Clóda Scanlon, 20, Irish Blogger & Vlogger, Cork City.

Monday, 31 August 2015

Introduction to Outbox Incubator

Hi everyone, this is a very different post to what I normally do. You're probably all wondering what is Outbox Incubator?? Well it's a programme which encourages girls to get into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths). Over the 6 weeks of British Summer, young girls were invited to live in a house together in London, exchanging ideas and business startups. OB is developed and ran by the Stemettes.

Why Me??


So you might be wondering, how do I fit in here? STEM is broader than just the the 4 categories. Really it supports all young girls in their ideas and helps them to achieve goals and make contacts in the industry. I've only been here a day and it has changed my perspective on the kind of career I want. I'm so confused now, it's a good thing I'm taking a year out!!!

One of the head Stemettes is an Irish woman, Mary Carty. I found out all about OB through Mary. She encouraged me to apply for it and I was sceptical because I wasn't sure that OB suited me because I didn't have a business or an invention as such! All the other girls seemed a lot more innovative and intelligent than me.

However, she told me that my application must have impressed the judges because I got into OB based on the fact that I am a blogger. She added that building my own brand is an impressive skill and that it would be good for me to learn bout content creation and marketing!
I came to the realisation that I thought I wasn't good enough, or that I would be below the standard of  all the talented girls in STEM but that isn't the case. I've learned from Mary that I shouldn't compare myself to others, because we all have our own little niches and characteristics! Thanks Mary!

Off to London!!


It wasn't long before I heard from the Stemettes that I had got into OB!! I was so so happy! What a great way to finish off the summer, improving my blog, learning about new things and meeting some amazing people. 

I flew Dublin-Gatwick on Sun 30th August. Myself and another Irish girl, Catriona were collected by a Stemette, Yaz and we got a cab to the OB house. It was great to have another Irish girl with me. We had a great chat and she showed me around the house! Because it was only a "Moving In" day, we basically chilled for the whole time on Sunday. Yaz made us lunch - fabulous halloumi (I was buzzing when she said it) and salad wrap. Then I got to know some more of the girls. I also received a Tote bag which included some OB goodies!






And of course with the orange wristband and bed sheets, it was a very honorary welcome for me ;)


On the night we arrived, it was the day of the famous Notting Hill Carnival! Unfortunately the OB Execs weren't allowed to go so we made our own little mini carnival!! We made flags of a load of different nationalities! Can you spot yours?





Then I met my roomie Dami and we get on like a house on fire, so positive vibes all round!!!

Soooooo there's my introduction to Outbox Incubator!! I'll make a daily diary post on each day's schedule so that you can all follow my experience!! 

Lots of love,

Clóda x














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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Style Loft

Hi everyone. GUESS WHAT? You've all got me to over 5k views on my blog!!! WOOO, thank you all so much. I am thrilled with the reaction I've been getting lately from my blog posts! Especially the one about the Leaving Cert. Loads of people have told me how it has helped them, motivated them to work harder and even opened up their eyes! So if anyone els1e wants to ask me for advise about exams/studying etc, I'm always an open ear. Send me a message on Facebook or a Snapchat and I'll help you as best as I can! Oh and by the way if there's any particular topics you want me to blog about or want my opinion on, please contact me also. And don't be afraid to share links of my blog posts if you want to let others have a read!!

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Today's fashion post is all about Style Loft. You can also buy their clothes on Depop, search @StyleLoft...

Style Loft

Style Loft is a very affordable online boutique from the UK who offer trendy/unique pieces! I'm really excited for their A/W15 range after seeing some shots of their recent shoot!! Take a look..

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Anywhoooo, I'll get onto my items from Style Loft. I received a stunning playsuit and a quirky dress from them!


I fell IN LOVE with the croc print playsuit straight away. The print is just amaze!! It's perfect for that transition from Summer-Autumn because of the nude/brown tones! It's also ridiculously comfy!! Win Win. I'm not sure if it's still available on the site so try their Depop.
The hat is Penneys' finest (Of course - €2).
And zeeee shoes are from Sole Wish






I also adore the back detail. Sigh...


Buy these lace-up beauts here: Aurelia Black Knee High Lace Ups


I feel like a modern day gladiator lol..


Aaaand here's outfit Numéro Deux! 

A stunning Autumnal Paisely dress! Lovin' these hippy vibes!
You can't really see it clearly in the photo, but there is a fab plum/maroon shade in the dress so I paired it with this stunning bag from Handbag Styles and lace up shoes from Penneys - they can do no wrong! 


 Ahhhh look at all those colours!!




I really love this dress! You'll be glad to know it's now down to £10!! Grab it here quickly before they're all gone : Style Loft Indie Dress




Do I fit in well in the playground??

I'll just finish the post with this beautiful quote I came across :)


Image result for your smile is your logo


Just something to think about...

See you very soon,

Clóda x








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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Missi Clothing

Hi all, just a quick fashion post as I haven't done one in a while!

I recently collaborated with Missi Clothing and I picked this dress for my Leaving Cert results night. They have absolutely stunning, trendy pieces for very affordable prices!
Purchase at:

I'll show you some of my fave picks from their store!

Celeb Cold Shoulder Printed Dress Floral Cami Skater Dress With Mesh Panel Slinky Lace up Crop Top

ASYMMETRIC ZIP CO-ORD SET 


And I picked this beautiful cowl neck floral dress!

Floral Cross Back Slinky Cowl Neck Bodycon Dress

As you can see in the photo it is a Midi dress! But I have absolutely no boobs so I decided to turn up the top and let  the cowl hang. I was delighted because I discovered how versatile the dress is!

The colours are amaaaaazing and the material is fabulous!










Also, take in how God damn beautiful my new Sole Wish lace-up beauts!!
They're so comfy and trendy! I cannot wait to wear them with everything :))))

Find them here:




The photos were taken in lovely Garrykennedy!

Lots of love,

Clóda x


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Wednesday, 19 August 2015

YOUR Future is Bright!!

Hi all, I firstly would like to thank you all for constantly supporting my blog! I reached 4000 page views this week! For some bloggers, 4000 views is a daily thing but this is a real milestone for me :))))


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So, I've decided to make a post about Leaving Cert, during and after! Hopefully 5th and 6th year students can take something from it. I'll be focusing on my particular subjects!

5TH YEAR

For all of you going into 5th year, please do not be thinking it will be a walk in the park. Believe it or not this is your hard-working year! Don't come in with the mindset that you have 2 years to get all the work done! It FLIES!!

Literally go hell for leather for the 1st term of 5th year! This is what I did and it set me up greatly!
Keep all homework and notes organised and up-to-date. Leaving things on the long finger often is left to the May of 6th year and believe me you don't want that!

Keep on top of class tests. Even if they're only a small test you should make sure you're prepped and trying hard because you will go back and re-check these the night before your leaving cert.

Get things ready like your Sráith Pictúirs and Oral prep. 

Enjoy 5th year. It's actually a really nice year. You get this new-found respect from all the teachers and younger pupils. There isn't too much stress either which is great.

By the way DO NOT FREAK if you fail your 5th year Summer tests. It has no reflection on what you will get in the actual Leaving Cert. However, pick up the slack when you start 6th year!!

6TH YEAR

Now you're headed into the big year. Stay calm, composed and focus. Forget 5th year - if it was bad, rectify it in the first month of 6th year. You need to hit this year hard because you won't believe how quickly it'll come to an end!
You need to keep in mind that you are competing for points with everyone else in your year so keep trying your best with class tests. 

If your school offers an After School Study programme, SIGN UP NOW!!

All things like Sráith Pictúirs and Oral notes should be up-to-date by November. Give yourself plenty of time to revise and learn them (because I didn't)

After Christmas there'll be little  time for catching up on the things you should've done already. Orals and Mocks will be the only thing on the agenda so all i can say is from Sept-Dec of 6th year PREP PREP PREP!!!

Know that it is totally ok to be stressed. Don't hold it in and hope it will go away. Scream into a pillow, go for a run, eat lottttts of chocolate. Do whatever it is you have to do to get through the year!
And prepare for tears. LOTS of them.. For months! (It shows you care........)

Try your best in the Mocks! Give it your all. Keep writing. Perfect your timing for long exams!!

The last 2 months are crucial. You really need to start timetabling and making sacrifices! If you have a hobby for every night of the week, drop 1 or 2. 

For the week before the Leaving, lots of people decide to stay at home. I don't know if it worked for them but I sure as hell know that it would not work for me. Wifi? Instagram? Phone? Food? It just wasn't an option if I wanted to  get a good Leaving Cert. 
Most schools will offer you a room to go study etc, and it benefited me greatly.

AAAAANNND here it is. The actual Leaving Cert. It is yours for the taking, so grab it with 2 hands and make it your bish!! ;)
CRAM CRAM CRAM CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAM!!!!!!!!!
For me cramming was late at night before going to sleep then at 6am the morning of the exam! Your brain works best in the morning and it's fresh in your memory!
Saying things out loud over and over really does help.
By the way, leave your whole life on the papers.. Everything!
And don't worry you will get through it!! It seems like you won't and it'll be a whirlwind year but the taste of success is so sweet on Results day when your blood, sweat and tears pays off!

RESULTS 


You will be sick/nervous/an emotional train awaiting your results. I got a headache, the sweats, couldn't sleep. But everyone's in the same boat so it's fine.

Some people will do great, others will be disappointed. Either way don't feel guilty that you did amazing and the person next to you isn't happy. It's your day, and your hard work on paper and you deserve to burst with happiness if you got the grades you hoped for.

To those who aren't as happy, don't lose faith. There's so many options these days ; repeat ; take a year out (or 5) ; get an apprenticeship ; try to get work home or abroad ; check out Level 5-7 Fetac courses. But either way if the CAO doesn't work out as planned it's not the end of your life. You're more than likely in the age bracket of 16-21 so try to find a way around it :)

MEEEEE

Well I'll start by saying, I failed almost everything in 5th year. So I gave myself a kick in the butt in the first term of 6th year.

For Christmas tests, I got 315 points.

For Mocks, I got 440 points.

At this rate I was going to be delighted with 400 points or more cause I knew I could easily achieve it!

For the Leaving Cert I got 475 points!!!!!!!!!!
I'm still bursting and so so proud of myself because I honestly tried very hard! 
Hard work = Success!

So I've decided to take a year out as I'm not fully sure what I want to do. However I'll be doing a part-time Music course in BIMM college, Dublin which I am very excited about!

By the way, does anyone know of any good media or fashion courses in Ireland? I'm keeping my options open for next year.

Best of luck to you all no matter what you do and don't forget you write your own future, so make it bright!

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Until next time,

Clóda xx


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Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Fitness/Health Journey

I was never a heavy girl, but I was definitely an unhealthy girl (in many ways).
So this isn't really a shocking "Transformation Tuesday" or anything.
I'm making this post to show how I changed my lifestyle for the better 2 years ago and how I stopped my health/fitness routines and  hopefully it will motivate you and myself to get back into it.

This photo taken 3 years ago shows me at my biggest, or should I say unhealthiest. I was a very squeezed Size 10, verging on Size 12.


I had just finished 3rd year and I ate at least 1 Slice of biscuit cake, 2 sausage rolls and a packet of crisps everyday in school. Then I would usually eat another 2 packets of crisps that evening at home as well as biscuits and sweets etc. I ADORED cheese and I still do. I turned away milk as a baby so cheese became my only source of calcium. I had cheese with every meal whether it was melting mozzarella onto my dinners or actually eating slices of cheddar for fun. And without fail would have 1 Chinese meal and 1 Indian meal each week. I didn't see the harm, why would you when you're 15?? Until I began to feel more conscious around my slimmer friends.



I always played Camogie in/out of school so it wasn't as if I wasn't active but I had to do more than just go down to training. Transition Year was THE turning point for me and I honestly would still be unhealthy only for it. We were involved in regular activities and sports as part of the TY programme. So we began Boxercise, coaching from a Gym Instructor and trained for a Marathon.
Training for the Great Limerick Run was tough as we ran about 4 times a week for 4/5 months and it did the world of good for us. I noticed my legs toning up and getting stronger and I was actually able to see my knees (which were previously surrounded in flab lol).

I was beginning to actually like my body and feel confident, so I didn't want it to end there. The goal at the time was to start fitting into Size 8 clothes and have a flat tummy.
It's so important on a fitness journey to set yourself goals so that you are always looking forward and you don't stop until you achieve that goal.

I knew that the exercise could only bring me so far and a good diet had to come into play.
I cut down to maybe 2 biscuit cakes a week. I had to wean myself off the bad food slowly instead of making drastic changes. I began to eat all things wholemeal whether it was bread, pasta or even crackers.



This took me as far as the beginning of 5th year. Then my diet really improved. I was desperate. I knew I was still being too generous with the rubbish food. So I went to a nutritionist. Everyone should go see one at least once, no matter what size you are!!
Because not only do they inform you on healthy habits but you may discover you have a deficiency you never even knew you had. 
Apparently me, the cheese lover is dairy intolerant? And this was half my battle with extra pounds. I never had pains or felt anything really after eating cheese but as I said, I refused cow's milk as a baby. Baby's instinct I guess.. I was told I had to cut out all dairy in my  diet. Well I nearly cried when she told me because how would I replace my beloved cheese that melted onto everything? 

But I did, I had to. That meant no cheese, no hot chocolate, no pizza, no chocolate bars, no yoghurts, no cream, no ice cream, no creamy cakes, no butter.. The list seemed endless. But take that much out of your diet alone and look at the difference?
There was alternatives surprisingly. I now enjoy Soya butter on my wholemeal toast in the mornings, and I eventually became immune to Goat's Cheese and Feta! I snacked on Dairy free chocolate when I had cravings. On the odd occasion I would have dairy and that's OK but just not on a daily basis. Last summer I got a Large (and I mean large) Hot Chocolate because I didn't have one in months. I said sure what harm? It was dosssssed in milk.. I will never forget the pains it gave me and how sick I was for days afterwards. This had proven to me I was in fact dairy intolerant and I needed to be careful.

But besides my deficiency, I'll go through some diet changes I made for the better. 
Houmous and raw vegetables became my lunch everyday. Houmous is made from chickpeas which actually burn fat!!! And you cannot get much better than raw veggies. People in school were in disbelief at me bringing in uncooked carrots and peppers everyday but I didn't care. My body felt so good afterwards. I also brought 2 slices of homemade brown bread to school with me each day without ham or butter or anything. It was quite bland but so healthy.
I began to cook EVERYTHING with coconut oil. It has zero calories so why wouldn't I?
 I ate chickpea dishes for dinner (more fat burning). So between all of this I was actually burning fat while eating and it tasted amazing. Win win!
I cut out eating Chinese's for months. Mam would be bringing home a takeaway for everyone and I had the willpower to say no, and bare in mind this was a weekly occurrence.

I also began drinking LOADS of water, whereas before I'd be lucky to get in a glass a day. I  brought 2 litres of water to school each day and drank another 1 or 2 in the evening. I was in/out to the toilet as often as I had classes but it definitely flushed my body out loads and I was always hydrated.




So at this point my head was in the books and it was a year after training for the marathon. I was definitely not as active as I was in TY but I was still slightly toned from the running of the previous year. So, busy schedule and needed to tone up again to achieve my goals, I decided I had to exercise from home. I downloaded some amazing fitness apps including Pop Sugar fitness, Nike training, Couch to 5K and tried various 30-day challenges! I got into great habits altogether and I achieved my goal of fitting into size 8 clothes!!! 



A year later I'm still fitting into Size 8 things and even some size 6 clothes, which was never my intention. However, I'm still struggling big time with my belly. People tell me "Oh it's not big you're slim now" but it's a goal I set out in Day 1 and I would love to achieve it. I suppose I let myself go throughout 6th year as anyone would. Comfort food became a must and I didn't keep up the same fitness and exercise levels.

However, lots of training with my Senior Camogie team has kept me fit and toned!




My appendix burst when I was 2. For days we didn't know and the poisonous toxins had gotten into my bloodstream. They got me just in time and I had a life-saving operation which left a big scar above my belly button. The scar kind of sinks inwards, so my belly below it juts out. So maybe I won't ever fully be able to change my lower belly. I mean above the scar is fairly flat from ab work but I can't seem to get the lower belly in shape.

Maybe I should be happy to be alive instead of worrying about looks, but it's my goal for myself so if anyone has any recipes they  would like to share with me or exercises I should try, please let me know as I'm eager to motivate myself again and feel healthy and strong again!!




Please feel free to share your journies with me and give me tips or ask for advise and I'll do my best to help you!

Lots of love,

Clóda x
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