Running and cycling keeps Lauren in shape
ALTHOUGH originally from Birmingham, 22-year-old Lauren McManus now counts Fermanagh as her home.
Having lived here for the last seven years, the petite blonde is well settled in Swanlinbar.
And as a Textile and Fashion Design student on a gap year from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, she was the perfect candidate for our Lifestyle section this week.
In her first look of the day, a dress from Urban Outfitters and shoes from Faith, she acknowledges she has become a bit of a familiar face about town, with a part-time job at Flo's restaurant in Enniskillen.
"I have been working there for three years now," she says, in her Brummie accent, "Flo's a real mother hen, she's great and it's a real community in there. You get to know all the loyal customers and it gets to the point that you know what they are going to order before they even ask. There are some great characters in there."
In shorts from TopShop, a black top from Mango and shoes from Kurt Geiger Lauren explains that she moved to Fermanagh to live with her father, who tragically passed away from cancer earlier this year.
"Looking back now, I'm so glad that I did move over now to spend time with him," she says, "It was meant to be.
"I would class Fermanagh as my home now. The only reason I would go to Birmingham is to see my family over there...or to shop!"
Lauren is using up a lot of her spare time at the moment to train for the local 10K on June 16.
Running in aid of the Irish Cancer Society, it will be a big day for her and her family.
"The Irish Cancer Society helped my dad through his sickness," she explains, "It's going to be a tough day because it's the day before Father's Day. He used to raise a lot of money for charity himself.
"I run quite a bit around Florencecourt because we live close by. We also have a family business for cycling, Wildflower Cycling, so if I'm not running at the moment, I'm cycling.
"I have a sponsor form up in Flo's, or go through the website and you can donate there."
In her third outfit of the day, a floral Urban Outfitters dress and turquoise shoes from Primark, Lauren says her style is a mixture of the old and the new.
"I love vintage things. I like mixing and matching. I would go to charity or thrift stores -- Belfast has a good selection. I would even have a rummage down the town here in the charity shops, there are always good finds out there. And Birmingham is great for little boutiques. I would usually go to Urban Outfitters because it has everything, a really good range, and TopShop."
And in her next look, a pair of H&M shorts, a tee-shirt from TopShop ad jewellery from a charity shop, she describes how she is inspired by the fashion in Japan.
"I would love to go there some day," says Lauren, "Their fashion is so cool. I am actually going to Boston for a month this summer because I have family over there."
Looking forward to returning to her studies this September following her gap year, Lauren says she has aspirations of using her artistic skills to help
"I would love to do holistic therapy with my art, or become a teacher," she explains, wearing a TopShop tee-short, a vintage belt, jeggings from TopShop and shoes from River Island, "My dad had bowel cancer and he used woodwork as a means of holistic healing during his treatment. I saw first hand how it helped him too, which is why it is so important to me.
"Dad always worked with the youth as well and young children, so it would be nice to follow in his footsteps in that way."
This article appeared in Impartial Reporter 14 Jun 12