Tuesday, 30 June 2015

The June Catch Up

June was a hectic month for me with so many things finally coming to an end. After having a crazy busy year it's time to turn off, relax and enjoy the good aul Irish 'summer'.
Recapping on June is quite the whirlwind of emotions, on one hand I'm so happy it's done and there's no more studying but on the other hand June has been amazing and there's things like my course which have come to an end that I wish hadn't. None the less June has been my busiest and most stressful month so far this year.
Even though I could have had you fooled summer time has finally began and even though the Irish weather is not as great as it could be it's FINALLY summer and even though it's July I still haven't been to the beach yet!!!- I know ..what even?? Hello Summer Time!!

  •  Bye Bye LC: Thank the Lord Jesus the leaving cert is finally done and I've it completed for a second time. I can't lie and say it went amazing especially as I thought I was at death's door the morning of my business exam it's done and I will NEVER have to face the leaving cert again!
  • Cert in Broadcast Journalism and Presenting Say What: Readers of my blog will be well aware that since April I had been taking a level 6 course in broadcast journalism and radio presenting and you guessed it, June saw my course come to an end and it broke my heart. After having spent so much time in studio and having some incredible opportunities so it broke my heart to have the course done but I'm also very proud and excited to now have a level 6 in broadcast journalism #slipperynipplesforever 
  • Reaching 50,000 hits (June 9th): A huge milestone for me was when after two years I finally reached 50k hits on my blog and I'm as shocked as you trust me. My target for 2015 was to reach 25k hits and to have 50k ... WOW!!!
I'm still in shock and I'm delighted and I now have over 54k. Once again I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who reads my blog, it means so much to me!! 60k by the end of 2015??? -We'll see ;-)

  •   Plan Ireland Campaign: I was so excited to be part of my first ever campaign 'Because I Am A Girl' with Plan Ireland. I'm so excited to be able to help this incredible organisation and in June it went live!!! 

  • Getting my URL:  I FINALLY after months of trying to set up my URL it's finally live. This was another thing on my 2015 bucket list and my blog is now 'littlepieceoflynda.com' even though it isn't actually what I had in mind as 'blogspot.ie' still comes up..but look it's a June achievement!! 
  • Contributor to Campus.ie: This month I started writing for online website 'campus.ie'  and I've published two pieces so far. (You can check out my pieces here I LOVE writing with Campus.ie because it's so different to anything else I've ever written for. Every week we get pieces to choose from which we then investigate and research and then write the piece, proper journalism and I love it. 
  • Danny Miller Interview: As you know this month I got the opportunity to interview one of my favourite actors Emmerdale actor Danny Miller which you can read here:  It was such a huge honour and it's gone onto become my third most viewed post EVER!!!! 

What I'm loving...

This month I fell IN LOVE with Aveeno moisturiser. I've been looking for the perfect moisturiser for months now ever since OXY were put off the market. 
I received a sample of Aveeno and just said I'd give it a try and see if I liked it and I fell in love from the minute it went on my skin. I apply it everywhere and it leaves your body so soft and really moisturised I'm the biggest fan of aveeno and couldn't go one day without this magic cream. 

What I'm Doing...

I'm very excited to reveal this and go into more detail but this month I began planning a charity fundraiser for BUMBLEance.  I can't go into too much detail at the moment BUT, I promise you that there's a lot more information to follow and you can all get involved and help out too.
This month I've also joined the gym so I'm on a mission to get fit. I've learned that there's no better feeling than going for a jog and really clears my mind of things, running listening to some of my favourite music is just amazing and I'm loving it so far.

 What's Coming Next...

Well July is going to be HECTIC for me, with CAO choices to be decided by July 1st I've still no idea what I want to be so that's a mystery for not only you, but me.
I'll also be putting my plan into action regarding Bumblance and making things happen getting ready for August, there's going to be A LOT of PR, event planning, stress and tears yet I cannot wait.
Opposed to that, well it's SUMMER so a lot of sunbathing and chilling out, as well as trying to get a part time job of course.

Overall June has been a fairly decent month apart from that LC thing but I'm very excited for July to begin!!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Exclusive Interview With Emmerdale's Danny Miller

For as long as I can remember I've loved Emmerdale's Aaron Livesy aka Danny Miller. Actually as a matter of fact Danny was one of my first ever crushes and to this day I'm still in love with the ridiculously talented twenty four year old.
 I couldn't believe my luck when I got the chance to quiz Danny all about his career, being an actor, playing Aaron Livesy and so much more...
 Danny who's been playing troubled Aaron in Emmerdale since his teens is currently involved in one of the biggest plots of the moment after getting involved with married man Robert Sugden.
 However in real life Danny seems to be one of the kindness, most down to earth men I've ever come across and how he got into acting is both due to dreaming and sheer luck: ''I started on 'Grange Hill' in Summer 2006 and managed to work this out as being my work experience over summer and fell in love with just about everything. The cameras, the drama, the whole world of television''

Danny admits that after that it was dream and nothing would stop that''School, college, university - all went out of the window because I knew what I wanted to do didn't necessarily need qualifications as a compulsory factor. Just needed to be able to learn quickly and have an eye to make things work on screen. Something I feel I've managed to blag so far. It is a tough business but once you've got that foot in the door it's important to remember those that are still trying.'' 

With his father in the entertainment already he always knew he wanted to follow in his footsteps ''The whole idea of following my Dad into the entertainment business was something I wanted to achieve personally. Seeing how proud he is today makes me feel that sense of achievement''

On Emmerdale Danny plays the tough and slightly aggressive Aaron but in real life looking back on his time in school he is, is like I was and was the class clown, ''In school I was the class clown. My teacher would constantly jest that I should've been on the stage. Something she doesn't allow me to forget still to this day ha! I was never naughty, just misunderstood. I was active and sometimes too much, which would distract others. Something I wish I could go back and change now I'm aware of how the world works. I loved school though. They really are the best days of your life. Remember I said this. Sounds like we are quite alike in that respect but just enjoy it. And work hard. Please''
Is Danny anything like Aaron??? ''I love playing Aaron - I don't feel as though there are many similarities. It's why I enjoy playing it so much. I guess I am honourable to my family and friends and loyal. But if I have a problem I don't let it eat me up, I air it and work out a solution however tough or easy that is''

Since breaking onto our screens on Emmerdale in 2008 Danny has had his fair share of bad press and negativity ''I'm not great with the pressure. I put up a good front to people. Often makes me quite nervous and unsettled that people know stuff about you but Google is so accessible these days you just need to adjust to the world and I feel like I've done/doing that'' 
Coming into this industry means a lot of your time is taken up and it can have an effect on your personal life, '' I suppose in some senses I gave up a lot of social time to make this world work for me but others are completely different. They made it work with in their lives but I always believe in if you want something you'll make it happen regardless of what you do/don't need to give up. Hard work gets you everywhere you want to be''

Danny is a firm believer that how famous you are doesn't impact your ability as an actor   'First and foremost you don't need to be famous to be a successful actor or actress. There are so many actors that have a huge amount of respect in the business and because it isn't Leonardo Di Caprio or Marlon Brando 7 out of 10 people wouldn't have a clue with 10 names I could give you that have a massive CV and hugely respected but you wouldn't know who they are'' 
Surely an actor has a glamorous life though? ' Every job has pro's and con's. The job isn't as glamorous as most people would think - 5, sometimes 6 day weeks - 7am - 7pm so not a lot of time to socialise or enjoy the sun. But on the other hand you get so many other pro's to go with the job and you get to meet some amazing people from all walks of life'

A typical day isn't as you'd expect either   'Depending on workload usually I'm up for 545 and leave Manchester for Leeds to make a 715am call time. Into makeup, then costume. Bit of breakfast and then off to set. Then it's full on until 7pm. There can be different days depending on storyline but usually very similar. I love it. Wouldn't change it for the world. On down days, I'll play football, gym, spend time with friends and family and try and wind down ready for the next day in studio'
Being on set is also entirely different, ''It depends what kind of day it is. The atmosphere on set is very relative to the material we are filming. If it's serious then it's a quiet, intense (in a good way) atmosphere and if it's a general day in the woolpack then it isn't too serious. Try to keep it light and a bit of banter to counter the days that are quite intense''

Like I already mentioned if you're a regular fan of Emmerdale you'll see Aaron getting into all sorts of trouble on a daily basis, ever since Aaron and Jackson broke my heart he has been involved in some of the biggest soap storylines and although every dramatic storyline is tough it's what Danny lives for, ''I love it. The reason the business still excites me. I love playing different emotions with different scenes and switching through so many different directors and writers it keeps you interested and enthusiastic. The workload the story lines and writers have to turn out week in week out is frightening and works every time. I feel honoured to have been involved in some of the most memorable stories in the history of this great show and I still feel so blessed after all this time''

Danny has won so many awards that I can't even get into it winning the 'best actor' award numerous times *big shock* but with so much achieved he's not settling,''In terms of my achievements I haven't achieved anywhere near what I want to but that doesn't necessarily mean away from Emmerdale - plenty of things I want to do away from acting but that'll only bore you. I'd love to be able to learn the trick of the trade in directing and it's something I'm making progress with daily''

For any aspiring actors out there Danny believes strongly in perseverance and knocking down doors!! ''The door won't open by itself. You have to open it. Don't fall at the first hurdle and when it's all said and done and you think you're getting nowhere - BAM. Two jobs come at once. Perseverance. Positivity breeds positivity.''
*Random Danny Miller Fact* Thanks to google there's not a lot people don't know ha! Being an over the top Liverpool fan is no secret so I guess other than that I have two kittens called Thelma & Louise. If I had to pick a 'chick flick' so to speak - that's my favourite so it's fitting. 

And so there you have it, how incredible is this man? - I think I may even love him a little bit more (If that's even possible) A HUGE thanks to Danny for answering these questions for me!!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Bring Me To The States: 10 places I Want To Go To In America

There's something about America that excites almost everyone and I am no different. It's not a place I could ever see myself moving permanently but that being said it's on my bucket list to one day touch down in LAX. The idea of America is something in which I for one have completely built up in my head, a complete change in lifestyle, a land where it's actually sunny in June and you can just go to the beach at any time during the day. You can wear flip flops all year round and even scoot around on scooters, not to mention walking into the Kardashian's on a daily basis ... it's the dream life.  
Obviously I'm not stupid and I know that's a complete made up stereotype I have in my head and a day to day life in America would definitely not include scooters, beaches and the Kardashian's but none the less that doesn't stop me drooling about the American life.
There are some places in America which do excite me more than others and if I won the lottery these are the first ten places I'd be booking a flight to: 

1. Los Angeles: The first place I'd be booking my ticket to is without a shadow of a doubt to LAX airport. For as long as I can remember LA has been my dream destination and if I had to live anywhere else in the world this would be the place. Hollywood, Beverly Hills, everything about this place just seems so glam and exciting. I can only imagine how intense it would be to live in a place like LA but it's the dream, with a list the length of my arm of things I want to do like see the Hollywood sign, walk the walk of fame, drive around in a convertible the real cliché things of Los Angeles. 
2. Salem/ Massachusetts: Whilst on my tour of America this place is a must for me. I know, it's not somewhere that's on everyone's bucket list but with my intense love for Halloween and the history of Halloween it's one of my first stops and oh yes you guessed it, ideally at Halloween time. Not only would I want to be in Salem for the history and the witch stories it's also home to my all time favourite film Hocus Pocus so it's a must see, for me.. oh look, I'm a poet and I didn't know it.

3. Vegas Baby: Trust me when I tell you this would be my dream place, but also trust me when I say that this is the place that would destroy me. I am not a gambler by any stretch of the imagination but it's for good reason. If I was to gamble it would not stop at just one scratch card or one game on the slot machines believe me and if I was in Vegas for two nights I could almost guarantee you I'd come home bankrupt and having to sell my house to pay off my debts.. none the less Vegas is on the list!! - I'm already singing Kenny Rogers! 

4. New York City: I'm like every other girl in the world when it comes to NYC and would kill to go there. It's not number one on my list of places to go but it just seems so magical and surreal. From reading 'The Catcher In The Rye' for my leaving cert I always loved the idea of NY and of course as a 'Friends' fan I think I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go and see times square and to jog around central park. With so much to see and do around New York I don't think you could ever get bored.. as they say, it's the city that never sleeps (and to be fair neither do I so book me in) and of course to walk the streets singing New York Minute!! 
5. Miami: 'I'm In Miami B*tch'  Who wouldn't like to go to Miami? - come on, tell the truth!! EVERYONE WANT'S TO GO TO MIAMI!!!! Growing up watching the likes of Miami Ink I always had a love for the place and that beach!! - To tell you the truth I know NOTHING about Miami except for the beach and for that reason and to sing 'Miami Beach' alone I want to go there!! 

6. Kennedy Space Centre Florida: Whilst I'm already in Florida for Miami I'd have to stop off at the space centre but in reality this is a place I'd come to America alone for. I'm obsessed with anything related to NASA, the moon, stars anything space related so this is a place that is definitely on my bucket list. I've done so much research about this place and it's truly one of my dream places to one day go. 
7.  Honolulu, Hawaii: Ever since watching Hawaii Five O Hawaii has been my dream holiday destination. The beaches, the lights, the palm trees everything about this place is beautiful AND, Alex O'Loughlin aka Steve Mcgarrett aka my dream man just so happens to live there... 
Ohh just one more for the road so...

 8. Chicago: For one reason, and one reason only and that is for Lollapalooza. I can already hear it in my head 'what the hell is Lollapaloza?' well my uncultured friends, Lolla is one of the biggest music festivals in America specifying in Indie/Rock/Dance music, everything I've ever wanted in a festival. 2014's line up included, MGMT, Foster The People, Calvin Harris AND Kings Of Leon.. hello?!! Could I want anymore?!

9. Arizona: This place has fascinated me ever since snapchat covered it for a day and there's just something about the place that make me scream 'TAKE ME TO ARIZONA!!!!!!!!' -Except quietly, and in my head and yano very rarely, but I say it!!
I don't think there's a more perfect place to get away and relax.

10. Nashville: After LA this would be my most desired place to visit in the states. Not only for the reason it's home to my favourite band King Of Leon, and I could sing 'back down south' all day, everyday but the place itself is absolutely amazing!!
 There's something about this southern way of life that makes me wish I was born over there, throwing horse shoes, dancing in barns aggghhh the Nashville life... BRING ME THERE!!!!

So there you have it, my top ten places I want to visit in America.. where would you love to go? 
Let me know below :)

Sunday, 21 June 2015

The Truth Behind Repeating The Leaving Cert

Look I get it, the leaving is done and won't be discussed about again until August when you get that piece of paper that will shape the rest of your life but there are people out there right now freaking out about how terrible maths was, and how Desdemona came up in English paper 2 and that's the exact reason why I've decided to write this post today and not at the end of August.
 Most of my readers will know that this year I repeated my leaving cert after I didn't get my dream course of journalism and new media in the University Of Limerick. When I opened the envelope which held my results back in August I couldn't stop crying, what was I going to do now?? I didn't want anywhere other than UL, since I was sixteen journalism was all I've ever wanted what do I do now?!! Basically I had three choices:
1. Take the year off and look for a job knowing full well that I would never get my dream course in UL.
2. Spend the next nine months back up in the school I had waited so long to get out of and repeat the leaving.
3. Or to go and study marketing.
I eventually decided I had no other option but to repeat and I couldn't have been more depressed. I only lasted a couple of weeks in school until I dropped out. I couldn't handle any more school, I mean I was nineteen years old and I was required to get my journal signed by a parent... like, come on!!! But that being said I knew I couldn't give up on my dreams so I decided to repeat from home and let me tell you right now it was tough!! I'd be heading up to bed on a Thursday night when I'd suddenly get a snap of the girls heading out on the town exploring their new city, it killed me but I knew it would be worth it in the end.. I hoped (...well, I still do hope)

When people ask about repeating the leaving cert I'm
usually bombarded with the 'I could never repeat' 'I couldn't do that to myself' and of course the 'F*ck that' but truth be told, it's been the most beneficial year of my entire life.
Obviously repeating isn't ideal, at nineteen I couldn't wait for college.I couldn't wait to leave my small town and the drama behind it and move away and not to mention another year of LC stress it was a nightmare but the year out was the best thing I could have ever done.

Study wise, repeating from home isn't the best idea.I won't lie to you and say I had the motivation to open a book every single day but I'd recommend if anyone wants to repeat entirely for the points then do it in school. It's much easier when you're in a class and getting regular homework and class tests but if, you're like me and the thought of having to get your parent to sign your homework at nineteen not only depresses you but angers you then I'd say repeat from home. 
I intentionally began the process of repeating the leaving for the points, I wanted UL, I wanted journalism, I could never settle for anything less and between me and you.. I don't know what I want to do right now. College is the only option for me personally this year but what I will result in studying will not only be a mystery to you, but also to me.
When I first realised that maybe journalism wasn't for me I freaked out. The thought of not having a plan and not seeing the whole picture terrified me, and it also upset me deeply. I had spent the year studying and being back in school and for what? - Well, right now I'm still unsure but I can live without a full image and whatever happens, happens.

In terms of the experience and the opportunities I've gained this year I can't begin to tell you how much it's benefited me, not only for the next year or so but for the rest of my life. On top of my studying I've written for some of the countries biggest websites 'TheLiberal.ie' 'Campus.ie' 'TheSecretObsession.com, JustJenBlog.com, as well as getting an article published in the Limerick Leader and being on a live debate on Limerick Live 95fm. My blog blew up and I got to interview some incredible people who I adore like Mike Sherry, Maclean Burke, Lisa Fitzpatrick, Courtney Smith, Aoibhe Devlin... but to name a few.
On top of that I also have a level 6 cert in broadcast journalism and presenting and if I was in college there's no chance I would have gotten any of these experiences and that is why this year has been so beneficial for my future career, whatever that will be.

The truth behind repeating the leaving cert is very simple, you'll get out of it what you put into it. If you work hard and push yourself to do your study you'll get your results but for me I knew I wanted to have something achieved by the end of summer and I do, even if it's just something small.
 I wrote this post because I don't want those students out there who are already thinking they might have to repeat feeling bad or feeling hopeless because trust me it isn't so bad, of course some people will look down on you because you're repeating but feck them!! many others will think a lot more of you, trust me it's not something that everyone can do.
Just remember, you'll get out of it what you put into it.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Introduction To Broadcast Journalism, Radio and presenting course week 12/12

AND WE'RE DONE!!!!!! *I'm bawling inside!!!*
Three months ago I started a twelve week course in broadcast journalism and presenting in WIT and the broadcast centre, obviously with my love for media and radio I knew I'd take a liking to this course but never in a million years did I ever think I would fall in love with something so much in all my life.
 Last night, Tuesday 9th June was the last night of the course and it breaks my heart to tell you this will be the last weekly report EVER.
For the past twelve weeks I've brought you along with me, keeping you up to date with everything I've been learning and how I've been getting on in my first ever 'college' course. It's been an experience anyway from the interview process to the first time we all awkwardly met in WIT and don't get me started on when Rob attempted to teach the adobe audition!!
 We've come a long way from the first time stepping into the studio putting on the cans and reading the news to writing, recording and producing our own 45 minute radio show, it really has been such a fantastic experience and I'm so happy I've done this course. Not to mention I've met some of the nicest people in the world and learned so much from some of the best in the business.. hello, we had Orla Rapple and Rob O'Connor as lecturers... we're flipping lucky!!!

With this week being the big week I'm obviously going to fill you in on all the events of the night, including the celebratory drinks in the Uluru.. *slippery nipple* - Don't worry I'll fill you in on that too!!
This week started back out in the good aul broadcast centre, over the past twelve weeks the broadcast centre has basically been our second home. I can't stress how much I love that building!! From being on work experience there over the years I never really got to see much of the place but now I can truthfully say I know the ins and outs of the place. Every week we'd be in with one of Beat's best presenters Luke O'Faolain when he was presenting live on air, it was such a hands on experience that you couldn't help but love it. My favourite part of the whole course was easily how practical it was.
The experience we gained is incredible, it's so rare that you get to spend so much time in studio and not based in a classroom, don't get me wrong there was definitely a lot of sitting down and listening but to actually get that hands on approach to it is invaluable and the more you were in studio, the more you got used to being in studio.

This week was the week we went into studio to record our final projects. Like I spoke about before we
were in our groups of four, I was so lucky to have three extremely talented people in my group.
For those who haven't read my previous blog we produced a show about festivals, we called it 'strictly come camping' and it went really really well.
We started off with the intro and a song, then straight into me talking about a local festival 'DayTripper' which is being held in Waterford city next weekend. I spoke about DayTripper and the acts which were going to play and altogether it lasted about seven minutes. Then another song and onto Oonagh's piece about festival fashion before we took on a phoner to talk about oxygen.
Finally we finished up with our festival picks, Lollapoloza in Chicago would be my all time dream festival. With line ups like Kings Of Leon, Foster The People, MGMT, Calvin Harris, it would be my dream festival so I spoke about that.
The show went down without a hitch, a few things I picked up on listening back such as my popping!! I don't pop one bit when I speak normally but on the microphone I popped quite a lot!!! So I'll need to watch that in the future, as well as that Liz Reidy from WLR told me I needed to be a bit more informed about the acts who were playing, overall we got quite good feedback so we were happy out.

After the show was recorded and listened back we all went to the pub in Waterford, The Uluru for celebration drinks, and this is where my slippery nipples come from. If you haven't heard of them before they're a shot, a shot of sambuca and baileys, I won't lie and say that I'd recommend everyone has one before they die because at the end of the same... it's sambuca, which is basically bonjela which is DISGUSTING!!! 
Overall even though I left early, hellooo in the middle of the leaving cert it was a great night and I can't wait to get back out and have another night with the guys and gals.
They're without a doubt some of the most interesting/lovely people I have ever met so I don't know how I'll spend my Tuesday nights anymore... *sigh*
Anyway, if you want to recap on my other weeks you can do so here:
Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, (I'll get back to you on that one) Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, 8, 9, Week 10, Week 11,
I really hope you enjoyed coming through the twelve weeks with me, I definitely enjoyed taking you through them with me, and as always any questions or feedback throw them in the comments below.
The end of a chapter :)

Monday, 8 June 2015

Because I Am A Girl ...

I recently took part in my first and very interesting campaign 'Because I am A Girl..'You can check it out here and the minute I read into this campaign I knew straight away it was for me and something I was fully on board with.
 Following in the footsteps of some incredible Irish females like, Louise Johnston, Sinead Burke and Holly Shortall. All women I've been inspired by so I jumped at the chance of taking part.

Obviously being a female myself I've experienced times where I was put down because of my sex. Thankfully for me it was never anything serious merely friends taking the piss about cleaning and making sandwiches but for other women in the world it's not that easy.

Women, my age and younger across the world face sexism day in and day out. Some women don't get an education, as a matter of fact 1 in 3 women don't have the opportunity to be educated. Others are forced to stay at home and mind children not to mention that 800 women a day die in childbirth. There's no opportunity for some women to have a career, something which I find very important as a young girl who dreams of having my own successful career. We don't understand how lucky we are on this side of the world and when you really look into it, it's abnormal. What is it that makes females less superior to men? - I don't understand and for that reason alone I jumped on bored of this campaign.

This incredible campaign which aims to help females in difficult circumstances across the world is run by a charity called 'Plan' - you can read more about the charity here.
Plan works in over 86,676 communities across the globe, covering 70 countries. Plan are there to, not only represent women and help disadvantaged countries but they really want to make a plan and a way to change this countries. Saving children and thousands of people's lives a day. They're first to jump in when a disaster struck these incredible people have made such a difference to so many people's lives.

Investing in females and children is so important to these people and for so many reasons. A story which really touched my heart is about fifteen year old Regina who had to leave school as she refused to be married off, a heart touching story which you can read here.
I encourage all  my readers to check out this
incredible cause and I ask you to take part and really appreciate what we have. Obviously us females aren't always treated right but we're treated a lot better than other women across the globe. If we all stand our ground and work together one day females will be as respected as men, and what a great day that will be.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Introduction To Broadcast Journalism, Radio and presenting course week 11/12

This week was the second last week of the course *cue hysterical crying* and we were based back out in the broadcast centre.
I began my leaving cert the next day so I wasn't fully alert the whole three hours but this week we really focused on practising our shows since, D day is next week so we really spent most of our time based in studio. I said it before and I’ll say it again, being in studio is my most favourite place in the world so I really was in my element.
This week I got to catch up with one of my hero's Emma Nolan who was in BEAT and Dave Cronin. I spent time with the two of them when I was in BEAT a few years ago for work experience so I love seeing them again.

As we were in studio for the majority of the time there isn’t too much to tell you about. As my group is doing a show about camping we’re covering all the festivals, I’m doing a piece on the local festival ‘DayTripper’ so I’m trying to talk about that and not sound like a marketing manager for the event and as if I’m trying to sell it.

It’s harder than you’d think I swear!!! - Maybe promotion is my thing?! ;)

Anyway, our show is really coming together now.I'm a contributor which involves a lot of research and preparation but I'm loving tying the whole show together.
Next week is our very last week which I can't believe, I'm absolutely heartbroken that it's going to be over but I'm so happy I've done the course, it was without a doubt one of the best things I've ever done so I'm ridiculously upset that it's coming to an end :-(

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

My Hero

We all have heroes in our life, people who inspire us and who encourage us to work harder and to achieve something in our lives. We all know these people and we all have at least one person who we can consider a hero/role model/ inspiration. Be it a parent, friend, celebrity I think everyone has someone they're inspired by and I am blessed to have some incredible heroes in my life such as five of the greatest uncles in the world, some of the best friends a person could wish for, a career guidance teacher who never fails to gives me a right kick when I need it, friends who guide me along making a career and of course a mother who inspires me every single day.
I count myself so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life, I really do which is why I've decided to write this softer, soppy post tonight as I want to really thank my heroes... I know what you're thinking!! - Who is this, and what have they done to Lynda but I can assure you this is me *bible*

A topic which I don't regularly discuss on my blog is my family but right now I have no choice as my biggest hero comes from within my family and that is my uncle Vincent.
I'd firstly just like to say I have five uncles and each and every one of them inspire me in different ways. My godfather Tom who's been there for me everyday of my life since I was born and whom I trust with my life. Brendan, the most funniest, kind hearted man on this planet, so kindhearted in fact I sometimes wonder if he's human. Brian, the genius of the family who will do whatever he can to help anyone in need and finally Sean, the man with the biggest heart you could ever find.
Really I could write a post on each one of them but tonight I'm focusing on Vincent.

Vincent is the most strongest, brave, encouraging, cocky man I've ever met and whom I love deeply.
 I've always had a strong connection with Vincent as a child he was the cool uncle who drove a motorbike and lived in Limerick city. Unlike all my other uncles I didn't see Vincent regularly which made his visits even more special.
There was no one I rathered spending time with more than Vincent and as I got older that bond grew stronger and stronger and to this day he is still the biggest inspiration in my life, even though he abandoned me and left for Canada.
 Growing up I had Vincent here Christmas morning when I was opening my presents, not to mention the year he bought me a dancing game for my PlayStation and I almost had a break down with the happiness. Pretending santa's sleigh balls were ringing on Christmas Eve and nearly causing me to go into cardiac arrest. I also took my first alcoholic drink in his company (Smirnoff ice, with ice, and mixed with seven up.. a small bottle.. I got small amounts at a time and long story short I got about nine glasses from the stuff) I've nothing but the best memories with Vincent *purposely leaving out the Christmas he bought my cousin a toy car which I demanded I tested and smashed straight into the dresser and broke.. Sorry about that Vincent!! but no one has ever inspired me like this man.

Since my father passed away in 2008 I always felt like Vincent was my second father, someone I could turn too with anything and he never once left me down, I could imagine if my father wished I'd look up to any other man, opposed to himself of course it would be Vincent and that I do... and trust me Vincent has very big boots to fill.

Like I mentioned before Vincent did abandon me and left for a better life in Canada with his family. I think I was about sixteen at the time I first heard this and let me tell you right now I was having none of it. LEAVING ME and jetting off for a life of luxury, well I never... I'll never speak to him again.
It wasn't until I got a bit older that I realised how much bravery it took for an elderly man (sorry I was creeping myself out being so nice) to uproot his whole life and family and move across the world. A huge step but I am so proud of my uncle for doing that. Moving meant Vincent and his amazing wife, whom I also love would be able to offer their children a much better life and I respect that so much.
Putting your family ahead of everything is something I've learned from Vincent and something I'm going to carry through for the rest of my life.

Although I'll never forgive him for leaving me here, he has no idea how much he has inspired me and how proud of him I am, and for that reason and many more it's why he is my hero. 

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

So you wanna start a blog? My tips for beginers

I first got into blogging in 2013 when I was seventeen years old, and first of all let me tell you that if I can set up my own blog anyone can!! Before I set up Little Piece Of Lynda, I had never read any other blogs, to be totally honest with you I didn't even know what a blog was so trust me when I say I was clueless!!
 Why would you even set up a blog you might ask? - Well to answer that question, the reason why I started my blog was on the advice of some incredible presenters/journalists who told me it was a fantastic way to get your name/face out there. 
At first I wasn't too sure about 'blogging' like what in god's name would I talk about? I was advised to have a topic, like if you're into make up your obvious move would be to have a beauty blog, fashion to have a fashion blog but what would I do?!! 
Aswell as that I'd never written anything for other people to read so the sheer idea of that freaked me out alone. The list of reasons not to start a blog were endless, the main thing opposed to the lack of common blogging knowledge was the technology. How do you even set up a blog??!!
 After finding my blogging platform I was lucky to have a whiz kid as a friend (Lauren Power) and through BBM messenger a blog was made.
So after a rocky, petrifying start I'm heading towards 50,000 hits and the opportunities I've received through  the blogging are endless. 
I've met so amazing amazing people through blogging, some people who've really helped me and became great friends to me (especially my favourite Aoibhe Devlin) and I've also had the opportunity to chat to so many interesting people which I'd never have had the opportunity to without the blog such as Laura Whitmore, Lisa Cannon, Maclean Burke etc..

Anyway, by no means am I a professional but I've been asked a few times now on how to start a blog and I've decided to write it down and try help convince a few people that blogging is the way forward. Here are my ten tips to start your very own blog:

1. Choose your platform: When starting a blog you can be bombarded with platforms (that is where you will set up your blog) there are so many different types the most popular being wordpress and blogger. I personally went with blogger as it's much easier when starting out. When you move up you can transfer to wordpress which is slightly more advanced. I will admit wordpress looks more impressive with the likes of 'JustJenBlog.com' and 'TheLiberal.ie' using wordpress but at the moment I'm happy with blogger.

 2. Have a look around: Like I said, when I went about setting up my blog I hadn't read any but as I went further I got obsessed with reading blogs. I think it's important that you decide what kind of blog you want to have, do you want to be a beauty/fashion or a lifestyle blogger like me?
The most popular blog would be beauty so you'll get a lot more coverage with beauty but by no means should you blog about something you're not interested in just for the freebies!!
You'll get bored very soon and people will eventually see through your writing.

3. Brainstorm:Like I mentioned above really think about what kind of blog you want but also think about the name of your blog. I truthfully wish I had some exciting story about the name 'Little Piece Of Lynda' but sadly I don't. I put zero thought into it and it originally started out as 'Little Bit Of Lynda' I'm happy enough about the name but think about down the line when you're established.
You'll have built up a certain name so dropping it won't be a huge success and you could lose a lot of readership.

4.  Have confidence: I think this is the main thing and something not a lot of people talk about. Blogging takes a lot of courage and you really need to believe in your ability to write. There are posts in which you'll think are brilliant and that you love but may not go down as well as hoped, you are also opening yourself to criticism so you'll eventually develop a thick skin. Just believe in yourself and your blog and when you're a confident blogger it shines through.

5. Promote yourself: Promotion is key!! You always want to promote yourself and advertise your blog. Sharing your posts across social media are a must and I don't fulfill that 100% I'm afraid to say. I will always link posts to facebook and twitter but that's it, a lot of bloggers I know will use bloglovin and things like that but for me facebook and twitter are A1.
Setting up a FB page for your blog is also great, my fb page isn't a huge success but I have over 330 likes. If you run competitions on your FB page your likes will fly up so I'm hoping to do that in the near future.
You can like my facebook page HERE 

6. It's not a walk in the park: I think something that not a lot of people know is blogging is tough man, it's definitely not all fun and games. I love blogging but trust me there are days when it's my least favourite thing on the planet. It's such a huge thing at the moment every second person you meet has a blog these days so you need to constantly try your best to stand out, you need to make it different.
You need to keep regular, if you only post 1/2 a month then you won't keep your readership so that's one thing I will say is don't start a blog unless you can fully commit. You need to have the time to concentrate on the blog but at the end of the day, it's YOUR blog! You do what feels right.

7. Trust your instincts:It's similar to the last one but if something doesn't feel right don't do it. I think something I learned a long time ago is to never put your name to something you're not proud of, as a journalist you're constantly publishing work but if it doesn't feel right then don't run with it.
For me, my blog is very personal so I really do talk about my personal life at times but I think you need to draw a line between your personal and private life. You don't have to share every detail about your Saturday night!!

8. Be realistic: Don't expect huge overnight success, every blogger dreams of being the next SoSueMe but it's not like that. You won't wake up one morning with an extra 10,000 hits, you won't get thousands of FB likes everyday. Offers aren't immediately going to be rolling in and trust me you're not going to become a millionaire straight away.

9. Don't get sucked into the blogging bubble:I think it's so easy to get obsessed with hits and getting the much as you can but try not to let that get the best of you. It's lovely to see a post you wrote being shared around and being thrilled when it's getting hundreds of hits, but what's not lovely is waiting to see your views go up.. that's really not cool.

10.HAVE FUN!!!: Finally the most important thing is to have fun with your blog! There's no need hating your blog and seeing as writing as a task. Unfortunately a few months ago I felt like blogging became a chore for me and I was constantly writing and I lost the buzz, after taking a few weeks off I couldn't have imagined how much I'd miss by baby and now I'm back and happier than ever.

I hope these ten tips have helped anyone thinking of starting their own blog, I personally can't recommend it enough as for me, blogging really has changed my life and I love it.