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Hi all, Happy New Year to all and best wishes for 2017.  Thanks for being part of the journey so far.  This year I am going to Jazz th...

Monday, 31 October 2016

Inspiration Bressie, Lust for Life Movement. Anxiety and really having The Fear

I suffer from anxiety. I didn't always. It was something that started and then it kind of got stuck in my head. I didn't know what it was I just felt this dread like a dead weight on my chest. At worst it felt like someones hands around my neck. My anxiety I think was drove by bullying and some other things. I had no idea what it was initially and then I had no idea what to do, where to go. how to get this thing to end.What happened to me and where what I called a life before previously was disappeared.

People can say what they want about Bressie in terms of oh he is rich, handsome and famous and what not. For me he kinda saved my life. I heard him talk about anxiety it normalised the conversation for me at last someone else. I made it a mission to get out and find out as much as I could about how he dealt with it. I really like his holistic approach to it in the form of exercise, food, cognitive behavioural therapy and mindfulness. I started running, running made me more aware of my diet, I downloaded an app on CBT, I saw a counsellor, I started trying to do mindfulness. It worked a bit and I tried as much as I could to keep the anxiety at bay. I tried acupuncture and hypnosis as well as other treatments as I felt it if can help why not. For me Lust for Life gave me a tool kit. Exercise alone might not work you may need to work with a counsellor find triggers, do other things. Its good if you have many tools as possible as it equips you to deal with more situations. 

I read alot on Lust for Life on how to deal with it from diet tips to training and even took part in a run in Dublin and met the man himself. I think in a little way Lust for Life inspired me to do my blog as I found that if it could help me then imagine being able to do that for someone else. I also did the Aware online programme for CBT too. When anxiety is bad and you don't want to go any where because it can get crippling. It was a comfort to me to be able to switch on a laptop and find some ways to help myself. 

In the end I had a relapse with my anxiety and I have ended up on medication to take the edge off . I resisted it for so long because I felt like I was weak if I needed medication.  I like how Kirsten Bell sees it in that she  she said  if you do decide to go on a prescription to help yourself, understand that the world wants to shame you for that, but in the medical community, you would never deny a diabetic his insulin.' . . . But for some reason, when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they're immediately crazy or something." Its worked there was some side effects initially but stay with it if you can, talk to your doctor and work with a counsellor to find coping strategies and identify your triggers. In a way my blog has been a path to recovery as I am getting back out there. I am doing things. I am moving on with my life and being happy. Its like a little journal on how far I have come. 

Bressie was an inspiration for me as it helped me to see that I can get past it I can move on and have a normal life. He has been an inspiration because he has shown me other ways to deal with it and shine a spotlight on holistic health.

I don't want to focus my blog on mental health. If anything its holistic health body and mind. I don't like the word mental health as I feel like it implies your crazy or something. I like how Zoella described her anxiety in that she said its like a car alarm some are very sensitive and go off when there is a storm and others are not as much. Anxiety is a normal emotion its actually something that keeps us alive as its your body protecting you. Its just that my alarm system got a little overloaded and went off at everything. I am not downplaying it in any way because at its worst its a total pain in the neck and very destructive if affects your confidence and ability to live your life. It isn't a thing weak people get in fact its ten time harder for me to get out of bed on a bad day and kick today's butt. But I did! Everyday was a struggle its not now thank god. 

Lust for Life is not just for you if you have depression,  anxiety etc.  If your interested in health and fitness this is a great blog. Athletics performance is based on mind as much as body hence they have sport psychologists and visualisation and approaches like neuro linguistic programming are very important.

I didn't tell the world I had anxiety because some people don't understand or people put their own slant on it. There seems to be many misconceptions about it. I was told by someone that if that happens then people loose respect for you because they feel like you have no respect for yourself. I was like oh dear god. I agree with Bressie when he says we need to  understand it can happen to anyone, anybody,” No one is insulated from a bad run of luck, a major illness or trauma that might impact in anxiety. No one is insulated from a family gene that might mean you don't have enough serotonin in your body which might impact you negatively. No one is insulated from the death of a loved one that might result in depression or anxiety too. 

I lost friends because I just didn't want to see people or go out when it was bad. Its so funny because I don't have the words in person but I can write or type them no problem, no tears and no major emotion. But saying it is impossible for me. Again, I am turning to Kirsten who said When you try to keep things hidden, they fester and ultimately end up revealing themselves in a far more destructive way than if you approach them with honesty. I didn't speak publicly about my struggles with mental health for the first 15 years of my career. But now I'm at a point where I don't believe anything should be taboo. So here I am, talking to you about what I've experienced." Bressie adds to it  If you are struggling with something, don’t repress that. Because it will eat you alive. It will keep coming at you, so engage with it.” I kept myself to myself. I kept it to myself for the most part and it ate me alive.  I think it might be why I relapsed.I just got sick and tired of carrying this demon around on my back. It got exhausting. Bressie said “For 15 years of my life, it was never my depression or anxiety disorder that was impossible to cope with, it was hiding it all the time that was the hardest part. I totally agree. 

The only way I can normalise the conversation is to talk about my experience with it and be open and honest. It starts with me and it starts with you. Its hard to have conversations about it when people are like oh its all in your head. Yes it is but if you have anxiety its very much in your body too. There has been times when I felt like I'm choking. I don't want to focus all on schools, colleges either it starts in homes too and workplaces. 

I am glad and grateful that Bressie was strong enough to talk about his experiences it helped me massively as has Lust for Life and finally, I have got to a stage where I am strong enough to say. I have anxiety and so what? I am also so much more. I can share my story and hopefully shine a light for others.  Congratulations to all involved in Lust for Life and I hope you celebrate many more birthdays. 

If your struggling seek help and if your not sure where or how to I am going to add some resources below. Love yourself enough to ask for help and try everything you can to help yourself. I recommend a good GP and a counsellor for starters and then build from that your toolkit. Try everything and see what works for you. Its a personal journey. 

Feel free to comment or email me if you want to talk about your experience or otherwise. 

Niall Breslin 
Kirsten Bell 
Links to counsellors 
Lust for Life

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Clonacouneen Castle,Claregalway, Co Galway

Where: Cloonacauneen Castle
Why: On the hunt for an eat of the week but I literally came at lunch time on Sunday. I think I had to book this place so had to look elsewhere. I went to two places for eat of the week and ate there but none reached my standards. For eat of the week I want someplace that's good value for money with tasty food and great customer service. I am featuring Cloonacauneen Castle because its a little bit different and as its Halloween it kinda has a spooky tale. I loved the grounds as well.
 What: Family run 15th century castle with bar , restaurant and luxury accommodation.
 Whats there: Bar, restaurant, function room that can cater for 200 guests, BBQ area and luxury accommodation in the castle and also the gate lodge.
 How: The Castle is located between Galway and Claregalway along the N17. 
How much
 Experience I have passed the door on the N17 more often then I would like to count and I had never been here. Its actually so pretty when you drive in . The lions at the door are very over the top ! But there is a sense of homeliness and coziness with the lampshades and decor.

 Pros: Its so gorgeous here and the garden in the front is nice too. It would be lovely to sit out and chill if you got a nice day in the summer. Menu looks good for Sunday lunch and seems to be good value.The castle itself though is the main attraction and its actually very homely and cosy inside. I was not really expecting that.
 Cons: I should have booked it!!! But I will be back. Sunday lunch looks good and by all accounts on reviews it seems to be a good place to go.
 History: A very quick round up of the castle through the dawns of time.

  • 1574 Richard Beag Burke recorded as living here. 
  • The Blake Family then took ownership. 
  • In 1835 Martin Blake sold the castle to Mr Fair from Ballinasloe
  • The estate then fell into the hands of the Estate commissioners. 
  • In 1914 it was owned by James Malley but its was in ruins
  • In 1963 Lenihan family acquired the castle and set about restoring 
  • Subsequent families acquired the castle namely Hanleys. Heffernans and Monaghans who continued to upkeep the castle and its grounds. 

Spooky Tales: Very interesting and in keeping with Halloween they have a feature on ghosts in the Castle on the website. Mike Groghan a photographer took a picture inside the castle while setting up to test the light levels. The image seems to show figures. Have a look here.  Thankfully, I did not have a similar experience! :)

Local attractions: 
 More information: Cloonacauneen Castle 

 Hope you enjoyed reading. You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07 Facebook: @catmc Twitter: @forrealllemail Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Friday, 28 October 2016

Coolbawn Quay, Tipperary

Where: Coolbawn Quay, Tipperary 
Why I love around Lough Derg. I always have and not sure why. I heard about Coolbawn and read about it so when I was passing by the door I had to call in.
What:  Its a hotel and cottage resort which is set in the style of an Irish village. There is a  marina and the resort overlooksLough Derg. 
Whats there: Clubhouse, marina, spa, there is a Marquee and walks around the grounds overlooking Lough Derg. There is lots of cottages and different types of accommodation all centred around the village square. There is even a school house. There is lots of activities that can be organised such as golf, shooting, hunting and fishing. You can even berth here if you have your own boat but I understand there is a fee for it.

You can just about make out a boat on the lake

Walk around the Marina 
Village Square complete with post box, pump and a school house 

 How: I drove from Galway to Portumna then followed signs for Terryglass along N65 and R493 Coolbawn is only a few kilometres over the road from Terryglass. Its not too far from Nenagh if coming from Limerick or Dublin.
How much: Free. I had just visited The Derg Inn in Terryglass for brunch and there was a wedding party coming in so I didn't hang around.
 Experience  The weather was so nice when I was there. There is a walk around the marina the place is buzzing with wildlife, ducks, swans, herons, mushrooms, flowers, fish jumping. It was so lovely and just what I needed. I walked right around and it was so calm and still. Its a little piece of heaven if you can get it like that. I love the village elements. This is a real escape because there is not a big urban centre on the doorstep. Its literally out in the middle of the country.  The lake views are amazing. Its really beautiful and stunning here. If anyone brought me here I wouldn't mind at all :). If nature fixes you and your run down and looking for a place to recharge then this is a great place for a get away. There is a sense of old meets new in that there is turf fires and a 19th century style village but its a resort and so your every need will be catered for. Its a modern take.


The School House can accommodate up to 50 guests for parties
Pros: the architecture and the village layout its really cute. It kinda reminds me of a folk village I visited. The lake as well is just the icing on the cake. Its not a bad life if you get to sit here with a drink and look out and chill! Its lovely by the marina and I just found it so relaxing here. There is so much wildlife around too from fish jumping to birds. I found it so peaceful and lovely. I couldn't stop taking photos and they just do not do this place justice. Its gorgeous. The spa has a range of activities like yoga on offer too. I would love to come for a spa day at some stage and I think its a lovely spot for a wedding. 

Cons:  went for a ramble here I didn't have food because I overheard staff talking about an imminent wedding party so I wanted to be gone before they came. I will be back to see whats on offer. Also found out they have a spa and if there is one thing I love its a spa!
 History: Accommodation comprises of village rooms, cottages, suites and houses each has its own style and there are little lanes leading up from the clubhouse all converging around the village square. Terry Morgan is the General Manager.  Civil Services and Blessings can be held on the deck overlooking Lough Derg with Gazebos providing shelter. The Lakeshore Pavilion can accommodate up to 220 guests. The schoolhouse can also accommodate 50-60 guests.  There is a natural deep spring beneath the village which provides water for the spa which has sauna, steam rooms and offers massages, facials etc. If you are looking for a wedding venue the closest church is Terryglass and from what I understand its possible to arrive  by boat from Terryglass to Coolbawn Quay. I'm not getting married anytime soon but it sounds magical.
Local attractions:  The Derg Inn is in Terryglass. I recommend a trip to both!
 More information: Website 

Note: I am not in anyway affiliated with Coolbawn Quay, I did not receive gifts, vouchers, perks, accommodation, meals or cash. Its just an honest view of the grounds and my experience of the place. 

 Hope you enjoyed reading. Have you been and if so what were your thoughts? Would love to know.

You can follow me and my adventures on instagram at catmc07
Facebook: @catmc
Twitter: @forrealllemail
Email: forrealllemail@gmail.com
TripHappy: https://triphappy.com/u/cmc
If you like you can subscribe in side bar on main site. Feel free to share. :) Link to shop https://www.etsy.com/ie/shop/Forrealll?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Wednesday: Mindful Photography Blog and Action for Happiness

Mindful Photography:

So this weeks mindful photography post is Halloween for the week that is in it.
You can upload your photos to my group in facebook  or even just add me to it on instagram at catmc07

This week I have focused on the 2nd Key which is to connect with people. I have not kept a log daily of this but overall I notice I am talking to people more. Even if its just hello, how are you, lovely day etc. I have actively tried to smile more as well and take more of an interest in others around me. I think there really is something in this as when you feel connected to people it actually makes you happy to help them or put a smile on someones face if they have been down. I'm learning a little bit more about people around me as well through showing an interest and their lives etc. I have tried to keep in touch more with my family even if its just on facebook or a text.

Its funny because we are all connected and its easy to forget it. It becomes more noticeable if someone brings negative energy to something or if  someone brings good energy too I think you notice. Even if its just something small like they make you laugh or smile.

Its not about being false its just about bringing your best self to the table as much as you can. Everyone has days when its 10% and everyone has days when its 100%. Life can be hard sometimes but I think people notice too if you do your best.

See link below for the keys to Action for Happiness. Try one for a week and I would love to know how you get on!


Action for Happiness Website 
My Mindful Photography and Action for Happiness Group Facebook 
Action for Happiness Cork 

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Halloween Party and Costume Inspiration

So in case your throwing a halloween party or even going to one here is some inspiration for parties or themes and hopefully it will lead to inspiration for your costume.These are all available to buy on zazzle if you click on the link. There are heaps of other designs this is just a bit of inspiration.

  1. Graveyard theme zombies, ghosts, demons etc. 
  2. Murder Mystery Theme 
  3. Superheros and Villians
  4. Fairy tale characters can be anything from Little red riding hood to the big bad wolf! 
  5. Haunted House make sure you have a willing ghost! 
  6. Scary movie characters. 

Make up costumes.
I found a link here for interesting make up face ideas. I love the spider webs I might be using that one!
Also love the idea of temporary tatoos like these bats.

For decorating your house or for theme.

Dinner Party:

Hello bat
Hello bat
by anton_novik
Paper Plates 

Murder Mystery Party
I love this towel its very hitchhock 
Bloody murder
Bloody murder
by UDDesign

Crime Scene Ribbon - Brilliant for this theme too
Crime Scene
Crime Scene
by MinhaSanidade
Wine Charms :) Any Party !!! 
Halloween Wine Charm Set
Decorations Ceremic - Any party or a nice gift 
Halloween Wine Charm Set
by iHave2Say
Skull Print
Skull Print
by CuteLittleTreasures

Trick or Treating 
Let's Get Freaky Poster
Let's Get Freaky Poster
by The_Shirt_Yurt

Happy Halloween Poster 
Happy Halloween
Happy Halloween
by JustParties

Halloween Ribbon can be used to decorate or for a costume too 
Halloween Bats Satin Ribbon
Halloween Bats Satin Ribbon
by photographybydebbie

Fabric because some people are amazing at making their own outfits.

by Dianesfunstore2011

Gifts - I like this mug :) 
You can also make your own and in my opinion there is only one woman to go to who will tell you how to do that - Martha. 

Have a wonderful halloween. I'm really excited about this year