This weekend Dave and I are heading off to the next stop on our Year of the Holiday, Italy. We’ve been so lucky this year to have already been to some amazing places including Paris and Ibiza, and now our next stop is Rome. I’ve never been to Italy before so I am literally bursting with excitement to get there.
Those of you who’ve been following my blog will know by now that I’m a hopeless romantic and I have hopelessly romantic ideas of Rome in my mind. I go from imagining Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday to Elizabeth Gilbert on her journey of self-discovery in Eat, Pray, Love, and I just can’t wait to get there. As clichéd as it sounds, that’s the kind of Rome I want to experience. Love, magic, art, architecture and above all, food!
I can’t wait to see all the incredible sights; The Vatican, The Colosseum, The Trevi Fountain, and to experience authentic, delicious Italian pasta and pizza for the first time, to sip prosecco and rosé in the sun and of course do some shopping. Eeek!
We have four full days and nights there which I’m told, is plenty of time to do everything we want to do. But here’s where I need your help… Apart from all the obvious places, what else should we do? If you’ve been to Rome what was your favourite thing you did there? Whatever your tips or suggestions I’d love to hear them so please send them on.
We plan on spending Friday in the Vatican City, visiting St. Peter’s Square and many of the museums; on Saturday we plan to discover the secrets of ancient Rome at the Colosseum and Forum while Sunday and Monday will be spent around Palazzo Navona, the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. And on top of all that, I’m hoping some of my lovely readers will have a few other little gems that I can add to our list.
Although our trip is going to be busy, I also can’t wait to sit in a bar or café out on the street, whiling away the hours people watching, relaxing, doing nothing… Il dolce far niente as the Italian’s like to call it.
For for those of you who haven’t been to Rome before, I promise to share all our experiences, tips and suggestions with you all once I return home.
By now many of you will know about the ‘My Faves’ series. And for those of you who don’t, basically each week I hero one of my all-time favourite products that I use consistently all the time and always have on hand for when I need them.
In many of the posts I talk about my favourite makeup, but there’s also skincare and haircare products, perfume, nail products, in other words all my favourite lotions and potions.
Today I’m talking about a product which I’m sure pretty much all of you are familiar with, Bio Oil. The miracle that is Bio Oil. I’ve been using this for as long as I can remember, at least since I was a teenager, and I never let a bottle run out before restocking.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Bio Oil, it is an oil which contains some incredible ingredients including Vitamins A&E, Lavender, Rosemary and Chamomile oils and, what Bio Oil call their breakthrough ingredient ‘PurCellin Oil’ which ensures the oil is easily absorbed by the skin.
I’ve used this for so many things over the years, I’ve suffered from psoriasis since I was very young so therefore my skin is very dry. Bio Oil is great for putting on bad patches of psoriasis to ease that tight, soreness you get if you’re having a bad break out. Now that I’m older my psoriasis is much better, but I do still suffer from bad bouts, I get very dry elbows and knees and for some reason my forehead is always the first to get hit. Right on the face for all to see! But Bio Oil always helps.
Also, two years ago now I had a minor surgery on my wrist and was left with a very bad scar as a result. I use Bio Oil religiously on this everyday, and the difference it has made has been incredible. Unfortunately I don’t have a picture to show you of what the scar looked like at the beginning, it wasn’t big, but it was a deep red colour and lumpy, but by using Bio Oil everyday I’ve reduced the look of it completely. And although still noticeable, it’s nowhere near as offensive as it was.
It basically can be used for everything. I’ve used it on other minor scars which have all but disappeared, sun burn, and not to mention my stretch marks (I hate to say it but I’ve got plenty of those), which definitely seem to have eased in appearance – I don’t think anything can magically make them go away but this helps believe me!
None of the ‘My Faves’ posts are advertisements, if you choose to try them then that’s great, if not then that’s great too, I just hope you enjoyed the read! The purpose really is just to talk about the things I love, and products that I get multiple use out of over and over and over again. I love Bio Oil, I mean I really love it, love it. If they ever stopped making it I literally don’t know what I would do! There are so many products on the market that sometimes you can get swept away by all the advertising (well I can anyway), but there’s a lot to be said for those old faithful products that never let you down too.
Bio Oil comes in three sizes, I have the 60ml bottle which costs €12.49 in Boots, but there are two other bigger sizes as well.
I am one of MAC’s biggest fans, I absolutely love their makeup, particularly their lipsticks and foundations. However, for some reason I’ve never really tried any of their skin care or prep and prime products until now.
A few weeks back when I was in getting my free lipstick, the lovely girl at the MAC counter gave me a sample of their Prep + Prime Natural Radiance illuminating primer to try out and let me tell you all, it’s love!
I’ve been using this for about two weeks now and the difference on my skin is amazing. Although it’s more like a gel than a cream, it still has a smooth, creamy texture, and because of that you only need a very small pea size amount when applying. Once blended in, it leaves the skin feeling lovely and fresh, and there is no stickiness like you get from some primers.
Not only is this primer very easy to apply, the yellow tone of the Radiant Yellow shade gives your skin a gorgeous, dewy glow, and brightens up the skin beautifully meaning your makeup goes on much smoother. I find I need less concealer because of the brightening power of the primer, and my makeup is lasting so well throughout the day too.
It contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C which are super hydrating for the skin, and the illuminating properties come from pearl powders which means it will work for all skin types too. I have dry to normal skin so that’s probably why I’m always drawn to illuminating products, however, even if you have oily skin this should work for you as there is no sheen or shimmer in it to make your skin look shiny. It also leaves your face feeling quite soft, even after makeup application which is always a bonus.
Benefit’s That Gal primer has been my favourite for some time now and this is the first primer I’ve tried in a long time that comes close to matching it. I’m really loving it and plan on purchasing a full size version as soon as my sample tube runs out. So if you like me are a big fan of That Gal, then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this too.
The full size version is €40.00 so that does make me wince a little, however, given that I’ve only needed to use a very small amount each day, I’m pretty sure this tube will last ages. But I’ll report back on that soon!
This weekend we’re having a quiet weekend relaxing, catching up with friends, going for walks, having early nights… All the things you long for in a weekend when you’ve had a busy few weeks.
But weekends like this are also for me, a chance to reflect. When I’m relaxed my mind wanders to all the possibilities, adventures, travels, experiences yet to come and how much of life we’ve still to live.
Does anyone else have moments like this? Moments when you realise how incredible life actually is?!
Maybe it’s because personally I’m going through a transition period with my job which is making me reevaluate what I want to do with my life, or maybe it’s that I’m just a dreamer imagining all the possibilities ahead. Who knows. What I do know however is that life is to be lived, the good, bad, happy and sad… It is to be enjoyed, to be relished, to be grabbed with both arms and cherished.
Today I’m relishing life and enjoying all the incredible people, things and places around me. Today I am grateful.
As many of you will know by now, last week we came back from a couple of days away in Ibiza. Okay, I know, I’ve been talking about it a lot, I’m sorry, but I did promise to share the details with you all so here they are.
We spent four days in Ibiza (from Thursday to Monday) so really it was just a long weekend but we still managed to pack a lot in over our few days. We there to celebrate my sister’s birthday, and she had it all planned out for us which was amazing as it was our first time there.
My first impression of Ibiza was that it is incredibly beautiful in parts. We didn’t really know what to expect, it has such a big reputation of being a party island, which it is, but there is another side to the island too which very laid back and full of beautiful restaurants, streets and beaches.
We stayed in a small boutique Agrotourismo hotel in the hills just ten minutes from Ibiza old town called Can Guillem. These Agrotourismo hotels were once working farms that have been transformed into tourist accommodation and they are just full of Spanish charm.
White washed stone walls covered in beautiful flowers greet you when you arrive, and are everything you would expect from an old Spanish building. The outdoor courtyard where they serve breakfast in the morning is equally picturesque and there is also a nice pool area where we were able to while away a few hours each day soaking up the rays.
While it was nice, I don’t think we would go back and stay there. It was more like a B&B as they don’t serve lunch or dinner and there is no restaurant or bar. However, for this trip it was the perfect place to lay our heads as it was very close to the venue where my sister’s party was being held.
One thing I was really looking forward to about the trip was experiencing a beautiful Ibizan sunset as I had heard they were amazing. I do love a good sunset, and being the hopeless romantic that I am, I was very excited to go for sunset drinks on the Friday.
We went to a beach club called Experimental Beach and it was incredible. It’s based on the salt planes and to get to it, you have to drive over the planes out in the sea meaning the views here are just insane. You couldn’t be closer to the edge of the island if you tried!
As I knew we’d be out late, I decided against wearing beach wear and instead opted for a boho style maxi skirt with a bardot top.
When we arrived around 6pm many of the day’s sunbathers were packing up to go so we managed to get some great sun loungers and chairs right at the front of the beach, a prime position to watch the sun go down.
The atmosphere was so relaxed; chill out dance music was playing in the background, the cocktails were delicious, and best of all, the sunset did not dissapoint.
The evening that we were there also happened to be their opening party of the summer season and they had a photographer there to capture all the nights events. Luckily for us, he got some great shots of our group so I have borrowed them from their Facebook page to give you all a proper look at the beach club itself:
Our sun loungers on the beach:
Me and my two sisters, Dave and my future brother-in-law relaxing at our sea side table, just about to realise our photo was being taken! Not the most flattering photo of me I know, but I had to put it in as it’s a great shot of us all sipping our tequila cocktails getting ready to watch the sun go down:
A gorgeous view of the sun setting from the beach bar:
Our beach fun on Friday was only a precurser to the main event on Saturday, a pool side party planned for my sister’s birthday celebrations. It was a joint party for her and one of her friends and was being held in a fabulous bohemian style hotel in the Ibizan hills.
The hotel just screamed boho chic. Vintage, mismatched furniture, hammocks and luxurious sun loungers, all meshed together in that effortlessly cool modern/bohemian way, that I just couldn’t help but fall in love with the quirkiness of the place as soon as I arrived.
We spent the afternoon sipping cocktails by the pool before sitting down to a lovely Argentinian style BBQ in the evening which set us up to party and dance the night away.
In keeping with the venue, the theme for the party was boho chic and if you read any of my blog posts before we went, you’ll know that I was struggling to decide what outfit to wear. I ended up going with a blue floral ZARA midi dress, a coin style headpiece and lots of layered accessories.
As there was so much going on with my outfit I kept my makeup look simple by going for a soft eye. This is a much simpler eye than I would usually apply going to a party, but to bring out the colours in the dress, I opted to go for a strong lip instead.
This lip colour is one of my all-time faves, YSL’s Le Orange, which you may have heard me talking about before.
It was such a great night; needless to say we partied into the early hours and woke up with very sore heads on Sunday morning from all the rosé consumed (or at least I did anyway!). As a result, Sunday was spent lying by the pool relaxing before our early flight home on Monday morning.
Although our trip was short and sweet, we really enjoyed it. I’m not sure when or if we’ll go back for another visit, but if we do, there’s plenty more for us to see and do that we didn’t get to this time around.
There’s a little bit of everything in Ibiza which is probably why I liked it so much. And it’s another new place that we can now tick off our Year of the Holiday list!
I’m a day late with this week’s ‘My Faves’ post so you’ll have to forgive me, I’m having a pretty crazy week this week so my blogging has suffered as a result. But I’m back in the saddle now as the saying goes, and ready to tell you all about my next favourite product, Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream.
Now, if you haven’t heard of Eight Hour Cream and you’re a beauty lover, then I’m going to assume you may have been living under a rock for the past few years because this little gem has become a cult favourite amongst beauty professionals and beauty lovers alike! And really, there’s no guessing why.
This cream is more of a balm/gel consistency, but is a must-have for any handbag or home. I’ve been using it for about ten years now, and it has seen me through sore cracked lips, dry cuticles, insect bites, cuts, grazes, sunburn – you name it!
Officially described as a skin protectant lotion, Eight Hour Cream contains Vitamin E which acts as an antioxidant, and a skin-soothing beta-hydroxy acid formulated by Elizabeth Arden to encourage smooth skin. It also contains Salicylic acid and seed oil.
Not only is this quite literally a miracle cream, the 50ml tube lasts forever as you only ever need a very small amount when applying to skin. Although you can apply as liberally as you like, this stuff is so good you really won’t need to.
Beauty products are a very personal thing and we all have our favourites, but this is one product I think every girl should have. It’s €35.00 so I know it’s not cheap, but trust me, you’ll never regret buying this, particularly if in the summer you are prone to insect bites. Trust me when I tell you this will get rid of the itchiness like nothing else!
Is anyone else a big fan of Eight Hour Cream? If so comment below and tell me what you use it for. I know I can’t be the only one obsessed with it!
Okay so most of you will already know about my love of lipsticks, and if you don’t then let me tell you. They are my favourite! They can bring even the simplest of makeup looks to life, they accentuate your lips, you can match the colours to your mood, or any outfit, and mainly they just make you feel good. Well, they make me feel good anyway!
As you all know I was recently in Ibiza and I wanted to get a new vibrant lippy to bring with me. I had built up a collection of MAC empties (for those of you who don’t already know, if you bring six of your old MAC containers back to them to recycle they will give you a free lipstick), and so I went to my local MAC counter and started to browse the options.
I’m always drawn to oranges and corals, so I wanted to go for something slightly different this time. I also wanted to go for a matte finish as I have a lot of satin and gloss lipsticks.
Anyway, whilst swatching colours on my hands, I discovered a whole range of lipsticks I never knew about, the Retro Matte range, and it was love at first swatch! I don’t know how this range passed me by when it was released two years ago, but I’m very happy to have now discovered it.
I was torn between two shades, Relentlessy Red a pinky-red colour and All Fired Up, a bright fuchsia shade and in the end opted for Relentlessly Red. It has a pink undertone, is fabulously matte, and the lasting power is amazing. I wore it nearly every day on holiday and hardly had to reapply at all, even with the heat of the sun.
I’m pretty sure this won’t be my last lipstick from the collection and am already planning on going back to buy some more. I just keep telling myself I don’t need it just yet, but we’ll see how long that lasts!
As you can see from the photos above of me wearing it, it actually looks a little more pink, however, it doesn’t look quite that pink in real life. The below picture taken in Ibiza of me and the hubby, may give you a better idea of how it looks on.
Have you tried these lipsticks? If not, and if you’re a matte fan, then I’m pretty sure you’ll love these too.
I’m very excited this Monday morning as not only was it the six month anniversary of my blog this weekend, but I also reached over 1,000 blog followers and 500 followers on my Instagram.
If you read my celebration post on Saturday, you’ll know that I went back and forth on the idea of whether or not to start a blog back in January. I didn’t know if I had anything good to say, or whether people would want to hear me either.
This morning, when I finally reached the 500 mark on Instagram I felt a real sense of achievement. It’s hard to build a good social media presence and you have to work hard at it, I’ve also had to learn about photography to try improve my photo taking skills.
So as I travel back from London Town where I spent the weekend with family, I’m feeling happy and thinking that maybe, just maybe, there are lots of exciting adventures to come with my blog.
So from me to you this sunny bank holiday Monday, thank you!
Today marks the six month anniversary of my blog and I really can’t believe it. Okay so six months isn’t really that long I know, but when I started out, I didn’t know if I was going to make it to one month let alone six months.
I was very apprehensive about putting myself ‘out there’ and have second-guessed and questioned myself many times since. Sharing personal aspects of your life is a scary thing to do, especially when you don’t know how your blogging or writing will be received.
Thankfully so far, I have had nothing but positive feedback and lovely comments from friends, other bloggers, and all my lovely followers which I am so incredibly grateful for. I’m sure my blog is not for everyone; I’m not the best photograher, I write about anything and everything, and I’m sure sometimes people just don’t want to hear about how my day went! But I totally get that and I’m good with it too. We’re all different.
There are so many incredible bloggers out there, many of whom I have discovered since beginning this blogging journey myself, and it’s opened up a whole new world for me. I read about incredible places, I swoon over gorgeous fashion, I’m glued to every new beauty review that I can find. But what I’ve come to discover most is that the blogging community is a very friendly, kind, supportive and fun community to be part of, and I’m very glad I took the plunge.
No doubt there will be challenges ahead, especially as I’m taking some time out from my day job to focus more on blogging. But for once in my life I’m excited and not scared by that thought.
I’m averaging around 2,000 views a month with around 1,000 unique readers, and although that’s small in the grander scheme of blogging, I’ve been told that it’s a pretty good start.
I’ve been reading over some of my old posts, trying to decide which have been my favourite posts so far but there are so many to choose from:
There was one of my first ever posts Resolution Time where I told you all about the Year of The Holiday and how many places Dave and I want to visit this year, which so far is working out brilliantly…
There was the post where I was challenged to write Ten Random Facts About Me by another blogger which was so fun to write, and was a great way to get to know some of my fellow bloggers too…
And I can’t forget about my beautiful wedding photography post Wedding, Photos, Love which is my highest viewed post to date…
It’s been great reading back on them all and remembering the year I’ve had so far. There have been ups and downs, but it’s been an adventure. If you haven’t already read them then please go take a look.
For now however, I just really want to give you all a big kiss and thank you all for coming on this journey with me! I hope you’re enjoying it, I hope I’m not boring you with my day-to-day musings, and most of all, I hope you’ll continue to come along on this crazy ride.
I haven’t done a nail related beauty post before now, probably because I really don’t have good nails on my hands. They are quite soft and brittle, I take a lot of calcium so I’m not sure why, but I always have polish on them to keep them covered up.
I’m not great at painting my own nails so I tend to get them done in a salon, and often switch between getting a Shellac three week polish or just a simple file and paint. And as it’s coming into summer now, I’ll be getting them done even more regularly.
There’s just one issue however. The more polish you wear, the more dry your nails are, and that’s where the essie cuticle pen comes in.
I recently got given this to try at an event and started using it about three weeks ago. My nail therapist is always telling me to put more oil on my cuticles, and generally I’m very good at doing it, but I just haven’t found it to make a big difference. Until now!
This pen, apart from being so quick and easy to use, is both a softener and conditioner for your cuticles. It contains some fab ingredients such as Jojoba and Soybean oils, and Shea butter, meaning it is super hydrating and moisturising. I’ve been applying it almost every evening – you just twist the bottom of the pen to release the oil and using the soft bristle brush, apply to your cuticles and nails.
Now while it hasn’t transformed my nails completely, they are definitely less dry and I’ve noticed them becoming much harder too. Usually I can bend my nails quite easily when they aren’t covered in polish, and over the past few weeks that’s happening less and less which makes me so happy!
I have always looked at pictures of amazing nails on salon and nail social media accounts with just a little bit of envy, and while I don’t think my nails will ever be quite as fabulous as some of them, they are definitely improving.
Have any of you tried this before? I got it from the lovely ladies at the Nuala Woulfe Day Spa in Dublin so I’m not sure of the cost, so if anybody knows then please comment below!
I’m assuming most salons stocking essie products will have it or will at least be able to source it, I also think Boots stock essie products now too. I’m already dreading it running out so I’m going to go on the hunt and buy some more before it does!