Final ever episode of Derry Girls airs on Channel 4..and it’s an emotional one!

There wasn't a dry eye in the house last night, as the final ever episode of the hit Irish comedy Derry Girls aired on Channel 4. Although it's only been around for 3 (hilarious) seasons, it's left such a huge mark on viewers hearts. If you don't want any spoilers then I suggest you stop reading now....! Last nights episode saw Erin, Orla, Clare, Michelle and 'The Wee English fella' enter their final year of school as they prepare for adulthood when they turn 18. Coming of age in Derry in the year 1998 was a time of huge significance, as the pals have some big decisions to make as young adults. Deciding on the theme for their 18th birthday party is but a raindrop in the ocean, the gang have also reached the legal voting age. They now have to make the mammoth decision on their vote for the referendum for the Good Friday Agreement, which historically put an end to the troubles and violence in Northern Ireland in the 1990's. The episode was packed with its usual wit and comedic punchlines, but was also filled with moments of emotion and nostalgia. The teens talk openly about the troubles and the different views that they have on the Good Friday Agreement. The most poignant and emotional moment being at the very end of the episode when Erin delivers a heart wrenching monologue, whilst the cast enter the polling station to cast their vote on one of the most historic referendums our country has ever seen. As The Cranberries iconic song 'Dreams' is played, we see each of the cast members vote YES in favour of the Good Friday Agreement which would change the north of Ireland forever. I sat with a lump in my throat watching the final few scenes. My Mam and I have watched every episode of Derry Girls from the very beginning. As the credits rolled she turned to me and said, 'well that was brilliant'. Although it's given us plenty of laughs, Derry Girls has also cast a light on the reality of growing up in Derry during the troubles and has been somewhat educational for those who are are too young to know the history and tragedy of that time. Derry Girls writer and creator Lisa McGee has received praise for accurately depicting living in Northern Ireland as a child of the crossfire. Many of the cast took to social media to express their love for the show and its fans and to also salute Lisa. Saoirse Monica Jackson who plays Erin posted a collage of pictures of herself with Lisa McGee on instagram and said 'Derry Girls was a huge break for me & working with Lisa has changed my life. Thank you for giving my beautiful hometown it's truest voice.' Nicola Coughlan who plays Clare also posted a nostalgic post as she shared a pic of her after her final Derry Girls audition 5 years ago. She simply said 'It's impossible to put into words what Derry Girls has meant to me and how much it's changed my life so I won't even try. Thank you all so much, what an honour its been.' The episode concluded with actual images of the troubles at their worst, but the biggest surprise was the unexpected cameo from Chelsea Clinton, who's father was former US President, Bill Clinton (think back to series 2 for reference.) If you missed last nights episode, it's available on Channel 4 catch up.   I commend Lisa McGee and the incredible cast for bringing this series to life. It's brought us laughter and tears and I think it's safe to say it won't be forgotten in a hurry! I'm coincidentally listening to 'Dreams' by The Cranberries as I sign off on this post..:) Love Always, Dawn X

‘Shine a Light’ in aid of the Rape Crisis Centre

Interview with Kelley McArdle

Check out this interview I did recently with my good friend and Drogheda Singer/Songwriter Kelley McArdle. I popped in to one of Kelley's recording sessions in the infamous Abbey Lane Studios in Drogheda to chat about her debut single 'Shine A Light'. This is an incredibly powerful song which Kelley wrote during lockdown 1. It's inspired by what was a dark and traumatic event in her life. All proceeds from 'Shine A Light' will be donated to the Rape Crisis Centre Dublin & North East, two very worthy charities that helped Kelley so much. Hope you enjoy our interview, if you would like to hear Shine A Light on Spotify click the link below. If you would like to donate to this cause check out Kelley's instagram page @kelleymcardlesmusic Huge thank you to Abbey Lane Studios in Drogheda Video by Martin Connolly Media
Xx Dawn

10 Reasons why Christmas really is the Most Wonderful Time of theYear!

IT'S CHRIIIIIIIISSSSSSTMAAAAAASSSSS! So the festive season is upon us once again. I don't know about you lot but I can safely say that Christmas for me is definitely my favourite time of year, period!! And here's why... 1. You can indulge in all the food you want...literally!! You know you're Irish When you ask your Mam 'Can I eat this' and she responds with 'NO, it's for Christmas Day!'. Yes, I am going to eat all the Malteaser Celebrations for breakfast, and maybe a selection box too.. Hell yes, I'll take another serving of Brussel sprouts, who's making Tayto Sambos?? 2. Christmas movies.. There's no denying, it's not Christmas unless you get snuggled up on the couch with the fam and get stuck in to all the classics. 'Santa Claus', 'Miracle on 34th Street', 'The Grinch', Home Alone, Elf (how many times have you screamed Santaaaaaaa, I know him?!). Love Actually is the one for me tho, one of my favourite movies of all time! *No I'm not crying I've something in my eye...! The list is endless. Guaranteed to bring you back to your childhood. 3. Gingerbread lattes and Christmas cups make their comeback to Starbucks..need I say anymore?? 4. 12 pubs.. The ultimate sesh!!! Coz let's face it, it's not silly season unless the whole squad gets together, wrapped to the ears in tinsel, crawling through every pub in your town whilst trying to convince each other 'nah I'm grand, I'll make it to 12'. 5. Christmas Jumpers.. Cheesy and all as they are, don't be a Scrooge and put on your feckin reindeer jumper. Sure doesn't it keep you warm.. Why not hold a sponsored Christmas jumper Day at work to raise money for charity. All for a good cause! 6. Fairytale Of New York.. Seriously though, is there anything more patriotic than hearing The Pogues and Kirsty Mc Coll belt out this little gem of a Christmas Eve?? The whole world claims to be Irish at Christmas as soon as this starts playing. 'Yeh Scumbag, yeh maggot......'GOLD! 7. Loved ones come home... My favourite thing about Christmas...those who are living away finally make the journey home. The emotional reunion, the tears, the extra tight hugs, the catch ups, the nights out.. Savour these moments and make the memories last forever. 8. Alcoholic Hot Chocolate.. Yes it's a thing and yes it's DIVINE!!! I take mine with a drop of Baileys. If you haven't tried it you really need to reevaluate your actions!!;) Fellow Drogheda Heads, The Cross is where it's at, check it out. Here 9. Advent Calendars.. I don't care how old I am, if the mother doesn't buy me an advent calendar I will have a tantrum..end of! Who doesn't need an excuse to celebrate every day of December by eating a chocolate for breakfast?! Yasssss Pleeeeeasssseeee!! 10. The giving and receiving of presents.. Sure, you're stocked up on jammies, fluffy socks and bath sets for the next year, but don't forget, Christmas is also about giving. Christmas is a tough time of year for a lot of people. Try to give to those less fortunate and those in need. Look out for those who may be lonely or vulnerable at this time of year. Remember to be in the moment and enjoy the little things this Christmas. Be grateful for those who are here to Spend Christmas with you, that's worth more than any present. They say it's not what's under the tree that matters, but more so who's around it.. Merry Christmas & Have a Happy New Year! Xx Dawn

Bio-Fruit Gel Exfoliator from Janssen Cosmetics

Hey dolls, hope you're all well. I don't know about you guys but this weather has been playing havoc with my skin lately and I can't cope... As you know I'm super oily and prone to the odd breakout. My skin can appear quite shiny at times which is VERY annoying, especially when it comes to wearing makeup. A crucial part of my skincare routine is exfoliating as it helps to unclog pores and reduce excess oils in the skin. Recently I've been using the Bio-Fruit Gel exfoliator from Janssen Cosmetics. I first came across this product a few weeks back when I got a Janssen facial at West End Beauty salon in Drogheda. I couldn't believe the difference it made to my skin. Bear in mind this is specifically for oily to combination skin, so if thats you then read on...:) I began using the gel exfoliator as part of my skincare regime. Exfoliating is something that should be done no more than once or twice a week. Without getting too scientific, over exfoliating can weaken the skins natural PH and break down the Acid Mantle in the skin which is there to protect the skin against harmful bacteria. I exfoliate my skin twice a week using the Bio-Fruit Gel. Now this product is a little different to your usual exfoliators as it doesn't contain any gritty particles. It's basically just a gel consistency. This is called a 'peeling' treatment which will basically break down any excess oil on the skin and unclog the pores to leave the skin with a more matte appearance.
To use this product, work some of the gel into your skin and leave for 5-15 minutes. Gently massage and then remove with Luke warm water. I felt a slight tingling sensation while this gel was on my skin, once it was removed my skin felt INCREDIBLY soft and smooth and noticeably less oily. Top Tip: I recommend using this product at night time as it's important not to expose your skin to sunlight directly after exfoliating and you also want to avoid makeup for a few hours. This product is available from West End Beauty in Drogheda. Check out their Website for more information on Janssen Cosmetics facials and special offers HERE As always, if you have any questions don't hesitate to contact me 😉 See you all soon guys, Kisses.. Xx Dawn

Wedding Fair at City North Hotel on September 24th

Hello beauties, hope you're all well! Can you believe summer is over already??? Major sad face!! 🙁 Anyways, down to business, today's blog post.. Some of you might remember a few weeks ago I went to the City North Hotel for afternoon tea with my friend Niamh. While we were there we popped into the wedding fair which was taking place in the main function room. Juliet was there doing some makeup demos and I wanted to say hi. say I was knocked for six when I walked in would be an understatement!! Holy moly, hand on my heart I can HONESTLY say it is one of, if not the most amazing wedding function rooms I've ever been in. Everything from the decor, the hundreds of candles and flowers, the centrepieces, the lighting, the music, the light up dance floor (yes it lights up) was spectacular.
Of course I couldn't help but snapchat a wee bit of it while I was you do. Within a couple of hours the snaps came pouring in from people asking where I was. Lots of you were shocked that this gorgeous setting existed within the City North hotel, one of my snapchat followers even commented 'I thought you were in Powerscourt or somewhere!!' Sooooooo, due to the abundance of snaps, screenshots and messages I got about the wedding ballroom, I've teamed up with the City North hotel to give you the full lowdown on everything you need to know about this beautiful wedding fair.  

All you budding Brides and grooms, listen up...

  Situated just outside Drogheda, the City North Hotel is renowned for its delicious food, impeccable customer service and beautiful interior. The beautiful Somerville Suites can cater for up to 350 wedding guests and with the wave of a magic wand (ie. Serious hard work and dedication) the staff at City North Hotel will transform this ballroom to give you the fairytale wedding of your dreams. Complete with candles, fairy lights, flowers and did I mention the light up dance floor??;)  
And if you're looking for extras look no further, the fabulous wedding team can put you in the right direction. Perhaps you'd like a Selfie Mirror Photo booth to capture those all important party antics or Large Lovin Letters with the initials of you and your other half for the perfect photo op, look no further, the team can help you find what you need.  

And now for the BEST part........are you ready for this??...

  The City North Hotel have an Exclusive Offer for weddings booked up to the 31st of December 2017. You will receive COMPLIMENTARY room draping and up lighting worth over €2000!!!!! Yes, you read that correctly, your room draping and up lighting is absolutely free providing you book your wedding before December 31st 2017. And judging by these pictures look how amazing it romantic right??!!     If you'd rather a much smaller, intimate affair for your wedding day, fear not, there are alternative options to suit every bridal party. A private banquet room is available to cater for more intimate wedding parties, this banquet room is even available for your civil ceremony. Again the wedding team will ensure the ultimate fairytale setting.
Now I bet you're all thinking this is too good to be true right???? Well why don't you check it out for yourself at the next upcoming wedding fair which takes place on Sunday September 24th in City North Hotel. For more information on weddings at City North or to arrange a consultation with the wedding co ordinator click HERE You'll also receive complimentary afternoon tea for two on the day of your viewing. Check out this video of how your wedding at City North could look. City North Hotel Wedding Video Thanks so much for taking the time to read my post and if you manage to attend the wedding fair I hope you enjoy it.. Be sure to send me snaps 😉 Lots of love, Xx Dawn

Hot Hats & Fancy Fascinators- Your ultimate guide to head wear at Bellewstown Races!

Hello beauties, hope you're all well.. Can you believe it's only 2 weeks to go until the Bellewstown races. Eeeeeekkkk!! So exciting!! So, I've already given you the low down on my role as brand ambassador for Best dressed lady, and I've shared some of my outfit inspirations with you all on my Facebook page. But, probably the most important part of Ladies Day, which I'm about to dive into now, is that all important head piece.. Whether it's the fanciest fascinator, over the top hat or a funky flower crown, whatever you choose is what's going to get the judges head turning. If you're new to Ladies Day and aren't really sure where to go for the hottest head gear, don't worry, I've got you covered.. Here are my top 5 go to Milliners & stores to check out: 1. Sophie Hunter Millinery- Renowned milliner Sophie is one of the most sought after designers on the Ladies Day scene. Her one of a kind pieces leave little to the imagination, this woman can create anything, and I mean anything! A local lady herself, her designs are a regular at Ascot, Galway, Punchestown, The Curragh and of course, Bellewstown. Celebs such as Rosanna Davison and Sybil Mulcahy have sported her pieces. To see more click HERE 2. Accesorize - The gorgeous high street haven is always favoured for its cute and classic pieces if you have a special occasion, and when it comes to the races, Accesorize doesn't disappoint. They boast a wide range of fascinators and oversized hats, many of which you can customise yourself. Their store in Scotch Hall Shopping Centre currently has a 30% off sale on selected hats & fascinators.....HURRY!!!
*Fun Fact: My last 2 hats I wore to Ladies Days were purchased in Accesorize in Scotch Hall.. One of them even won me the title of Best Dressed Lady! 3. Jennifer Wrynne - No stranger to the Ladies Day scene, Jennifer is not only a well known designer but a frequent winner of Ladies Day herself. Her styles are the definition of elegance and class. Mixing designer with high street, if there's anyone who knows how to dress for Ladies Day it's Miss Wrynne. I recently visited her stunning boutique in Powerscourt Town Centre and it honestly left me speechless!! AMAZING!! Well worth the trip to check out not only her head pieces but her gorgeous outfits too. You won't be disappointed. See more HERE
4. Suzanne Ryan Millinery - Another huge name among ladies day participants is the fabulous Suzanne Ryan. For those of you who want to perhaps do something a little different, why not unleash your inner princess and don an extravagant crown for 'Best Dressed'. Yes it has been done before, and if there's one lady who knows how to design them it's Suzanne. The gorgeous Roz Purcell was a recent judge at ladies Day these past few months, she really set the royalty tone when she donned a beautiful Rose Gold crown from Suzanne Ryan's collection. How beautiful!! See more HERE 5.Coast,Scotch Hall Shopping Centre - The high street store notorious for elegant occasion wear doesn't disappoint when it comes to their jazzy head pieces. Whether you're all a out making a statement or you prefer to keep it more reserved, Coast will cater to you. Classy yet affordable, they get it right every time.. You may even find that all important outfit while you're there...;)
So whether you're choosing high street or designer for the big day on July 7th, I hope this post was helpful to you in some way. If you haven't gotten your Ladies Day tickets yet don't worry, click HERE to book them. Also, have you checked out my ticket giveaway on my Facebook page Dawn L.A blog???? Get on it guys!!!!! Can't wait to see you on the hill...;) Kisses, Xx Dawn

Ladies Day 2017 At Bellewstown Races

Ladies Day at Bellewstown Races... The big reveal!

Hey dolls, hope you're all keeping well. WOWZER!!! What a few weeks it's been.. Firstly I want to say a massive thank you to each and every one of you for your lovely well wishes and support lately. As always it's HUGELY appreciated! THANK YOU so much! So, let's get down to business and get stuck into today's post. You may have already seen on my social media accounts that I have been named as 'Brand Ambassador' for Best Dressed Lady at this years Bellewstown Races!! To say I'm over the moon would be an understatement!! I'm hugely flattered and it's an honour to have been given such a title, especially since I'm a massive fan of the races! I've attended the races quite a few times over the last couple of years. I particularly love Ladies Day because being the typical 'girly girl' that I am, I love any excuse to get dressed up for a fun filled day with the dolls. I was chosen as a Best Dressed finalist last year by beautiful judge Rosanna Davison and I was lucky enough to have won the title a few years previous. This year will be a little different for me, but in a good way..a very good way! So let me fill you in on everything you need to know.. Ladies Day at Bellewstown is one of the biggest events on the racing calendar and it's the perfect opportunity to not only get dressed up but to have a fabulous day out with your girls. Ladies Day will take place at Bellewstown Racecourse on Friday July 7th *stick it in your diary*. The judge for Best Dressed Lady this year is 'Girl boss Supreme' Chanelle Mc Coy from Dragons Den! As Best Dressed Ambasador I will be assisting Chanelle on the day in choosing the overall winner of the Best Dressed Lady competition. So now on to the exciting part....what comes with the coveted 'Best Dressed' title??  Well.. The winner of Best Dressed Lady will walk away with a €3000 shopping spree for Scotch Hall Shopping Centre in Drogheda, co Louth.. Yep, you heard me, €3000!!! Where would you even start???!!;) Second Prize for Best Dressed Lady is a break away for two to the 5 Star Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg (with a Spa Treatment). And Third prize is a fabulous €500 for Fuschia Makeup! There will also be prizes for 'Best Dressed Man' and 'Best Dressed Couple'..better start nagging your other half to get his glad rags on! With only 4 weeks to go, I'll be keeping you up to date on everything you need to know about ladies day.. From outfit inspiration, fancy fascinators and flawless makeup, my blog will be your go to guide for Ladies Day! Tickets are on sale now! Your 'Dress to impress package' especially for Ladies Day includes entry to the festival & the exclusive 'Dress to impress' Marquee, Prosecco on arrival, live music to dance the night away, canopies and your all important race card. This package costs just €50, click HERE to book your tickets. I can promise you, this will be the ULTIMATE girls day out! Do any of you remember my Snapchats from last year when myself and the girls were at Bellewstown?? Absolute Lols !! Round up the squad, get your glad rags on and put your best foot forward, you're in for an UNFORGETTABLE day!:) Bellewstown Races has always been one of my favourite days of the whole year and this year will be no exception. Looking forward to seeing you on the Hill! Xx Dawn