Holiday Prep | My Travel Essentials

Now that our big trip is just a few days away, I’ve been busy shopping for, and packing, all the things I’m going to need. For those of you who may have missed my previous travel posts, this Thursday, my hubby and I are off on a big two month travel adventure so there has been a lot of list writing and much to organise.

For me, it’s not the easiest thing to pack for holidays at the best of times, so packing for two months away has definitely been a challenge. I always pack far too much, I think of every possible scenario that may or may not happen, and pack several outfits and accessories for each. I just can’t help it, and I envy those who can just throw a few staple pieces in a suitcase and go!

But this time I’ve had to reign myself in and give myself a good talking to because frankly, one suitcase is all I have and it will be home to all my possessions for the next eight weeks. Through all my meticulous planning and preparation, I’m really hoping that I’ve packed just the right amount of everything (I’ll revisit this statement once I return home to let you know how successful I was!).

I’ve divided this week’s travel posts into two, today’s post is all about my basic travel essentials, while the second post is on all things beauty and toiletries, how I’ve managed to narrow down what makeup to pack, as well as some staple beauty items that I’m bringing.

For me, the below items are things that no trip would be complete without; things I couldn’t live without. So here’s a look at what travel essentials are top of my list to go in my suitcase:

My camera


Anyone who knows me, knows I love photographs. I’m not an amazing photographer, but I couldn’t live without my camera. One of my favourite things to do is sit and look through my photo collection, allowing each image to invoke memories of a time and place. I would have a house full of photo walls if I could!

Anyway, for this trip, and because I’ve been thinking about it for a while, I decided to treat myself to a new camera. After a lot of research I opted for the Olympus Pen EPL7 camera which is big in the blogging world, has an abundance of settings, and both photo and video options so I can both blog and (hopefully) vlog my trip. I’ve never done a vlog before, so I’m going to give it a go, and sure if it’s a complete disaster, then a least I’ll still have some pretty pictures.

A good sun hat


This is both a practical and fashionable must-have. It’s going to be pretty damn hot in some of the places we’re visiting and although I’m a complete sun worshiper, I always take a good hat with me to keep my face protected from UV rays. It’s also a good way to keep your face cool when walking and touring around in the heat.

This little one is an oldie I picked up in a Spanish market a few years ago and goes with absolutely everything. It’s seen me through some great trips and now it’s coming along for another.

My Kindle


I’m an old fashioned book kind of girl. I don’t believe reading from a Kindle is anywhere near as enjoyable as sitting down with a real life book, breathing in that book smell as you turn the pages. Reading is probably my most favourite thing in the world to do, and the first time I used a Kindle, I did feel a little like I was cheating on my favourite pastime.

However. I read a new book every couple of days while on holiday, and even I have to admit that it’s not realistic nor practical to pack six or seven books. I simply don’t have the space or the weight allowance in my baggage, so I’ve succumbed and am putting all my current reads into this. I did it for honeymoon last year and survived, so I’m pretty sure I’l survive again now.

There is something quite magical about reading when you’re in a new, strange or different place. When I think of a book I’ve read, I always remember where I was when I read it, and while my book list for this trip isn’t yet complete, I want to read as much as I possibly can while I have the time to do it.

An underwater camera

I have wanted an underwater camera for so long now, when we were on honeymoon in the Maldives last year I was so gutted I didn’t have one for all our snorkelling, so when we confirmed this trip I knew it was one of the first things I had to get.

Thankfully my lovely hubby bought me this Vivitar one for my birthday along with an array of accessories for touring, swimming, taking selfies – you name it, I’ve got the accessory. This camera is very similar in spec to the GoPro but was a lot cheaper, so is a great option for anyone new to these cameras like me.

I’m so nervous of the sea, but now I’ve no excuses. I’m going to brave the open water and hopefully get some amazing shots in the Great Barrier Reef with this baby. Eeek!

A backpack

I don’t know how many backpacks I tried and tested out for this trip, I just couldn’t decided on whether I wanted big or small, satchel or strap. But finally I decided on this midi size option from Zara. I previously had bought a mini-backpack from River Island, but it was too small and not practical for everything I need to fit in it on the plane etc.

This one is nice and soft, has gold zip detailing and fits a decent amount. And while it’s not technically going in my suitcase, but on my back, I’ve a feeling it’s going to be my best friend over the next few months.

iPhone back up charger


If like me, you constantly use your phone for social media updates, you’ll know that the battery doesn’t last long when flitting between Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Snapchat in particular completely drains battery life so the one thing I had to have for this trip was a power bank / back up charger for my phone when on the go.

I came across this one from good old Penney’s last week for the absolute bargain price of €9! So far it seems to work pretty well so fingers crossed it’ll keep me charged up. After all, I plan on sharing lots on my social media while away.

A comfy pair of sandals

We’re going to be doing a lot of walking around, and while a pair of trainers is the more practical option, I can never resist a cute pair of sandals for wandering around and discovering new things.

I picked these ones up in the Aldo sale earlier this year and they are very comfy. The tan colour means they will go with everything too.

A multi socket plug adaptor


Yes, it’s boring I know. But, as we’re going to three different countries on two different continents, an multi-socket plug adaptor is most definitely a must-have. Each of the countries we’re going to have different plug sockets, and let’s be honest, I couldn’t live without my phone or camera being charged, so this is one of the first things I ticked off my list.

Sunglasses

Many of you may have read about my new Tom Ford sunglasses in a post I shared a few months back (if not you can catch it here). Long story short, I had been lusting after them for so long and after them being out of stock for what felt like an eternity, I finally got my hands on them at the end of August.

The fact that we’re going to be in a lot of sunny places means we will be wearing sunglasses pretty much everyday, and therefore I wanted a good sturdy pair that could withstand a lot of use. This pair while gorgeous, are not too delicate, so I’m hoping they will see me through the entire trip and beyond. They’d want to for the price of them!

Music

Okay while this isn’t really an item, no trip would be complete without a great playlist. Over the Summer I’ve been writing lists of some of my favourite songs, old and new, many have a Summer vibe to them, so that I can combine the ultimate travel playlist before we go. I haven’t got around to doing this yet, but trust me, it’s next on the list.

So there you go, my ultimate travel accessories. It feels so surreal writing this post, I still can’t believe this trip is happening. Someone pinch me, seriously!

Watch out for my beauty travel essentials post which will be live tomorrow, and in the meantime if you think I’m missing anything important off my list then please let me know.

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

 

 

Accessory Lovin’

It’s a funny time of year, we’re stuck in that in-between time where the sun is shining and it’s technically Spring, but it’s still freezing outside. Well at least in Dublin it is.


As much as I love my chunky scarves, I’m ready to leave my winter coat behind and embrace my lighter, summer wardrobe full of brighter colours, slip on shoes, no tights, sandals and flowy dresses.

But as there’s no sign of that happening just yet, it was once again a case of skinny jeans, a jumper, and an oversize scarf for today’s outfit. To mix it up though, I added one of my favourite necklaces, this Gorjana gold bar necklace that my hubby bought me for Christmas from Loulerie in Dublin.


I absolutely love this shop, and have bought so many things from them over the years. I have rings and necklaces, I got my wedding earrings there, and even bought my lovely bridesmaids necklaces from them.

A piece of jewellery can completely lift an outfit and I’m a sucker for a good neckpiece as I may have mentioned one (or ten) times before! So until warmer weather arrives, it’s got to be all about the accessories.

Sorcha x

 

Alexa Lovin’

Handbags. Do I even need to go on? I don’t think there are many women out there who don’t love a pretty handbag and I’m no exception.

Depending on my mood I flit between oversize and mini, satchel and clutch, cross-body and over the shoulder, you name it – I’ve probably got a bag that fits your description!

I do, like all things, have my favourites however, and today that’s my Mulberry Alexa. It’s been a while since I’ve given my Alexa some love, but a friend of mine was recently talking about purchasing one for herself which made me realise, I hadn’t taken mine out to play in quite a while.

  
I bought this bag about five years ago now, and it is like my baby. I lusted after it for so long and when it finally became mine, my handbag life was complete (well for a while anyway!).

This is probably the most versatile bag I’ve ever had, as I’m sure all of you Alexa lovers out there would agree. The tan colour means it goes with pretty much everything I own, and the leather has worn incredibly well over the years, remaining as soft as it was when I first purchased it. It’s love what can I say…

 
And on that note, Alexa and I are off out, so Happy Friday. Hope it’s a great weekend all!

Sorcha x

February Wish List

Like many of you I’m sure, I’m always creating lists of things I like. I have lists for all my favourite things and lists of things I want; books, beauty products, clothes, accessories, shoes glorious shoes, and anything else you can possibly think of. I don’t know about you, but any time I read about something that intrigues me, or I see something I want to buy, it goes on my wish list.

Here’s a look at the top five things I’m lusting after this month:

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Lipsticks


Okay, there’s no two ways about it, I’m frickin’ excited to try out this whole collection, especially the new lipstick range. I love a strong lip and each of the shades in this collection are right up my street. I’m particularly excited to try out shade 714 which is a bright red colour, and the only lippy in Urban Decay’s new ‘Mega Matte’ formula.

Zara Oversized Zinc & Steel Earrings


I don’t know how many pairs of big earrings I own but they are a secret love of mine. I think statement earrings and neckpieces are a must in any wardrobe, and this month I have my eye on these zinc and steel babies from Zara. It’s love.

Benefit POREfessional Matte Rescue Gel


I don’t really have oily skin but do find that as the day goes on I can tend to get a little shinier. I’m a big fan of Benefit products, their That Gal primer is a constant in my makeup bag, so I’m looking forward to trying this out and putting it to the test.

Year of Yes

Ah Shonda Rhimes, the creator of several of my favourite TV shows, most notably Grey’s Anatomy. Shonda recently released this new book, Year of Yes, which I’m dying to read. It tells the story about how when she started saying yes to things more often, her life changed dramatically for the better. This one will also be on my February book list which I will be sharing with you all shortly.

Saint Laurent Espadrilles


I’ve had my eye on these fab studded espadrilles from Saint Laurent for quite a while now and this month I’m going to make sure they are mine! Perfect for the warmer weather that will be coming our way soon (we hope).

So there you go! What’s on your wish list this month?

Sorcha x

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

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