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winter

I was known as the cold sore kid in school for a reason. Every few months, I would have an enormous breakout that would last a week or so, that would always leave me feeling insecure and uncomfortable. As time went on, I developed some techniques to keep these at bay as much as I could.

Antivirals are great when necessary, but my GP informed me that overuse of these can cause us to become immune to medication such as Zovirax, so isn’t an ideal solution.

Therefore, natural routines and remedies can be carried out to stop the spread of this pesky virus. As this time of year is always particularly bad for those who carry the virus, I thought I’d share my tips on how to keep cold sores at bay:

Bin ALL your lip balms

I know it seems like a waste, but cross-contamination is a real problem when it comes to cold sores. Wash out your lip balm containers and recycle them. Then, invest in ONE very good SPF lip balm.

Never ever share this lip balm and never ever apply it directly to your lips. Use hand sanitiser or alcohol wipes to clean your fingertip before you apply. You can also give the applicator a wipe down with alcohol when you use it to further prevent cross-contamination. Make sure that you use this lip balm as much as possible, and never let your lips get dry.

Take a high dose of Lysine Supplements

Lysine is a natural amino acid that targets the herpes simplex virus which causes cold sores. Get down to your chemist and purchase a large jar of 500mg tablets. Take two of these each day with food and eventually, you should see results. Routine is key here so you must make sure you take them every day in order for them to work. I even named my morning alarm Lysine to remind myself to take them with my breakfast!

Carry alcohol in your bag

I mean sterilising alcohol, of course. Alcohol wipes or a little bottle of sterilising fluid will also do the trick. When you eat out or drink in bars and pubs, make sure to rub the rim of your glass, mug or bottle you are drinking from. This will cover all bases because the alcohol will kill any bacteria or virus that is present and lower the risk of you picking up something.

Carry Zovirax in your bag

Purchase Zovirax anti-cold sore cream or another brand of cream that contains aciclovir or penciclovir. Buy the tube and not the pump as you can get more out of it. ALWAYS have the tiny tube on your person. Whenever you feel the teeny tiniest tingle on your lips, apply- again with a sterilised fingertip. You can also use an alcohol wipe to clean the tip of the tube after each use.

Keep your hands clean

If you really want to be rid of cold sores for the festive season, you need to be on the ball when it comes to hand washing. We touch our faces and mouths CONSTANTLY during the day. This causes a virus like herpes simplex to spread like wildfire. Washing your hands or using hand sanitiser will break the viral cycle and reduce your chances of getting cold sores.

I know this seems like a lot to think about. However, you will soon be able to enjoy the silly season without having that constant cold sore worry!

Source: hse.ie, sona.ie

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For many of us the festive season acts as the perfect excuse to cosy up in front of the fire and politely reject any invitation that involves leaving the house – after all, they don't call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing.

And while some of us might be content spending the winter months catching up with friends and family over copious amounts of chocolate and wine – some singletons have a very different agenda altogether.

If dark evenings and cold temperatures leave for longing for a winter cuddle buddy then welcome to cuffing season!

 

Think about it.

How many times have you, or someone you know, settled in with a romantic partner over the yuletide period, only to completely lose interest by the time spring rolls around?

Cuffing season leaves people itching to find a partner in the later half of the year, because hey, no one likes to be lonely at Christmas.

 

Speaking to The Independent, the Passion Smiths director said: “Singles who display this type of dating pattern are unable to commit.”

“They use summer fun and friends as an excuse for this pattern, but in reality it is because they are unable to form lasting romantic bonds.”

“They may have the illusion they can settle down whenever they want to, but they can’t and until they do decide they want a lasting relationship will they realise they are unable to; that’s when I’ll see them in my office.”

And while all this has definitively given us something to think about, we refuse to let the fear of cuffing keep us from finding the ultimate festive romance. 

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The HSE has issued a warning to the public after an early spike in flu cases this winter. They have urged the public to stay inside and away from work or school if they’re displaying signs of the flu.

They stressed that the illness is extremely contagious and the best thing to do is to stay home until they're better.

GPs have reported an increase in flu cases last week which is a cause for concern.

Medical experts are urging people to stay out of work and to keep children away from school or creche until they’re fully recovered.

Symptoms include a sudden fever that is typically 38.3 degrees Celsius (101 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. These initial symptoms will be followed by respiratory distress like a dry cough and a runny nose.

Full recovery usually takes between five and seven days.

Typical symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

Experts recommend those suffering from the flu to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest. You can take painkillers to ease symptoms if necessary.  Antibiotics will not do much to help with the flu because the cause is viral and not bacterial.

Wash your hands for a minimum of 15 seconds and dispose of used tissues straight away to help combat the virus.

The public has also been advised to cough into the crook of your arm and to use hand sanitiser frequently.

There is still time to get the flu vaccine, so if you are in one of the at risk groups then make an appointment today. It takes up to two weeks before the vaccine becomes fully effective, so it’s advised to get the vaccine before incidence of flu reaches peak levels.

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With the end of summer and the beginning of autumn comes a change in scenery, and a change in our food palettes to accommodate the soon-to-be festive season.

Despite the cold weather, one of the best things about the winter has to be the food. Gourmet meals, culinary masterclasses and a cosy setting are all on the menu of Taste of Dublin's new event.

The festive edition is set to run from November 28 to December 1 in the RDS, and is modelled on a similar winter food festival in London. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taste of Dublin (@tasteofdublin_) on

The winter version of Taste of Dublin will have fewer sessions (six over four days) but will feature huge indoor square footage and a comfortable experience.

While 32,000 flocked to the Iveagh Gardens in June, 18,000 attendees are expected over the festive four days. What does this mean? More room to manoeuvre around and get the best views of masterclasses.

Entertainment, food and more will be housed inside the RDS, Merrion Road, for the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

From November 28 until December 1, 2019, get inspired in time for Christmas.

Fifteen of Ireland’s top restaurants and food experiences will be present in this winter wonderland, ready to serve up a selection of over 50 dishes for audience members.

A packed line up of cooking demos, drinks masterclasses and live entertainment are all in the works, with 30 top chefs warming up the kitchen.

Taste of Dublin's summer festival has taken place in the capital for the last 14 years, and is now building on the hype and success just in time for the cold weather. Food is the perfect warm-up, we say.

Inspired by Tesco Finest, we can't wait to sit in on the beautiful baking shows, food and drink sampling with Ireland's top brands and enjoy the live musical entertainment.

Indulge yourself in all things food and book your tickets for Taste of Dublin: Festive Edition online here before they sell out. 

Dont worry: We won't be judgemental like Ginny Weasley if you eat your way through the RDS:

harry potter eating GIF

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Do you know any especially wildly cranky siblings or grumpy but chilled out friends that you reckon deserve to have a massive winter storm named after them? We can think of a few.

Now is finally your chance to get a storm named in your honour, or as a tribute to a pal or member of your family. You could even get one named after your worst enemy, if that's the mood you're in.

National forecaster Met Eireann have joined forces with the UK Met Office to launch their new 'Call for Storm Names' scheme this winter, and want our help. 

The 'Name our Storms' scheme aims to raise awareness of severe weather before it strikes.

A storm warrants a name when the Met Office or Met Éireann will issue an orange or red weather warning, and you buy all the booze and bread from Tesco and barricade your gaff.

The names are chosen based on the public's submissions every year, and memorable weather events in recent years include Storm Emma, Storm Ali and Storm Ophelia.

Remember when Lidl was raided by a JCB during Storm Emma in Tallaght last year? Mad times, they were.

Storms are named in alphabetical order in the sequence they occur, with each storm alternate between the first letter of a male name and female name, similar to the pattern created by the US National Hurricane Centre in the 1970s.

Storms starting with letters Q, U, X, Y and Z won’t be used, unfortunately. The first storms last year were named Ali and Bronagh, but this winter the first storm will be female. 

Forecasters will avoid names with 'resonance' in the weather world, like 'Katrina' or 'Charlie' and famous/notorious names will be avoided. There'll be no Storm Greg (O'Shea), Storm Boris or Storm Trump. 

Use the hashtag #IrishStormNames on Twitter to send your suggestion, email Met Éireann at stormnames@met.ie or write to Evelyn Cusack, Met Éireann, Glasnevin Hill, Dublin 9.

We deserve a Storm Maura after her explosive entrance into this year's Love Island villa, don't you agree?

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ITV is set to air two seasons per year of Love Island, as the broadcaster looks to tackle a five percent fall in total advertising revenue by adding a winter edition of the hit reality TV show.

From 2020, an additional series will air during the British winter, with the original summer series continuing to be filmed in Europe.

The first season of the winter show will be shot in South Africa, so a few safari challenges might not go amiss. Love Island remains to be the most watched programme of the year for adults aged 16 to 34 across any channel.

The show hit new heights in its fifth series this summer, and recently broke an astonishing six million viewer barrier for the first time, according to The Guardian.

ITV’s chief executive, Carolyn McCall, credited the show for saving their drop in advertising revenue;

“ITV delivered another good viewing performance in the first half of the year,” McCall said.

“Online revenues grew strongly, up 18 percent, despite tough comparatives, with Love Island providing a strong finish to the half. This was reflected in better than expected total advertising revenue.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

Currently the show enjoys over five million viewers watching per episode, and is commercial gold for the broadcaster. Uber Eats pays five million pounds alone to sponsor the show.

A dozen commercial partners were also involved in the 2018 series, spanning brand licensing, podcast sponsors, product placement, in-store branding and exclusive product lines and merchandise.

Paul Mortimer, head of digital channels at ITV, said; "Love Island has proven yet again to be the perfect format that engages younger audiences,”

“In response to this viewer appetite, a new batch of young singletons will deliver some highly anticipated post-Christmas romance and drama from our new and luxurious location.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on

The Love Island Instagram account has over three million followers, with the show creating over two billion impressions on Twitter so far this year.

Love Island will be back in an all new location of South Africa in early 2020, with the first series of the year bringing the sun to audiences from a brand new villa.

Angela Jain, Managing Director ITV Studios Entertainment said; "2020 is going to have even more love than before."

Feature image: ITV/REX

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It's going to be a bitterly cold week, by the looks of things. Met Éireann have just issued a status yellow weather warning for Ireland, with snow and ice predicted.

They updated their website this morning, writing: "Very cold this week with showers of hail, sleet and snow, frequent across the southwest, west and north, where some significant accumulations are possible this evening and overnight."

"There will be widespread frost with icy stretches on untreated surfaces." they added, stating the potential for further significant snowfall on Thursday around the country.

The warning will be updated tomorrow morning, and will be in place until Saturday at 6pm.

Today, we're expecting a cold day with a mixture of sunny spells and scattered wintry showers, as rain and sleet clears eastwards.

There is also a risk of hail and thunder in Atlantic coastal areas, with the western half of the county expecting showers and snowfall.

Maximum temperatures will range from two to five degrees, let's hope we don't get snow like last year. 

Thursday will see sleet and snow continuing across the south of Ireland, but the northern half of the country should remain dry. Severe frost is incoming on Thursday night, with temperatures of just one to four degrees.

Yikes…wrap up warm out there. Hopefully it doesn't drop too far below zero degrees.

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Finding the perfect getaway can be a challenging business; you want to feel at ease, relaxed and replenished, but where can you find a spot with the perfect amount of privacy mingled with life-changing views?

Well, this tree hotel in the northern Swedish forests offers rooms perched among the pines with an awesome aesthetic landscape to boot.

It's essentially something straight out of a dream, with different room types like the Bird's Nest, The Cabin and the UFO (legit a flying saucer).

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taylor O'Sullivan (@taylorosullivan) on

Each of the seven available rooms are all modern variations of tree houses designed by Scandinavian architects, which allow you to bond with nature in the lap of luxury. 

The Tree Hotel is so private and remote that you have to fly all the way from Stockholm to the Lulea Airport, and then the hotel organises for a car to collect you, or for a train journey.  

You can totally disconnect and enjoy the natural lifestyle, as well as possessing that crucial WiFi in case you need to post an emergency Instagram of your incredible surroundings. Oh. it also has HEATED FLOORS and towers.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rosie – The Londoner (@rosielondoner) on

There's also a gorgeous restaurant on the property which makes sure to serve only local ingredients. Daytime activities include dog sled tours, ice fishing and photography walks.

You might need to tap into your savings to afford this one, however. Prices range from about €113 to €680 per night, depending on the time of year and type of room.

Maybe add it to the bucket list, or find a sugar daddy to help you out (joking…joking…)

Absolute boujee-ness goals.

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The UK Arctic blast may be heading towards Ireland, according to the predictions of weather experts Met Éireann and Midland Channel.

There's a possibility of heavy snow and disruptions, so people are preparing for some seriously cold frost.

If the UK's forecast is anything to go by, severe sleet could hit the country this weekend. The UK are facing severe sleet and snow at the moment, which could easily come our way.

According to the Midland Channel;

"As skies remain clear this evening temperatures will fall away quiet rapidly across the country with a widespread ground frost likely as air temperatures dip to as low as -2 or -3 degrees Celsius.

"Showers during the day have lead to rather damp road conditions and as temperatures fall below freezing some icy stretches are likely. Do take care if you are travelling this evening, especially on secondary roads."

cold william h macy GIF

If anyone remembers the Beast From the East in 2018, they can recall the chaos caused by the snow. I mean, a Lidl was destroyed for God's sake. 

A yellow warning for snow and ice across the country has been issued by the Met Office, who are calling the warning an "arctic blast".

Met Office meteorologist Marco Petagna said:

"Things are turning colder, but it is just more typical winter conditions. It has been so mild this winter that it will be a bit of a shock to the system even though temperatures will be average for this time of year or just below."

Met Éireann also claimed that Ireland possibly could see a fall of snow on Thursday night.

"The freshening southerly winds will become strong southeasterly on Thursday night ahead of rain developing in the west."

"Temperatures will be below freezing in places and the rain will be preceded for a time by a fall of snow as it spreads eastwards across the country."

Batten down the hatches, lads, and whip out the blankets ASAP.

frozen snow GIF by funk

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Whilst the other Kardashian-Jenner family are tending to their children – Kendall is very much living the fun aunt life and LOVING it.

Hitting the slopes for the festive season, the model looks UNREAL in a pink bikini.

Braving the snow in -2 weather conditions, the 23-year-old was snapped in Aspen. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

Soaking up the stunning scenery, Kendall simply wrote in the caption: "f*ck it’s cold."

The Victoria Secret model is enjoying the downtime with a customised snowboard.

In her Instagram stories, Kendall showed off the board which reads: "omg they killed Kenny."

Recently, Kendall joked on Twitter about missing out on the family Christmas card.

She was the only sister missing from the shot and the only one without a small human.

Kendall tweeted the picture of the card along with: "HA, well this is awkward."

Kim quickly explained that this year they had waited until the last minute to do it and they attempted to just get as many people as they could for the photo.

"Schedules we’re changing, my husband was in and out of town. But The day of this card last minute realised we were all together so we had all of our kids come meet us," she tweeted.

"Kendall and my mom rushed to a meeting after this shoot so this is what we have! As many of us as possible," she added.

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Faux real, winter is well and truly on its way. "What does this mean?" I hear you ask. It means… it's time to get FURRY.

Finding the perfect coat can be a difficult, time-consuming and frustrating task. We've decided to do all the work FUR you, and compile a list of every coat that has caught our eye on the high street this winter season.

So far, brands such a Monki, Mango, Topshop and Zara have impressed us with their glamorous faux fur, but there are some KILLAH vintage websites such as Nine Crows, ASOS Marketplace and Beyond Retro which sell vintage faux fur items that have us collapsed on the floor in sheer fashion overdrive.

I mean, you're welcome.

Nasty Gal Go Fur It Faux Fur Coat, was €121.00 now €60.50

 

Topshop Luxe Faux Fur Coat: 125,00 €

 

Missguided Nude leopard print faux fur coat, €95.00

 

Monki Super Soft Fluffy Coat, €70

 

Zara, €89.95 faux fur coat

 

PrettyLittleThing faux fur jacket in multi, €62.21

 

Bershka patterned faux fur coat, €89.99

 

Topshop, Luxe Faux Fur Coat, €130.00

 

Pull and Bear round neck faux fur jacket, 39.99 €

 

ASOS two tone mongolian faux fur coat in multi, €82.95

 

Urban Outfitters Jakke Rita Green Faux Fur Jacket, €199.00

 

Missguided premium blue crop pelted faux fur jacket, €102.00

 

Bershka faux fur coat in red, €34.99

 

Glamorous coat in stripe faux fur, €124.43

 

Monki faux fur coat, €70

 

Mango checked faux fur coat, €119.99

Some of these uber-glam coats are on sale this week (Black Friday, how are ya) so nab them before they sell out.

Fur can be a tricky business to navigate, finding the right one to suit you is honestly like picking your new home. You're seeking comfort, warmth, and a place to sleep.

What? You can't deny that those coats are prime nap-time material. They're warmer than our hearts after watching pupper videos on Youtube.

Which one's your favourite?

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As stunning the bride always looks at her wedding, draped in white silk and adorned with accessories galore, the guests also have a glamorous dress code to adhere to.

Finding the perfect outfit to wear to a winter wedding can be difficult, seeing as winter in Ireland mainly involves wrapping up as warmly as physically possible.

It's downright offensive to have to cover up our chic wedding attires because of the temperature, but pair these gowns with a glam coat and you'll be the belle of every wedding ball. (Apart from the bride, of course, upstaging her is a faux pas) 

dress GIF

We've taken the time to have a snoop across the winter season's new outfits across every fashion site we can think of to find the ULTIMATE fashion frocks for guests.

It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it.

Here are our top 20 winter wedding dresses for guests only… enjoy ladies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There you have it, gals, the fashion bible for wedding guests.

From watching love bloom in all its magic, to the lethal open bar to the vicious hangover suffered the next day, weddings are one of life's greatest parties.

You've got to look your best, purely because of all those professional photographers floating around…

oc dress GIF

Trust us when we say that if you grab any one of these dresses, you'll be the most memorable guest of all.

Sashay away xoxo

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