Sunday, 30 August 2015

Yes I Know, I'm Now Halfway To 40✌

19 Things In 19 Years
Trust me take it from someone with plenty of experience, being halfway to forty is a bit of a weird feeling... I've been halfway to forty (a third way to sixty as my friend Carrie likes to remind me...daily) for eight days now and it still hasn't sunk in that I'm no longer a teenager. I mean, I'm the height of one, I act like one, I get treated like but I'm not one???? It's a weird age, like take 21... you're officially an adult, nineteen you're still a child (kinda) but 20... it's a bit of an awkward stage alright.
 However although I'm only eight days in, and I do feel ancient I already feel like a new person, I don't know if it's just me or because I'm moving to Carlow in a few weeks but I feel like a new, mature, different person and so far I have to admit that there's been something about turning twenty that I quite enjoy!!- I feel as though it's a fresh new beginning, a turning of a new leaf.

Every year for my birthday my friends and myself always seem to celebrate my birthday for an entire week, it's just what happens and so this year was no different when we began our celebrations Thursday and ended them a week later, and I can truthfully say I think the universe has gone backwards and oh yes I love it.
 However after spending the good part of a week with some of the greatest people on earth I'm beginning to think about how life will be without them by my side everyday and it's beginning to get me down, yes I love feeling like a grown up, and yes I love the fact I'm moving on with my life but there's still a part of me clinging onto my inner seventeen year old... and that's just not something I'm willing to let go of anytime soon.

Thursday night started with a bang as we gathered in my house for the usual pre-drinks. It's safe to say this is where the universe began to spiral backwards however I can truthfully say that Thursday night was one of the best nights of my life, and I'm not even joking!!! - Nothing but fun and games until I was woken up at half nine the following morning and brought to meet my new landlord makeup less and smelling of jager bombs.
Then again we hit the town on Saturday and although I made the rookie mistake of wearing heels it was such a good night. Hitting the disco for one last time with the girls before college was definitely a highlight of the summer..and trust me, you know it's not been a great summer when one of the highlights is going to the disco, but I can't deny it really was the best week, with the best people ...and it's just such a shame to be back to reality this week.

Being back to reality is heartbreaking and although being halfway to forty isn't as bad as I first expected it has hit me like a tonne of bricks but I think I've finally accepted the fact I am twenty and you know what, all is okay!!! - Hear that people?! Me, Lynda Hennebry has accepted she's now practically ancient, and thinks it's OK!! (There's hope for us all)
 When I begin to look back on my twenty years in a small town I can't help but realise I've definitely had some experiences, some which I'm proud of and of course some I'm terribly ashamed of but I feel like part of growing up is being able to look back on your past and accepting what's happened, the good and the bad.

 Growing up is never an easy thing for me, it's always something I've dreaded but for the first time in my life I couldn't be happier to be older and to be leaving so much behind me. I'll be leaving for Carlow in just under two weeks, leaving behind me people who've made me who I am today, some I worship with my life and others who aren't part of my life but at the end of the day all I can do is move on and be grateful because I've had some incredible experiences with some incredible people and I really have been blessed.
 Here's for twenty more years of experiences...(And another twenty after that...and then another 10!!)

Friday, 28 August 2015

The Blog Awards 2015

Three Nominations On A Very Long List...

Last year was the very first year LPL was nominated for an award when I was shortlisted for best youth, personal and humorous blog in the Irish blog awards, LPL then went onto become a finalist in the youth category and I was over the moon. Attending the awards was without a doubt one of the highlight of my blogging journey which you can read about here... I can truthfully say I had never been more proud or more excited and this year it's no different as I've just been informed I'm once again a nominee in not one but three categories.
This year LPL is up for best beauty, lifestyle and youth blog which is incredible and I'm so grateful. To be up for these awards you need to be nominated by your readers so I'm extremely grateful to anyone who's nominated me, it means the world to me it really does so a huge thank you!!
 The long list for the awards is extremely long and I'm up against some incredibly talented bloggers but to even have my name down in print and to be even named with some of the blogs in the categories is incredible. 
With Haleigh mainly covering beauty on LPL she's also over the moon and is as thankful to our readers as I am, and don't worry I will of course keep you updated on the entire process of the awards!!
Fingers crossed I'll get to go to the awards again this year and maybe even walk home as a winner.
Thanks so much to everyone again.. I couldn't be happier!! :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

My College Experience Finally Begins

I'm Moving To Carlow!!

Hey everyone I'm so excited to be telling you that in a few weeks I'll be moving to Carlow to study media and PR in IT Carlow.
 If you read my blog then it's been pretty obvious how much it was my dream to study in the University of Limerick and just to be in Limerick in general but when I got offered media and PR in Carlow I knew straight away that this was the course for me.. I can't explain why, it just felt right. 
 I travelled Carlow yesterday to meet my new landlord and see my accommodation before I booked anything. I'd never even been to Carlow before yesterday but from what I noticed driving through the town was it's very cute and although it's not a big city which I always dreamed of, it makes me feel very at home.
 Anyway pulling up to what could have been my new home wasn't as great as I thought, the area in which the house was didn't feel very safe and in general I wasn't impressed. I got even less impressed when I saw the interior of the house... it really wasn't for me at all. It was down to sheer luck that when I was in Carlow we got a phone call from the landlady from Carraig Abhainn offering me a place in one of the houses. 
I went to see the apartments and knew straight away that this was where I'd be spending my next year, I fell in love!!

As much as I love my new home the idea of Carlow still hasn't' sunk fully in for me, and I went through a stage where I really didn't think if I could go through with it or not. Deep down I couldn't accept the fact I wouldn't be going to Limerick so I started looking into PLC's which could eventually get me into UL. After stressing myself out for the good part of 24 hours I came to my senses and realised that the Carlow adventure was an adventure I'm willing to take and in September I'll be moving there for good, and I can't wait.  (Okay, unless I get UL in round 2.. then I'm gone.) 

I can't wait to keep you up to date on my next adventure :)

Sunday, 16 August 2015

19 Things In 19 Years

On Friday something bad is happening to me, I'm turning twenty years old...I know, twenty!!! How can I possibly turn twenty when I'm the height of a twelve year old, have the mental capacity of a nine year old and possess the attention span of a fish.. I mean, why can't I turn eighteen again? I was happy as an eighteen year old, I was content as an eighteen year old, now I'm all old and almost twenty and I swear I found a grey hair the other day, like this just isn't okay.. I'm even considering thinking about my pension, Oh my, I can't believe I just admitted to that... 
Long story short I'm not taking this coming of age thing very well at all, from talking to my mam she's informed me I've always been the same, all my life, the thought of growing up and getting old just doesn't appeal to me, so if time would stop moving that would be great thank you very much!!
Anyway, it came to my attention the other night that in my nineteen (almost twenty) years on this planet I've learned and experienced a lot, to be fair I've probably experienced a lot more than your average nineteen (almost twenty year old) but it's made me who I am today which is where the inspiration for this post came from. Here are nineteen things I've learned in my nineteen (almost twenty) years on earth.

1. Don't over pluck your eyebrows - I wish I knew this as a bushy browed twelve year old. Thick eyebrows will always be in and trust me, those suckers are hard to grow.

2. Girls - Girls can be nasty, I mean N.A.S.T.Y something I've learned is people love seeing others do well, just not as good as them and girls are a huge culprit of this, not to mention pretending to care when really all they want is the story, don't trust everyone... trust me, not everyone!! 
That being said girls can be lovely, especially drunk ones in the bathroom on nights out :) 

3. Family - Your close family should mean everything to you, I'd be lost without my mammy!! I mean, who wouldn't be to be fair???

5. Mammy knows best - Eugh, hate admitting this but it's true 'put on a jacket you'll freeze', 'I don't need a jacket' - two minutes later I'm back for a jacket... I don't know how they do it, but they're always right!! 

6. Some friendships won't last forever - You can have the best friends in the world, you can grow up with them and be with them all your life but people change and that's okay because at the end of the day you never lose friends, you just lose the people pretending to be and you're better for it..real friendship can never be lost.

7. You're not always right - Look I usually am, at least I am 99.9% of the time but I suppose it's okay to admit that I'm not always right and sometimes, just sometimes it's okay to admit you're wrong.

8. Health is everything - Being happy and healthy in life is one of only essentials you need in life, do whatever needs to be done to keep yourself healthy and happiness will follow. Health is everything because without health, there's no life!! 

9. Nothing stays the same - This is something I don't like, I hate change but it happens and it's something you just need to accept. You can be really happy in life, everything can be going so well but eventually something will change and you'll just have to go on.

10. Life Goes On - Following on from our last point life always goes on, the sun sets in the evening but the next day it rises again (unless you live in Ireland) but no matter how bad things get, life always finds a solution
''In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on''
- Robert Frost

11. Wear flats on a night out - Look I'm not a tall girl and yes I love heels but why do it to yourself?! I see girls on a night out with heels and no back up flats and I'm just like why?! why do it to yourself?? - such a rookie!! 

12. People don't care about your feelings - This is something I've had to learn the hard way and as harsh as it is I think everyone needs to realise that people never care about your feelings, and once you realise that you'll be free.

13. Always say YES! - 'come on we're going for an adventure', 'where', 'to the ducks' okay so for normal human beings (expect for me, I love the ducks) this may not seem like the best day out but just say yes!! 
9/10 times you'll regret not doing things, okay so 1/10 times you may regret doing things but just live in the moment.. as Victoria Holt once said
 'If it's good it's wonderful, if it's bad, it's an experience'' 

14. You'll get hurt and yes, you'll hurt people - Being hurt by someone you care about is going to happen sometime during everyone's life and that's accepted, but something that not everyone is willing to admit is that a time will come where you will hurt someone who you really care about and you could push them to the point that they no longer care... it's one thing getting hurt, but knowing you hurt someone evidently ends up hurting you more.

15. Conor Murray is a God, and always will be - He may have cut his hair off, and he may be more serious than he was three years ago but rugby player Conor Murray, look this needs no explanation.. he's God okay!! 

16.Eat your veg, wear red lipstick, do your squats and don't let boys be mean to you- It took me nineteen years to master this but you know what..don't ask, just do it!!

17. Space is really cool - I've always had an obsession with the moon and stars but read more into it, research, spend nights looking at the sky, watch youtube videos of the ISS, find a special picture of a rocket, set it as your screen savour and enjoy something which will always, always be a mystery to you.

18. Never give up -Easy to say and a cliché to believe in but it's true, everything in this life involves hard work and determination. There are no short cuts, what goes around comes around so work for what you deserve.

19. Be proud, but never satisfied - Finally I finish up with one of my favourite quotes and it's pretty self explanatory.. be the best possible version of yourself that you can be.

And so with that my nineteen things have come to an end, I hope that this post has thought someone out there something and if not it's thought me something. 
Lynda Xx

Friday, 14 August 2015

Leaving Cert Results 2015

The Leaving Cert Results Are In .. 

On Wednesday August 12th something happened to students across the country and that was either A) Causing them to have a break down and give up any hope for college, their dream course, a successful job, a happy life, oooohh God pass the vodka but they can also cause type B) this type causes students to have the best feeling that they can ever feel in all their lives and I'm now delighted to say I've finally experienced both of these feelings and two days on from results I'm still on a serious high.
 If you've read my blog you'll know that this time last year I was in an awful state, I had just completed my leaving cert and was disgusted with my results, it became very obvious to me from the minute I opened that envelope in 2014 that I wasn't going to college as I was forced to repeat the leaving cert. 
This was the worst thing that had ever happened to me at that time, I was never fond of school and the thought of going back to school made me physically sick to my stomach. 
After completing my leaving cert I had three choices, 1. repeat the leaving cert, 2. study marketing (which I had no interest in) or 3. forget college and get a job.
 At the time I had my heart set on journalism and media in Limerick and there was nothing that could stop me from getting that course so I had no choice and decided to bite the bullet and go back to school. 
I had determination, ambition and you guessed it, enough of education so I dropped out of school three weeks later, I hated every minute. It was the whole aspect of being back into the school that I thought I'd never see again, missing all my friends, seeing them having the time of their lives, being a year older than everyone else but the thing that topped me over the edge was having to get my diary signed every week from my mother. 
 At nineteen having to get your parent to sign your homework diary was nothing but sheer embarrassment and that was it, I was done... nothing was worth this. 

As much as I didn't want to do the leaving cert again I knew I had no choice but too so I decided to continue repeating but from home and study as an external student. I really only needed a C3 in a HL subject and I could get the course I loved so I decided to repeat English, accounting, economics and business... just to be sure!!
As time progressed I realised this would be the worst, hardest year of my life and looking back you know what, it really really was. I can't throw any shade on it but it was tough, not only was I dealing with losing all my friends as they went to college, I spent so much time alone that it was driving me insane but although I hated almost every second I can't begin to explain how much this year has benefited me.. both socially and personally. 
 After time I realised I didn't really want to study journalism in UL and with everything going on I decided to just repeat business, get my C3 and do another course. That was fine until two days before when I realised I was still signed up to repeat English.
 I didn't know what plays they studied, what text they had done and don't get me started on Shakespeare or poetry, I was clueless, I had given up on English and I was just going to show up. I had asked a friend about what texts she studied and the morning of the English exam I got up three hours before the exam and crammed everything I could about everything. I crammed, crammed, crammed.. I watched the summary of Othello, I read three poems by two poets, I was screwed but I went in anyway and wrote down everything I could possibly remember from my three hour cram session.
 When it came to the business exam I knew I was in trouble, I had been going to business grinds twice a week for hours upon hours but the night before the exam I came down with an awful dose of the flu and messed up the whole exam. After taking drowsy tablets, almost falling asleep, and messing up an hour there was no way I passed and there was no way I'd be going to college again this year.
Tuesday, the day before results were out was one of the worst days of my life, I had never freaked out so much in all my life, I could be sitting down watching TV and burst into tears, doing the shopping in Lidl and tears appear in my eyes, I was so nervous more nervous than anything I had ever been in my life but when Wednesday morning finally came I was the happiest girl on the planet when I actually got my C3 in English. How I scraped it I'll never know but I did and I can now go to college. Just the waiting game from CAO now to see where my future takes me and I can't wait :)
Of course Wednesday night was time to celebrate as myself and two friends followed the herds of people to Waterford city. I'd never been out in Waterford before so I didn't know what to expect but I can truthfully hand on my heart say I had one of the best nights of my life!! Memories I have from that night will no doubt come back to haunt me for the next 60 years of my life, mistakes that I made that others don't remember (Thank God)  but most importantly having my friends by my side to celebrate one of the happiest days I've ever had and it meant so much to have them with me.
When I think about how I felt this time last year the difference is incredible and although I know there's going to be people reading this who are heartbroken and devastated about their results all I can say is don't let a piece of paper get you down because everything that happens happens for a reason and there are always options, and if like me, you have to repeat and it's the worst thing in the world, then relax because it's nine months of your life and those nine months will be priceless to you. 
 So on that note I hope all my readers got what they were hoping for and that CAO goes their way, but especially to all my friends who got results and my classmates who got them.. Enjoy whatever the future holds <3

Saturday, 1 August 2015

EXCLUSIVE Interview With Jr Astronaut Mackenzie

''I'm a 15 year old aspiring to be the first female astronaut to step foot on the moon.'' - @JrAstronaut

If you're a friend of mine or if you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know by now that I have an obsession with space and the moon and have for many years. Although it's been my non secret, non existent, non realistic dream to someday work for NASA and become an astronaut I had the opportunity to chat to an incredible fifteen year old girl who's doing just that and is on her way to becoming the first woman to land on the moon... I know, what were you doing at fifteen eh??

Jr Astronaut Mackenzie is online fifteen but this has been her dream since she was thirteen years of age 'wanted to be an astronaut first when I was 13. I saw a video of Chris Hadfield demonstrating how to wring out water on the ISS. My love for space grew from there.' It's not just the idea of space which leads Mackenzie on it's the fact she truly believes space makes her want to become a better person ''Space in general inspires me to be a better person. Astronauts are amazing people who are very successful. I like to hold high goals, and I can't think of a goal that is much harder than becoming an astronaut.'' 

Whenever I see astronauts tweeting pictures from the ISS (international space station) I can do nothing but stare at them in awe for minutes, looking down on earth from space must be something incredible and it's the same with Mackenzie as she dreams about the views she may potentially see from space, ''I love weightlessness first of all. I mean, who doesn't? Other than that, the view would be incredible. I can only imagine how awesome it would be to look back at the earth''

For many people, including myself they don't know what the real job of an astronaut really entails but from Mackenzie's explanation I've learned that the idea I had of astronauts in my head is completely different than reality ''The job of an astronaut is thought of very differently than it actually is. Astronauts are not guaranteed to ever go to space, although almost all of them do. Most of them retire having only gone up 2-3 times. 
The last time we went to the moon was in 1972. Also, the space shuttle was retired in 2011. The only way that people are going to space right now is via the Soyuz. Three people are selected from many different countries go up every 6 months. So, as you can see, astronauts aren't just buzzing around space all the time.They do have a "regular" job at Johnson Space Centre, working at a desk or helping with astronaut training.''

Like I mentioned before at only fifteen years old Mackenzie is way ahead of her years and is moving up the ladder each and every day ''I am in Civil Air Patrol, and I am starting full-time college this fall'' College is very important and once she gains her bachelor degree the focus can turn to space training ''I will pursue my bachelor's degree, and then work on higher degrees as I see fit. I'll also get a job in an aviation or space related field. Then I can apply for astronaut training.''
The selection is a very hard intense programme with thousands applying and only a select few get chosen to continue ''Selection is extremely stringent. Around 7,000 apply and 8 get selected. There are a lot of different interviews and tests that go into their decision'' As well as that ''Most astronauts get selected around age 35. Astronaut training lasts for 2 years.''

Mackenzie dreams of someday becoming the very first woman to set foot on the moon, something in which I believe she may one day be, but the reason why this is her dream is very simple and that's that 'We haven't been to the moon recently, and it seems like the first logical step past LEO (low earth orbit).''
For me as a lover of all things space related I'd love to go to the moon, but something I would be terrified of as a human Mackenzie shares the same fears but does believe that it will be worth it, ''Of course there are dangers, and it may be stressful at times. I'm human like anyone else. I have the same fears as other do. I believe that it will be worth it, however.''

Nasa are forever making progress by discovering new planets which not only benefit science and technology but our own curiosity ''We make a lot of technological advances from space travel that help the earth. Besides that, it really fulfils our natural-born curiosity'' but when it comes to something I've spoken about before the 'Mars One Mission' ( which is a potential one way trip to Mars) but has mixed reactions from people across the world ''The Orion capsule is NASA's current plan for deep space travel in the future. No one really knows for sure whether or not we can make it to Mars. We shall see!'' 

With a dream as high as the sky Mackenzie's goal can come across 'strange' to some people but like anyone who has doubters she urges herself to be surrounded with people who support her, ''most people take me seriously. I surround myself with people who believe in me and want me to succeed. There are people out there that don't believe in you, but don't let them bring you down''

Well I for one believe that one day we'll see Mackenzie in the books for being the first woman to walk on the moon and I wish her all the best in the world.
Huge thanks to this inspirational young lady for taking her time out to chat with me!!

The Irish Rugby Team Training

There's no bones about it, one of the worst things about summer is the lack of rugby, and sun but we'll get to that another day. I love rugby (yes, especially Munster rugby) but for two long summer months there is NO RUGBY. Obviously throughout these months I get my rugby hit by watching clips on Youtube (and doing a fair bit of creeping on rugby players) but usually I don't get any rugby experiences until August when Munster do their annual 'Munster Race'. Well, this summer was different as I got to watch the IRISH rugby team train ..... in the flesh!!!

From reading my blog you'll by now know my infatuation with Munster rugby player Conor Murray, and if you don't ... I LOVE HIM!!
But on this occasion, Murray was on the back burner and it was all about Mr Tommy Bowe.
 It's been on my bucket list for years to meet Mr Bowe, I mean who doesn't love Tommy Bowe? and today was the day I was finally after numerous attempts going to meet Tommy Bowe...well, long story short.. I didn't...but you know what, that's okay because I met the other love of my life..AKA, Jordi Murphy!!
He's alright isn't he...
I travelled down to Cork on Tuesday afternoon with my two friends before heading for dinner with the girls, and let me tell you this, being slightly tipsy in a Chinese restaurant is definitely not something I would recommend for any of my readers.. look, don't ask just trust me.
 Anyway onto the important stuff, the training. The IRFU held this free open Ireland training session so the fans could see how professional rugby players train, I've seen Munster train so many times I can't count but to see how the Irish rugby team trained really was so interesting. The players really seemed to have a laugh with the whole thing which was great to see, such a passion amongst the team.
We headed out to 'Irish Independent Park' aka, Musgrave Park for half nine being some of the first people into the stadium and getting front row seats, it was raining, boiling hot and perishing cold all in the same hour but it didn't bring down the atmosphere.
After watching the training for an hour and a half the supporters were allowed up to the barriers to get an autograph or a selfie with the players. Obviously as there was so many people there you're not guaranteed to meet all the players, really you're lucky if you get one of the players but my main mission was to meet Jordi Murphy, Jamie Heaslip, Ian Madigan and of course Tommy Bowe.
As we were in the front row we ran got to the front barriers and within minutes Tommy Bowe was coming our way, I couldn't believe it. There was no way I thought we'd be so lucky to meet Bowe, I mean what were the chances in meeting him out of everyone but no, here he was arm length away so close I could see the wrinkles where he smiles he was right beside us and then boom... he walked the other way, well I never. 
I truthfully almost fell down with the weakness and then he was gone.... GONE.
 After just dealing with the horror that Tommy was gone off the pitch along came one of my all time favourite rugby players, Mr Dave Foley. Dave is one of the nicest men I've ever met and being from twenty minutes up the road from me just makes me love him even more. So meeting Dave was definitely a highlight of the day for me.
In not the best with big crowds so after I met Dave I left to wait for the girls, after waiting outside the commotion for a while we randomly met into Jordi Murphy and Jamie Heaslip and life couldn't get better. Two out of four wasn't bad and Jordi Murphy is God, then suddenly as we're outside waiting to be collected when Tommy Bowe pulls out and stopped right beside us, with the window down!!!. Well, talk about a freak out as he says 'thanks guys see ye later' I KNOW!!! Life was made. 
 So although we didn't actually get any pics with Tommy Bowe, we did interact... I know, I know, A1!!!!

Looking back on the whole day I obviously enjoyed myself terribly and had such a good day but I don't think it was organised as well as it could have been and had much more potential but what an unreal experience it was to get to see these men in the flesh and watch how they train during the week. Overall ... top class day!!