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My Most Treasured Possession

I am the girl who forgets to accessorise. I have an abundance of necklaces and earrings that people have bought me over the years, yet I always forget to put them on. It’s not because I don’t like jewellery or that I hate it to wear it, I just simply forget to wear those last pieces.

I envy those girls who remember. They look so cool, letting their statement pieces do the talking, their rose gold and sparkly embellishments glinting at me and making me realise I am accessory naked.

There is one piece, however, that I never forget to put on. It’s my most favourite possession and I thought I’d share it with you.

hands
My partner Niall bought me this Alexander McQueen skull ring for my birthday, the first birthday we spent together. I’d been utterly obsessed with it for a while, as I am with all things McQueen. I love the red gems in the eyes of the skull, I love the publish style to it, I love how heavy it weighs on my hand. It always makes me feel a little tougher, a little edgier, a little bolder. I love the memory of going into Selfridges and picking it out, rosy cheeked and wide eyed. It’s without a doubt my favourite possession and probably the one thing I’d rescue from a burning building.
What is your favourite possession?

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Imminent Overhaul

There comes a time, roughly around every year for me, where I feel the need for a style overhaul. I get tired of wearing the same clothes and feeling like I always look the same. Last night I went to see the goddess that is Lana Del Rey in Liverpool, and realised how much I simply adore her and her style. She is feminine yet edgy, stunning but cool about it. She performed last night in jeans, a black jumper, heels and had a slick of eyeliner on yet somehow looked out of this world.

 

That’s the kind of look I want to be able to recreate. I want to look casual, classy, carefree but also feminine, beautiful and timeless with a little edge. I want to look minimalist at first glance, but then interesting upon a second look. With Lana Del Rey as my inspiration, I have maimed my wardrobe and am ready for some new purchases.

 

So I did what any person wanting an overhaul would do – I had a little browse online. I thought I’d share with you my River Island wishlist from today:river island

River Island currently offer 25% off their womenswear collection if you buy this month’s ELLE magazine (I’m an avid subscriber). I’m currently waiting on payday, but when it finally arrives (roll on Friday), all of these goodies will be in my shopping basket.

 

I’ve tried to stick to a colour base of black, white, red, cream and a little blue, that way I can mix and match my new pieces. I hate it when I buy something that goes with nothing that I already own so have to keep purchasing. Plus, autumn is coming and I love nothing more than to stick to wearing darker colours and have pops of brighter shades like red to make my outfit a little less ‘blend into the background’. I’ve picked classic cuts like the blazer, but ‘punk’ patterns to toughen the look up a bit. I’ve chosen relaxed silhouettes for the day, but outfits that will emphasise my waist and hourglass figure for the night. I’m an avid embroidery fan, as you may already know, and stick a few studs or embellishments next to that embroidery and I am sold!

 

I’ll keep you up to date with my style overhaul and any other purchases I may make. Hopefully pretty soon I will start to feel excited by my wardrobe again.

Who is your style crush? What’s on your autumn wishlist?

Croatia 

I have spent the last week traveling in Croatia, spending the majority of my time in Split and Hvar. This post will be a bit different to a travel blog because I’d rather tell you about the bits you want to know about than recounting my entire trip away. Therefore, I will share some of my favourite photos from the trip, a list of the few activities that we did there and will leave the comments box for you to ask any questions you may have. That way my travel post is what you want to hear, not just a list of what I did – hope you like the pictures!



 Some of the things we did:

* walked to a fort

* went off-road biking

* boat rides to islands

* saw sunset at different spots

* went to the national park in Split

* yacht spotted

* went on a night out

* shopped at the markets 

A Tale Of Two Holidays

Today’s post isn’t going to be a long one, but it made me smile so I thought I’d share it. The day before I left for Croatia (where I am now and can’t WAIT to tell you all about) I received two online orders that couldn’t be further apart.

This photo caption would read : When Iceland Meets Croatia 


I hope you’re all well and that the photo, a tale of two very different trips that I am to experience, makes you smile too.

What To Wear On A City Break

Packing for any holiday is a difficult task, but for a city break it is ten times harder. When you visit a city, you usually visit to see lots of touristy attractions and experience bustling city life rather than relax around the pool like on a beach break. You want to be cute but practical, you need to be comfortable but cutting edge… there are a whole list of contradictory terms that you need to encapsulate into one outfit.

I’m lucky to have gone to a fair few cities recently such as New York, Dublin, Liverpool and London, and I feel like during my recent visit to Dublin I really perfected my city wear wardrobe. I thought I’d share a few photos with you as well as my top tips on how to go through your wardrobe and decide what to wear.


1. Flats, flats, flats. This one is a no brainer, but still needs a mention as I know that I myself get tempted by the lure of wearing my prettiest heels. However, the reality is that you will be walking for miles a day and need to be comfortable. I was never a trainer girl, but I wear my Vans and Converse for comfort and still feel like I look cute. I also wore ankle boots on the days I knew would be bad weather.

2. Layers, layers, layers. This was key in particular in Dublin, where one minute it was lashing down with rain and the next all was bright and beautiful. You need to have lightweight layers that you won’t mind carrying if you need to but that will also keep you warm if the sun decides to make an appearance.

3. Go simple yet beautiful. I didn’t wear anything too out there or crazy on my trip to Dublin, simply because with a small suitcase you have to mix and match what you can wear. However, I chose simple pieces that had beautiful details, such as the lace and thrills on the white top photographed. That top can just as easily be worn around the shops on a daytime as it can be around bars on a night time. My main bit of advice would be to think of pieces that are a little more unusual, that are multifunctional, that have a few little details that make them stand out and wear those.

4. Big up the bag. This is a rule I am going to take with me for the next time I travel – you need a decent sized handbag or bag. When you’re walking around a city all day, you might need a drink and don’t want to carry that all the time. You might want to take off a layer and have somewhere to store it. You might have purchased a gift that you need to put away… the list of reasons why a good sized bag is needed goes on and on. I would still take a handbag, probably a simple black one that will easily coordinate with any outfit, but I’d take a fairy large one so I can use it for all of my needs throughout a day. 

5. Print it up! Prints are so, so versatile. They add an edge and a point of interest to any outfit. My paisley dress I simply teamed up with a pair of leggings and pumps and instantly felt like I looked a little cooler and more colourful. My floral jacket added colour and edge to a simple pair of jeans and a tshirt. Prints do all the talking in an outfit and make what is actually a very simple outfit look a whole lot more interesting and stylish.
If you’d like to know where any of the items photographed are from, please feel free to leave a comment. 

What are your wardrobe tips for travelling?

Wicklow Wandering

After our few nights in Dublin, my partner and I travelled to Wicklow as that’s where his family originates from. As this was my first time in Ireland, I was keen to see as much as I could so this post is all about Wicklow Town. 

First of all, this place is incredibly beautiful. For anyone looking for peace and serenity, this place is a must. 

Wicklow Town isn’t the biggest place, but there are plenty of places to eat and drink and there are lots of independent shops which are lovely to visit. Of course there are plenty of pubs, most also offering food and live entertainment. The beach is stunning with the clearest water I have ever seen in an ocean before. 

We came for the bank holiday weekend which is the time of the Wicklow Regatta. The regatta had a great atmosphere with many local teams competing in boat races. 

The rest of this post is going to be dedicated to photos of Wicklow because really they are the bit that will show you the best what a place this is. Wicklow is a beautiful, peaceful spot, easily accessible from Dublin via bus and one that I would recommend visiting. If you want a taste of traditional Ireland, then get yourself to Wicklow.


Wicklow harbour


The main road in Wicklow


The Black Castle ruins


Views of Wicklow

Dublin Nightlife: Temple Bar Hotspots

We have spent two nights in Dublin and have loved every second of it. We have stayed at DCA All Hallows, an ex missionary training school a short taxi ride from the centre of Dublin. First of all, if you fancy a fairly cheap stay in an atmospheric, historical spot then this is the place to stay!!

What I am going to blog about today is the nightlife in Dublin. Be warned – Dublin is very, very expensive, much more expensive than we anticipated. However it is a stunning city with something going off on every corner and history oozing from every street and alleyway. 

I’m going to review my favourite hotspots in the Temple Bar district of Dublin, the most famous spot for drinking and socialising in Dublin. Naively, when I first heard the name Temple Bar I assumed it was one place, but it’s a whole area of Dublin filled with an array of of bars and pubs. I selected a few of my favourite places to tell you about which to me gave a taste of the different parts of Dublin nightlife. 


Dublin Nightlife : Temple Bar Hotspots 

1. The Cool Spot – The Turks Head

2. The Traditional Irish Pub – Quays Bar

3. The Best Unique Secret – Vintage Cocktail Bar
The Turks Head is a beautiful decorated, dark, intimate venue. That’s not to say that the place is small, just that it is so cleverly done out that everything feels a bit romantic and intimate. There are booths and little sofas for two, as well as larger booths and tables for groups. Outside seating is available, however it was raining when we ventured here. 

Cocktails are €10, a price I found to be common around Temple Bar, and they sell a wide selection of spirits and beers. The atmosphere was chilled and welcoming but importantly staff left you to just enjoy your time there. A totally unique spot and one definitely worth a visit.

We couldn’t go to Temple Bar without going to an Irish pub, and they didn’t come more Irish than this. Gaelic football was on the television, and Irish singer was in the other room and Guinness was flowing. The bar was split in two, with one half being more chilled and the other half being a LOT rowdier. We chose the more chilled side as it was a Gaelic football final, however the side with the musician on looked fun too – just prepare for a few drinks spilt on you with all of the dancing from in there! 

This pub was everything I imagined it would be – loud, full of laughter and fun and very, very Irish. The drinks choices were very traditional – no fancy cocktails here. There wasn’t a vast selection of wine but most people were drinking pints there. It was a great experience to drink there and was the best traditional Irish pub we went to in Temple Bar.

Now for the best kept secret in Temple Bar – The Vintage Cocktail Club. You would not know this place existed if you didn’t know about it and half of the fun is finding the place so I won’t spoil it for you, however of you get to this hotel then you have gone too far.


We booked a table in advance, knowing how hard it is to get in. There are no signs to say where the bar is aside from the door that says VCC on it. To get in, you must ring a doorbell. Entering this place is like stepping back in time – you half expect to see WW1 soldiers or spies sat in the corner. The entire venue is mostly lit by candlelit, providing a romantic feel and only serving to enhance the secretive feel about the place. The decor is beautiful and very vintage – I didn’t take too many photos as I don’t want to spoil the surprise/secret for anyone!

The cocktails were out of this world – my recommendation for any gin lover is the Trouble and Strife. At €11.95 they aren’t the cheapest but they were by far the best. The drinks menu is essentially a book and tells stories of the history of cocktails, so I would have a look online before going because the choice is vast and very, very tempting.

This was by far my favourite bar in Dublin. It was so unique and so cleverly thought out. Visiting here was as much a part of a night out as an experience and I would highly recommend it for anyone who is looking for a unique experience in Dublin. 

There you have it – my Dublin nightlife guide! There are by far many, many other bars and places to visit in Temple Bar and I didn’t manage to visit them all, but the three I have chosen were the best in my opinion and gave a wide range of nightlife experiences.

Mini Break Packing Tips

This weekend, I head to Ireland to spend two nights in Dublin and 2 nights in Wicklow. Having never been to Ireland before, I am very excited – however the weather forecast is a packing nightmare! It is forecast to rain each day, however there should be breaks of sunshine with temperatures around 19 degrees. With only having a small carry on bag each that can weigh no bigger than 10kg, packing for this trip has been a logistical nightmare.

I’ve whittled my case down and have created some top packing tips for mini breaks to share with you all:

  • Only pack essential electronics. Electronics take up so much room that you simply do not have. Most hotel rooms have a hair dryer, so don’t bother packing that. I chose to bring my hair straighteners as they are the most versatile – I can use them to curl or straighten my hair.
  • Pick a wardrobe colour scheme and stick to it. When you have limited space, you need to pick your clothes cleverly. You will have to wear your jeans more than one day in a row and you will need shoes that are practical as well as ones that are dressy. Outfits need to be able to mix and match to maximise the most of your space. I’ve picked clothes with a black, white and grey colour scheme with my clothes so I know I can mix and match my outfits, then I chose a jacket that will add a pop of colour and match any of the tops that I choose to wear.
  • Pick 2 interesting items only to dress up your outfits. You don’t have the room to bring all your favourite new, show stopping pieces. Instead, you need to be selective. My show stopping pieces are the Topshop bag (as photographed) and the black Missguided heels (also photographed) to dress up my outfits and add a much needed burst of coolness to my simple wardrobe. Pick cleverly with items that will match an array of outfits.
  • Travel minis are a must. Due to the mini suitcase being a carry on case, there are limits as to what you can carry on with you. The content of bottles must be no bigger than 100ml. Some travel minis, such as shampoo and shower gel, hotels usually have available, however I did buy my own shampoo and conditioner as I like to use specific products. There are some travel minis that you don’t realise you will need until you get there, such as makeup remover and deodorant. Some people wait until they are abroad to purchase these, however I like to go prepared and there are so many deals on minis that I don’t see the benefit in waiting and spending a chunk of your first day stocking up on toiletries rather than exploring. Superdrug have a great range of travel minis and always have a deal on with them, so stock up and travel happy.
  • Think about your planned activities and pack accordingly. For some people, a pair of dressy shoes and a fancy handbag wouldn’t be essentials, however we are going out in Dublin and also for the Irish bank holiday in Wicklow, so for me these two items were important. However, if I were on a walking holiday, those two items would not be in the case. Think about what activities you will be doing, what you would wear/need to do them here and prioritise the important pieces from there.

 

There you have them – my top packing tips! There’s no doubt about it, mini break packing isn’t easy – because let’s face it no one wants to streamline their wardrobe that much- but I hope these tips really help.

What are your top packing tips for mini breaks?

Summer Travel Plans

I’ve been a little absent from my blog recently, but now that it’s the summer holidays (5 weeks off for this very tired teacher!) I can finally devote a little more time to my blog and to reading everyone else’s wonderful posts.

I will be away for a little time this summer as I am travelling to Ireland and to Croatia (I’ve also booked to go to Iceland at Christmas!) so I will be keeping you all posted about my travels. I will also be spending a little time in Liverpool this summer for Lana Del Rey’s concert and for a friend’s birthday – what can I say, my summer is looking good!

The one thing that is not looking good is my wardrobe for all of these events. First of all, I booked fairly late on to Croatia so now most of the shops seem to be winding down their summer stock which isn’t great news for me. I’ve paid a lot out for these trips so I don’t have an ultimate supply of cash to treat myself, however I haven’t had a new bikini since I was 19 and at 23 I think that needs to change. Plus try finding ANYTHING that you can wear in Iceland.

I am very lucky to be able to go on these trips. I have saved and worked hard to be able to pay for them and I cannot wait for my travels to begin. I also want to look a bit nicer than I currently do (hair scraped up, makeup free, pjs still on even though it’s nearing lunchtime… the perks of a summer off!)

My favourite purchase so far is this ASOS beach cover up…

dress

This product is abysmal to take a photo of on a hanger due to it’s plunging neckline, cross over straps and layers of material but trust me when I say it looks really unique and cool when on – just follow the link to ASOS and see for yourself! It is quite literally the most colourful thing I own and probably will ever own, but I love the drama of it! It makes me feel like a goddess, what more could a girl want from her clothes? At £32 I think it’s a bargain as I can wear it as my statement piece holiday and holiday after holiday.

ASOS is always my go to place to shop and has been ever since my student days. It’s fairly new feature of a size guide really helps when buying brands I haven’t shopped from before and makes it so online shopping is still a little more personal and tailored to my wants and needs.

 

What are your summer plans? Plus if you know any places where I can buy some great last minute summer bits then please let me know.

 

I Tried A Long Jacket And I Liked It

The duster coat has been a trend for a while now, but one that at 5 foot 3 I wasn’t sure I could really get involved with. I’ve tried them on before and trust me when I say that I looked ridiculous – short, chubbier than I am, shapeless… they just weren’t for me.

But then I discovered this New Look cutie for only £9.99:

duster.jpg

First of all, I can only apologise for the appalling photo – it’s not easy getting a full length photo selfie and I had to crop the mess out in the background because it was just too shameful… but seriously how cute is the jacket?!

It’s long like a duster coat but has a kimono style to it. The cut is simple so my short frame doesn’t look like it’s drowning in layers of material. It’s floral but not floral overkill. It allows me to dress up an outfit and as an all black kind of girl adds a tiny nod of colour to whatever I wear. It’s soft and lightweight which is perfect for summer months, and did I mention that it was only £9.99?! Bargain!

 

I think this coat may be the start of me trying out ‘new’ things and trends. I often see things I like in shops and think “that won’t suit me” or “I’d never get away with that”, but maybe it’s about time I at least tried them. I never thought I’d like myself in a longer coat because of my height, but in this jacket I do. I think it’s about looking at the specific item, not the trend and if I like it then I should at least try it and not dismiss it instantly. That’s my new shopping outlook from now on … I apologise in advance bank balance!