Sunday, 13 December 2015

How to: The 12 Pubs of Christmas

I missed the 12 pubs of Christmas last year because I was in Thailand. I am in no way at all complaining about this (especially whenever I look out my window and see the torrential rain and remind myself that this time a year ago I was on a beach), however it does mean that I was raring and ready to tackle 12 pubs with a wild enthusiasm. (To be fair, I'm always ready for the pub with wild enthusiasm but this was a whole new level.)

For anyone who has never heard of this wonderous event before (and it was new to me until I saw it all over facebook last year, correct me if I'm wrong on this but I think it's an irish thing?) it's basically just a glorified pubcrawl in Christmas jumpers.

It's not unlike pub golf actually. (Infact, you could say it is entirely similar to pub golf.) Basically our friend mapped out 12 pubs, along with specifications of what drink to do in each pub ranging from pints or spirits or shots of doom. Guaranteed to be a really good night, right?!

Having successfully (and surprisingly) made it to all 12 pubs I thought I'd share my little tips and tricks for how to have an amazing night:

Plan a route before you go

If you only take away one piece of advice, make it this one. This is not a night to casually ramble about and see where the night takes you. Plan out your pubs with military precision, making sure they're all relatively near each other. If some of your pubs are slightly further away start with them first and finish on a run of pubs that are as close together as possible.

Finish on a good pub

Potentially a no brainer, but I figured I'd mention it anyway - make sure your last stop is a good one because you'll be spending the rest of your night there. It's also worth considering what places will be easy to get into in terms of strict bouncers etc because by this point you'll have had 11 prior drinks and may be slightly merry.

Take all of the photos on one person's phone

We took a photo outside every pub, however we made the rookie error of taking them all on different people's phones, meaning it was a lot more effort to then assemble all 12 photos together in a nice little facebook album (infact I'm pretty sure we're probably still missing some of them). Choose your friend least likely to drop their phone in a ditch and take all of the photos on that saving yourself the hassle of an ill advised picture treasure hunt the next day.

Don't do too many pint rounds

Unless you're planning on starting early try to limit the number of pints you have. If you have a lot of time on your hands by all means go for it, but if you're trying to complete 12 pubs in a brief window of time pints are not your friend.

And on that note...

Make sure you have a few shot rounds

In. Shot. Out. Boom! A pub done!

Wear a Christmas T-shirt

That way if you get too hot in your Christmas jumper you're still dressed in an appropriately festive manner, smart eh!?

I was going to add a last point here about trying to be sensible, but then I figured that you've kind of passed the point of all smart decision making the moment you decide to even attempt the 12 pubs of Christmas in the first place so I'll just settle for saying have fun and just remember, everyone else is drinking at the same pace so you'll likely just be a bunch of fools together.

In other news Have The Town has had a bit of a Christmassy makeover, let me know what you think!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

This is Halloween

This is Halloween! (Pumpkins scream in the dead of night!) Halloween is one of my favourite times of year so I thought I'd do a quick blog update with some of my halloween snaps. I didn't take that many because, you know, rubbish blogger but here's some of my favourites:

I'm ridiculously proud of this Pumpkin

Labyrinth anyone?

We had a party before heading out to a night out in a castle. Spook-tacular!

Monday, 2 November 2015

October Favourites

It's been ages since my last monthly favourites post ( June actually?!) so I thought I'd let you all in on the products I was loving in October.

Make Up Revolution Ultra Blush Palette Sugar & Spice

I bought this palette for going on holiday to Rome in September and have been using it non stop ever since. My favourite shade is the peachy one second from the right on the bottom row - it's perfect if you're looking for a gorgeous, healthy flush.

Make Up Revolution Awesome Felt & Kohl

This is my favourite eyeliner of all time. Seriously, I'm in love. I've been searching the world  (Superdrug and Boots) for a good eyeliner for ages and I've finally found one. It's technically a dual eyeliner, but my focus has been on the felt tip end. The point is brilliantly precise and it glides on like a dream, no patchy lines or drying out, perfect for doing a cat eye flick (if you're good at that kind of thing...) If you buy one product based on my recommendations, this has to be it! I can't believe it's only £3.50, I've tried so many other more expensive brands that are nowhere near as good as this one.

Barry M Speedy Quick Dry, Kiss Me Quick

I love pastels and this pretty pink shade is my favourite. True it's not the most Autumn-y of colours, I'm sure everyone else is wearing oranges and maroons right now, but I really don't care! I was sporting this through October with pride.

New Cid Cosmetics, I-tense Mascara

I got this free with a magazine and I've really been liking it. The big brush is perfect for creating a voluminous look and it's really easy to remove. If I'm being honest, I still prefer my trusty Miss Manga but I've been enjoying this one for a bit of a change.

Uniq One Hair Treatment

My hair is a bit unruly at times and this product has been perfect at taming it.  The smell is a bit overpowering, but I've noticed such an incredible difference in my locks that I've been using it obsessively.

Simple Face Wipes

Another purchase for Rome, I got these because I didn't want to take a big bottle of make up remover in my case and they were such a dream for getting every last bit of mascara off I've been using them ever since.

Let me know about any of your favourite products in October and I'll check them out!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Roman Holiday, Part Two

If you read last time's thrilling instalment of my holiday blog series you'll know that so far I've arrived in Italy, checked in at the hotel, had some food then gone to bed. Riveting stuff! Here's where it (hopefully) gets more exciting!

Saturday morning our alarms went off at half 7 (not gonna lie, this was a slight struggle) and we made our merry way into Rome. I did think about vlogging some of this, but I tried recording myself the week before and I could hardly bare to watch it back, so any plans for youtube might have to be on the backburner for a while (or, you know, forever.)

All excited on the train into Rome
We went to a gorgeous little bakery recommended by my trusty guide book, which we found very easily by the description (this was setting us up for a fall as things with the guide book took a horrible turn later) and chomped our way down to The Spanish Steps, past a delightful fountain.

The Spanish Steps are, main clue being in the name, a flight of steps which rose to fame in the Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday. We stayed there for a while, perched on the nice fountain at the bottom while we watched a fat pigeon taking his morning bath. Stephen also refilled our water bottle, not from the fountain itself but from the little bit off to the side. (We realised several hours later that we may actually have been drinking filthy pigeon water, but it was too late by then. OH WELL!)

Next we stopped by the Trevi Fountain which, despite largely resembling a building site thanks to the construction that was underway, was definitely worth a view!

We decided to go for a light lunch before heading to The Vatican and spent about half an hour looking for a mysterious pizzeria described in the guidebook. Frustratingly it even said in the book that it's "hard to find" so why there weren't more specific instructions is beyond me! After walking down the same street four times we just gave up and headed to The Vatican because the tickets were pre booked and we didn't want to miss our slot!

Some Vatican Advice:

Buy tickets online to avoid queueing (I got mine here)
It's basically impossible to see everything (unless you have a spare four years) so work out beforehand what you're most interested in seeing or if you're not fussed just go for a wander, taking it all in
The Gardens are a really pretty place to sit and take a breather 
If you want to see the Sistine Chapel be prepared for a long wait
Wear appropriate clothing, your shoulders and knees have to be covered

After the Vatican we were knackered, but ploughed on to the St Peter's Basilica, which is one of the largest churches in the world. This was maybe my favourite part of the day. I'm not particularly religious but I love Cathedrals. (If you're talking UK York and Durham are my favourites.)

The queue to get in always looks pretty long but it actually moves really quickly and is only for the bag check area, once you're past that you're laughing.

We paid extra to go up to the dome at the top (and paid extra to get the lift, which turned out to be a very good life decision since there were a ridiculous number of steps) which was well worth it because the view over Rome was amazing.

We then headed back to Frascati and went out for food at a restaurant called Al Gusto and honestly had some of the most beautiful food I've ever tasted in my life.

Ravioli with smoked cheese and Asparagus flowers, the stuff dreams are made of!
I'm now going to leave you with my favourite snap from the day. I'd just like to say that we didn't eat in McDonald's because you would have to be literally mad to want to eat there with all the delicious Italian food beckoning, but I did take this quality photo that I just had to share :

Lobster, in McDonalds!? The Italian's even do cheap nasty take away food better than we do!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Roman Holiday, Part One

Recently my boyfriend and I ticked another place off our Travel Bucket List and headed off to Rome for a long weekend. I've been to Italy before, albeit not to Rome, with my family several years ago so I knew we were in for a treat, and what a treat it was! The weather was amazing, the food was incredible and the people were wonderfully friendly. Rome - I love you!

We flew from Dublin airport, and it was a pretty short flight with the time in the air being just over 3 hours, which is nothing compared to the mammoth excursion we had coming home from Australia!

After some confusion about taxis at the airport (someone with the exact same surname as me took our taxi by mistake and hilarity ensued involving a series of bizarre interactions with their taxi driver and confusing phone calls to the hotel reception desk) we arrived at The Villa Grazioli.

I found this place when I was looking for hotels on expedia and nearly wrote it off because it's actually slightly outside Rome, but nowhere else looked half as nice and it was only a half hour train journey into the city centre, so we decided to just go for it.

It. was. gorgeous. The building is a villa dating back to 1580 which has since been renovated to turn it into a hotel. I've never stayed anywhere like it before, it had heaps of character and it was amazing staying somewhere with so much history to it!

We spent a stupid amount of time walking around taking photos, which I can safely say I have never done in a hotel before but it was just too amazing not to.

We didn't do too much for the first day, our flight in the morning was at 6am so by the time we got to our villa and recovered from the whole wrong taxi fiasco we were knackered. (Potentially this defeats the point of getting an earlier flight so we would be there early most of the first day but you live and learn!)

One thing we did do was venture into the nearby village of Frascati for food. We went to a restaurant called Belvedere that was recommended by the lovely man who worked in the hotel and it was amazing. Like, I want to quit my job, pack up all my belongings and move to Italy amazing.

Mozzarella & Rice balls

Zucchuni Flowers, Smoked Cheese & Bacon

Spaghetti Carbonara
Afterwards we went to a nearby pub for a few glasses of wine (that were like 3 euros each, did I mention that I love Italy?) and that was our first day! Tune in for Part 2 where I actually venture into Rome! (I promise we did go!)

Monday, 21 September 2015

Autumn Shopping Haul

I was away travelling Thailand and Australia last year from December to March, which meant that I conveniently missed a lot of the winter months. Recently it's started to get a bit more chilly and I've been looking at my wardrobe and wondering What the hell do I normally wear when it's cold? All of my clothes just seem to be summer appropriate (So god knows how I've coped these last few months in the rainiest summer that I can remember) with few options for when it's freezing! The obvious solution to my lack to clothes dilemma was just to go out and buy stuff to be prepared for the cold Northern Irish winter, it's only sensible!

Here's what I bought :

Boots, £24.99, New Look
Skinny Jeans, £12.99, New Look

Black Skirt, £6.00, Blue Inc

This is just one to wear to work which will probably be paired with a shirt or smart top! (And thick, chunky tights when it gets colder)

Stripy Jumper, £12.00, Primark

I can't resist anything with stripes! (Or stars, or hearts, or polka dots...)

Purse, £12.00, Liberty Blue

Ok, this has nothing to do with Autumn but it's my absolute favourite. Just look at it! It seemed very Cinderella, I know the carriage isn't made out of a pumpkin but I was getting definite Disney vibes. I got this from Liberty Blue, my favourite boutique in Belfast.

Bag, £10.00, Liberty Blue

It's a bag! With bunny ears! Enough said, right?

Fluffy Slippers, £5.00, Tesco

Last but not least I got some big fluffy, pink slippers. There's nothing better than wearing a big comfy pair of slippers, cuddled up with some hot chocolate.

Although I've called this post "Part One" I haven't actually bought stuff yet to feature in Part Two, however I know myself well enough to know that this will not be the last of it! I can't very well survive winter on one jumper can I?!

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Blogger Interview Tag

I haven't done a tag post in a while, mainly because I haven't actually been, you know, tagged in anything, but all of that is about to change because, after this post I have another two in my line up, so won't that be a treat?

I was tagged by the lovely Laura from Laura Likes Beauty, you can read her post here (and make sure you check out the rest of her blog 'cause she's an absolute sweetheart)

So, without further ado I bring you :

How did you get into blogging?

 I started blogging at the end of March this year. I had just returned from travelling Malaysia, Thailand and Australia and wanted to find a new hobby to take up my time while I was job hunting! (It got a lot harder after I started my job because I had less time to go out and about taking photos, I quite miss those blissful first few weeks when Have The Town was my main focus!)

What advice would you give to bloggers starting out?

Get involved on twitter. My blog used to get about three views a day before I started a twitter account for it! It's such a good tool that can be utilized to get your blog across to a larger audience. Also, view count aside, it's so nice to chat to other bloggers, I now speak to some great people that I never would have met if it hadn't been for twitter. 

What would be your dream campaign?

Ideally someone would pay for me to go to Disney World every day and blog about it. Can this happen? Please, please, please!

Do you have a plan for your blog?

Not gonna lie here, I have no plan whatsoever! I'm just gonna keep at it and see where it all ends up.

If you fancy doing this then please feel free to tag yourself, and make sure you link me so I can read it!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Smooch Me Sunday #3 Topshop, Infrared

Ahhhh Infrared, my old trusty faithful! This is one of my favourite go-to lipsticks, so I felt it was time to take its place on the leaderboard. Spoiler alert - it's probably going to score well.

My Thoughts

Well,I think we all already know I'm a huge fan of this one, since I keep banging on about it. I love the shade, it's such a bright cheerful colour! I remember being a bit shocked when I first bought it because it's more orange than red based, and at that point I was very much a strictly red and pink lipstick only type, but once I got used to it I found I actually really like it!

This is the lipstick that gets the most compliments and requests to know what I'm wearing more than any other.

It's a gorgeous , smooth matte texture that glides on pretty easily! The staying power is nothing to write home about, it's not brilliant but it's also not notably bad!

I have to also mention the packaging here, it's so cute! Look at the pretty stripes! A design after my own heart!

The Scores

Pigmentation - 9
Staying power -7
Ease of Application -8
How much I enjoyed wearing it - 9

Infrared gets 33 out of 40. Bravo!

The Leaderboard