Belfast City Guide

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Belfast City Guide
Ah Belfast, a city just two hours north from Dublin yet quite different I must say. I headed up there last week for a little city break as it was a birthday present from my boyfriend and stayed for two nights exploring the place. Today I'll be sharing what we got up to, where we ate and stayed while we were there.


We stayed in a little hotel called the Landsdowne Hotel just outside the city. It was basic enough but exactly what we needed for our stay.


When we first arrived we headed to the Titanic Quarter to do the museum which we really enjoyed. The whole experience was really good and it was so interesting seeing how much went into the building of the ship and what it was like to be on it.

On the second day we went to the Giants Causeway. It is about an hour and a half north of the city by car, and boy am I glad we had the car! Although the structure is amazing to see and I'm glad I got to see it (because it was always on my list of things to see in Ireland), I probably won't be back. I may sound terribly uncultured saying that but I'd recommend seeing it if you're in Belfast as you're so close to it but I wouldn't come all the way from Dublin to see it!

The last day was by far the best, we visited Crumlin Road Gaol, the jail where all of the people involved in the troubles were held. The tour was so interesting and so informative, seeing all of the cells and execution chambers was crazy. Secondly we went on to do a Black Cab Tour, where we were brought around in a taxi and given a tour of the city being shown all of the protestant and catholic areas, and where all of the events happened during the troubles. The city of Belfast has so much history and this tour really highlighted that. It blew my mind finding out all about the events that occurred not too long ago in a place so close to where I live.

My friend Niamh went to Belfast the week before me and she told me she was doing the Game of Thrones tour, which is like an all day tour to the Giant's Causeway and all around the filming locations I believe. I have never watched the show, that's why we didn't go but if you're a fan I'd say that would be a very fun little trip.


I can't say we were too adventurous with our dinner choices (leaning on Five Guys and Milanos for 2/3 days) but we did find three little spots that were really nice.

For breakfast and brunch I would recommend Sozo, a little spot just outside the city. I had porridge and he had pancakes and it was so so nice.

For lunch, I'd recommend Cast and Crew if you're looking for a burger. It is actually the only spot to eat around the Titanic Quarter apart from the cafe inside but the whole set up was really trendy and the burgers were unreal!

For dinner one night we ended up at The Welcome Chinese Restaurant beside Queens University. The service was amazing and I really would recommend it if you're in the area. 

Overall, Belfast, you were fab. If you haven't been, it is a nice little city break to go on and with all of the history, you won't be short of things to do!

Trying Something New & Why You Should Too

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Trying Something New & Why You Should Too

Admittedly, I sometimes find myself just sticking to what I know works, social media wise, posting similar content to everyone else. It doesn't matter 'who started it' because now everyone is doing it and it is working for everyone. Reposting memes, sharing the images you took for your latest shoot.. Yeah everyone is going to like it and that is fine for some but for me I always just wanted to do something different! Truth be told however that my brain isn't the most creative and I leave so much of the really out there and crazy ideas to my best friend Lizzy, until last Wednesday in college I had a brain wave.
I love video and have seriously contemplated a creating a YouTube however with the lack of time that I have on my hands, it just isn't possible. Some of my favourite modules in college involved video editing, something I could sit there for hours and do and I can appreciate a well edited and put together film or YouTube video when I see one.

I am well aware that video content by far gets the most reach on Facebook and I know I'm nowhere near funny enough to make and post sketches, so then somehow, this idea popped into my head.

Mini lookbooks, 30 (or so) seconds long to post on both my YouTube channel and Facebook that go along with a blog post. The videos will be just a filmed version of the photos I'm going to take and then included in the blog post.

So here it is! I'm SO excited to share this exciting little project and I hope you enjoy the content that I make even more now. I know this isn't my best work, but you have to start somewhere and (hopefully) these little videos will improve over time.

Trousers / Top / Scarf- Urban Outfitters (very old) / Shoes- Penney's

Keep testing and challenging yourself.. You never know where it might take you!

How Your Blog can Enhance Your CV

Monday, 10 April 2017

How Your Blog can Enhance Your CV
As the final few weeks of college are upon me it is time to brush the cobwebs off that old CV of mine and get updating. It has been a long time since I looked for a job so when I was updating my CV I was very surprised about how my blog enhanced it. I found it tied into so many jobs that I wanted to apply for so I was very impressed that in fact, this corner of the internet can be a serious asset in a job hunt. If you are in the digital media sector like me, than the blog can be a definite deal breaker but for every sector, this post may be able to bring to light how you too can use your blog to enhance your CV.


You can run a blog while being in full time education whilst holding a part time job? Props to you girl! I couldn't even imagine holding down a full time job and running a blog at the same time but people do it and it is an amazing skill to note down.


If you have a blog and reguarly post online, you'll most likely have a good grasp of the computer and all things that come with it.. Microsoft programmes and the general workings of the web? You got this.


Now this one is quite specific but if it is a marketing job you're going for then don't hold back. From bits like SEO, Google Analytics to social media management, these blogs of ours are generally a one man show so flaunt all of the knowledge you have gained. 


From networking at events to working with brands, in this industry you gotta communicate! This is an essential part of the job so it is one for the CV. 


If you have been sharing your opinions and talking about your interests online for a while, it shows a bit of commitment and dedication don't you think? You can be extra sometimes too!


Again quite a specific one and not for everyone, but myself I know I have gained skills in Adobe Software like Photoshop and even HTML skills. 


Writing, photography and all that embodies blogging holds creativity. Anything you create shows a form of creativity and so much innovation.

I hope this post was of some help but if you have any more to add, let me know them on my social media channels linked below!

The Truth About Irish Blogging Industry

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The Truth About Irish Blogging Industry
So many things come to mind when I think of the Irish blogging community and blogging in general however since the drama unfolded during the week as the CEO of Cocoa Brown Tan, Marissa Carter publically bashed bloggers on the radio (hear the full interview here) I felt compelled to write this post and give my thoughts and opinions about the Irish blogging industry in general.

Truth be told, the blogging industry in Ireland especially is so saturated. Everyday there are emerging fashion bloggers looking to be the next top influencer with their follower count growing by the day on Instagram. The worst comments I get are always 'but do you know how saturated the industry is these days?!' YES I do and I don't care is my answer. 

We need to think about why we started these blogs in the first place. Yeah some people may just see the freebies and want the lavish lifestyles of some top (extreme emphasis on top) influencers and want in. It is not all sunshine and rainbows would you believe and it takes hard work, so much time and patience to actually get a few readers. I can only sigh when people comment on how many bloggers there are these days and how hard it is to 'make it' but at the end of the day that is not why I started and that is not what keeps me going. Sure, if I got to the stage where I could make a living from this I would be over the moon, and it would be so nice to know that you have thousands of people who enjoy your content but that wasn't my reasoning for starting a blog anyway. I started because I enjoy writing, fashion, beauty (at the time) and photography and creating content was something that I loved to do, and still love to do. It was a hobby initially and although I have a much more serious attitude towards it now, ultimately that is still what it is. 

Isn't that a good thing that there are so many people doing it too? The ones that actually stick to it are sharing an amazing interest with you and how exciting is that? 

I won't deny, some of the Irish blogging scene can be intimidating, so much of it is who you know and what you can do for me. I have gone to several events that I have felt so intimidated by others around me, call that what you want but I personally think it was because I was a small blogger, and I was no help to anyone. There are social climbers, all they want is to be at the top but you're going to get that in every industry and every job because that is just the way some people are. Some think there is almost a hierarchy and what you have to say isn't valid enough which I have noted in Facebook groups but at the end of the day you just have to laugh opinions like that off and keep doing what you're doing.

That is only the minority though, I could talk for days about my blogging friends and how amazing they are doing. Some of which I have never even met before but when they put up a great post or are celebrating a milestone I feel so proud of them, we are each others biggest cheerleaders and supporters. It isn't even fellow bloggers that can show that kind of love too, when you get the odd message from a reader it can be the most heartwarming thing. I see more support from the community than anything else and it is amazing to see it absolutely booming. 

Marissa Carter's opinion on beauty bloggers really disheartened a lot of people, me included. Saying that they aren't worth endorsing because they had their moment is a bit rich as her brand wouldn't be half it is today without them. It is a bit of a contradiction as just last week Sarah Ashcroft posted a paid ad for Cocoa Brown on Instagram but Marissa's true colours have finally shone through and has lost so many customers because of this, me included.

Well I hope you enjoyed this post, I'm not going to lie I'm a bit nervous to post it but it is my opinion and I felt like I had to give my 2 cents on the topic. Have a great weekend and let me know your opinions on my social media channels linked below!

The Gal Behind the Blog | 25 Facts About Me

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Gal Behind the Blog | 25 Facts About Me
On reflection of this little blog, although I have a tendency to rant and ramble, I don't think you all know that much about me personally so I thought I'd share 25 facts about me.

  1. A quick introduction for number 1.. I'm 21, live in Dublin and in my final year of Digital Media in Maynooth University. 
  2. I have had this blog since 2013 however didn't really share it until 2015. It was always something I loved to do but admittedly I was a bit embarrassed about it. It has had several names over the years, from comichellex being one but I think from here on out we'll stick to Michelle Alice!
  3. When I was younger I was painfully shy, I never spoke up or talked to anyone. Even in secondary school I was very quiet and just kept my head down but from about 15 onwards I started to come out of my shell and now I'm like a new person. My 15 year old self would not believe it if she saw me going to blog events all by myself knowing nobody!
  4. For years (literally since I was 5 or 6) I hated the nickname Shelly. When I went to San Diego last summer my best friend Lizzy said 'how funny would it be if I got that nickname to stick' and as we had never met anyone there, she got it to stick and now thats what so many people call me. 
  5. I have a tendency to rob others cats over the years.. The only cat that we consciously made the decision to get was Harry, my current cat but over the years a lot of my neighbour's cats have decided that they prefer our house haha. If you follow me on Snapchat (michellealicex) you'll have seen the little ginger cat that I have plans to steal, which I have named Sharon.
  6. Speaking of cats, I won an award for 'most likely to be a crazy cat lady' at my debs when i was 18 and it is one of my biggest achievements to this day (as sad as that sounds haha).
  7. I have always wanted to live in America, ever since I was young. As I'm getting older I appreciate more how difficult it is to actually live there, but hopefully I can make that dream a reality in 2017 or 2018 by moving to San Diego on a graduate visa. I had a psychic tell me once that I would be very successful there so lets see how that goes! 
  8. 2012 was the year I was obsessed with One Direction (Harry Styles in particular). I used to use Twitter to find their whereabouts when they were in Ireland and met them three times as a result.. I met Niall Horan on Grafton Street, the whole band outside the radio station Spin 1038 after waiting 12 hours for them to arrive and in the airport when one of the girls ended up hopping on Harry's back haha. Not to mention my mother drove us to Niall's house in Mullingar one day while he was home. I was an extreme fan girl I know!
  9. I have never had glasses, or even needed them but I have always wanted them! Not so much the restricted eyesight, just for the aesthetic haha.
  10. Dinner is my least favourite meal of the day. I have such a fear (you could say) about eating it and if I can I'll avoid it. I could eat breakfast or lunch meals all day but just hate dinner. It could be due to the fact that I have a very good knowledge about the nutritional value of foods and I'm always so aware of how healthy a meal is for you. I'm in no way a healthy person, I could eat toast and Malteasers for days but the meals that I usually eat for breakfast and lunch are quite healthy so when it comes to dinner I dunk and roll out. 
  11. I hate having all of the attention on me, so I'm very surprised I even had a 21st haha. It wasn't too much fuss though, just pre drinks and it was with Lizzy so I could deal with it! It is a weird one seeing as I post so much content online.
  12. I think I had every colour of O'Neills tracksuit bottoms when I was younger, you know the ones that had the zips up the side? What can I say I was destined to be a fashion blogger.
  13. I can't smile with my teeth- I look absolutely ridiculous!
  14. When I was really young, I'm going to say 4 or 5 I attempted to run away.. I shoved my 101 Dalmatians bag full of Kit Kats and decided to hit the road. I knew if I went out the front door or left the side gate open my parents would be on to me so I got my dad to give me a boost over the side gate (because I couldn't hop it myself even though it is only about 4 foot) and I went on my way, my dad didn't even bat an eyelid! I basically walked to the Phoenix Park which is luckily very close to my house, ate all of the Kit Kats and decided nahh this life isn't for me and walked home.
  15. Like so many others my age, I didn't discover eyebrows until I was about 16.. It was a hard time for us all.
  16. I had quite unimaginative names for all of my past pets.. Tammy the tabby cat, Sandy the hamster, Snowy the rabbit, the list goes on and I think you can imagine what they all looked like haha.
  17. I have never broken a bone or damaged any body part really and have only been in the hospital a few times for myself.
  18. Dun Laoighre is my favourite place to go, the sea makes me feel so at ease and it helps that Scrumdiddlys is there too!
  19. I made a booklet all about Shih Tzus to give to my parents to sell them the idea of getting a dog and it worked! Now I have a nine year old pup called Daisy (also known as Dosey because she can be a bit slow at times).
  20. It took me so long to actually like pizza but now I love it.. I was also late to the Spice bag game but once I had one I was obsessed!
  21. I'm an only child.
  22. I only got my first Netflix account this year.. I used to use my cousin's friend's account for months and apparently she was really freaked out because she didn't know who was on it haha.
  23. I always flick my hair over to one side, it doesn't matter what side though. I always think my hair is too flat when I leave it in a middle parting.
  24. I'm addicted to acai bowls.
  25. I used to have my nose pierced but now I don't have any at all. I don't have any tattoos and I don't want one either.

Well I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better! Don't forget to tweet/ comment a random fact about yourself too. Happy Sunday everyone!