Friday, July 29, 2016
Sunday, July 24, 2016
I recently attended Longitude Festival with Boots Ireland to test out some of their products to beat fay fever and stay safe in the sun. I developed hay fever badly last spring and to say it's a pain, would be an understatement. I wake up each day unable to breathe properly and sneezing non-stop on an hourly basis is the norm. It's a hindrance for work and daily activities but especially during festivals, when you're surrounded by pollen, grass and other bacteria floating around the warmer air.
Boots are encouraging hay fever sufferers to visit their local Boots pharmacy or their website to see what products will work for them. During a meeting with one of their hay fever experts, I learnt that layering up products makes a huge difference. I'm currently taking anti-histamines but since testing the products below, I layer them up with nasal spray and eye drops for the best effect. I've also found using the anti-bacterial foam regularly reduces the spread of pollen to my face and clothes.
The festival itself was a dream - as always. It was my fourth year in attendance and it seems to be expanding in scale by the summer. Seeing Kendrick Lamar and Chvrches live for the second time was a total dream - both acts were born for the stage!
Monday, July 11, 2016
Whilst exploring Los Angeles during my American trip, I shot with the fabulous team over at Tunnel Vision. I've known Madeline and Isabel for a few years via blogging and whatnot so it was wonderful to meet them in person (and see BTS of their online store). Enjoy the photos - how L.A are they?!
Friday, June 17, 2016
CLICK TO SHOP: Pink biker jacket - Zara (similar) | Crop tee - American Apparel (similar) | Crepe culottes* - New Look Petite (similar) | Superstar trainers* - Adidas Originals | Faux leather handbag* - French Connection | Silver hoop earrings - ASOS
Photography - Zak Milofsky
SHOP THE POST
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Spring/ Summer 2016 is one of the brightest and most exciting seasons we've seen in a very long time (in fashion terms, approx. 3-4 seasons). We've been inundated with minimalist 'normcore' trends since 2013 and SS16 was the designers' chance to embrace the new and incorporate a sense of humour into their collections. (See Alessandro Michele's "Gucci Girl" for a perfect example).
The 'new' includes everything from unusual bright colours and a range of futuristic textures. It's not relying on one specific era or reference this time round; SS16 is taking a nod from an array of them. Whether it's 1970's suede and florals, 1990's Girl Power stompers or futuristic mesh and metallics, it's a season for everyone of all aesthetics - a season to experiment and a season to have fun with.
Friday, June 10, 2016
Every so often I go through hardcore slumps, which isn't news to you guys as I've written about them before. Slumps involving a lack of motivation, inspiration, enthusiasm and general bleh-ness with life. I often find myself struggling with all of these things on a daily basis, as I trudge through the joys of depression but approx. 3-4 times a year they hit hard. They affect everything around me but especially this, my blog, my job. And it really sucks.
One of the most irritating things about depression for me is how unexpected it can be. I could be getting along perfectly fine in all aspects of my life - college, work, relationships and so on - but then bam, one Thursday I'll wake up feeling paralysed with indifference and gloom. I'll struggle to leave my bed, I won't get dressed, I barely eat and I won't leave the house. I don't even look at my laptop because I know I won't have the physical or mental energy to engage with people in the way I want.
I'm pretty okay at the moment: I completed my second year of college successfully, my work flow is generally good, we're having some bouts of sunshine in Ireland and my days are decently busy. However, I can't help but feel the cloud of depression looming over me. I feel like depression itself is a dark, ominous balloon. Floating around and above you at all times, tripping you up here and there and always reminding you of its existence JUST in case you forget about it every so often. It makes me start to question my work, my content and my overall aim doing all of this. Yet again.
Sometimes doubting yourself is healthy - doubts make you step back and think and offer you a new insight or direction. Sometimes they're simply just a pain in the ass and can turn into a devil versus devil situation, where you're basically just bullying yourself 24/7 and your confidence diminishes.
I'm off to America next week; I've saved up for over a year to book the trip of my dreams. I was able to save because of this job and the work that I have done - it wouldn't have been possible otherwise. I felt terrified clicking 'book' on the day but I knew deep down it was necessary for me to step out of my comfort zone and to finally accomplish something I've dreamt of for so many years.
During slumps, I tend to 'eat my feelings' and buy crap I don't need in an attempt to cheer myself up. "Oh look, another pair of black jeans! But these ones have biker zips. I need them? I need them." I end up with piles of things I don't need or already have. I call these items the 'slump pile' because they're the aftermath of a FSSS (Feeling Shit Shopping Spree - I made that up. It's catchy). I end up feeling even worse then, with a bloated stomach for good measure and 47 pairs of skinny jeans.
Travel, however, is the only thing I've invested in that has successfully helped me get out of slumps and see the world yet again through rose-tinted glasses. Generally speaking, even an overnight trip to London can help me get out of feeling miserable. Maybe it's the change of scenery, the change of people or simply just a chance to get on a plane and come back as a new, refreshed person.
I couldn't be happier that my trip is coming up so soon. I feel like the embodiment of the confused John Travolta gif. I'm constantly comparing myself to other bloggers and questioning whether my readers even still find me half as interesting on a daily basis and it's getting tiring. I know I'll eventually build up confidence again and whack out some cool content but it can feel a tad disheartening in itself waiting to feel 'up' to something or anything after a slump.
I'm adoring personal writing posts at the moment; reading about peoples' travels, their love lives or how they themselves cope with pressures and mental health issues. I know I don't have the level of articulacy or flow as many out there but there is something extremely therapeutic writing like this and sharing your feelings straight-out, unfiltered to the world - to your dedicated readers especially.
I've learned over the last few months that a little transparency goes a long way. I talk openly about my struggles with mental health in the hope it encourages others to do so or that it simply makes someone realise they're not alone. I know blogging may seem like the "dream job" and in some ways it admittedly is for a 23 year old but there's also many, many cons to it: whether it be loneliness, a struggle to motivate yourself (as you're your own boss), being talked down to or chasing after your hard-earned money for months on end. It can and does get really tough, especially when you're trying to balance it with life itself and that godforsaken dark balloon floating around you.
Blogging has given me a platform to share my passions, ideas and thoughts with people worldwide. The freedom in typing that sentence itself makes me feel somewhat ignited again. Struggling with slumps and struggling with yourself can make anything in life difficult and it can make one issue seem like a million ones are hitting you at once.
Constantly reminding yourself of your achievements isn't narcissistic - it's healthy. I have a folder on my computer where I save screenshots of praises I've received from readers, peers or the media alike. I have my favourite blog shoots and brand collaborations in there, along with opportunities I've been given because of this career. I scroll through this folder whenever I'm feeling down.
I was scrolling through it today, after spending 40 minutes on Instagram telling myself how awful/ terrible/ boring my content is and I eventually just told myself to shut the hell up. I recently completed a CBT course and the one message that really stuck with me throughout it was: if you wouldn't say it to someone else, why say it to yourself? Why was I telling myself how horrific I am? What a terrible blogger I am? What exactly was I achieving by doing so?
I was scrolling through my folder, reminding myself of this and allowing myself to feel pleased and accomplished. Even writing this post itself has helped me feel an enthusiasm that has been missing for a few weeks now. I guess these posts are somewhat selfish, as they act as a form of therapy for me but I know they help you guys too, judging on the feedback I've received from previous ones. I thought why the hell not pen my current feelings down on the one thing I'm struggling with.
I know my struggle with depression won't end anytime soon but my slumps will. They come and go, they hit me like a tonne of bricks but they eventually leave. Yours will too. It's important to let yourself rest during tough times and to have a break from specific things that are really, really upsetting you or making your life difficult.
Making the effort to involve yourself in something that you know will cheer you up is key. Whether it be travelling, playing music, exercising, running around with dogs (guilty) or drawing, you do what's best for you - make the conscious effort to even attempt to climb out of your slump. You may fail over and over again but remind yourself you've gotten out of them before. Talk to someone and let them know about it, they'll no doubt help you.
I know how horrifically daunting it can be to say "Hi Mum, I'm feeling really depressed. I need to talk." but once you do, you'll quite literally feel a weight being lifted off of your shoulders. Allow yourself to have a break from things. Spend that extra day in bed. But know when it's dragging on too long and do something about it. Your mental health will only thank you for it.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
I’ve teamed up with Warner Bros. this month to bring you all a ‘Get The Look’ post* inspired by a super stylish and quirky new character: Louise Clark, from the upcoming release Me Before You - a heartbreakingly romantic film based on the critically acclaimed novel by JoJo Moyes. The film is out this Friday!
I attended a preview screening of Me Before You recently to get the lowdown on Louisa’s style played by Emilia Clarke. Her style is quirky, colourful and brilliantly retro- inspired; something I haven’t see done so well and authentically in a film in years. Below are some key items I spotted inspired directly by Louisa’s style throughout the film:
Louisa is super-feminine but isn't afraid to mix up styles, prints and textures. Her standout dresses were floral, full and a nod to the 1950's but kept modern with her eye for accessorising. It's the season for dresses and if you want to nab a similar style be clever when shopping around. Lou (and the actress herself) are petite so it's wise to choose full dresses and skirts cut especially for a smaller height so you don't drown yourself with too much material.
Bumble-bee tights play quite a part in the film (I won't ruin anything, don't worry) so I kept a keen eye on anything just as unique, loud and somewhat eccentric as her. Her faux fur stripe coat tended to go wherever she went and looked amazing with whatever she wore. The monochrome didn't overtake any of her pieces and kept her from looking too OTT - if that's even possible for Louisa?
Lou's yellow rain mac was my personal favourite clothing items of hers. I've seen them all over the high-street lately and surprisingly enough, the colour goes with most things - they're ideal for festival season! She layers her beloved print sweaters with crisp white shirts or collars but adds a casual twist by matching them with a floaty skater skirts and her essential wellies.
I couldn't help but obsess over Louisa's accessories - her choice of shoes and bags in particular were so, so fun. Her outfits added a much-needed lightheartedness to the film, especially when things got really emotional. 'More is more' is most definitely her style mantra and something many of us should adapt and embrace for a little extra sunshine in our wardrobes.
The film itself? Incredible. If you're a sucker for romance, with dry humour and some essential eye-candy (hello Sam Claflin), then you'll adore it! I cry at generally anything emotional and needless to say my mascara was around my ankles by the end of it. See the trailer here for a sneak-peak.
Monday, May 30, 2016
REST: This may seem like a pretty obvious one but if you've just finished up in college or school for the summer or you're off work for a few weeks, your brain and body need some serious TLC time. Make sure you take the time out to relax whenever you can; using a day off to chill at home and take a breather does wonders for the mind. Put your phone away, lie out in the back garden (if it's sunny) and embrace the fact that you are FREE to unwind (for now). It's great 'to do' things but sometimes the days where you do nothing at all are just as satisfactory and beneficial.
TRAVEL: Again, an obvious one to most but summer is the ideal time to travel and go on adventures. It's the perfect way to breakout of your comfort zone to experience new and exciting places. Travelling in between work and college will not only be a form of necessary escapism for you but it'll inevitably open your mind and help you to grow as a person in the long run.
I travelled around Europe last summer and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I can safely say it genuinely made my grow as a person and ignited the flame inside of me that makes me want to see and explore the world. I'm off to New York and L.A in less than 3 weeks on my own - I wouldn't have had the courage to merely book my flights if it wasn't for last summer. Just go for it! Remember: travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.
START SOMETHING NEW: Summer is the ideal time to start something new that you've wanted to do or learn for ages but keep putting off. Whether it be blogging or taking up a skill, it's the right time to experiment. Not every hobby requires money or a "school setting" - there's countless tutorials and free courses online, whether you want to learn how to code or learn how to apply gel nails, the world is your oyster when it comes to boosting your talents in the 21st century.
HANG OUT WITH FRIENDS + FAMILY: When life takes hold, sometimes we can become a bit of a recluse and rarely see our friends or family as much as we'd like. It's important to take the time to hang out with friends that you mightn't see often enough or family members that need company. It's sounds cheesy but as I've gotten older, I've realised the importance of arranging to see friends that I might drift from or family members that are getting older.
DISCOVER YOUR CITY: If you don't have the budget to travel or do much during the summer, fret not! Every summer I try and discover new things and places about Dublin that I haven't experienced before. Thoroughly exploring your city and what it has to offer is generally purse-friendly and a really rewarding experience. Whether it be visiting a museum, exhibition or flea market, you'll be thrilled with yourself for getting to know your hometown that little bit more.
My favourite things to do in Dublin during the summer are attend fairs or markets, check out exhibitions that might come in handy for my upcoming college year and have random wanders around areas that I mightn't be too familiar with. I also love getting the bus out to Glendalough in Wicklow for the ultimate brain-break and mini-getaway; it's an hour away and pure magic.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Summer dressing can be tough - especially if you live in a country that can have days of sunshine and torrential rain the next (Ireland). The key to summer dressing is layering; wearing layers at the beginning and end of the day is necessary when and if it's cooler but having the option to remove them when it warms up is a must. 70's-style dressing is still lingering for another summer, with florals and floaty materials seen in most high-street shops. However, it's more polished this season.
Instead of dressing head-to-toe 70's groupie (my fave way to dress, mind you) opt for statement pieces like embroidered biker jackers or jeans and team them with simpler, classic items.