chemists and Superdrug. I also spied some of their nails in ASDA the other day! 

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

Nude by nature Debenhams Belfast review 

Beauty, event, makeup, NI blogger, Shopping

Hi, 

*Disclaimer* I may or may not be lying in the bath as I write this 🙈 #LazyBlogger

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited by the guys at Debenhams Ireland to attend a launch of one of their newest consessions into the Belfast beauty dept. 

The brand I’m talking about is Nude by Nature; and I won’t lie, I hadn’t actually heard of them before. And that’s coming from someone who stalks Instagram on the daily and who is normally pretty up to date with the latest beauty brands! Obviously not! 

After doing a little research it was clear to see Nude by nature is by no means new in terms of its reputation and the following that it already has specifically in Australia! Nude by nature are a naturally derived makeup brand and cruelty free too (topical at the minute if you have just heard the latest news on Nars!) They strive to produce products that make you look flawless without the feeling of having caked on makeup and come on, who doesn’t want that?!

On the day we were greeted by the ever so lovely Clint Dowell who is the makeup brand ambassador. Clint not only knows his stuff when it comes to makeup in general but he is incredibly passionate about the company itself and this comes across from the offset. The brand had laid out their collection of makeup products and immediately (whilst already thinking it) I could hear the other bloggers raving about the packaging…it’s rose gold…need I say anymore?! The products on display ranged from highlighters to concealors as well as the most gorgeous eyeshadow palette! 


And I wasn’t lying when I said the other NI bloggers were loving that packaging 😂


After a chance to take our blog pics and swatch some of the products; we were given some information on the brand by Clint followed by a live makeup demo which he did on the lovely NI blogger ‘tellmeaboutlauren’ (check her out, she’s a babe!) 

The demo was fab and really interesting. I even learnt some tips along the way, winner! The makeup went onto Lauren’s skin flawlessly and all the oohs and ahhs from the rest of us in the audience was only testiment to how impressed we were by this POWDER foundation…did I forget to mention that bit?! 😉


Yes, nude by nature specialise in mineral/powder foundations which are naturally derived, similar in premise to bare minerals, I guess, but supposedly a LOT better for you. This foundation is so popular in Aus in fact that one sells every 60 seconds! Impressed yet?


The powder is extremly fine, so much so however that it does sort of go a bit everywhere when you open it initially, be careful! It’s like flour! Lol 

It’s blends seamlessly on the skin and gives a very natural finish. I was a bit unsure as I have tried bare minerals in the past and was unable to get the coverage I wanted. It is buildable but I will be honest with you I still don’t find it’s as high coverage as I would personally like, but I have been trying to wear it on ‘no make-up days’ to give me a bit of a base and it is good for that. I have also tried it over my liquid foundation and this produces a lovely airbrushed finish so I’m still pleased with it. I think it may take some more experimenting with it to completely leave my trusty liquid foundation alone though sadly. Perhaps it’s my application technique, practice makes perfect! 

The brand were so, so generous to us and colour matched us all for our own foundation and concealer. The concealer is a whole other ballgame. This is a liquid and a little goes a very long way! It’s high coverage enough for me and I love it! A definite repurchase. 


Nude by nature also provided us with goody bags filled to the brim with a selection of their products including the highlight stick. I knew when I seen it on display that I would love it and I do! I prefer it to their powder highlights as it’s more intense but a little tip…add the powder over the top of the stick and you get something even better! A special mention has to be made about their brushes. As you will have seen from my pics they come with a little stand included in the packaging so you can have them standing on your dressing table and I LOVE this idea! 


Overall my thoughts on Nude by nature are very positive! Definitely a brand I will revisit once my trusty stockpile provided by the brand has run out. Thanks again Nude by nature and Debenhams for a great event.

To find out more about the brand or to make a purchase check out: 

http://www.debenhams.com/beauty/nude-by-nature

The Belfast stand also have an Instagram: 

@nudebynatureire

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

Cabin Zero bag review

Bag, NI blogger, style, travel

Hey, 

So recently I have been working with a brand called Cabin Zero. If you haven’t heard of them (I hadn’t!) then I will give you a bit of a background to the company. 

Cabin Zero is the brainchild of Neil Varden who noticed a gap in the market for a durable cabin sized ‘backpack style’ bag for traveling, when on a trip to India back in 1993. The name derives from ‘cabin sized = zero hassles’ and that’s exactly what you get! Cabin Zero bags are designed to be cabin sized, lightweight, durable as well as stylish! 


If you check out their website http://www.cabinzero.com you will see the various ranges, sizes and styles of bags available. The bag I have (and love) is the classic 44L ultra lightweight cabin bag in the colour ‘purple cloud’ which is the largest style available and retails at £60.00 GBP. Although this is a large bag, 55 x 40 x 20cm it is designed to still fit in most global  airline cabins including the likes of easyJet and Aer Lingus! These bags aren’t just practical though, they come with a lot of nifty features such as:

– Lockable zippers

– Thick padded shoulder straps 

– Fully lined

– 10 years warranty which is upgradable to 25 years for no added fee if you ‘like’ cabin zero on Facebook! 

– Built-in global luggage tracker provided by Okoban 

Cabin Zero bags are composed of a waterproof polyester on the outer layer which provides some protection to the bag itself as well as its contents and should therefore help keep your bag looking good for longer and prevent deterioration. 

I was so impressed by the global luggage tracker aspect of the bag as this was something I had never come across in a bag before but it’s genius! This feature is powered by Okoban. Each bag comes with a lost and found tag built in. Once you receive your bag, you simply register it on the Okoban website by entering your unique code. This means if you ever misplace your bag or it gets lost in transit that it can be returned to you if someone finds it! This feature creates a lifetime protection for your bag, how cool is that?!

Another feature I particularly like about my Cabin Zero bag are the dual handles, both at the top (as with standard backpacks) and on the side which can make it more like a suitcase and depending on what you have in your bag, can make it easier to carry. *This feature is present on the classic and vintage collections*

These bags are so lightweight! The classic collection (mine) weighs approx. 760g making it a perfect hand luggage option! I found  even when pretty full the bag still feels lightweight when worn on both shoulders and that’s my next point. Comfort! This bag is like none that I have ever tried before in that the straps don’t hurt! They are soft, padded and won’t weigh you down!


There are many different compartments for all your various needs. The zips are durable and the feeling of quality throughout is second to none. 

All in all I highly rate this backpack. Not only as a piece of luggage but as an everyday staple. Granted my 44L might be larger than what most people would want day to day but certainly the 28L would serve as a great school bag, uni bag or simply for doing your shopping! 


These bags are not only functional but stylish and personally I found it hard to choose! I went for a colour ‘purple cloud’ that I felt wasn’t too garish but would be visible when traveling and that I felt could be unisex enough for me and my boyfriend to use. He has used it already and really loved it too! 

Thanks Cabin Zero for my backpack, I love it and have got a lot of use out of it already! I am already planning future trips and my classic 44L will most definitely be coming with me! 


Check out @cabinzero on Instagram for more info! 

Use my promo code CZSCIENTIST at checkout for 10% off! 

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

 

The Faerie Thorn 

NI blogger, Theatre

Last Thursday 18th May I ventured to the Island Arts Centre in Lisburn for a production by the Big Telly theatre company, directed by Zoe Seaton. 

I knew very little about the play prior to my arrival, other than the fact it was based on a book by Jane Talbot and that it was currently doing a tour around parts of the UK and Ireland and so I had no real expectations. Also this was my first time seeing anything by the Big Telly Theatre Company; although I had always heard good things! The Big telly theatre company are currently in their 30th year and originate from Portstewert. 

The Faerie Thorn is a recreation of Jane Talbot’s book that depicts bewitching tales and devilish deeds with a dark wit! The show opens with the main character Man Donaghy, played by Seamus O’Hara, who has a faerie thorn on his land. If you are familiar with your Irish folklore then you will know that if you find a fairy tree then you should protect it. With Fairy trees being regarded as sacred sites for the ‘wee folk’ there are numerous superstitions that surround them and as you’ve probably guessed these involve a little bit of magic and lots of bad luck.

Without giving any spoilers the story follows the farmer Man Donaghy and his trials and tribulations involving the little people. The play includes a ‘sort of’ dance scene which is used to help tell the story and oddly works! Something I hadn’t really seen done before. There is a consistancy and themes of humour with running jokes throughout the play which only add to the story and overall experience as a whole. I have to admit at one point I was in such fits of laughter I was in actual tears! If that’s not the sign of a good play then I don’t know what is! 

The production is made up of 5 cast members which multi-role seemlessly and effortlessly. The Faerie Thorn utilises masks and puppets on numerous occasions throughout the performance in ways I had never seen before. I found this fresh and innovative and a great way to get the narrative across with a modern twist. There are also some musical pieces which see Collette Lennon signing in very different styles but each of which are very pleasant to the ear, what a voice! 

The Faerie Thorn has an ingenious way of providing laughter one minute and then causing you to think deeply the next and they pull this off so well! 

In parts the cast can be seen to the side of the stage using random objects to provide sound bites; for example chewing on a piece of polystyrene into a mic! Captivating and so smart! 

Overall I loved the Faerie Thorn and I wouldnt hesitate to go and see it again! The whole cast are witty and extremely talented and they work effortlessly as a team on stage. I found it a pleasure to watch. 

If you get a chance to get to see The faerie thorn, then enjoy! 

Check out the Big Telly theatre company: 

http://www.big-telly.com

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx

NI Blogger Brunch 

NI blogger

Hi guys, 

Yesterday (Sunday 14th May) I attended what was the first of hopefully many NI blogger meet ups. The day itself was the brain child of real life girlboss Cathy Martin (CMPR) who runs Belfast fashion week. The idea was to host a brunch where bloggers, marketing people and PRs could come together to not only network and connect but to learn from one another also. 


The event was held in The Permit Room in Belfast (Fountain Street) soon to be renamed The Beringer cafe bar. I hadn’t been to the permit room before but it’s such a cool venue! The space itself is perfect for a nice chilled out meal with quite industrial looking decor. Cathy had organised for us to have a bite to eat whilst getting to know each other and during the two hours each of us (I think there was almost 50 of us!) did a little one minute pitch about our blog, brand or business. As nerve wrecking as this was I found this was a fantastic way to get to know a little bit about everyone. The majority of bloggers there I was already following on their various social media platforms but quite often with blogs in particular you can’t always put a face to the name, especially if they blog anonymously of course! So I found this to be a great way to see the blogs come to life and I met lots of new faces.


I learnt a lot from listening to how each of the bloggers came to start their blogs and what inspires them. It’s interesting to hear how blogging has become an actual job for some people and how their day job can tie in. Others, much like myself do it as a hobby and that’s cool too. 

Listening to the PR and marketing people was fascinating for me as I don’t really have much knowledge on how this side of things really works. I learnt some tips and it was beneficial to hear some of the dos and donts when working with a brand or client. 

I have to say I left the event yesterday feeling really motivated and inspired so thanks to Cathy for hosting such a great event! Word on the street is that another NI blogger brunch is already on the cards for September so watch this space! 

One thing I took away from the day is not to compare myself to others (blog wise). Everyone is unique in their style and format of blogging. Some post a few times a week; others sporadically and hell some only instablog! The most important thing is to produce unique content that you can get enthusiastic about as this will shine through to your readers. So if you are a blogger reading this the you do you and keep going! 

Thanks for reading, 

Emz xx