Oversized Scarves

Can we just take a minute out of our busy Saturdays to give some appreciation to the amazing cosiness that is oversized scarves?

It’s freezing in Dublin today, there are sprinkles of snow falling and I can barely feel my face from the cold, but my trusty chunky oversized scarf is, as always, keeping me warm and cosy.

I wear scarves a lot, but a particular favourite is this new blanket style scarf I got for Christmas from Zara. On days like today it’s my best friend!

  

Just another one to add to my ever growing collection. 

Hope you’re all having a great Saturday!

Sorcha x

Goodbye January


It’s Friday, but it’s no ordinary Friday, it’s the last Friday in January, and for me, it also represents a few other lasts. Because of this, I’ve been reflecting on the past few weeks and how you never know what’s around the corner…

A few weeks back I wrote a short piece about embracing change. That day, I had been given some news that completely took me by surprise. It threw me, it unnerved me, and most of all, it forced me to channel a lot of inner positivity in order to not let it overwhelm me. I coped better than I previously would have in times of change, and looking back now, I’m quite proud of the fact that I didn’t let it consume my every waking thought.

Fast forward three weeks and that change really wasn’t all that bad. Things worked out how they always manage to do, and now that I’m out the other side, I can rationally see how worrying wouldn’t have changed a thing, and certainly wouldn’t have done me any good. I didn’t worry (too much) and turns out I didn’t need to either.

The funniest part is, this change has actually led to a potentially even bigger, scarier change which could bring a lot of uncertainty with it. But I suppose you just have to believe that things happen for a reason. When one door closes, another opens and all that…

This is all very cryptic I’m aware, and it’s not that I don’t want to share the specifics, but more that I want to highlight how things happen (or don’t), and there’s really nothing we can do about it. We can worry, stress, laugh, cry, analyse, whatever – but it won’t change what’s meant to be.

So as I say goodbye to January and look forward to the year ahead, I’ve decided to pour myself a tall glass of wine, sit back and let it all unfold as it should.

I know what I want to achieve this year, and if there are some bumps along the way then so be it. I may have a mini meltdown or two, but either way it’s sure to be an interesting ride.

In the words of one of my favourite songs, ‘I’m on my way. I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way…’

So come on February, I’m ready for you…

Sorcha x

Today’s Look: Denim on Denim

My work attire is relaxed, I work in a big company where the atmosphere is chilled out and there is an emphasis on casual clothing.

My staple work look is a pair of skinny jeans, ankle boots, and a top of some sort. As it doesn’t change much day-to-day, I try to mix it up with changing hair styles and accessories. My make up is usually soft and natural, keeping with neutral tones, simple eyeliner and soft lips.

For today’s look I’ve gone for casual denim on denim, a high hair bun, ankle boots and soft make up with a tinted lip.


My Outfit

  • Denim Jeans: Zara
  • Oversized Denim Shirt: Penneys
  • Ankle Boots: Janella Bone Nubuck Boots from ALDO
  • Jewellery: Gorjana Taner Bar Necklace from Loulerie

 

My Make Up

  • Benefit That Gal Primer
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation
  • Benefit Erase Paste Concealer
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder
  • MAC Brow Pencil in Spiked
  • MAC Penultimate Eyeliner in Rapid Black
  • Benefit ‘Coralista’ Blusher
  • Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara
  • MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil ‘Revved Up’ from the new Ellie Goulding collection (I just bought this and I am loovvving it!)

Have a nice day all…

Sorcha x

Hump Day Blues


It’s Wednesday which means it’s hump day – that middle day of the week when you begin to feel like the end is in sight. Only two more days until the weekend arrives. Usually I feel good on hump days knowing the joy that Friday will bring, but today I’m feeling ‘meh’. Maybe it’s a bout of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or maybe it’s post-wedding blues who knows.

I just feel a bit sad, a bit down, and let’s be honest, a little fed up. Will January ever end?! I don’t even have a point to this post only to vent so please forgive my indulgence. But it’s nice to have an outlet through which I can voice my inner woes.

Don’t you just wish sometimes that you could pack it all in and live a life of freedom? I do…

As I sit here sipping on my morning tea, I’m reminded that my reality is pretty great. I have a great life, and I’m very grateful for it. And I don’t want to seem negative, I’m a very positive person in reality. But today, just for a minute, I’d love to be transported to a paradise island where my only worry is what book to read next.

It will pass, as all bad days do. Nothing a bath and some ‘me time’ won’t cure I’m sure.

I hope you’re having a good hump day. And if you’re not, I hope you’re feeling better soon.

Sorcha x

Lost In Colouring


When I first heard about the new Adult Colouring Book craze a few months back, it immediately caught my attention. As someone who has suffered with anxiety and stress a lot over the years, I try to practice meditation and mindfulness as much as possible and it has really helped me cope in times when I become overwhelmed. I’ve always been open to things a little bit out there (much to the amusement of my new hubbie!), so when I came across this, I just had to find out more.

I bought my first colouring book, ‘The Mindfulness Colouring Book’ just after Christmas. It describes itself as ‘Anti-stress art therapy for busy people’. I have never been any good at art or drawing, but that doesn’t matter when it comes to colouring, so why not give it a try I thought… A few days later as I was strolling around the bookshop as I tend to do, the fashion lover inside me spotted another two books, The Liberty Colouring Book & Vintage Colouring book and I just couldn’t resist. Three colouring books and a packet of colouring pencils – I was now ready to give this a go.



I took them out over the weekend and started colouring. At first it felt weird, I was immediately transported back in time to my childhood, but all of a sudden a half an hour had passed without me even realising. I was lost in the patterns on the pages, a world away from reality and it felt amazing. For some reason Carrie Bradshaw’s quote ‘When Big colours…he rarely stays inside the lines’ from the SACT Movie kept popping into my head at the same time too. Where did that even come from?! Isn’t it funny how the mind works? But what I then realised, was for that whole half an hour I had a big smile on my face, utterly content in my ‘lostness’.

If that’s how I felt after such a short time on a quiet Sunday afternoon, how would I feel if this became a part of my daily life I wondered? Good I reckon, maybe even great. From now on I will happily get lost colouring anytime, and I’m already thinking about sitting down this evening with my pencils and having some time-out.

Ps. When Dave came home and saw colouring books on the bed, he started laughing out loud for a good minute or two. He said he thought I was joking when I told him I had bought a colouring book! So I’m determined to get him colouring also and see what he thinks then.

I’ll keep you posted on that one… 🙂

Sorcha x

Review: Battle of the (Lip) Balms

I am one of those people who suffers from severely dry lips, I have done for as long as I can remember. I literally cannot go more than a few hours without putting balm on before they start to get dry, cracked and sore. For the past few years, Carmex has been my go-to balm when I’m not wearing lippy. I have one beside my bed, one in my handbag and one on my desk in work. Ask any of my close friends what’s the one thing I can’t leave the house without and I’m pretty sure they would say my Carmex (well, maybe after my phone)!

I often read articles however, about how you shouldn’t use the same balms for long periods of time as your lips become so immune to them that the product eventually has no effect. Now whether this is true or not I don’t know, but it got me thinking. Maybe it’s time I tried some of the others on the market.

So in the interest of experimentation, I had a browse at some of the most popular alternatives to see how they would stack up against my usual. After a little research I finally decided on the following: Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm, EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm and Kiehls Lip Balm #1 Original. I tried each of them out over the past few days and here’s a look at how I got on…

Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil (€4.49)

My first opinion of this balm was that it gave my lips a lovely, very slight, tint on application. A balm with a tint that works is a hard combination to come by I thought, I haven’t had great experiences with flavoured balms in the past, but was hopeful that this could be the exception. It started off so well but I’m sorry to say just didn’t quite hit the spot…

Application is smooth and after a quick blend I was on my way. I liked the fact that although it’s flavoured it’s not too strong, but while it did keep my lips moisturised, I felt I had to reapply this so often – much more than I usually would throughout the day. I liked the tint but didn’t love the product. It was just a bit ‘meh’ so I have to say I’m a little let down. Score? I have to go with a middle of the road 6/10.

EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Sweet Mint (€8.99)

 
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the beauty news recently, you may have seen that in the US there have been several cases of women who have had bad reactions to this EOS lip balm. As a result I was nervous to try it (as you might gather from my face in the picture above!). On the flip side, I had previously read some good reviews of this balm so decided to suck it up in the name of beauty and give it a go.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is super hydrating and moisturising, and felt very smooth on application. I also quite like the packaging and sphere shape. The tingly lip sensation from the mint was a nice little addition too and the flavour was not strong at all. I did have a moment of panic that the tingling may be the onset of a bad side-effect, but so far no reaction. I’m cautiously optimistic so I’m going to continue to use it in the hope that nothing bad will happen. My lips felt so soft I just couldn’t deny that this was a good choice (so far anyway). I would have scored this a nine but as I’m a little apprehensive about what regular use will bring, I have to reflect that in the score, so I’m going with an 8/10.*

*I will keep you posted on whether continued use has any negative side effects, in which case obviously my score will dramatically change.

Kiehls Lip Balm #1 Original (€11.00)

 
This Kiehl’s balm is a cult favourite and I know many people who swear by it. It’s very easy to apply and there’s a nice consistency to the balm itself. This was the one I had the highest hopes for but I just didn’t feel that instant deep moisturisation that I got with EOS, or that I get with Carmex. Nooooo!

The consistency is just much lighter that the other two which I’m not used to, so because of that I’m willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt and keep trying it for another while longer. The one big positive was that I didn’t need to apply it that often throughout the day which means it was definitely doing something good, and also means the tube may last longer than my Carmex usually does. It also gives a nice gloss to my lips too. Score: 8/10.

Carmex Lip Pot Original (€3.79)

 
Ah my old reliable. It’s true, I may be a little biased as I’ve been using this one for so long but as I usually use the Carmex tube, for the purposes of fairness, I decided to try the Carmex lip pot this time around. The first thing I noticed was the tingly effect that I used to love so much about Carmex actually pales in comparison to the one I got from EOS. Interesting.

To me, there’s no denying the moisture that Carmex gives your lips, it absorbs into them making them feel very soft, very fast. It also gives my lips a super glossy shine. But in terms of gloss, Kiehls is right up there with it now and actually thinking about it, I go through a lot so maybe it’s not as effective as I thought it was. Score? I would have without a doubt gone with a ten before, but now that I have some comparisons I think it’s more like a 9/10.

So, after all that will I be kicking my Carmex to the curb? Hmmm, I don’t think so. I have a very soft spot for it, but I think it’s got to be willing to share from now on. I’ll be continuing to test EOS and Kiehls over the next while and as none of these hit the ten mark, I’m now determined to find a 10/10 balm.

Any suggestions? If your favourites aren’t on here then please share them with me so I can add them to my test list.

Sorcha x

 

 

Brunch Time: Union Café

This weekend was all about brunch for me, so much so, I went to the same place on Saturday AND Sunday. Who does that?… Anyone?! The place in question was the new Union Café in Mount Merrion which I have heard a lot of great things about over the past few weeks, but with our wedding and Christmas I just hadn’t got around to trying it.

Yesterday was the day I finally got to give it a go when I met with two of my oldest friends for a good old fashioned girly catch up. Unfortunately they hadn’t been able to make the wedding, and one of them also just had a baby, so needless to say we had a LOT to talk about!

The girls were already there when I arrived and had a lovely cosy table with a big couch in the centre of the room. Sometimes when you sit at couches in restaurants I find you sink into them so much it’s hard to eat your meal, but these were so comfy and the perfect height. We ordered some bubbles and began chattering away, eventually realising we had to actually order some food.

The all day brunch menu has a great selection, but as we met later in the day, we decided to opt for salads rather than breakfast. I ordered the Dundrum Bay Crab Salad and the girls ordered the Rotisserie Free Range Chicken. The portion sizes were large so we took our time eating in between sipping our drinks and catching up on all our news. My salad was lovely and fresh, and the crab was particularly tasty too. The girls had nothing but good things to say about their choices also.

Although it was very busy when we were there, we didn’t really notice which is always good sign and the atmosphere was very relaxed. After a good two hours, we said our goodbyes, but having seen the breakfast menu, I was excited to be revisiting this morning with one of my besties.

When I arrived at 10.30am, it was very quiet but the lovely atmosphere still remained. I ordered a cuppa and perused the menu until my friend arrived a few minutes later. This time I went for the Bacon and Eggs which was delicious (if not a little bold), but so reasonably priced for the portion size. Once again, we were left to sit and relax with no interruptions, ordering another round of coffees two hours in.

All in all, I really enjoyed both experiences here and will definitely be back for brunch again soon. I’m also looking forward to trying out their dinner menu. Unfortunately one friend of mine did have a bad experience here a little while ago, but I’m hoping that was just a once off and that the high standard I experienced will continue.

Only time will tell…

Sorcha x

Travel: Village at Lyons

This day last week I posted about going on a girls weekend away to a secret location for my good friend Nikki’s hen party which I can now reveal was at the lovely Village at Lyons in Kildare. Although this was to be my first travel review, I have failed miserably so you will have to forgive me! Due to hen celebrations and copious amounts of Prosecco, there wasn’t much time for reviewing and photo taking. But I will share what I have…

I’ve heard so much about the Lyons Estate over the past few years, it has become a very popular venue for weddings and I can see why. From the moment you arrive you’re transported into an air of relaxation and luxury, and although the weekend wasn’t about relaxation for us, we still took some time to appreciate the beautiful buildings and stunning surroundings.

We had booked three of the self-catering cottages for our night away and they didn’t disappoint. We were staying in the Jolly Angler cottage when upon entering, you are greeted by marble floors, two bright living rooms and very large kitchen which was perfect for entertaining. Upstairs, four poster beds and luxurious furnishings are found throughout each of the three bedrooms as well as en-suite bathrooms in each. The old stone buildings are so picturesque with duck egg green painted doors and windows. And the old 70s VW Van sitting in the cottage courtyard is very boho (wedding photo op alert!).

On Saturday evening we ate in the hotel’s main restaurant, dinner is usually a three course menu but we had lots of sweet treats back in our house so opted for two courses instead. I went with a deep fried brie salad to start (so bold but so delicious!) which was followed by a medium rare fillet steak with parsley mash. The food was of a very high standard and got great feedback from all the girls. The breakfast the following morning was equally good, not a huge selection, but it had everything you need to abate a hangover that’s for sure!

As reviews go, this really isn’t a proper one I’m aware! I promise I’ll do better next time. But if you’re ever looking for a relaxing weekend away then I would say this one is definitely worth giving a go. I can’t comment on the house bedrooms, but the self-catering is very comfortable and pretty. There aren’t many facilities in the hotel itself, there is a café which was unfortunately closed when we were there, but that staff are amazing and incredibly helpful, there are lovely grounds for walking, and, it is close to Kildare Village if you fancied a girly shopping trip with a night or two away thrown in.

So there you go. That’s the first new place I’ve visited in 2016 to put on my resolution list.

Happy Weekend!

Sorcha x

DVF – Love Diane

If you’re a DVF fanatic like me, you’ll know that Diane Von Furstenberg signs everything off with Love, Diane. However, for the purposes of this post, I am playing around with the punctuation and changing it to Love Diane. Because I do, I love her!

I love what she stands for, her freedom of spirit, her ambition, and her love for life. ‘The Woman I Wanted to Be’, her latest memoir, was one of my favourites, if not favourite, read of 2015 and just further fuelled my admiration for her. If you love fashion and haven’t read this, it’s a must by the way.

I own several DVF items from dresses, to blouses, to bags; even my iPhone covers are DVF! Everything I wear of hers just feels good on, particularly as I sometimes find it difficult to get good tailored clothing to suit my curves. Her clothes just fit so well, oh, and are always the size they say they are on the label. None of your teeny versions of sizes here, joy!

Anyway, I recently purchased this little beauty which I’ve been saving in its pretty packaging for a rainy day. This always happens me! I buy lovely things then don’t want to use them so they don’t get worn. Does anyone else do this or am I just a weirdo? Anyone?!

Anyway, I finally decided this week it was time to take it out to play. Isn’t it cute?

Sorcha x

January Book List

I think most people who enjoy writing love to read, and I am certainly no exception to that rule. I read a lot, and still wish had more time to do it. While on honeymoon I read five books over two weeks and it was utter bliss – that’s one of the best things about holidays if you ask me – having the time to read.

But honeymoon is long over now (sad face) and I haven’t read a book since I got home four weeks ago which is very out of character for me. But it was Christmas, then New Year, then I started my blog and went back to work, so my free time has been otherwise occupied. But my book list has been slowly growing so it’s time to get back to it!

Reading, along with writing, is my form of escapism, as it is for many of you I’m sure. And although I’m a little late with this post, here’s a look at what’s on my book list for January:

Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín

I’m really looking forward to reading this and frankly don’t know how it has escaped me up to now. But with all the hype around the movie release, I’m determined to have it read before someone reveals the plot to me. I also can’t stand seeing movies based on books without having ready the book first! Anyone else have a pet peeve about this?! Anyway, so that I don’t run the risk of finding out too much, this will be my first read, starting tonight.

Girl Boss – Sophia Amoruso

I’ve had this on my book list for a while now and just haven’t got around to reading it but I’ve decided this is the month to tackle it. I’ve heard mixed reviews so I’m cautiously curious and will have to keep you posted on this one.

Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert

This is the one I’m most excited about of the three. Although Gilbert’s most famous book, Eat Pray Love, received a mixed bag of reviews, I loved it. I was travelling South America when I read it, and therefore the dreamer in me could identify with her story. I too was on a soul-searching journey at the time and it was a great companion along the way. Naturally I therefore have high hopes for Big Magic, not least because I just like how Gilbert writes. It has been described as self-help, feel good book full of common sense – I’m not sure what to make of that commentary but it I’m intrigued.

So there you go, I better get cracking if I want to finish them by the end of the month! I’ll be sure to share my thoughts once I’m done.

Oh! And I’m always on the hunt for good book suggestions, so please feel free to share your favourites. There can never be too many books on your wish list!

Sorcha x