Sunday, 16 March 2014

Exclusive Interview With Top Irish Model Holly Carpenter

At only 22, Irish model Holly Carpenter has gone from strength to strength and has basically made herself a household name for many Irish homes. In 2011 Holly became Miss Ireland and you might also recognise the stunning brunette from cycle 9 of Britain and Ireland's Next Top Model where she beat off stiff competition coming a whopping seventh in the overall contest.
Even though she didn't win, Holly didn't leave that stopping her as she's now one of Ireland's most loved and top models!!
As well as being one of Ireland's biggest models, Holly started her own blog 'Holly Carpenter Blog' where she shares her own beauty tips, healthy recipes and promotes her Paleo diet and with all this she's also known and Leinster and Irish rugby player Cian Healy's missus. 
I jumped at the chance of asking this amazing lady a few questions about her modelling career,  her 
relationship and her celebrity labelling ...

Read my interview with this incredible lady below: 

You represented Ireland in Miss World in 2011 and at such a young age, what was that like? 
Did school suffer at the result of your career?
I was 19 when I won Miss Ireland. It was a crazy year full of opportunities and responsibilities so I took a year out of college. I was studying textiles and was interested in jewellery and lingerie design. Now that I'm working in the fashion industry I realise that I made the right choice to put college on hold because I've made so many valuable contacts.

Coming in seventh place on Britain and Ireland's next top model is incredible, how was that competition? Was it how you expected it to be? how did you deal with your bitchy competitors, was there ever a time when you wondered if it was all worth it?
The competition was really tough. The days were so long and with so many cameras around me 24/7 I found it hard dealing with the fact that I never got a minute to myself. The reality TV side of the show was harder than I expected it to be but it was so worth it. There was plenty of times that I felt home sick and frustrated but I knew that being there would help my career. The friends I made in the house kept me sane.

You didn't always see eye to eye with Elle, was she as genuine as you see on camera?
Elle was a hard judge to please on and off camera. I felt like I could never do enough to impress her which was tough. She was more or less the same on camera but maybe not as warm as she came across on the show.

What was the best piece of advice given to you?
My mum always tells me not to care too much about what other people think. It's a hard thing to so because I think what all care about what others think of us but I learnt to ignore any negativity I received on social media etc.

Was modelling always something you wanted to do? How did you get into it? What kick started your career?
I always admired models in magazines but I never thought it was going to be my job some day! I entered Miss University Ireland in 2011 as a bit of fun and then I ended up winning and going straight to the final of Miss Ireland. Winning Miss Ireland definitely kick started my career and gave me a great platform for starting out as a model.

Holly has been dating Leinster and Ireland rugby star Cian Healy for years)
What's it like being part of a 'celebrity couple' do you feel the pressure of press trying to get the inside story or is it just like a normal typical relationship?
When I'm with Cian we're just like a normal couple and we have so much fun together. It can be annoying when I'm doing interviews and I'm asked about him all the time. I don't mind talking about my relationship to a degree but of course I like to keep most of it private and it can be hard when I read an interview and they've focused solely on my relationship.
You've already made it to the top of the Irish modelling industry. Is it as you expected?
It's a great industry to be in. It has it's ups and downs for sure though! I love meeting new people everyday and the fact that each day is so different but there is definitely some pressure that comes with the job too. It's just important to keep your feet on the ground and never believe your own hype.

Do you have an idol?
 I'm inspired by my mum because she is so brave and funny, we're really close.

What's your favourite alcoholic beverage?
I love mojitos! I usually drink vodka with soda water and fresh lime.. it's pretty boring

If you were to describe yourself in five words what would you use?
Creative, caring, fun, happy, weird

What were you like as a teenager?
I went through a bit of a rebellious stage but nothing too wild. I loved going out and I was always really loud in school.

If you could give the teenage Holly Carpenter a pep talk what would you say?
Don't pluck your eyebrows or dye your hair blonde - you're just going to regret it in years to come when you have damaged hair and thin brows! Appreciate your parents more they do a lot for you, so stop being so cheeky. Spend more time with your brother because He's going to go to America when he's older and you won't get to see enough of him. Take up a sport and be serious about it - then it won't be so hard to start going to the gym later on.

If you weren't a model what would you be?
A designer of some sort.

What advice would you give young girls looking to go into the modelling industry?
Send natural head shots to every agency and don't take it personally if you don't get signed straight away. There's a difference between a gorgeous girl and a model, so if you can't get signed by an agency don't let it affect how you see yourself - it doesn't mean you're not beautiful you just might not be tall enough or maybe the agency has enough brunettes already etc. there's tonnes of reasons there could be so don't worry!

Have half a tongue, or no toes?
No toes - as long as I could still stand without falling over.

Summer or winter?
Hmmm this is tough because I adore Halloween and Christmas but I'm going to say Summer because I love going on holidays more.

Hot or cold?

If you could be any baked confectionery what would you be?
Apple crumble with custard

What are the three most important things to you.
My family, myself and Cian

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

The CAO aka, the stress machine!!

One thing about sixth year which causes crazy stress to almost EVERYONE! no actually it does cause stress to EVERYONE is the CAO!! Well not so much about CAO, I'd say they're all lovely people but it's the filling out of the CAO which gets me.
 For those younger readers who haven't yet been introduced by these three horrible letters, it's what you fill out when you want to go to college, you put your college choices down on this form, in order of your preference. It sounds grand doesn't it? -Well it's not! What if you don't know what to put first!!
What if you don't know what college you want to go to!!! What if the points are unrealistic!!
What if you literally do not have a clue what you want to do at the age of eighteen for the rest of your whole entire life!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!! - *cue crying hysterically*

For me?, it's not that I don't know what I want to do it's the fact I don't know what to put first! Since fourth year I had my heart set on Journalism and New Media in UL, it all sounded fantastic that was until I really thought about it and decided I've no interest in journalism!! I really don't. I know right!! NO INTEREST IN JOURNALISM!!!! - I don't want to read newspapers, I just wanted to write them!!
I'll admit I love writing, otherwise I wouldn't be writing on the blog right now, but I would HATE to be a journalist!! I really would. It's the idea of becoming a presenter that gets me. That's my dream!! I'm a confused soul I know!
So what do I think now? Business I'd love to study business. I've always loved business!! And as I wrote before It's my dream to own my own business. Also in UL - I really love Limerick!!
Both courses are the exact same points, cost the exact same, and are both in UL. -WHAT DO I DO!!!!

I've my life planned out in my head, I'll study business in UL then get a full time job at the Limerick based radio station Spin South West work there for about five years before becoming a part time worker there and then using my business skills to become a powerful business woman. Also living in the Limerick suburbs married to Conor Murray. Doesn't it sound fantastic!! It does! Don't lie!!Realistic on the other hand, not so much.
I know it seems very unrealistic to study something and then do something completely opposite but many people I've talked to in the media industry never studied anything media related. Amy Huberman studied science and now look at her- She's no scientist!!

Someone I would like to follow the footsteps of is Spin South West presenter Nessa Mary Harney, she studied 'buzzziness' in UL and is now one of the country's top presenters in my opinion. She's hilarious!! So if she can do it, why can't I?!!!
Apart from the part she's extremely talented.....
I genuinely do not believe that the college course you choose will determine the job you will have for the rest of your life! That's what all us stressed out teenagers should be told!
 Not being told of stupid career teachers that what we put down on CAO will make us or break us for the rest of our lives!!!

As much as it stresses me out, I can honestly say it's one of the only fair systems in the world!! To CAO you're only a number, which is great! It would be handy to be able to slip someone a tenner and tell them to get me into UL, but that doesn't happen with CAO.
The main thing I learned recently anyway is that CAO does not define your life!! and that's what you need to remember! but in all seriousness...
Journalism OR Business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Oh you drunken messes..

We've all went out and had a few too many shots at times, there's no point denying it. Thinking you're having the best night of your life, the Jager the Bucca the Fins, all going down so well and then waking up the next morning with the feeling that there's a little cave man banging a brick of the inside of your head along with your stomach acting as if it's a washing machine!! What's that about like?
Checking our purses to realise we spent all the money that was supposed to last us the week, gone!
Why do we even bother? And on what? Self inflicted pain. It's hardly worth it is it?
Praying to God you still have your ID, finding bruises and cuts from bouncing off grounds the sheer embarrassment of it all, and then the worst of all the drunken messages. WHY!! WHY!! WHY!! WHY!!

Okay, okay enough preaching now! There's been many a nights when I was too drunk and had to be taken home.
In fact last Saturday night when a bus of 66 of us headed to Kilkenny to celebrate our friends birthday was my first night going out where I remained sober, my first night EVER!! and I've been going out since I was seventeen!! that's embarrassing. I didn't know what it was like to go out sober and it was the most eye opening experience I've ever had!
 Arriving in Kilkenny we all headed to a close bar, spirits were high and the live band the pub had was fantastic! They even played Kings Of Leon! I was in my element! Everyone was up dancing, people were mingling and I even had my first ever Jager bomb!! And heaven to be God it was spectacular!!
But all of a sudden my mood changed so quickly I couldn't even understand it.
As myself and my friend Carrie headed to a bathroom cubicle, where we and yes this is shameful  we intended drinking some vodka we had brought from home when we saw these three girls, not much older than us in an awful state!! One was after vomiting all over the bathroom floor the other one slipped on it, landed in it and bounced her head off the bathroom wall, the other one tried to help her up and fell over her, her leg nearly breaking off!! I was shocked!!! Obviously rushing over to help the girls before I realised I now had some strangers vomit on my hand, the bathroom attendant didn't even move from her chair!
Only throwing a dirty look my way, yes that's fine woman I'll do the job you're being paid for!!
After this my night was on a downer, I couldn't get over this, and it wasn't even midnight the night was so young! Something that wouldn't have even bothered me if I was drunk.
 There's the creepy old men, the ones you're disgusted with when your drunk but don't get too creeped out but when sober my God their lucky then can still walk! I was appalled all I wanted to do was go home, literally at half 11 and the bus not leaving until 2.30am.
 So after that, the gang decided to head to our next venue, Pegasus in Kilkenny. This is one place I would highly recommend to people. It is incredible. Leaving the pub myself and a friend got separated from the gang and when we tried to get back in we couldn't because of yet another drunken man causing havoc!!
A clearly over 35 year old man was having war with the bouncer outside because they wouldn't let him in, being too drunk!! FAIR PLAY!! - but then arms were being swung and well, wow!
Finally a garda van arrived and he was put in the back and taken away, now what must that man think now 'Oh hey remember the night I tried to cause a fist fight with that very attractive bouncer on the door and got arrested' - his family must be so proud.
 When we finally got back inside, and around the pervy old men at the front the girls were on their way out and we were actually en route to Pegasus.

The entire city was drunk, literally I'd say there was five of us not drunk within the city. People falling everywhere, people getting sick -I couldn't stand it, it was disgusting!!
People doing stupid things under the influence of alcohol, something you literally wouldn't notice unless you were sober.
I won't go into description about how the night planned out, however the highlight of my night was sitting at the quite end of the bar with my two friends drinking 7 up, no joke not vodka and 7 up just 7 up, 7up free as a matter of fact, until 2am it was finally time to head back to the bus so we could go home.

I know there will be people reading this who have seen me on night's out and will think it's rich coming from me, but once you feel like you are the only sober person in a big city, it changes your perspective it really does.
I'm not by any means saying I'll be giving up alcohol, but I'm going to be more careful with it. I saw the effects of it and I wasn't impressed.
There's nothing wrong with getting merry and happy, but when you come to a stage where you can't stand and you're getting sick it's kind of embarrassing for all involved.
    - That being said we're young we should have fun, but what's so fun about having people hold back your hair whilst you vomit up your dinner, eugh..
                                  No thank you.
I honestly think that if your like me, a lightweight who hasn't ever went out sober before you should do it.
I can't promise you it will be fun but it's three days gone and it's still in my mind.
You can have fun, but alcohol is dangerous, just remember that!!
 - Now, anyone up for a Jager Bomb?!!!! :D

Understanding Poker For Dummies..

The sisters, from other misters.
At least one weekend a month I invite the childhood friends over for a few drinks and what this usually leads to is, sing songs, arguments, shameless selfies, monopoly and more recently a game of poker, or so I thought.
 The first time we decided to take out a deck of cards we struggled to find inspiration with them, it came down to snap, bulls*it or building a card house before someone suggested poker.
 I'd heard of poker before, I liked the sound of poker, I decided to play poker!!
Not many people are aware of my competitive nature, to be honest I'm not really competitive it's just this one thing : I NEED TO WIN!!!! and when I don't I get very annoyed and agitated and turn into someone who's not very pleasant to be around.
 It's why I had to stop going to Bingo on a Friday night! I'd be so sure I was going to win, one number!!!  
 I was ready!! This was it my number would be called I was getting ready to scream BINGOOOO!!
I was almost on my feet, waiting on the number seven when all of a sudden the man would say EIGHT!! and some old fool who shout Bingo!!!
Well I never, I started sweating!! I was almost shaking, I'd lost. I even left the bingo hall.
And from that point on it was the end of my gambling career so I thought, I'd imagined going to Las Vegas in my twenties and coming home bankrupt, not a great personal characteristic I'll admit but at least I knew to never gamble, that was until poker was suggested.
 The 'game' went ahead and after screaming and almost tears the game suddenly ended with my friends saying 'they were tired' - they were in my back! They were only jealous I was winning anyway,
 this past Friday night the gathering went ahead, the usual six of us but with one extra addition and once again we decided to play poker. I explained the rules to the newbie,
''You get two cards and you need to make twenty one, you've four poker chips in front of you worth 5 euro, 10 euro, 20euro, and 50euro and you just get as close to 21 as possible'' it was easy!!
until one friend let it slip that is wasn't actually poker! that was 21!! My 'Friends' had let onto me we were playing poker all the time when in fact it was basic 21, and the excuse? - because the rules would take to long to explain to me, and I wouldn't understand. I WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND!!!!!!
I was never as insulted in my life, none the less the game of 'poker' went ahead but it's at this point of my life where I felt the need to learn how to play poker for myself, using the world, wide, web as help I found the rules of poker and made them as easy as possible to help you understand the rules of the game, however they were in fact right and I can't understand the rules: I got to four, hope it helps.

1. Choose your dealer, (Ideally someone who will help you cheat works best) pick someone who can concentrate on the game, not someone away with the fairies (eg.My friend Aisling)
2.The dealer gives each player two cards! NO ONE can see your cards!!!
3.When everyone gets their cards the first round of betting will begin, this means that the first better, places a bet on what he thinks his/her cards are worth. You can then fold, meaning you don't wish to bet in this round or you can raise the bet. (It's at this point I usually raise the bed stupidly with the expectations of winning, only to actually loose and result to crying)
4.It's from this step onwards that I don't actually understand and even with all my research I still cannot learn how to play, it's something about a flop, three cards being turned around, second round of bets and you know what I don't like the rules.

So what I would recommend is just a simple game of snap, just snap. JUST PLAY BLOODY SNAP!!!!