Orange Obviously

Clóda Scanlon, 21, Irish Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, UCC Student, Cork City.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Why I haven't blogged in 3 months

Hi,
This feels weird and wonderful writing here again.

I'm actually quite emotional writing this first sentence, like it's hit a nerve and I don't know why. I feel like I have become estranged with my own blog.
If you hadn't noticed, I haven't put up a blog post in over 3 months.

I'm figuring out a few things in my life and it's made me realise that I need to write. Ever since I was a child, I loved writing stories and scenarios and English in school was my strong point. Even though I'm not the most articulate with my words and I don't use the biggest words in the dictionary, I just feel release when I do personal writing.
Somewhere along the way in 2018, I forgot that and it contributed to me feeling confused, guilty and lazy. 

The Blogging Scene in Ireland 2018

I love my blog, and I love what I have created. I love my blogger friends and I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've received since I set it up. I love that I have inspired many people and that you are interested in my content.

But it can be really hard to juggle everything. This year I was full-time in my second year of college. I stepped up as chairperson of a society. I went home to Tipperary every weekend and taught guitar lessons. I scheduled in weekly blog shoots with my gal Ailbhe. I hung out with my friends, enjoyed my nights out and breezed through everything! I love to keep busy. I can't function if I'm not busy.

But somewhere along the way, the blog got thrown to the side, and I'm actually upset writing this because as much as I love my blog, I couldn't bring myself to prepare, edit and publish blog posts.

People don't realise that when you're a blogger, you own a brand. I am the owner, editor, photographer, writer, social media manager, performance reporter and inspiration behind my whole brand, Orange Obviously. Blog posts take hours. And I love it. But when it's not a career for me, it's so hard to put my all into it. I've had a few sponsored Instagram posts and that's amazing but the reality is, it's not a career for me right now, and that makes it a struggle to make time for it. There is a huge pressure for smaller bloggers to 'keep up' when it's not a full time thing for us. Standards are always being raised and algorithms affect our efforts.

I've always been a believer in "You do you, girl!" and that other people's mishaps shouldn't affect my work. But the scandals around the Irish blogging scene this year have really disheartened me and pushed me away from the thing I love.
Many people now tarnish all Irish bloggers with the same brush because a select few have ruined it for the rest of us.

There is absolutely incredible Irish bloggers out there who are real, authentic, creative and passionate about blogging. They blog for their love of writing and because of their innate creativity. They blog because they want to constructively use their own corner of the internet to inspire and spread knowledge of their niches.

However, it is extremely frustrating when you build yourself for a few years as a blogger with your own website and authentic image and people abuse the industry.
There's so many occurences of influencers listing themselves as 'blogger' in their social media bios and yet there's no trace of a blog or website. What is their purpose? Are they in it to be gifted by companies or gain a following by falsely listing themselves as bloggers?
In my opinion, it is totally unfair on actual bloggers who have a blog. The word 'blogger' derives from 'blog'. If you don't have one, how can you call yourself a blogger? Just because I can kick a ball doesn't mean I call myself a footballer.
It is literally taking the mick out of people who have worked really hard on creating their blogs.

And to the bloggers in Ireland who have photoshopped their bodies to disproportionate lengths, to the point they're unrecognisable. To the ones who have lied to their followers in order to make a quick buck off a company. To the ones who have imported white label products and put their own name on it, and sold it for way more to their misinformed and unassuming followers.
Deceiving followers, lying to people, photoshopping to make some quick cash.
It is shameful. Such shameful and disgusting behaviour. Social media is pressurising, I get that. But there is no excuse for that carry on! Not when you make a career off the people who trust and follow you.

It is reflecting a really bad light on the rest of us who are real, honest and authentic to our following 'cause we are in it for the love of it. Unfortunately, most bloggers are being painted with the same brush.
 Every time I go online, someone is giving out about bloggers. I've even been in conversations with friends about how they are 'sick of bloggers these days'. 
At times it makes me want to give it all up and not be associated with it.
But it's so true what they say, there will always be a few who will ruin it for the rest!!!

While I don't exactly support the infamous Instagram page Bloggers Unveiled because I think they take it too far at times, they have brought a lot of things to our attention on just how much fakery and lies are being created by certain Irish bloggers.

For so long I followed a really popular blogger in Ireland who lost weight and toned up in just a few short months. I wondered and wondered why it didn't work for me. How come I wasn't toning up as quick as her, and it made me feel conscious of myself and my appearance. It turns out she was photoshopping her body the whole time to make herself appear 2 sizes slimmer on social media when it was all a lie.
I'm lucky I have thick skin, and I quickly copped on to her photoshopping, but it made me think of how many impressionable young followers she was deceiving and how damaging her lies really were.
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For 3 months I have avoided blogging because I worried. 
Would anyone even want to read blogs anymore after the carry on in the industry?
Is a blogger just someone to gossip about with your friends and nothing more?
Would anyone trust me given the behaviour of dishonest bloggers?
I had no interest and took no pride in writing my blog anymore. And isn't that just disgusting? The effect that some people have had on me and how I view the industry stopped me from doing something I love and in the long-run left me confused about why I do what I do.

But I have had time to think and I am so proud of what I have created. Time and time again I have been commended for my authenticity and positivity and the high quality content I produce.
I still don't know what career I want, but I know the blog will help me get me to where I need to be someday. 
To be honest, I'm not me without my blog. 

But my message to you is, please don't lose faith in all Irish bloggers. Please don't throw around the term 'bloggers' with your friends and fuel the fire even more.
If you follow blogs and read blogs, remember why you do. Remember which attributes you love about your favourite bloggers and support them. Like their pictures, give a comment if your admire something. You've no idea how much it means to see the hard work pay off.

If you follow someone and they constantly bring negativity to your newsfeed, hit that unfollow button. Don't continue to follow them and then gossip with your friends, or else it just continues to spread negativity. 
Do a bit of searching and follow the honest bloggers.
 Follow the real bloggers.
Follow the authentic bloggers who bring positivity to your feed.
Follow the bloggers who make you feel good about yourself when you see their posts.
Follow the bloggers who blog because they love it.

They are the ones that are keeping this industry alive. They are the ones that daily, are restoring my faith in this industry. They are the ones who are bringing a change and revolutionising blogging in Ireland.

Blogging is not dead in Ireland. Watch.  It is being re-born!
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Sunday, 18 February 2018

My Top 5 Foundations

Hey lovelies, happy Sunday!!

As you can tell from the title, this post is a run-through of my Top 5 Favourite Foundations.

So my love for these foundations is totally based on the fact that I have oily/combination skin which is acne & blackhead prone. So if you have a similar skin type, these foundations may suit you also!!

I've been dying to write this post for ages because I always want to learn about new makeup myself and these are my absolute trustees so I hope you will love them too!

Daytime Foundations

1. Catrice HD Liquid Coverage


The Catrice HD Liquid Coverage foundation is my absolute baaaaaaby!!! Like my ultimate fave foundation in the world.. It would be a daytime foundation as I only ever wear the lighter shade of 003. For people with spotty skin like me, I have to say it covers evvvverything without feeling overly heavy on the skin. It definitely lasts all day - I've often worn it for up to 20 hours and with powder top-ups it stays on!
 I've worn this foundation in all kinds of weather from rain to scorching heat in America and I just adore it. If you want an affordable but absolutely fantastic daytime foundation then this is my absolute No.1 that I recommend! I also love the fact that it is a dropper style foundation because you can decide how much you want to put on your brush.
And get this... It's €7.50!!!!! You can purchase it in Penneys and many other chemists! 

2. Flormar Perfect Coverage Foundation

The Flormar Perfect Coverage Foundation is my 2nd favourite daytime foundation. I tend to wear it when I have tan on because it is the darker of my everyday foundations. I went to a Flormar stand to find a lighter shade and found that there is very little options of shades available. But I do however mix it with my Catrice HD foundation as mentioned above when I want to acquire the perfect colour match to the shade of my tan ha!! Does anyone else ever do that? I'm always mixing my foundations!
I really like the fact that there is an SPF in the foundation and it is super longlasting!!
The coverage is also excellent and it is super affordable!


3. JOKO ALL in ONE

This foundation is one that was sent to me from a PR company. It is the only foundation I own that isn't specifically for oily skin/full coverage look. I find this foundation is more for a dewy & natural look. So on days where my skin is clearer or I want lighter coverage I will wear this foundation or mix it with my other ones. You can buy it here on Visage Beauty Store!


Nighttime Foundations

1. Urban Decay All Nighter


This is my absolute favourite foundation to wear on nights out or for occasions when I'm wearing tan! It literally does what it says on the tin - lasts all night. It's the only foundation I will wear on a night out, and I sinfully have fallen asleep with it on a few times and it has lasted quite well!!
The shades are stunning - I use shade 5 with tan. It feels so velvety on the skin and is completely full-coverage. It hides all redness of spots and just gives a flawless finish!
It has lasted me so long - nearly a year, so longevity for the price of €36 is impressive as it is only 30ml!! Can we also take a moment for how pretty the packaging is?? By far my prettiest foundation!


 2. MAC Studio Fix Fluid


 I'm sure at one point or another everyone has heard of the MAC Studio FIx foundation as it is famous for it's coverage and longevity on the skin. It certainly does give a flawless finish which is always important for nights out! It is however quite a heavy foundation - you can feel it sitting on the skin. Nonetheless it does it's job and will forever be one of my favourite nighttime coverage foundations!!


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So those are My Top 5 Foundations!! I'm always intrigued to see what other people with similar skin types like - so please let me know your fave foundations whether they are daytime, nighttime, drugstore or high end.
In fact I'm on the lookout for a new Nighttime foundation, so all recommendations are welcome!


*Disclaimer - all opinions are 100% honest and 100% my own opinions.

Clóda
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Thursday, 1 February 2018

I HAVE BIG NEWS!!!!

Hey everyone, sorry I missed last week's blog post - I had the craziest week!

But as you can tell from today's title - I have news!!!!

My Erasmus Location Revealed....

Firstly my Erasmus location was supposed to be announced yesterday.
 So I waited by the phone all day, constantly refreshing my email, checking the notice board in the Italian Department etc.
The whole day passed - not an email in sight so my hopes of finding out yesterday were completely shattered and I gave up looking at the phone.

Then last night I was walking home, headphones in, spotify on full blast - you know yourself. And my phone vibrated. (Bare in mind it was 3 minutes to midnight hahah they were cutting it so fine).
 It was an email with the subject of "Italian Erasmus Placements 2018".. 

Well my heart never beat so fast.

 So here I was, stood still in the freezing cold in the middle of College Road trying to open my email, and BAM - no signal!!! Like what were the chances?
Oh my god I was freaking out pacing up and down the road like a crazy person trying to get signal. 

Eventually it loaded and I was so scared to actually look at it..
Like if it wasn't Rome I was gonna cry.
And if it was Rome I was also gonna cry..
(Earlier that day I  happened to look at my phone at 11:11 and wished with everything I had that I would get my place in Rome)

So I opened the email, absolutely shaking, found my name on the list and ran my hand along the screen to find which university I got. I legit screamed on the street.
I FRICKIN GOT ROOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!

The shock of my life!! I envisioned it so much and so often and it actually by some chance came true - I got my dream city!!
I'm going to be spending a year living and studying in the incredible city of Roma and I truly couldn't be more excited!!!

^^ Picture credit: taken by my fab friend Ciara - check out her blog www.ciaraswalsh.com


I just can't believe it. In September I'll be heading off on the most exciting year of my life in my dream city, my No.1 choice.. I'm just so so so thrilled. I really can't express my excitement right now!

I've been talking about it so much and everyone has been asking me for updates. Even a girl in the student centre earlier told me she followed me on Instagram and asked if I had found out my Erasmus location yet (what a sweetheart) and she made my day!!

Starting now I cannot waaaaaaait to share my Erasmus journey with you all - from blog posts, video diary's, travels around mainland Europe, countless aesthetically pleasing Instagram posts, waaaay too much consumption of pizza and gelato!! It's so exciting..

And I get to celebrate tonight cos I'm going to Arts Ball!!

So that's it.. That's my amazing Thursday update!!
Sending you all good luck if you're waiting to hear placement and Erasmus offers soon!

Have the best weekend!!!
Clóda :) X  
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Sunday, 21 January 2018

24 hrs in Galway



Hey everyone, I don't know what it was about this week, but it felt like it was never going to end!
Perhaps it's because I'm back to college and have a bit of routine in my life again!!

But anyways I'm back again with my new weekly blog post! I'm really excited to finally have a structure to the blog and bring weekly content!
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So as you can tell from the title, this is a short Travel Diary - 24 hours in Galway city. I hadn't met up with my blogger besties in a while and Ciara was home from Italy for Christmas so it was the perfect excuse to have a girly getaway!!
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Nox Hotel 

Image result for nox hotel galway

A few months ago, I was kindly invited to have dinner and a stay for 2 in the Nox Hotel Galway. I finally had the excuse to head up to Galway for the day so decided it was perfect timing to stay!
Myself and my friend Ailbhe from The Red Brunette headed up for the night (and typically arrived by bus during Storm Eleanor hahah)!!
It was a hilarious start to the trip but we were never happier to step foot inside the cosy hotel!









As you can see from the photos, the decor in the reception area is absolutely stunning and so  luxurious! We were lucky enough to arrive when their Christmas decorations were still up! I mean is that not the Christmas tree of dreams?!!! (heart eyes!!)









When we arrived to the room, we were spoiled with the loveliest goodies! A box of pyjamas, Lily O Brien chocolates, luxury sleeping masks, and a 'dreams' notebook. Such a lovely and thoughtful welcome!



The room was gorgeous. So modern, funky, clean and spacious! You can't tell from the photo but we stayed in a huuuuge king size bed! Like we could easily have fit another 2 people in there hahah! Such a comfy sleep!




Gorgeous paisley prints, metallics and artwork brought the room to life! I love how each room has a different theme or vibe! And although I'm not a coffee drinker, there are Espresso machines in each room which I'm guessing is quite the luxury for coffee lovers!






The fab view from our room! (with Storm Eleanor in full swing)

Dinner & Drinks in Fork Restaurant




So on top of the invitation to stay the night in the Nox Hotel we were kindly treated to dinner & cocktails in their stunning Fork Restaurant!
 And my god was it incredible! I ordered the Confit Duck Leg and to say it was divine was an understatement!! I would nearly take the bus back up to Galway just to eat there again!! And don't even get me started on the Elderflower Gin & Tonic - wow wow wow!!
I cannot recommend Fork Restaurant enough. The service was impeccable and the staff were so helpful and friendly!
If you want to take a gander at the delish menus available, you can check them out here.


It was fair to say after that dinner that we were in the definition of a food coma!!
The next morning we filled up on a yummy continental brekkie ahead of our day with the girls!


I just want to take a moment to say how much I recommend Nox Hotel if you're ever looking for accommodation in Galway. From the amazing decor, the unbelievable food, incredible service and seriously affordable prices - I know exactly where I'll be staying the next time I'm in the city!
A special thanks to Nox also for inviting me and Ailbhe to stay! We loved every minute of our stay!

(*Disclaimer - I was invited to a complimentary stay to review the hotel but all views and thoughts in this blog post are my own)




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A day spent with my blogger gals <3



Sooo, the No.1 reason we came to Galway for the day - to catch up with our blogger besties!
These girls are absolutely incredible bloggers and are such amazing friends!!



When I am with these gorgeous girlies I can 100% be myself. I can talk to them about ambitions, hopes and dreams without feeling stupid because I know the support and belief we have in each other. Everything from blogging chats to life chats, I don't know where I would be without them.
And on top of that we motivate each other so much! You have no idea how excited we get when we shoot together and put our creative brains together.
(Until our mystery tour to Italy hehe)
I would highly recommend checking out all of their fantastic blogs:
Sho Style
The Red Brunette
Ciara S Walsh



Hot Chocolates in 56 Central.. (I was delighted that they had an almond milk option)








As you can tell we had a full-on photo shoot that day (because Galway is so ridiculously Instagrammable)! We even ticked another location off the bucket list by getting a snap with the famous Galway Wings mural!!!






We finished off  the best day of catchups and shooting in the stunning Tribeton just off Eyre Square. Apparently it's an old warehouse turned bar & restaurant! Stunning interiors, a great menu and most importantly the tastiest cocktails - the ideal situation!! Would highly recommend!



So as you can see it was a jam-packed, relaxed but fun 24 hours in Galway!
There's always something to do in this amazing city.
Stroll the streets of buskers, eat in the most aesthetic restaurants and just enjoy everything Galway has to offer!

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe even visit some of these places if you travel to Galway. I would love to hear your thoughts on these kind of travel posts within Ireland, so let me know if it is something you would like to see more of.

Have a great week!!
Until next time,
Clóda X

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