Friday, 4 August 2017

Derek

It's been a while since I wrote a blog post and a lot has happened over the last few months. I don't really know where to start.. Basically, a couple of very significant things happened that led to them being probably the worst couple of months of my life. I don't really want to talk about the other things yet, maybe not ever, but today I want to talk about Derek. 
In May 2008, when I was 15, after about 14 years of begging my mom for a dog, Derek wandered into our garden. A few months previously, my mom decided to give in and allow me to get a dog after I completed my Junior Cert exam that June so I had already been keeping an eye on our local animal welfare website in case the perfect dog appeared. (She says that she only agreed to get a dog to shut me up because the year before Derek arrived I literally begged her for a dog every single day).

I remember thinking afterwards that it seemed like it was meant to be that we found Derek because of something weird that happened a week or two before he arrived. My mom came home from grocery shopping with a packet of dog food for small dogs that she had gotten free in some offer or promotion. I remember saying to her that it was funny since we were planning on getting a dog soon except that we were going to get a big dog so we probably wouldn't use the small dog food. That was the only time ever that we had gotten free dog food as a promotion which was actually really weird because my mom wasn't buying anything pet related at the time and as I said, a week or two later Derek (a small Jack Russell Terrier) appeared in the garden after straying on the roads and hungrily ate up the small dog food when we gave it to him. 

The first night Derek was with us, my dad made a make-shift kennel out of a barrel, some styrofoam and an old jumper or two to keep him warm. I remember looking out the window the next morning and seeing him curled up in a ball beside the kennel in the lashing rain. We took him to the Vet for a check up within a few days as he continued to hang around but we also wanted to check if he was microchipped or had an owner. The vet said he was in fairly good health and was approximately 2 years old. I remember how long the moment or two felt when the vet was checking if he had a microchip or not and I was silently hoping that he didn't have an owner so we could keep him. Turns out he wasn't microchipped. We never found his original owners which was probably a good thing because the more we got to know him the more it seemed that he had probably been beaten in his last home. He was extremely scared and would cower down or run away if anyone yelled or raised their voice. He was also terrified of the car and would cry the whole journey until we got home (which my mom thinks might be because he was driven somewhere far away in a car and abandoned but it might not have been that at all). 

He had never been taken on a walk before we got him. The first time I put a lead on him, he wouldn't move and we had to guide him every few feet with treats but soon going for a walk was his favourite thing in the world. He never really liked toys either. I remember buying him toys every "birthday" (anniversary of when we got him) and Christmas for the first couple of years but eventually gave up because he never played with anything for more than a day, and that was if he really liked it. He was really independent and although he did like attention and belly rubs, after about five or ten minutes of you coming out to play with him, he would wander off down the garden sniffing everything, expecting you to just sit there and watch him for the next 30 minutes because he liked the company and if you went back inside, he would be straight up to the back door looking for you again. But he was always there when you needed him after a bad day, even if there was down the end of the garden after a minute or two of licking your tears away. 

He was really stubborn and although a lot of the time he knew you were giving out or telling not to do something, he would do it anyway. I remember a few times sprinting down the street after him screaming his name after he had accidentally gotten out of his collar or lead. Sometimes I'd catch up with him after a kilometre or two and sometimes I wouldn't, but he would always come home a few hours later. He wasn't just a dog to me. He was a best friend. 

Fast forward 9 years later. Derek had never really been sick in the whole time we had him. Then one day he was thrown down and wasn't himself which was a really high energy dog. After a day or two, he got better and we thought nothing of it. Then in March this year, my parents went away on holiday and the morning they left he wasn't himself and he wouldn't eat anything. We wondered what was wrong and if it was because he missed them but I went to the pet shop anyway and got him some tablets to calm his stomach and after a day or two he got better. One month later, he got sick again. He had a lot of weird symptoms. I can't remember what it started with when we decided to take him to the vet but as time went on some of his symptoms included that he was finding harder to get up and down steps or jump up onto chairs like he used to, he was going into trances and staring at walls, he started walking one or two steps backwards before he would go forwards, he stopped eating his dog food and we had to hand feed him chicken just to get him to eat. He also had a few instances of getting aggressive and snapping at us which he had never done before. There were other things but I can't remember them. The vet first gave him antibiotics. They didn't work. He then had an X-ray which showed he had an enlarged heart so the vet prescribed tablets for that. They didn't make him better. Then he started struggling more to get around and go up and down steps. The vet thought he might have something wrong with his spine so we had to give him more tablets. The vet wasn't sure what it was at this point, whether it was his spine or maybe he had a brain tumour. He said it would cost a fortune to get an MRI to find out and even if we did know, we would still be going ahead with the same plan. If it was his spine, we would keep doing what we were doing and if it was a brain tumour there was nothing we could do anyway. 

Derek was on the tablets for both his spine and heart for about a week or two. Some days he was slightly better. Some days he was worse. One morning my mom woke me up and said: " Derek is walking funny this morning". As he walked, it appeared like he was dragging his legs behind him, like he was drunk or something. He couldn't go up or down the step into the house. He could barely get to his water or get anywhere to use the bathroom if he wanted and he was eating hardly anything. We were pretty sure what was going to happen next but we called the vet anyway. He said that he was pretty sure it was a tumour now and that the kindest thing would be to put him to sleep. I was off that day so I drove in and collected my sister early from school so she could say goodbye. We spent a few hours with him and then I went with him, my dad and my sister to the vet. I think I forgot to mention earlier how much he hated the vet. This was the vet who had given him sore injections before, and near the end of his illness, he started snapping at the vet when he was sedating him for the x-ray or examining him. The vet sedated him first and left the room while we stayed with Derek. He came back in a few times and left again because Derek was not giving in to being sedated. The vet said most dogs would be lying down relaxed right now but this fella is a scrapper. Derek continued to stand even though his legs were shaking. Eventually, we got him to lie down. Then the vet brought in another vet to hold him while he put him to sleep. Derek was calm and let them shave his paw where they were going to put the needle. I wish the next part happened differently. I wish it was like in Marley and Me when Marley just gently falls asleep..but it wasn't. When they put in the injection, Derek screamed and tried to fight them off and then he was just gone. We were all in the room because we didn't want to leave him on his own. After that, we brought him home and buried him. 

I don't think I realised how close I was with him or how much he really meant to me until he was gone. He was really tough and he fought until the end, and I feel horrible that I was part of the decision to end his life when he didn't want to go but he had no quality of life left and he was only going to get worse. I hope he is somewhere where he has no more pain now. After that, things got really bad for a while but it's has been over two months and I'm starting to feel better. I stopped writing blog posts and making videos while he was sick and afterwards but I think I might be ready to get back into it.

I'm sorry that I left for a while but I couldn't continue on at the time. I'm back now.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Giveaway Winner

Hey guys, today I am announcing the winner of my international giveaway to win a Real Techniques Core Collection makeup brush set. The winner was chosen by a random generator on the rafflecopter site. So on to the winner.
The winner of the international giveaway to win a Real Techniques Core Collection brush set is....

Ashley Bree Perez

Congratulations to Ashley. I have already sent her an email notifying her and will be sending her the prize once she replies. To everyone who was unlucky this time, I will be holding more giveaways in the future. Make sure to keep an eye out on my blog and social media sites for the next giveaway and I'll talk to you all soon. 






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Monday, 10 April 2017

*Closed* Win a Real Techniques Core Collection Brush Set | 1700 Follower Giveaway

So not too long ago I realised I had reached 1700 followers on Bloglovin for my blog. That's crazy because when I started my blog I only hoped to get to 1000 followers and I never thought that I would pass it. Thank you to everyone who continues to read my blog or watch my videos. It really means a lot. Anyway, to celebrate, I decided to hold an International Giveaway to give you the chance to win a Real Techniques Core Collection makeup brush set. 
I've owned one of these sets for a while now and I love the brushes it comes with so much. The buffing brush is my go-to brush for applying my foundation and I love the contour brush for contouring. I think I've even done a giveaway with one of these sets before because I just think it is an amazing prize. Here is a link to my full review of this makeup brush set. (Bare in mind that I wrote the review in 2014 so the pictures aren't great). This brush set retails at €28.99.
There are 5 ways you can enter this giveaway and some earn you more entries than others. The more entries you have, the more likely you are to win. Some of the ways you can enter are once off like subscribing to my YouTube channel or following my blog but there are also ways to enter that you can do once a day to earn even more entries like tweeting about the giveaway or leaving a comment on one of my Youtube videos. Below is the rafflecopter widget you can use to enter this giveaway.


All entries will be verified to keep the giveaway fair. The giveaway will have already started at midnight on the 10th of April 2017 and ends midnight on the 9th of May 2017. This is not a sponsored giveaway, all prizes have been bought with my own money. The winner will be notified by email within 48 hours of the giveaway's closing, and I will also do an update blog post to let your all know who the winner is. Good luck to everyone and thank you for continuing to read and support my blog. 

*This giveaway is now closed*







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Monday, 3 April 2017

Lush Cosmetics Butterball Bath Bomb Review

I've never been a bath person before. Until recently, I hadn't taken a bath since I was a child but now I love them. I don't even know how it started, just one day instead of having a shower, I had a bath, and that's when the obsession with bath bombs started. I started off with some that I found half price in my local pharmacy and then I moved on to some of the more expensive ones. So when I visited a Lush store in Cork over a month ago, I was dying to try one of their famous bath bombs for the first time and see what they were like. 
lush cosmetics butterball bath bomb review
The bath bomb that caught my eye, well nose, was one called a Butterball. It was love at first smell. I didn't know any of the ingredients at the time, I just knew it smelt amazing, but it turns out that it was mainly a vanilla musky sort of scent, which is one of my absolute favourite scents on earth. That was pretty much what sold it. I didn't even read the little card in front of the pile of Butterballs otherwise, I would have found out that it also contains cocoa butter which melts in the bath and nourishes your skin, a major plus. Also, in case you didn't know, all Lush products are handmade and completely cruelty-free. 

So how well did the bath bomb work? It was a pretty big bath bomb so I expected a lot from it. I had even read a review online where someone has said to only use half of it at a time otherwise your bath would become too slippy from the cocoa butter. I decided to go against her advice and use it all in one go. When I dropped the bath bomb in the bath, it foamed up pretty good and I could see the little pieces of cocoa butter coming out of it and floating on top of the water. The water didn't really change colour or anything which I am always hoping for when I use a bath bomb. As for the whole thing about only using half the butterball, I actually felt like I could have used more in my bath than the entire bath bomb. I didn't notice a very strong scent off the water or my skin afterwards which I would have liked because it was such a lovely scent. 

On the plus side, as soon as I got in the bath, I could immediately feel the nourishing effects of the cocoa butter. Afterwards, my legs felt really soft as if I had applied a moisturiser which is so handy if you are in a rush and don't have time to apply any, or just feeling lazy. I like that this bath bomb is different to the typical bath bomb in that it has nourishing properties too. I feel like this is more of a grown-up's bath bomb, in that if you are looking for your bath to change colour and have lots of glitter, this isn't for you, but if you want a moisturising bath bomb with a light scent of vanilla musk, this is perfect. 

Overall, I do like this bath bomb. I was a tiny bit disappointed because this was my first Lush bath bomb and I wanted it to have a bit more of an effect on my bath. Having said that, for what it is, I would buy it again and I absolutely love that it has the little chunks of cocoa butter in it. I don't normally give a star rating on this blog but for this bath bomb, I'd have to give it a 3/5 stars. It's really nice but I was expecting a tiny bit more from it. Here's a link to the Lush Cosmetics website in case you want to get this product or just find out more about the ingredients. Have you ever tried a Lush product before? I'd love to hear about it in the comment section below. Also, If you liked this post, please give it a love on Bloglovin or a +1 on Google Plus. I hope you are having a great day and I'll talk to you soon. 

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Wednesday, 29 March 2017

How to Get A Job at Benefit Cosmetics | The Interview Process

I thought that for today's post, I would let you know what goes on during the Benefit Cosmetics interview process to become a BeneBabe or Beauty Advisor. Whether you are just curious or you are planning on getting a job there, it's handy to know the different steps of the process, from when you hand in a CV/Resume to when you are offered a job. I've been through this process twice, one time where I didn't get the job and another where I did. (I will be focusing more on the second time around because it is most recent but I will also be comparing differences between the two experiences as I go along.) So here are the steps I went through:

STEP 1: Online Application/ Handing in a CV
This time around I heard about a job opening a Benefit from a friend of mine who knew the manager of a Benefit counter. They had already told her about me and she told them to get me to drop in a CV which I did. First time around, I think I just applied for an opening online.

STEP 2: Phone Interview
The next step, both times, is that you receive a phone call sometime after you have handed in your CV. This could be as soon as the day after or can be a few weeks later. I think both times that I got the phone call about 3 or 4 weeks later when I had assumed I wasn't going to be hearing from them. The first time I applied, the phone call was a phone interview where I was asked a bit about myself whether I was in college or working, my makeup application skills and why I wanted to work for Benefit. At the end of the phone interview, I was told a time and place where I would have to do an audition later that week. This time around, I had no phone interview, I was just told a time and a place for a sit-down interview, to wear black, and also that there might be an audition afterwards if they could get enough girls who were available that day (the other two girls who went to the audition said that they both had phone interviews before the sit down audition. I had missed Benefit's original call so I had to ring them back at about 5 or 6 so they probably didn't have time then to do a phone interview then).

STEP 3: Sit-down Interview
Anyway, on to the sit-down interview. I arrived at the Benefit counter about 5 mins early but the girl on the counter was busy. When she was finally free, she told me that my interviewer was across the road in a coffee shop waiting for me. I was a bit worried then because I only had like two minutes to get there before I would be late. I rushed across to the coffee shop and maybe was one or two minutes late which the interviewer didn't seem to notice. The person who interviewed me worked for Benefit and I think she was a regional recruiter or something, that she dealt with recruiting all the Benebabes in her region although she had a different job title as well. She was really lovely and friendly which made the interview go pretty smoothly. She asked me the usual questions like why I wanted to work for Benefit, along with my employment history, if I preferred working alone or in a team and then asked for specific example of things I had done in my previous jobs, eg. tell me about a time when you had a difficult customer and how you dealt with it?, Tell me about a time when you had to be sensitive to the needs of a customer? She also asked me about targets and how I felt about them and if I had worked with targets before. At the end of the interview, She told me I had gotten to the next stage and there would be an audition in a local Debenhams in a hours time.

STEP 4: The Audition
On to the worst and most daunting stage of the process; the audition. I had done it before, so I felt okay about it though I was still nervous. The first time I applied for the job, about five or six other girls and I arrived in Debenhams and were brought into a back room where we were shown five products that we needed to focus on selling on the shop floor later that day. I can't remember exactly what products they were but I think one was Benetint, and some others were the Porefessional, They're Real mascara and maybe a skin care product. The woman from Benefit in Debenhams told us some information about each product like what it did, some important ingredients and how to sell it which was pretty useful for the next stage. We were told to practice selling on each other for a while and then we were brought to the shop floor. On the shop floor, we were sent around to traffic stop people, which is basically where you approach customers who are shopping around Debenhams and get them to come back to the Benefit counter with you. We were told to approach them and ask if they had heard of Benefit before and then convince them to come and try out a few products at the counter. We then would show them the products one item at a time and apply it to their face while explaining the benefits of each item. In my first audition, I got about 5 or 6 people to come back to the counter and try out some products. I think I only managed to sell 1 product; a Porefessional. After about two and a half hours of traffic stopping and show people the products, I was told that I was unsuccessful and to go home.

My Second time around, the audition was a pretty different experience. It was just me and two other girls. This time we were pretty much thrown in at the deep-end. We arrived at the counter and we told all about traffic stopping and within a few minutes, we were sent out to find customers. I knew a lot about many of the products from using them myself and my previous experience so I was okay. This time around we only had 2 hours to do the audition, whereas the first time, they said it could be up to 4 hours. In the two hours, I brought several people back to do makeup on and sold 5 or 6 items so I was pretty confident afterwards that I might get the job. None of us were told to go home during the audition this time but we were told that we would find out in a week or two how we did.

STEP 5: Store Interview
About a week later, I got a phone call letting me know that I had gotten through to the next stage; a store interview. So if you were applying for a job in Debenhams, you would have to have an interview with the Debenhams store manager. I was given a time and place for my interview and told to wear black. I don't want to say which store my interview was in because it didn't go too great. Let's just say that this interview and my first one with the lovely, friendly woman from Benefit were like night and day. In this interview, I was asked a lot of the same questions again, eg. why do you want to work for Benefit?, what are your makeup application skills and experience? Looking back, the interview was actually fine, but I just got the feeling throughout that the interviewer didn't like me. Then there was an awkward moment at the end when she asked if I had any questions, and since I've heard that you should always ask a question at the end to show you are interested, I said yes. I tried to think for a second but couldn't come up with anything so had to then say I forgot my question like a bit of a fool. The interviewer didn't know when I would hear about the job because she said if would be Benefit who would be contacting me about it. So I went home and waited for a call. 

Within a week I got a call from the lovely woman at Benefit offering me a job. It wasn't the permanent job I wanted, just a six-week one for Christmas but I decided to take it anyway because Benefit seems like such an amazing company to work for and I love all their products. Also, it's a great opportunity if you are looking to get into working with makeup. The woman from Benefit kind of hinted that it was my store interview that let me down, although the six-week job was in the same store so the interviewer couldn't have disliked me that much. 

Anyway, that is my experience with the Benefit application process. I hope this was helpful if you have applied to work at Benefit or have an audition coming up. If you like this post, then make sure to love it on Bloglovin or give it a +1 on Google Plus. Also, if you aren't following my blog on Bloglovin yet then make sure to so you will see when I write new blog posts. I hope you are having a great day and I'll talk to you soon. 






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