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December 2017

Posted on December 29, 2017

5 biggest blog achievements of 2017

lifestyle

Anyone who knows me personally would know that I am not one to brag about my achievements. If anything, I tend to downplay them and not give myself enough credit for my successes. Among many reasons, I simply don’t see the point in broadcasting every single one of my accomplishments to the whole world – and yes, I do realise the irony of me saying this as a blogger.

It would seem that that is the very essence of what being a successful blogger is all about. These announcements and life documents are what the blogging industry thrives on. More irony? Perhaps! For someone who started blogging four years ago, you would think that I would have gotten over the many aversions I have to the industry – I haven’t. If anything I am learning to get better at masking them, which sometimes, I think can be worse.

But much like any industry, there are positives and negatives. What it really comes down to is finding a healthy balance between the two. This however, can be a struggle and a half when you’re on the road not taken. The road that I took at the start of 2017 towards being a full time blogger, completely blind to what the universe had in store for me.

So without further ado, here are five of my biggest blog achievements of 2017 🙂

1. The launch of my YouTube channel

Launching a YouTube channel might not seem like a big achievement to some of you, especially since a lot of bloggers are leaning towards video blogs nowadays. However, starting my own channel is something that my inner critic always prevented me from doing. If it wasn’t about me feeling that I didn’t look the part, it was about me thinking I didn’t have anything important to say – my negative self-talk told me everything under the sun to discourage me from doing something that I now, derive a lot of fulfilment from. So biting the bullet with YouTube was always going to be a big achievement for me and when I finally did the “unimaginable,” it trickled a butterfly effect like no other.

2. Radio contributions with 2FM’s iconic duo

Following the release of my second YouTube video (5 things Irish guys should never say to a black girl on Tinder) I was contacted by one half of RTE 2FM’S iconic duo, Chris & Ciara to appear on their late night show as a guest. Like anyone who suffers from any sort of anxiety disorder, I was beyond nervous to be making my radio debut at a national level. Thankfully, any concerns I had were quickly silenced the second I got chatting to the two loveliest faces (or voices) of Irish radio! I will forever be grateful for the opportunities they gave me to speak about both light-hearted issues and also some serious ones, such as the core message surrounding my viral open letter.

3. International press coverage of my open letter

Back in May, I poured my heart out in an open letter to the Irish men who have hypersexualised my race. When I first read the letter on air on the Chris & Ciara show, it received a lot of positive feedback. It was only when the tabloids caught wind of it and misconstrued my words that the immense media attention followed and had it spread like wild fire. The letter quickly circulated national papers in Ireland and the UK and it even made American headlines.  I was flooded with request to appear on live radio and undertake an overwhelming amount of interviews that week – it was both a blessing a curse at the same time.

Read more about the magnitude of this ordeal and how I coped with the publicity here.

4. Studio interview with Matt Cooper

After what felt like a lifetime of avoiding emails and turning down interview requests, I finally mustered up the strength to accept and follow through with a studio interview for The Last Word on Today FM. I will never forget the feeling I had in my stomach when my taxi driver told me that Matt Cooper was a tough interviewer. I went from experiencing emotions of excitement to feeling pure dread. Granted, he did dampen the atmosphere by telling me on the way in. But I have to say I am truly thankful for his honestly and advice as it gave me the preparation I didn’t know I needed for the iterview.

5. Filming for my television debut

Although I am limited as to what I can say about this, what I will say is that the combination of my achievements in 2017 had a butterfly effect for not only 2018, but quite possibly the rest of my blogging career.

I spent a good chunk of the last few weeks filming for a very exciting upcoming tv project airing next year and while I have no power over how I will come across or how it will affect me and my blog, the last twelve months has taught me that I can control how I react to it.  Whether it works for me or against me, I know who my true friends are and who will  stick with me through thick and thin! 🙂

It goes without saying that my decision to follow my dream has paid off in more ways than one and the laws of attraction really did work in my favour this year with each milestone resulting from the previous and creating a foundation for the next.

I will forever be grateful for the life lessons I discovered through my blog in 2017. In such a short space of time, I learned a huge deal about the media industry, friendships and of course myself.

I genuinely have no words to express my gratitude towards those who not only supported me during difficulties. But also helped celebrate the times that needed to be celebrated: those individuals will always have a special place in my heart (you know who you are).

I wish each and every single one of you all a sparkling New Year and I hope you’re excited to see what I have in store for you guys in 2018! 🙂

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Posted on December 22, 2017

10 festive nail ideas from Instagram

Nails

With only a few more sleeps until Christmas day, there’s no question that the majority of our local nail salons are jammers with eager customers.

If you have yet to get your festive nails done and are looking for a bit of #NailInspo then here are some of my top Instagram nail picks for Christmas! 🙂

1. Diamonds & red stiletto sparkle 

Stiletto Christmas Nails

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2. Winter blue with snowflakes & glitter 

Blue Christmas nails and snowflakes

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3. Simple nude with a silver gradient touch

nude squared nails with silver

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4. Glitter dipped center with blood red talons 

Glitter dipped center with blood red talons

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5. Red glitter diagnol stripes with snowflake tips

Red manicure tips and snowflakes christmas nails

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6. Cute festive French mani

Festive French mani

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7. Back to basics with green glitter and festive red

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8. Christmas jumper design & sparkle gold center

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9. White & Gold Christmas

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10. Red squares with shimmering gold & beautiful bow tie

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Posted on December 9, 2017

Fun drinking games for the party season!

Guilty Pleasures

Fun drinking game never have I ever

Anyone who’s ever had a few drinks with me would tell you the same thing: I’m an absolute light weight. Two to three glasses of wine and I’m the life of a party. You can always count on me to be that person to eagerly shout ‘Let’s play Never Have I Ever!’ after I’ve had a few schoops!

There’s just something about party games that brings out my inner child – not to say that I was an alcoholic growing up – but I just find the very nature of party games to have a bit of boldness to them. It’s almost like we know they seldom end well, yet we’re inclined towards playing them anyways.

So whether party games are about unleashing your inner (non-alcoholic) child or breaking the ice at a staff party, here are some fun drinking games I would recommend 🙂

1. Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever is one of those games that can go from zero to one hundred real quick! What often starts with innocent statements about things you’ve never done, usually ends with dirty confessions in hopes that someone else will to share your shame.

How to play: The first player in the group kicks things off by saying ‘Never Have I Ever…’ and then professes to something they may or may not have done.  Those in the group who have done what the player said takes a sip of their drink, along with the person who made the announcement.

Continue clockwise around the circle until everyone is relatively tipsy. Not sure there are any winner here, but the first person to get drunk usually has a lot of ‘life experience,’ to say the least….

2. Two Truths and a Lie

Two truths and a lie drinking game

Another game with a potential to turn dirty – this game was made for those who have a serious poker face! If you’re not versed at telling a white lie without having a bit of chuckle then you may not be going home with a trophy after playing this!

How to play: The first player in the circle makes up three statements about themselves – two of which are true while the one that remains is a lie. The other players have to guess which of the three statements are true and which one is a complete and utter lie! Too easy? Switch it up a bit – if the majority can see through your BS you take a shot! It might help you work on your poker face for the next round of tales 🙂

3. Charades

Funny charades drinking game

An absolute classic – you just can’t go wrong with Charades! The good thing about this game is that because it’s so popular and everyone knows it, you can throw in a few rules and add your own personal touch to it! i.e have a theme for what sort of films or tv series people can act out! You can even go so far as suggesting music videos and guessing the artists’ names – the ball is in your court with this one, just use your imagination! 🙂

4. Kings

Kings drinking game

There’s a reason why this game also goes by the name Circle of Death – it either ends in uncomfortable laughter or regretful tears! But since there are so many variations of this game, you can more or less make up your own rules for playing. All you need is a deck of cards and some very brave players!

How to play: Set the table with a deck of cards and an empty plastic cup (King’s cup). Make a cheat sheet so that everyone knows the rules of the game. This will help players remember what to action out when they draw certain cards from the deck. i.e if someone draws a 2 that player has to choose someone to take a shot with. If a player draws a 10, everyone must drink etc.

Be sure not to spill the King’s cup as  the person who draws out the last King in the deck has to drink the contents of the cup (this lethal mixture would have been poured by each of the players who drew out the other three  Kings, respectively).

This game requires a lot of alcohol, but an even higher tolerance for it!

5. Flip, Sip or Strip

The name of this game pretty much speaks for itself! While I have yet to play Flip, Sip or Strip, it does sound like one of those games you’d need to wear layers of clothes for (just in case you’re not the best at making judgment calls).

How to play: The first player in the circle has to flip a coin and guess the outcome before it lands. If they guess correctly, they pass the coin to the person on the right and if they guess wrongly then they pass the coin to the left before taking a sip of their drink or removing an item of clothing! Think you’ll be sipping your way to the finish line? I’m afraid there’s a catch!

Nobody is allowed to do the same thing more than twice in a row. So if you sipped in the previous round, you’ll have to strip in the next one – quelle horreur!

However, if you guess right three times in a row, you can retreive an article of clothing – so there’s hope after all!

What are your favourite party games!? I’d love to know! Tweet me @FilomenaKaguako and we can discuss our embarrassing party game moments! 🙂

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Posted on December 1, 2017

Herbalife products: yay or nay?

product review

Herbalife products

If you follow my Instagram story then you would know that I recently embarked on a Herbalife journey. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the brand, Herbalife is an international nutrition brand that provides a number of supplements and products for those looking to live a healthier and balanced life.

I would normally be a bit sceptical of any sort of brand that claims to offer the same – if not similar – nutritional value as whole foods as I would be quite firm on ensuring I get my nutrients from whole and fresh foods. But my sister spent the good part of last year, the year before and the year before that praising Herbalife so when the opportunity came to try a few of their products out it was a no brainer for me to give them a try!

Here are some of the products I’ve been using for the last couple of weeks 🙂

CR7 Drive

Herbalife CR7 Drive

Herbalife CR7 Drive

This product ranked quite high in my echelon of Herbalife faves – and it’s not because it was created by Cristiano Ronaldo! In fact, that had very little bearing on why took a liking towards it. The CR7 Drive is made of a light- tasting formula that enhances hydration during exercise and increases the performance of a workout.

One scoop of this product has  about 50 calories when mixed with 500ml water and has an incredibly refreshing taste. I take sips of this during my work out in place of just normal water and it always helps me excel during my workout and work up a good sweat.

Final Verdict: If it’s good enough for Ronaldo, it’s good enough for me! 🙂

Rate: 5/5

Price: €13.80 for a pack of 10 sachets

F1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake

Herbalife F1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake

Herbalife F1 Healthy Meal Nutritional Shake

I’ve never been one for meal replacements. It’s not something I would ever advocate for as I enjoy cooking and eating whole foods. So for the last few weeks I’ve been treating this product as a post work-out snack before my official meal or enjoying it as a dessert after my meal. It is incredibly convenient in that regard. Two scoops contain about 220 cals and 18g of protein when mixed with dairy-free milk and it is pretty filling on it’s own.

So while dieters use this best-selling product as a meal replacement to lose weight, I’ve been using this shake to help me get my calories up as I sometimes feel that I don’t eat enough calories during the day for my fitness goals. The vanilla flavour tastes amazing but it comes in about six other flavours too! Best part? It’s free from soya, lactose and gluten!

Final Verdict: It is incredibly filling and creamy to taste when mixed with milk. It does a stellar job at keeping sweet cravings at bay! 🙂

Rate: 5/5

Price: €39.05 for a 550g canister

Herbalife Aloe Concentrate

Herbalife Aloe Concentrate

Herbalife Aloe Concentrate

This product went down an absolute treat in my house – it didn’t even last a full week! For someone who isn’t yet versed at drinking water regularly during the day, this aloe concentrate helped me immensely. Three capsules of this concentrate gives water a citrus taste making it more likely to drink throughout the day.

A glass of this helps sooth the stomach and promotes good intestinal health so it almost works like a shower for your inside! It comes in three flavours – original, mango, mandarin and cranberry. I have yet to try cranberry and mandarin, but I have no doubt they’d create a refreshingly citrus drink too!

Final Verdict: It didn’t last a week in the house – that speaks for itself, really! 🙂

Rate: 1000% yes!

Price: €38.55 for a bottle of 31 servings

Herbalife Tea Concentrate

Herbalife Tea Concentrate

Herbalife Tea Concentrate

This product took some getting used to as I used a little bit too much powder the first time and it was very strong in tasting. That put me off and I literally hid it in the back of the press for weeks I know… But I have tried it again (the right way this time) and found that using the correct measurements make the world of a difference. The peach flavour tastes a bit like ice tea and it helps that this beverage can be consumed hot or cold!

I will start using it more regularly and getting a bit experimental with it to improve the taste as it provides a temporary thermogenic to the body, meaning it helps kick start your metabolism. It also contains caffeine so it can be used as an alternative to regular coffee – if one would dare to keep their energy levels up in a healthier way!

Final Verdict: I probably shouldn’t have give up on this so quickly considering all the benefits it has, fingers crossed I am more consistent with this 🙂

Rating: 3/5

Price: €27.60 for a 50g

Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex

Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex

Formula 2 Multivitamin Complex

As someone who recently started taking Vitamin D supplements, the idea of taking something that looks like medicine on a regular basis is becoming less and less daunting to me.

This product contains about 21 essential nutrients such as folic acid, calcium and iron. It contains antioxidant vitamins C, E and beta carotene which are all good for promoting healthy bones, skin and nails. It is to be taken three times a day with meals which can be a bit of an annoyance at times but I guess it’s just one of those things you have to do 🙂

Final Verdict: Multi-vitamins are a must in any diet, but I prefer taking them once a day!

Rating: 3.5/5

Price: €20.60

Herbalife Protein Bar

Herbalife Protein Bar

Herbalife Protein Bar

I genuinely feel like I need a drumroll for introducing this product – it is beyond heavenly! I literally have to talk myself out of overeating as I can easily devour a few in a day! But since it does have dairy ingredients I have to treat it as a ‘cheat snack,’ and that helps me control myself – well sometimes!

These bars are perfect for whenever I am feeling peckish and don’t want something too heavy. Each bar contains about 10g of protein and 140 calories – ten calories less than your average snack should have. It comes in four flavours and of the ones I’ve tried, the chocolate peanut butter is my favourite! Read more about it here.

Final Verdict: Can’t get enough of this!

Rating: 1000% yes

Price: €19.80 – 14 per box

Overall, my experience with Herbalife was surprisingly pleasant and I will continue to use some of these products in the future! Have you tried any Herbalife products before? If so, would love to know your thoughts! 🙂

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*These products were sent to me for review purposes, however all views remain authentically mine.

 

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