How To Combat Dry Lips in Winter

I don’t know about you, but I suffer terribly with dry lips. Some of you may know this, but many years ago I got my face and lips badly sunburnt and ever since then I’ve had to battle non-stop to keep my lips from becoming dry, cracked and sore.

Most of the time I manage to keep them hydrated with some of my trusty go-to balms and lip protectors, but as soon as a touch of the cold winter air arrives, it becomes an up hill struggle and that’s where this blog post comes in…

I’m sure most of you by now are familiar with the Simply Lippy lipstick challenge I set myself this year; to wear a different lipstick on each of the 365 days of 2017. But apart from needing 365 lip products to do this, I also need to make sure my lips are hydrated and moisturised, otherwise I’m going to go nowhere, fast!

In order for me to keep my lips soft, smooth, and up to the challenge, I’ve been exfoliating them regularly with a natural, homemade lip scrub recipe I came across a while ago and thankfully, it is working a treat. It’s so easy to make and is the ultimate quick fix to combatting the cold winter days.

Here’s what you need:

1-2 tablespoons of brown and white sugar

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon of coconut or olive oil

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Directions:

To make the scrub, all you need to do is mix all the ingredients in a bowl until they become like a paste. Then simply put a bit on your fingers, apply to the lips and lightly scrub.

You could use a toothbrush or exfoliating gloves to scrub either, but using your fingers works just as well and is a lot quicker too!

After lightly scrubbing, leave the paste to sit on your lips for a minute or two and let your lips soak up the nutrients from the scrub.

Once the paste has rested for a few minutes and you’re ready to remove, all you then need to do is take a damp facecloth and gently wipe away to leave your lips feeling smooth, soft, and just like new.


Lastly to finish off the regime, apply a layer of good lip balm over your lips (I like Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream or Paw Paw Ointment) and there you go!


I’m aware this may not be for everyone, but it definitely has helped me a lot and is such an easy, inexpensive way to exfoliate your lips. I still get dry patches and soreness from time to time, and I’m sure I always will, but this quick fix means it happens a lot less than it used to and that makes me very happy!

Have you any natural beauty remedies that you love using? This is the only one I’ve ever made but I’m definitely intrigued by the idea of using more.

Let me know your thoughts!

Sorcha x

Farewell 2016…

As another year draws to a close today, I wanted to share one last post with you all for 2016, a year that was a crazy whirlwind of travel, adventure and change for me. This day last year, I was newly married, fresh out of wedding planning, and looking for a new way to occupy all my spare time now that my days weren’t being spent researching wedding themes on Pinterest and buying up half of Etsy for the big day.

If you’ve read my blog introduction, you’ll already know this information. But for those of you who are not familiar with my story, then allow me to rehash…

Blogging was something I had done before and loved. I missed writing for myself desperately, and I also knew there was a chance my job would be changing, so in order to give myself a new creative outlet, this day last year, on 31st December 2015, I decided it was time to return to one of my first loves, writing, and set up this little blog, Simply Sorcha.

I didn’t know the direction Simply Sorcha would take, I didn’t even know what I was going to write about, but I knew I wanted to write. Since that day I’ve shared almost every day of my 2016 journey with you all, from my wedding photos, my travels and adventures, my beauty loves and loathes, my good days and bad.

2016 was such an incredible year, it had some tough moments like being made redundant from my job and closing a chapter on an incredible journey in a company I loved, but it was also a year of new adventure and discovery with the year of the holiday. I’m sure many of you are familiar with our year of the holiday plan by now, we started out 2016 with a plan to visit as many new places as we possibly could and I think it’s pretty safe to say we achieved our goal.

The year of the holiday was a huge success consisting of 25 destinations, 22 flights, 13 weeks, 9 countries and 3 continents, all within one year. We visited Paris, Rome, Kerry, Ibiza, London (twice), Marbella, Cork, Ubud, the Gili Islands, Seminyak, Cairns, Townsville, Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, Rockhampton, Fraser Island, Noosa, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Surfer’s Paradise, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie, Sydney, Melbourne, Bangkok, Ko Lanta, Dubai, and of course, home to Dublin.

We saw some beautiful places, met some incredible people (weird and wonderful), stayed in some amazing hotels (and some questionable ones!), but most of all, we did it together. And we laughed every step of the way. I still have posts to share on my travels, and they will be up early in the new year for those interested.

All in all, it will be hard to top 2016 but already we know it’s going to be an exciting year of new beginnings. I’m starting a new job in a few weeks, Dave is celebrating a big birthday, and most importantly of all, I’ll be continuing my blogging journey.

As the year of the holiday and blogging successfully for one year challenges are both officially over now, it’s time to create a new challenge for myself for 2017. This one is far less extravagant than the year of the holiday (which I’m sure our bank balance will be happy about), and is essentially a blogging challenge as opposed to a life challenge. It is beauty related, and focusses on just one thing, my favourite makeup product of all the makeup products, lipstick.

More will be revealed tomorrow, when day one of my 2017 challenge begins, but for now I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and all the best of health, happiness, love and success for 2017.

Special thanks to all the amazing bloggers I’ve met this year, the events I’ve been invited to and attended, the blog posts that have inspired me, and all the new friends I’ve made through Simply Sorcha. And to all my readers all over the world, I hope you keep coming along for the ride!

Here’s to a wonderful 2017 for us all.

Sorcha x

Dear WordPress…

…In 2017 I promise to be a better blogger!

Hi everyone, I’m back. Please forgive me, it’s been a month since my last blog post but life has been pretty crazy. Since we got home for our trip we’ve been busy catching up with friends and family, and of course getting ready for Christmas.

I took some time away from the blog and social media in general to switch off, reframe my blogging goals and to have a think about where I’m going to go with it next year. Although I’m still not 100% sure, I think I’m beginning to get there. It’ll still be beauty and lifestyle related, but now that the year of the holiday has come to an end, it’s time to set myself a new challenge. What that will be however, is still to be decided!

For now, I just want to thank all of you who have stopped by to read my blog this year, for commenting, liking and following, and for sharing this journey with me. I know I’ve been absent of late but I’ll be back to my old blogging self in the New Year.

So from my family to yours, I wish you all a wonderful, happy and peaceful Christmas, and all the best of everything for 2017. 

See you all soon…

Sorcha x

The Pom Pom Sandal

I know this post may seem a little late to some of you given that it’s about sandals and we are well and truly into Autumn now. But let me explain why. This Summer was all about the Pom Pom sandal, if you were going anywhere sunny they were a must have accessory, but I only managed to get my hands on a pair recently, hence my delay.

I’ve been very lucky this year to have been on some great trips, but as many of you know, my biggest trip of all is coming up in just a few week’s time and therefore I have spent the last two months or so trying to get my hands on the perfect pair of Pom Pom sandals for my trip. Finally I found them!

Back in June I spotted this very cute, colourful pair in River Island and loved them, but when I went to buy them they were sold out everywhere in my size. All over Ireland in stores and online – I even tried the UK stores but nothing. Nada. So reluctantly I had to admit defeat, believe it was not meant to be, and start looking elsewhere. But much to my dismay, none of the ones I could find were anywhere near as nice as these, or if they were, they were WAY out of my price range. Don’t you just hate when that happens?

I had all but given up until a few weeks back, when I decided to do one last search, a final desperate attempt to fill a longing, when low and behold out of nowhere, they appeared back on the River Island website. What?! I don’t know how it happened, maybe they had extra stock lying around somewhere, or the Pom Pom gods were just being extra kind that day, who frickin’ knows. But all I know is I bought them, they arrived, and I am thrilled!


They are just so gorgeous, super comfortable, and I can’t wait to start pairing them with all my travelling outfits as soon as we get to Bali. I just love it when a plan comes together!

Sorcha x

Hey There, Tom Ford

I don’t usually share posts like this, but last week I finally got my hands on the most amazing pair of Tom Ford sunglasses which I have been lusting after for over six months now, and I’m just so excited that I’ve decided to tell you all about them.

I’ve wanted to buy a new pair of good sunglasses for a while now, my trusty RayBan’s as much as I love them, are a bit worse for wear, and before they give out on me I thought it best to buy some more.

The sunglasses I got are the Tom Ford Irina’s and they are literally to die for (squeal!) – I just love them. I don’t know about you but I have to try sunglasses on a million times before committing, you know, see how they look with my hair down, my hair tied up, how they feel, all the usual things you consider when buying a pair of sunglasses. And these babies were the first pair I came across that I liked every which way.

One sunny afternoon about two months ago I finally made the decision to splurge and buy them, so off I went into town super excited. But low and behold as I went to pick them up from the shelf they were gone. Gone, vanished, disappeared. I was devastated.

After a frantic conversation with the girl at the counter I discovered that they had only received a limited amount of stock so were sold out, and not only that, but also there was a waiting list for the next delivery, and they didn’t even know when the next delivery was going to arrive because Tom Ford also had a waiting list. Big. Fat. Disaster.

So all Summer I searched for another pair, none quite living up to the expectations I had, leaving me pining for my beautiful Tom Ford’s that got away. That was of course, until last week. Last week when I finally got the call from Brown Thomas to say delivery had been confirmed and they would be back in stock the following day, AND there was a pair available for me. FOR ME. Hallelujah! Thank you sunglasses gods!

Now I know some of you may think this is ridiculous nonsense, getting excited about a pair of sunglasses. And I understand. But I told you, I’m an accessories girl. And you want to know why? Because they fit, they always fit.

I’ve had a turbulent relationship with clothes and fashion all my life, I’ve a curvy shape, new season trends look completely ridiculous on me half the time, and therefore it’s not always easy for me to shop. But I love to shop, and that’s why I love accessories. They absolutely never make me feel bad about myself.

They are just so pretty that I’ve decided to keep them safe until we head off on our travels next month. The first item I can tick off my packing list!

Sorcha x

 

 

Let’s Get Social

So as you may know by now, I’m a big fan of Social Media and I’ve written a similar blog post to this before. But, let me tell you why I’m writing a social post again.

I’m one of those people who probably spends a little too much time on my phone, but what I’ve learnt over the past eight months of blogging is that your blog is really not going to amount to much without the help of social media. Pretty much all the bloggers I follow utilise it to help their engagement and followers to grow, and really when you think about it, it’s a great way to get exposure for your blog.

If you’re a blog starting out this year however, the social media world is against you. Both Facebook and Instagram have introduced new algorithms which make it so much harder to gain followers or likes, and sometimes I feel like it’s a constant up hill struggle. But I solider on because ultimately, having multiple social media platforms has really helped me to grow my following so far which I’m very grateful for.

But every so often I do wonder how many of my social media followers actually read my blog posts. Do you read my blog posts? I really hope you do!

I think I was a bit naive at the beginning of my blogging journey because there is so much more involved than just writing. I love writing, but I’ve also had to learn about photography, social media, theming accounts, becoming a brand, discovering how much or how little of myself I want to share with the world, and mostly I’ve learnt, how important social media engagement is to your growth. The whole experience has taught me so much that I didn’t know before.

And that’s where today’s post comes in. If you’re going through the same struggles as me, and finding it a bit tough to grow your social media presence, then let’s get social. Let’s have each others backs, connect on social media and share the love. I want to come follow you, and I’d be so happy if you could please come follow me too.

Here’s where you can find me:

Facebook

The good old reliable that is Facebook. I share all my blog posts here as well as letting you know about places and spaces I’m visiting.

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Instagram

Instagram is probably my favourite of all because I love pretty pictures. I’m not a great photographer or anything, but I’ve been learning loads about theming and colours so I think I’m getting a little better.

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Twitter

Twitter is great for instant conversations, and I love tweeting live when there are big things happening like events or launches.

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Snapchat: @imsimplysorcha

Snapchat is coming a close second favourite behind Instagram lately. I love the instant interaction it gives you with your followers. I share lots of videos on products, what I’m up to and my daily musings.

Pinterest

I’ve always been a fan of Pinterest for inspiration and my Pinterest boards are a collection of all the things I love from beauty looks, to outfits, to yummy food and spectacular spaces.

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I really hope you all come say hey. And, it would be fab if you could comment below with all your social media handles so I can come follow you all too.

Sorcha x

 

Getting My Life in Order with Ban.do

The title of this post may seem a little dramatic, I mean how does one really go about getting their life in order? I’ve always been a planner, an organiser, so much so some of my friends jokingly call me ‘Monica’ because everything has a place, everything needs to be planned meticulously, and because really, getting things in order makes me happy.

It’s a little sad I know, that planning and organising gives me joy, but I know I’m not the only one! I have kept a diary for years now, apart from keeping track of everything I do and allowing me to be the organised person that I am, it also gives me something to look back on – read, laugh at, cringe at, cry at, balk at.

I kept a diary of my entire year of wedding planning, and I don’t mean the online kind, I mean the good old fashioned pen to paper, writing kind. It’s always been something I enjoy, and essentially was what let me back to writing for enjoyment, and eventually blogging again.

Now that I’m no longer in a permanent job and taking the summer off to write and try find out what it is I actually want to do with the rest of my life, I decided a good way to start figuring it all out was by getting myself a good planner. And that’s where the whole subject of this post comes in, my new Ban.do agenda.

Agendas seem to be the new ‘thing’ of the moment, every where I look I’m seeing agendas and diaries, maybe it’s because many of the online shops and Instagram accounts I like are gift and stationary shops. Maybe it’s because I just love that kind of thing. Either way, the moment I first saw the new Ban.do agendas I knew I had to have one. Even thinking about it now excites me! Am I the only weirdo who feels like this about planning and organising? Please tell me I’m not alone!



Anyway, after much research back and forth on which type of agenda to get, I eventually decided on the large Ban.do Lady of Leisure option. Apart from being very cute and pretty, the diary element starts from August 2016, which as we all know is almost upon us, meaning it’s time for me to get my life in order.




These agendas are cute, they are fun, they have notes sections, they have day-by-day diary sections, they have monthly forward views, they have a yearly forward view, but most of all, they have stickers. STICKERS! Hello my inner ten year old self!



They have inspirational messages, they have monthly themes, and are really just a whole pile of fun. If I need to get my life in order and start planning for the future, then I may as well have as much fun as possible doing it.

The large agenda cost €37 and I picked it up in Moss Cottage, one of my favourite shops in Dublin.

I can’t wait to start using it, and with only ten more days to go until August arrives, I’m already planning all the things I’m going to write in it (of course I am!).

Sorcha x

Girly Brunch in Balfes

If you read my blog post yesterday on my girly day out on Saturday with my Mum, you’ll know that we started our day out with brunch in town before going to the The Shelbourne spa for some pampering.

Our restaurant of choice was one of Dublin’s best loved brunch spots, Balfes in the Westbury Hotel, which has been open for quite some time now, but until this weekend I still hadn’t gotten around to going despite hearing lots of yummy things about it. So when Mum and I were planning our girls day out, it was the perfect time to give it a try and see if it lived up to all the hype.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived, apart from the gorgeous New York chic inspired decor and marble table tops, was the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. The manager greeted us warmly, showed us to our table which was a lovely spot in the centre of the room, and proceeded to take our drink order.

Mum opted for her old reliable latte, while I of course, decided on a nice glass of bubbly – I mean why drink coffee when you can drink prosecco, right?! There’s nothing better than a glass of bubbly to kick off any girls day out and why change the habit of a lifetime I say.


The brunch menu in Balfes is very varied, with many different options from healthy to indulgent. There are paleo and gluten free options, vegetarian options, as well as sharing platters, oysters, and all the usual breakfast options you would expect to find on any good brunch menu.

Spoilt for choice, it took us a while to decide what we wanted to eat, but eventually I decided on the Turkey Burger with guacamole, salsa and coleslaw, and just because I felt like being a little bit bold, swapped out the sweet potato wedges for normal skinny fries – delish!

There was just the right amount of everything on this dish, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was no bread bun with the burger. The dish definitely didn’t need it, and it made me feel like I was being at least a little bit healthy, even if I was having fries!

I enjoyed every bite and overall think it was definitely worth the €17 price tag that accompanied it.

Mum went for a breakfast option, namely the Blueberry Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which cost a very reasonable €10.50, and the first thing we both said when it arrived, was how fresh it looked. The pancakes were made with fresh blueberries within the pancake mix rather than cooked blueberries or a blueberry syrup which sometimes happens. According to Mum the pancakes were light and fluffy and the bacon perfectly crispy, and she too really enjoyed her dish.

Needless to say it was a great experience overall. The food was delicious, and the lively, buzzing atmosphere that filled the restaurant made it even better.

We will certainly go back, and I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a reasonably priced place to eat for a good girly catch up. That’s not to say you couldn’t venture in with your other half either – I’ve already got Dave booked in for a brunch date in the next few weeks and I can’t wait!

Sorcha x

Review: The Shelbourne Spa

On Saturday just gone, my Mum and I had planned the ultimate girly day out with a trip to The Shelbourne Hotel spa in the heart of Dublin city. We’ve been planning a spa day for a while now, it’s something we try to do together at least once a year, and this year we decided rather than going away for a night, we would take a staycation break to The Shelbourne.

While we didn’t overnight there, we made our way into town early for a quick brunch before making our way over to the hotel for some good old fashioned rest and relaxation.

Our first impressions of the spa when we arrived were extremely positive. The soft lighting, the luscious fabrics and the peaceful atmosphere all set the tone for the day ahead. When we checked in the girl on reception was very welcoming and then showed us to the changing rooms where we could get ready for our day.

We arrived to the spa an hour early so that we could make use of the swimming pool and other spa facilities, but were slightly disappointed to find that the pool is actually part of the hotel’s leisure centre and as a result, was very bright and loud – children jumping into the pool doing water bombs is not my idea of a relaxing swim!  It did pass as people started to leave, but at this point we had abandoned the swimming idea and decided to spend our time in the steam room and sauna instead before going to change for our treatments.

At this point we were feeling a little let down, however, that all changed when we went for our treatments. When we left the pool area, we were brought into the relaxation room which is a gorgeous bright room overlooking St. Stephen’s Green. After a few minutes our therapists arrived to take us for our treatments and that’s when the real relaxation began.


The spa uses Pevonia and Elemis products, both of which I really like, so I opted for the Pevonia Hot Stone Massage and the Elemis Modern Skin Facial, both of which were one hour long. I also had the same therapist for both my treatments which meant I could enjoy being pampered for two hours straight – bliss!

My therapist’s name was Ali and she was extremely good. She spent a few minutes going through some questions about my skin type, problem areas and concerns, and decided which specific products and scents to use on me based on my responses. She started off with the hot stone massage and I literally could feel myself begin to ever so slowly lower my shoulders and relax.

It’s funny how even when you think you’re relaxed your shoulders can be up around your ears, tense as anything, and you don’t even realise. Not to mention the many knots that had to be kneaded out of my upper back. The kneading was worth it though and the whole treatment was just amazing. I felt so relaxed afterwards.

From there she moved on to my face where she applied several products to brighten and rehydrate my skin which has been quite dull and dry recently. She cleansed, toned, exfoliated and then added a thick mask which was just incredible. As that set on my face, she gave me a shoulder and head massage with the same oils and at this stage I was pretty much falling asleep! There’s nothing like a facial and massage to make you zone out for a few hours.

All in all, I was really happy with my treatments. My skin was so soft afterwards, and my face was definitely brighter and smoother. As I sat in the relaxation room after my treatments eating my berry sorbet and berry fruits, it was hard to keep my eyes open and I drifted off to a world of my own for a good half an hour as the sun shone down on my face through the open window.


It was such a lovely to spend a Saturday, and my Mum equally loved her treatments too. The perfect city girly escape for some ‘me time’.

Both my treatments costa total of €210 which is very competitively priced with other spas in Dublin and I would definitely revisit another time. As I said, the only let down was the pool area which could probably benefit from being a little less loud and a little more relaxed. But at the end of the day, everything else was so great and enjoyable, it didn’t really matter.

Sorcha x

Quality Time

Happy Saturday everyone, I hope you all have a lovely weekend ahead of you. Last weekend you may remember me talking about me going on a trip to The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin and I’m very excited to say the day has finally arrived.

Image: Tripadvisor

Mum and I decided to treat ourselves to a girly spa day today, my Dad and Dave are both away for the weekend so what better excuse to treat ourselves to something nice.

As much as I love The Shelbourne, I’ve never been to the spa there so we’re both really excited to try it out and have some good old fashioned rest and relaxation. We’re starting the day off with brunch in town, and ending it with dinner in one of our favourite places to eat near home so it’s pretty much the perfect staycation.

Not only that but it’s so nice to have some Mum – Daughter quality time, catch up on all the family news and no doubt get lost in conversation over who knows what. Although I’m lucky enough to still live close to my parents, it’s rare that you get these kind of days to properly have some quality time and I for one can’t wait.

It’s been a strange week this week. On Thursday it was the birthday of a very old friend of mine who sadly passed away before Christmas. We all got together with his family on Thursday evening to toast him, and it really made me realise how short life can be and how precious our time with the people we love is.

I’ll be back with a full report on the spa and all our treatments in the coming days so if you want to know how we get on then watch this space.

For now, I hope you all have a lovely Saturday wherever you are today too.

Sorcha x