Life

Marie Louise McConville: I'm hoping luck will smile on me in 2018

Marie Louise has decided to put herself first in 2018

Here we are then.

So, what's the plan?

Have you even thought about it?

2018 has begun people and apparently, now is the time to set out some goals for the next 12 months.

Personally, I've never really been one for making New Year's resolutions.

I remember making some when I was younger but as I got older I realised, what's the point? I'll only break them anyway.

And, apart from that, I think resolutions put too much pressure on people - and that's never a good thing.

After all, we're only human.

Yes, it would be nice to lose that really annoying stone or two in weight but not if it is going to make us miserable and yes, it would be nice to finally pass the driving test but not if it leaves us in a state of panic and struggling with anxiety.

I think people definitely put themselves under too much stress. All this talk about a new year ahead, a new year full of opportunities and how we should rise to all the challenges before us.

Come on, there really is no need and most of the time, it's just to impress others anyway. I think it's time we started thinking more about ourselves.

So, with that in mind, controversially, I have decided to make two New Year's resolutions this year.

Nope, I've not decided to run the New York marathon nor have I decided to cook healthy meals every night (come on, who has the time).

I have decided in 2018 to be more selfish.

Yes, you heard me right.

I know it sounds self-obsessed and a little bit mean but hear me out.

This year I have decided to do more things that make me happy - not other people.

Now, I should point out that obviously the needs of my family will always come first but aside from that, in every day life, I am going to be a bit more selfish from here on in.

You see, the thing is. I've always been more than happy to help other people out and go that extra mile to assist someone and usually, I am the first to jump in with an offer of support but sometimes I feel like people take advantage

Sometimes, it's a case of people assuming you will do it because you normally do and so I find myself driving or running all over the place for other people when I could be doing something I want to do or something with the kids.

I'm not saying I will stop helping people - no way - but I will be cutting down on how much running about I do for other people and when I get asked if I mind doing something or going somewhere, I will think long and hard about it before I give an answer.

On top of this, when an offer comes my way, I will not think of others first - as I currently do all the time - but rather, do I want to do this and will it make me happy?

And while I'm on a roll, I've also made another resolution.

In 2018 I am going to try and increase my luck by entering absolutely every competition that comes my way - as long as it's free.

So far this year, I'm in the running to win a diamond ring, bunk beds, a carpet cleaning treatment, a mysterious beauty box, a bouncy castle and a fancy dress for Abbie - and it's only January 5.

I have been lucky in the past as a few years ago I won two holidays on the same day - one to Las Vegas and one to the Isle of Wight Music Festival.

And, before that, I won two mobile phones in a radio competition.

But recently, not much winning has fallen this way so, I am going to be very pro-active with competitions this year and keep my fingers crossed that I win quite the collection of items.

So peeps, that's the plan for 2018.

I'm going to be doing more things for me, myself and I and I'll be trying to win myself lots of fab prizes - doesn't sound half bad.

If you've made some New Year's resolutions, I wish you luck and hope you find the success you're looking for.

And, remember, if you don't, well, there's always next year and no doubt it will be ringing in much sooner than we think.

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Competition

It's a New Year and you know what that means – it's time for a New You too.

The New Year can leave us feel dull, dreary and bored, so how do you fancy a new hair do, courtesy of Zuni Hair in Belfast?

Based at University Street in the south of the city, Zuni Hair has an outstanding team of stylists who will work their magic to give you the makeover you deserve for a New Year.

And how about a break from the norm in 2018?

A host of stars including actress Kate Hudson and model Cara Delevigne have both recently embraced the chop.

L'Oréal colour champion, Suzan Manning, who is based at Zuni Hair, said it is all about being true to yourself in 2018.

"High fashion is embracing naturalness,” she said.

"Short hair is still versatile, slick it back, wear it flat or tousle it up. Whatever your style, own it”.

And, to help you start the New Year in style, I have three Zuni Hair vouchers to give away to three readers, each for a cut and blow dry.

If you fancy winning a voucher, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to competitions@irishnews.com

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, January 9, 2018

(Q) Where is Zuni Hair based in Belfast?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply

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What's Hot?

Revival - Actors Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser are reportedly engaged in "informal talks" about reprising their roles in their hit nineties sitcom, Mad About You. Great news. I can't believe it's been more than 18 years since their beloved newlywed characters Paul and Jamie left our TV screens.

Diet - A new study has revealed that children who eat fish once a week have higher IQ scores - by 4.8 points - than those who don't. It was also found that seafood makes children less likely to wake in the night and reduces tiredness during the day. Time for a diet change.

Big Change - It's been hinted that the next 007 could be female. When asked about Daniel Craig's replacement, producer Barbara Broccoli, who is in charge of the highly lucrative spy series, said: "Anything is possible".

So Not!

Disappointment - Fans of the fabulous Dr Foster series have been left disappointed after star of the show, Suranne Jones revealed there are "no plans" for a third series of the show. The comments came amid rumours that a third series was in the works after a shock twist left fans with a cliffhanger after season two.

Postpone - Colombian singer Shakira has been forced to reschedule her El Dorado world tour for a second time due to continuing problems with a haemorrhage on one of her vocal cords. The 40-year-old said the injury needed "more time and care to heal".

New Year - We all love a clean slate but January is a horrible, horrible month. It's so cold and long and we're skint for ages. I'm really not wishing time away but can anyone see February on the horizon yet?

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Competition

The winners of the Greatest Showman competition are Margaret Stephens, from Belfast, Teresa Smith, from Strabane, and Helen Donnelly, from Newry

The winners of the Organic Shop competition are Kate McCann, from Cookstown, Myra McKeever, from Antrim, and Zara O'Connell, from Moneyreagh

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Easy Peasy Recipe

This week's Easy Peasy Recipe is Chicken Noodle Soup

You will need:

900ml chicken or vegetable stock

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 tsp chopped fresh root ginger

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

50g rice or wheat noodles

2 tbsp sweetcorn

2-3 mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 spring onions, shredded

2 tsp soy sauce

To Make:

Pour the stock into a pan and add the chicken, ginger and garlic.

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, partly cover and simmer for 20 mins, until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken and shred into bite-size pieces.

Return the chicken to the stock with the noodles, sweetcorn, mushrooms, half the spring onions and the soy sauce.

Simmer for 3-4 mins until the noodles are tender.

Transfer into bowls and scatter over the remaining spring onions.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Marie Louise McConville,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,

Belfast,

BT1 2GE

or

m.mcconville@irishnews.com

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