alt=

Depop drama: Buying, selling and everything you need to know

I first used Depop about four years ago when I was in college and desperate to make a quick buck. I listed a few things for sale but as my phone camera was pretty terrible, my pics weren’t very enticing and I never made a sale.

I soom deleted the app and didn’t feel very encouraged to use it again.

Fast forward to 2020, Depop is even bigger than ever. During lockdown I began obsessing about tracking down a pair of shoes after I lost one while moving house. I’m wearing them in the pic below.

After searching the shoe online, several Depop links came up. I downloaded the app again and began trawling.

I messaged several people to no avail but finally I found a girl selling them in a size 5 and bought them from her. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit.

The shoes soon went to the charity shop but my curiousity was piqued and I realised Depop was the perfect way to hunt items that I’d previously seen in shops/online or no longer fitted me.

I tracked down the shoes but sadly they were too small.

This behaviour may seem bizarre to people with real hobbies but for me, it’s proved very satisfying.

A friend of mine even found shoes for her wedding on there. She was finding it hard to shop because of lockdown, I asked her what style and size she was after and within a few minutes, I’d pulled up some options on Depop!

So far, I’ve bought a Topshop jumpsuit that I previously borrowed off a friend, a blue suede Topshop skirt that I’d bought in a charity shop but was much too small, a pair of colour block jeans and a really cool Whitney Houston t-shirt.

I was after this blue suede Topshop skirt for years!

I rarely ever buy new clothing nowadays but I still love looking at what’s available in high-street shops.

So, if you’re looking to make your wardrobe more sustainable but aren’t a fan of vintage/charity shops, Depop is a great place to start and save money while you’re at it. Or you can declutter your own wardrobe and make some money while you’re at it.

The best part of Depop is that your cash isn’t going to line the pockets of a big coporation, Depop sellers are primarily young women or independent retailers.

I finally found the skirt!

Buying tips

Don’t restrict your search to just your own country

It’s tempting to limit your search to your own country as most sellers will ask you to pay postage.

But if you are really keen to find an item, tick the worldwide box and see what you can find. I’ve actually bought more items from UK/Northern Ireland sellers than Irish sellers.

Wearing the jumpsuit four years ago

I bought both the jumpsuit and the suede skirt from UK sellers and they arrived quite quickly.

Take your measurements

Most Depop sellers don’t offer refunds so you’ll need to ascertain the fit before you buy. Ask for measurements, take your own measurements (leg length ankle to crotch, widest part of bust and hips and narrowest part of waist).

Rather than relying on the size provided by the seller, I’ve been taking my own measurements for a more accurate fit.

alt=
I bought these jeans – but they did not fit!

I recently bought a size 10 pair of jeans on Depop only to find that they didn’t fit at all. So, when I was buying the suede skirt, I asked the seller to take measurements and checked them against my own and happily it fit.

Ask questions

If you’re thinking of buying something, ask questions first.

I.e. What’s the fit like, do you have more photos, was this taken with a flash (can make colours look different), any faults etc.

Most sellers are very obliging and won’t mind providing you with more information. Be sure to ask about postage, returns policy and delivery time.

alt=
Whitney t-shirt

Check prices between different sellers

If you find several people selling the item you’re after, check what the best price available is and ask each individual seller about postage costs as they may vary,

That way you can be sure you’re getting a good price. It’s also worth assessing the condition of each item however, some may be cheaper due to flaws/condition.

Haggle if possible

Now I’ve never been the best haggler in the world but this is a platform where you can make offers and bargain.

Some sellers will state that they welcome offers and others will not. You can also offer a swap of an item or ask if they can do a bundle deal or free postage. It’s always worth asking but obviously don’t take the piss either or you probably will end up on the Depop drama Insta!

If an item doesn’t work out

If your item is not as described or has undeclared faults, you can ask the seller for a refund. If they won’t help, you can open a dispute with Paypal.

Every transaction made through Paypal ensures your purchase or sale is protected if anything goes wrong.

Make sure to purchase through the Depop buy button rather than a private arrangement as you have more protection this way. Where possible, ask for a tracking number also.

If something just doesn’t fit and you can’t return it, you can always try selling it yourself or donate it.

Upload a pic of what you’re looking for

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, upload a pic and caption it “not for sale”.

State the brand and size and a description of the item you’re after, you never know someone may have it in the back of their wardrobe!

SELLING

Take the best photos you can

Ideally your photos should be of someone wearing the outfit but if that’s not possible, good lighting and clutter-free backgrounds are a must.

Make sure you show the front and rear of the item and take pictures of any flaws. If the colour is not showing up right in the pic, make sure you mention in the listing what the true colour is.

alt=
My Depop profile (my pics leave a lot be desired but I’m working on it)

Be flexible with your pricing

The quality of the item should be reflected in the price so if it’s an item you’ve worn a lot, don’t charge what you paid for it. New items with tags still on can command more as can lightly worn items or secondhand designer items. If you don’t accept offers/swaps, it’s a good idea to mention that.

Use tags

Depop will only allow five hashtags per item, however, you can include more popular keywords that people commonly search for (y2k comes to mind!)

Be truthful

“Such a stunning Y2K top, one of a kind”, grates after you read it for the 50th time. Likewise, don’t list an old Jane Norman cardi as “vintage”, that will only irritate buyers. True vintage clothing should be at least 20/30 years old so don’t lose the run of yourself.

Give as much detail as possible and be patient if your buyer has questions.

Ask for reviews and leave reviews

It’s nice to be nice and getting a good review will increase trust and encourage more people to buy from you. So ask your buyers to leave a review when they’re satisfied and also review them as buyers. It’s a win-win!

Approach potential buyers

If someone likes an item, don’t be shy, drop them a DM and ask if they’re interested in buying. I get these messages all the time and usually I just reply browsing thanks but a friendly message could help close a sale,

When your items aren’t selling

If your items haven’t sold, there are a number of avenues you can explore. You can delete the listing and reupload it with new pics or update the description. You can lower the price or offer a limited discount or offer bundle prices.

You can also share your items on other social media such as Instagram or Facebook, it may catch someone’s eye there.

Above all, don’t be disheartened, it takes time and patience to build a up a Depop profile.

I’m really enjoying using Depop and I’ve found it to be one of my favourite ways to shop now, particularly when shops aren’t open.

Have you used Depop? Leave me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon and let me know.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page and of course my Depop @edelh22.

Edel

Staycation in Killarney, Co Kerry

Admitting you’ve been on a foreign holiday this year will make you a social pariah faster than you can say “cancelled.”

Like many others, I’m staying at home this year as I don’t think travelling abroad is worth the risk at the moment. I try not to judge anyone who is going abroad as I really enjoy my holliers and would probably be heading away were it not for Covid-19 crashing the party.

This summer seems particularly long with no weddings, concerts or other events to break it up. Even going to the pub is an ordeal and so after five months working at home, I was climbing the walls and desperate for a change of scenery. (I know, first world problems or what?)

Luckily, I managed to cajole my boyfriend into a staycation (also known as a holiday at home) in the wonderful surroundings of Killarney, Co Kerry.

We chose Killarney as there was lots of affordable mid-week accommodation and I’d never been to Kerry and my boyfriend had only been once.

Also, it was far enough away from Dublin to make it feel more like a proper trip away.

We were staying right in the heart of town in the Killarney Avenue hotel. It was quite reasonably priced for mid-week (€318 for two nights) which was pretty good for a four-star hotel.

There are tons of BnBs and hotels in Killarney but it’s definitely worth paying a little more to be closer to town. It was a beautiful hotel with lots of hygiene measures in place and we felt very safe and relaxed.

The residents’ bar was closed but you could order drinks to your room at no extra cost which was fantastic! The staff were also lovely, very obliging and couldn’t do enough for you.

The only small drawbacks were breakfast wasn’t included (you could pay extra but we decided to dine out instead) and the car park is quite narrow and small although I think there is some undergound parking also.

One of the first things you’ll notice in Killarney are the famous jaunting cars, a horse and cart with a “jarvey” driving them.

alt=
Killarney’s famous jaunting cars

Killarney was absolutely buzzing with staycationers and locals alike when we arrived on a warm Wednesday afternoon. We checked in and went for a stroll around the town to try find a spot for dinner.

We also got some delicious Murphy’s ice-cream which was the perfect antidote for the hot day.

A lot of the restaurants were booked out or very busy. We were torn between an Italian restaurant Salvadors and Robertinos and a fish place but went for Salvadors as it served alcohol (priorities haha).

I had carbonara which was absolutely delicious but took some time to consume! My other half had a seafood dish and we split a bottle of white wine.

We had to queue for about 10 minutes but the weather was lovely and warm so we didn’t mind.

After dinner we went for a stroll around town and found a cafe called Curious Cat where we ate breakfast the next day. I also spied a tiny vintage shop which I vowed to visit.

The weather was perfect the first day however, rain threatened the next day. But we’d planned to drive out along the Ring of Kerry with a picnic lunch so we weren’t too worried.

One of my favourite travel bloggers Melanie May was in Kerry at the same time so I was avidly watching her stories to see her recommendations. She advised skipping Muckross House and going straight to Ladies View to admire the stunning scenery of Killarney National Park.

An interesting fact we later learned in Killarney House was that Ladies View gets its name from Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting who visited the spot in 1861.

Nowadays, there’s a nice cafe with an open air deck which wasn’t too busy and we enjoyed a coffee and cake here.

On the way up to Ladies View, we stopped and took some photos of a deserted old church.

alt=
Deserted old church

We had no real plan for our drive and we continued motoring the twisty windy N70 road, keeping an eye out for errant sheep along the way.

The road has a few steep inclines but the sharp bends are the most dangerous part so drive with caution.

We ended up in the picturesque town of Sneem which has lots of statues (including one of Charles de Gaulle), colourful buildings, retro signs and murals.

But the most amazing thing we saw was definitely a bearded man with a giant billy goat on a lead! I didn’t believe my boyfriend at first until he showed me.

I loved the colourful buildings and retro signs
Sneem Tavern
Sneem is a very cute town
Bee mural in Sneem

Sneem was quiet enough while we were there and we tried to picnic on a bench but rain sent us back to the car!

There is a caravan park in the town, ideal for staycationers on a road trip.

On the way back down, it became quite misty and we even had to turn on our fog lights to make sure other cars could see us.

The scenery was breathtaking
Killarney’s famous lakes
Sneem

That night we ate at the hotel’s restaurant and went for a late-night stroll hoping to find a speak-easy.

Needless to say, we didn’t and settled for room service drinks and late night TV from the comfort of the enormous bed.

We could use the pool at the Killarney Avenue’s neighbouring hotel, the Killarney Towers just across the road but it was booked up on the second evening.

However, the staff kindly allowed me to use it at 12pm on our last day even though we’d checked out by then,

I went for a relaxing swim while my boyfriend took a stroll through the town after breakfast in Noelle’s Cafe. I wouldn’t recommend this place, the staff seemed rushed off their feet which is fair enough but they messed up my order, the table wasn’t clean and neither was the floor.

As I recall, the food was fine but nothing outstanding. The decor was cute but Curious Cat is a much better bet.

In Curious Cat, I had French toast with bacon and coffee while my boyfriend had a full Irish with Sneem black pudding.

We also stopped at The Tan Yard for a coffee which we had sitting outside, enjoying the mild weather.

Before leaving I was dying to check out the vintage shop I’d seen, Hazel’s Nuts About Vintage on Glebe Street.

It looked small so I told my boyfriend I wouldn’t be long but inside, I got sucked into a vintage paradise.

alt=
The most adorable earrings

The stock was fantastic and really reasonably priced. I tried on Versace jeans that were amazing but didn’t fit and I spent ages rifling through the jewellery, trying to decide what to pick.

alt=
One of the outfits on display

Eventually, I went for a Ireland map pendant necklace (I’d wanted one of these for ages), some gorgeous dragon earrings and a sparkly lurex jumper with a pink/purple leaf design, perfect for autumn and Christmas. The total came to €45. (There are pics on my IG stories highlights).

I think the jumper was €29/€30 and the jewellery about €7-8 approximately. I could’ve spent a lot more in this shop, it really is a gem and worth checking out if you’re in Killarney.

Also the owner told me they sell at a market on Sundays so definitely worth checking out the market if you’re visiting at the weekend.

Our final stop before hitting the road was Killarney House and Gardens, We initially thought the house was closed and enjoyed a stroll around the gardens which are very well-maintained but also have spots growing wild to encourage bio-diversity.

My boyfriend is responsible for the macro photo skills

We saw lots of bees (did you know there are 21 bumblebee species in Ireland? I learned this from a display in the grounds and it was really fantastic to see the efforts being made to protect pollinators.

alt=
The beautiful grounds of Killarney House
Misty views of Killarney House and Gardens
A very enjoyable stroll
A feast for the eyes

We also got to go inside and visit the house for free. I’d forgotten my facemask but they had ones for visitors which was great.

I love history and the house was full of beautiful and interesting exhibits, telling its story and that of the local area.

alt=
Killarney House
alt=
Killarney memorabilia
alt=
A stag’s skull on display in Killarney House

Sadly, it was then time to hit the road and we headed back to get the car. We had such a wonderful and enjoyable stay in Killarney and I hope to be back in the future

I hope you all have enjoyed this post. I’m very aware that travelling in Ireland is not cheap and not an option for a lot of us at this time so I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Please note, we paid for everything ourselves, this was not a gifted stay. Leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve been to Killarney or if you’d like to go in the future. Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

alt=

Charity shopping in a post-Covid world: Liberties, Rathmines and Camden Street

Charity shopping was one of the things I missed most when Ireland went into lockdown. As you all know, I spend an inordinate amount of time browsing and trying on clothes and looking for bargains.

As I moved house just before lockdown, I didn’t even have a chance to visit the charity shops in my new neighbourhood.

So as soon as I heard they were reopening, I was ready to go check them out. Previously, I’d lived on the northside of Dublin and although I’d frequently been charity shopping on the southside, I wasn’t as familiar with its offerings.

LIBERTIES

My first day back at the shops was a little disappointing as there are strict limits on the numbers that can enter at any one time and I had to queue for a few. Staff were meticulous about reminding customers to use hand sanitiser which was great but like other shops, you can’t try anything on at the moment. I wandered around the shops around Meath Street and Thomas Street but left empty-handed. Not all of the charity shops opened on June 8 so I didn’t get to visit them all.

However, a few weeks later I had a successful thrifting spree in the fantastic Simon Community shop on Thomas Street.

It was a Friday and there were a few customers browsing but I didn’t have to queue. I immediately noticed some great stock, including a beautiful blue Sandro dress.

However, as I couldn’t try things on, I had to judicious about my selections. I spotted a really cute floral Nasty Gal blouse with fringing on the sleeves and back.

alt=
€7 shirt brand new

alt=
Floral shirt

It was a size 12 but looked small so I knew it would fit me.

It was new with tags on but was only €7. I’ve already gotten loads of wear out of it which is great!

alt=
The fringing on the back and sleeves

Using my investigative journalist skills (lol), I found it on the Nasty Gal site and it had been €28 full price so I got it for a quarter of that!

alt=
The floral blouse and belt I thrifted

Here I’m wearing it with my favourite Topshop jeans, an old wicker bag I found at home and my Doc Martens.

The floral shirt
Wearing the shirt and belt I thrifted

I also spotted a brand new F&F bra with tags on in my size for €5. The original price was €12.50 so a good bargain!

I know some people wouldn’t even consider buying a bra in a charity shop but this was brand new and I’m trying to avoid buying new where possible.

alt=
Pink F&f Bra

alt=
€5 new bra

I was also tempted by a white denim overall dress but when I turned it around, I saw some marks on it so I left it.

When I was going up to the till, I spied an adorable belt with a gold Scottie dog buckle and three little dogs on the side.

alt=
Vintage style belt

On the inside, I saw it was marked real leather in French and I could tell it was really nice quality too.

It didn’t have a price on it but when I brought it up to the till it was €1!

alt=
My adorable belt was a big hit on the gram also!

Unfortunately, when I got home, one of the dogs fell off the side but I’m going to find a way to reattach it because it is the cutest belt ever!

alt=
So cute!

My total was €13 and everything fit well. The belt is a little small but I will wear it around my waist with a dress rather than jeans.

I visited again recently and there was even more gorgeous (and new) stuff, including an Urban Outfitters keyhole 90s style top and pleated skirt that I may go back for.

I also nipped into the Vincent’s shop on Meath Street which was closed for longer than the others and I saw a brand new tie-dye print slip skirt from Penneys.

alt=
The tie-dye style slip skirt

I’d been looking for a slip skirt for ages to wear with Doc Martens. It was a size 12 and still had tags on, originally priced at €14.

I’m a ten but I thought it looked small and as it was only €5, I decided to get it.

alt=
Primark skirt brand new with tags

alt=
€5, verdy good value!

It’s ever so slightly large for me in the waist but fits well in the hips. I don’t have any weddings this year thanks to Covid but I may wear it to an upcoming barbeque.

RATHMINES

There lots of charity shops in Rathmines but I visited at the start of June when they weren’t all open. Rathmines tends to have some really nice stock compared to the city centre and I admired some skirts in Oxfam but as you couldn’t try anything on, left them behind.

I did pick up a holographic sunglass sleeve for €1 which was great because I lost the one my Ray-Bans came in (typical I know).

alt=
Raybans not included

I will be back to Rathmines another day for a proper shop.

CAMDEN STREET

My blogging pal Ama and I decided to meet up for a charity shop crawl of the Camden Street area which was so much fun. If you can rope a friend into charity shopping, it’s much more enjoyable and also you have someone else’s advice.

We popped into a few of the stores, including Liberty, Enable Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society. Ama was on the hunt for a formal bag and struck gold – we saw a beautiful pink Karen Millen bag that was in excellent condition. It was €15 and in really good nick so she was delighted with it.

I was tempted by a gorgeous Zara long skirt and a real leather Tommy Hilfiger 90s style one with a slight side split.

But the Zara was too small and the Tommy Hilfiger one had a damaged zip so I reluctantly left them behind.

Ama was a good companion for charity shopping as she reminded me I didn’t need more skirts anyway! Check out her blog here.

I spied a Humans of New York book for €10 that I was very tempted to buy but I had no cash and the shop didn’t have a card machine. Now, I’ve noticed a lot of more charity shops take card these days but it’s still worth bringing cash in case they don’t.

Instead I merely bought a few wooden clip hangers for a mere 10 cent each as I don’t have enough at home for the giant skirt collection!

alt=
10 cent hangers can’t beat it

TIPS

You can’t try on clothes at the moment so only buy something if you’re pretty sure it’ll fit and check if it’s possible to exchange if not. I know some stores are offering exchanges at the moment because of this.

Bring cash and cards, some charity shops still don’t have card machines.

Be prepared to queue, most charity shops are quite small and have strict limits on the number of people who can come in. I’ve never had to queue longer than five minutes for any of them but some may be very busy.

Wear a mask and use hand sanitiser – every shop I’ve been to have been asking people to sanitise their hands which is great to see.

And finally – be patient and don’t give the staff hassle, remember the charity shops took a massive hit when they closed and are only getting back on their feet now. So, don’t haggle with the staff and be respectful.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

alt=

How to machine dye old jeans with Dylon

With the shops closed and the majority of us spending most of our time at home, now is a good time to go through your wardrobe.

Perhaps you need to do a purge of things that don’t fit or no longer suit your lifestyle.

Put what you don’t want into a bag for the charity shops as they’ll be in need of donations when they re-open.

Alternatively, you can take your old clothes to a clothes bank if there’s one in your local area or cut up old/stained clothing to make into dusters.

If you have an item you like but you want to breathe new life into it, why not try an upcycle? Fabric paint, dye, embroidery, zips, and studs can all inject new life into an old item.

alt=<jeans>

I’m going to share one of my favourite upcycling methods and show how machine dye transformed these vintage jeans.

When I first bought these jeans, I really liked the fit of them but I wasn’t crazy about the colour. (I took before pics but for the life of me, I can’t find them!)

alt=<dyed jeans>
Bored in the house and I’m in the house bored

I was at a Tola Vintage kilo sale when I spotted these Levis 511 jeans. They are a slim fit but not skinny and low rise.

What I liked most about them was how thick and hardwearing the denim is. PS, I spilled water on them in the pic above, hence the weird discolouration!

I wore them a few times but I found it hard to match the weird grey/white colour and so they soon were left in a drawer.

Browsing in Hickeys one day, I saw some navy Dylon dye and I decided it was time to dye the jeans.

The process was really simple. I’d hand-dyed things before which can get messy but this was machine dye so I just had to pop the jeans into the wash with the dye capsule and run a cycle on 30C or 40C.

Then I had to wash them again with detergent on the same cycle and wait for them to dry.

The jeans emerged a gorgeous dark navy with the stitching remaining white. I hadn’t planned this but I really liked the effect.

alt=<levis 511 jeans>
Levis 511 dyed jeans

However, the brown Levis patch on the back did dye which I was hoping it wouldn’t.

I don’t know if there’s a way around this but if there is, let me know!

Since I dyed the jeans, I’ve worn them much more frequently and found it easier to match them with outfits. The colour has also remained strong with numerous washes almost two years on.

This dye will remain on anything it stains, some got onto a towel I was using and it is still there to this day! So wear rubber gloves and old clothes and follow instructions carefully!

alt=<levis-jeans>
Levis tab

The colour of the dye on the box didn’t look that dark but it came out a deep navy blue which was exactly what I wanted. As far as I can remember the shade I picked was called navy blue.

Dylon also have a dye especially for faded jeans which I may use to revive old pairs in the future.

alt=<levis-jeans>
Levis 511 jeans

It’s important to remember that every fabric is different and dye results will depend on the permeability of the fabric and type of fabric. And some fabrics can’t be dyed, so check before you break open the dye.

The weight of the fabric and the amount of synthetic fibres will affect the final result, synthetic mixes will come out lighter.

From a sustainability point of view, obviously the dye residue will go into the water and there’s a good bit of washing involved but it’s probably still more sustainable than going out and buying a brand new item.

Machine-dying a few items with one capsule is probably the most sustainable way of doing it.

alt=<levis>
Stitching on the back pocket

If you want to avoid artificial dyes, you can experiment with natural dyes, such as fruits and vegetables. Check out Moya (Environmental Eadai) on Instagram or Aisling Duffy Designs for natural dye inspiration.

Hope you all enjoyed this upcycling post and let me know if you decide to try machine dyes.

alt=<levis-511>
My dyed Levis 511s

As for what else I’m wearing in the outfit above, it’s all vintage or thrifted except for my sunglasses. My boots were about €22 from a charity shop, shirt was about €6 from a charity shop (both River Island).

The jeans and my leather waiscoat were sold by kilo so I can’t remember what I paid but whole outfit is probably only about €55.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out the competition I’m running on my Instagram and Facebook pages at the moment.

Edel

 

alt=

Nine free things you can do at home during quarantine

A lot of us are housebound or partially housebound these days as COVID-19 fear grips the nation.

Some of us have to stay indoors due to self-isolation, self-restricting or quarantine, while others are working from home or caring for children or both.

Being stuck at home isn’t a lot of fun and normal hobbies like sports, going to events, having lunch or coffee with friends and my personal favourite, perusing charity shops, go out the window.

I have had a taste of it previously and I thought I’d share how I survived my very own housebound experience.

Almost three years ago, I broke my ankle badly. I needed surgery and was in a massive amount of pain and on medication for weeks.

Luckily, I was able to work from home but I was living by myself at the time and was very fearful of hurting myself again.

For the first two weeks, I didn’t even dare leave the house to go to the shop as I was afraid of falling off my crutches…

alt=
My crutches

As the summer wore on, I worked, watched plenty of Netflix and gradually gained the confidence to get out and about. But there were also many difficult days and my mental health was at an all-time low. I spent a lot of time in floods of tears due to the effects of the medication I was on, loneliness and the feeling of helplessness.

I was also massively reliant on my boyfriend and our relationship hit a rough patch halfway through the summer. Coupled with this, I was also dealing with the sudden death of a beloved friend earlier in the year.

It took a long time for me to recover both mentally and physically but there were some activities that helped me pass the time and feel better.

All of these things are free to do and can be easily done from the comfort of your home.

1.Exercise

As I was on crutches, exercise didn’t seem like an option but once I got used to them, I found going out for short “walks” built up my stamina.

If this isn’t an option for you due to self-isolation/restriction, try some light weights. Obviously, if you’re sick/at risk, don’t do anything without seeking medical advice.

I found doing some shoulder presses and upper body weights in the evening a good way to unwind after working from home.

2. Experiment with cooking

Again, if you aren’t well, not a suitable activity but if you’re OK, trying a new recipe or even just experimenting can be enjoyable.

alt=
Pancakes at Moak

I made lots of random dishes over the summer and also found some handy substitutes, i.e. one day, I was craving pancakes but had no flour so I crushed porridge oats with a hand blender to make a “flour”.

3. Care for your plants/try growing a plant

If you have houseplants, now is the perfect time to show them some TLC.

Even low-maintenance cacti need a little attention.

alt=cacti
My beloved cacti plants

If your plants need watering, put them in the bath or shower and drizzle them tepid water or cooled pasta water which is rich in starch and good for your plant pals (just make sure it hasn’t been salted).

alt=
Lamp and cacti plants

If your plants are getting too big for their pots and you have a spare, you can repot them and watch them bloom.

You can also prune your plants as necessary and move them around to make sure they get adequate sunshine. Or if you’ve got some seeds and a sunny spot, see if you can grow something.

An avocado plant is an easy one to grow at home, all you need is a pit and a glass of water to start.

4. Learn to sew/knit/crochet or any creative hobby

I learned to bake, sew, crochet and knit both in school and at home, yet I hardly ever do any of those things now.

If you have a ball of wool or some clothes that need some basic alterations, why not have a go at mending them yourself?

alt=
Sewing the buttons back on to this vintage shirt

If you don’t have any experience, look for online tutorials.

You could also clear out your wardrobe while you’re at it! And keep your unwanted clothes for the charity shops/recycling.

Other things you could try are painting, decorating your house or just a simple upcycling project.

One upcycle I enjoy is after a candle burns out, pouring in hot water to clean out the wax and repurposing the jar for something new.

So far, I’ve used one as a key dish, one as a toothbrush jar and one to display seashells in as a decoration. Or you can just recycle the glass!

Creativity is a wonderful way to channel your energy and I’ve always found it helps me feel calm.

5. Try a new beauty trend or hairstyle

If you’ve always wanted to shave your head/dye your hair a crazy colour but were too scared to, now’s your chance.

Or you can just let your hair/eyebrows/roots/nails/body hair grow out during quarantine.

Self-care can work wonders for your mental health but don’t pressure yourself to be overly groomed at this time.

Try on some crazy makeup/ a bold nail colour/ a different hairstyle/an outfit you’re unsure of, whatever makes you happy!

6. Find a book you need to finish or haven’t read before

Reading is a wonderful escape from the stresses of life and I was lucky enough to be in a house full of books at the time of my injury.

Most of them weren’t my own and I’m a pretty voracious reader so I read whatever came to hand.

I did never finish Love in a Time of Cholera though….

There are lots of virtual book and movie clubs starting out on social media so reach out and see if anyone wants to form one with you. Who says reading is a solitary hobby?!

7. Life/money admin

Yes, it’s boring but there is a certain satisfaction in deleting emails from your inbox.

If you’ve yet to file a tax return, bite the bullet and do it now. Don’t go with one of those companies who offer to do it for you, they take a percentage of your hard-earned cash and the process is simpler than it sounds. You can file online at Revenue.ie and there’s lots of information about allowances on the Citizen’s Information website.

If your employer pays any expenses for you as part of your job, now’s the time to submit them also or sort out your bills.

Cancel any old standing orders or direct debits or subscription services you no longer need and see if you can switch any of your utility bills to save some money. Switcher.ie is a great resource.

8. Make a plan to look forward to

A lot of people have seen their summer plans go out the window, with holidays and weddings called off and festivals and concerts in jeopardy also.

But you can still make a plan to do something simple, it could be going to your favourite restaurant/bar when it reopens, a day at the beach or a road trip in the future.

I had a holiday booked at the end of summer 2017 and thinking about that helped me get through the bad days.

This year, foreign travel isn’t looking so likely but I’ll be looking into staycation ideas at home.

9. Learn a new language or skill

Want to brush up on your Junior Cert French or learn to speak as Gaeilge properly? Hop over to Duolingo and start a course.

If languages aren’t your thing, check out the free courses on Alison.com and LinkedIn also sometimes have courses.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and perhaps found something you’d like to do at this difficult time. Remember, if you’re unwell, don’t push yourself to do anything major, stay in bed and watch Netflix or rest if possible.

Please remember to keep to social distancing and look out for those who are most vulnerable at this tough time. Thanks for reading and leave me a comment if you’ve any quarantine activity suggestions.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

alt=

River Island Spring Summer Trends 2020

Last week, I was invited along to the River Island Spring Summer 2020 press day and I was thrilled to see all the gorgeous fashion on show.

Although I don’t purchase many fast fashion items anymore, I still love seeing all the trends and getting inspiration for the new season.

I have also found River Island‘s footwear and clothing to be quite hard-wearing in comparison to many other high-street stores.

Here are the key trends for 2020:

Western

I’m a sucker for Western-style clothing and a good cowboy boot.

I have several pairs of ankle boots in this style from River Island but I have yet to buy a longer version.

alt=
These cowboy boots immediately caught my eye

They might be tricky to pull off but I think these would be gorgeous with a floaty dress or fishnets and shorts for a festival.

These are available online for £85/€113, shop on the UK site and order them to your local store to save a few quid.

alt=
River Island cowboy boots

Another stunning piece from the Paris Texas story is this cream fringed jacket – I’m in LOVE.

alt=
Cream fringed jacket. Pic: PRshots.com

And I’m a big fan of this soft bleached denim dress with big 80s-style gold buttons. This is available online for £55/€65.

alt=
Denim dress

If like me, you were a teenager in the 00s, you probably wore a diamante item or ten back in the day.

So, while you might be hesitant to relive that trend, it’s definitely making a comeback.

These diamante western belts are so cool, I want them in both colours but the black is probably a classier option for everyday wear! These are €40/£30.

alt=
Diamante western belts

Another eye-catching accessory is this black fringed shoulder bag. I’ve been looking for a round bag for ages and this one is really cute.

alt=
Black fringed bag

Western looks
Western-style

Faux leather shirts are still a big trend this year and I love the braiding detail on this one.

90s style shoes

Delicate strappy 90s style mules and sandals are going to be huge this summer and River Island have a great selection.

I loved these snakeskin square-toe sandals and the punchy lemon yellow and coral mules.

alt=

alt=
Yellow and coral mules

alt=90s shoes>
90s style mules

Romantic pastels and ruffles

Ditsy florals, puffy organza sleeves and pastel lilac, pink and green hues caught my eye as these are all right up my street.

But as well as the more feminine pieces, there was some sharp tailoring, such as the vibrant green three-piece suit to the left of the rail, which comprises of shorts, a waistcoat and blazer.

alt=pastels>
Pastels and florals

River Island spring summer
Lilacs, pinks and greens

Romantic pastel shades
Romantic pastel shades

alt=
Pastels and florals

Even though tailoring isn’t really my thing, I admired this lemon shorts suit with a funky double-breasted blazer – It’s giving me serious Dynasty vibes!

alt=
Yellow shorts suit

alt=
Yellow double-breasted blazer and shorts

Meanwhile, this adorable lilac handbag with chain and rivet detail was probably my favourite accessory on show.

alt=
River Island lilac bag

alt=lilac-river-island-bag>
River Island lilac bag

alt=
Lilac handbag. Pic: PRshots.com

As for sunglasses, long resin chains and dainty pearl detailing are key.

I’ve lost and mislaid more pairs of sunglasses than I care to remember so maybe a chain would be handy!

alt=
Western-style accessories

alt=
Pearl embellished sunglasses

Whites/Monochrome

There were also lots of delicate floaty white and monochrome pieces and I really like the contrast of the black ribbon and buttons on this beautiful dress.

alt=
Floaty white dress. Pic: PRshots.com

These tiered white shorts have a cool vintage look and would be perfect for a sun holiday.

White shorts with lace detail
White shorts with lace and floral detail. Pic: PRshots.com

The kids’ range was adorable as always, leaving me wishing some of the pieces were available in adult sizing.

alt=
Kids clothing River Island

I’ve flagged the items which are already available online and the entire range will be instore from March.

PS, this isn’t a sponsored post but I was gifted a voucher which I look forward to putting towards a pair of shoes!

Hope you all enjoyed this sneak peek at the new collection and drop me a comment if you’ve any questions, just click the grey speech bubble icon below right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my Instagram and Facebook page.

Edel

 

alt=

Wardrobe cull, mending and altering my clothes

How many items of clothing do you own that would be “perfect” if they were altered/repaired? That skirt that’s just a little too tight (or loose), the shirt missing half its buttons or the jeans that you constantly have to roll up?

The best outfits are not always expensive or trendy, rather they are the ones that fit us well and are most becoming to our body type.

I had over a dozen items of clothing in my wardrobe that didn’t fit well or needed to be mended or altered. Having recently moved into a much smaller apartment, it seemed like the perfect time to do a wardrobe cull/audit.

Shoes – I ended up giving away five pairs that didn’t fit well to the charity shop, a pair of snakeskin boots that were too small, another pair of ankle boots that were uncomfortable, a pair of cheap runners and two pairs of too-large heels.

alt=
New Look snake print boots which were too small for me

Jackets – A lovely tweed vintage jacket that I bought on impulse but never really wore as it was a size 14 had to go as did a cream embellished one which had lost some of its trimmings.

alt=
The tweed jacket

T-shirts/tops- I spent €25 on a Levi’s t-shirt in Spain when they were all the rage but it was really poor quality, it was very thin and had faded a bit so it had to go also. I also let go of a gorgeous navy bodysuit that no longer fit me.

Jeans/Leggings: I donated two pairs of jeans, white ripped ones that I wore approximately once a year and black mom jeans that never really fit well.

I also donated an impractical pair of lace-up black leggings that I hardly ever wore.

Handbags – I own an insane amount of bags and after much deliberation decided to part with a tiny impractical bag and a floral crossbody that I loved but rarely used.

Skirts- I owned two beautiful leather skirts that no longer fit but I was reluctant to let them go.

I brought them to a seamstress to see if they could be let out but unfortunately, it wasn’t possible.

The zip in the black one below broke the last time I squeezed into it! And looking back, I can see it’s too small for me…

I replaced the zip but realising they would never fit me again (bar developing some kind of wasting disease), I gave them to a fashion-loving friend where they will have a good home!

If you can’t bear to give away a much-loved item to the charity shop, then why not give them to a friend or family member?

Another too-tight suede skirt made its way to the charity shop after I learned it could not be altered either, leaving me with 17 fewer items in my overcrowded wardrobe.

Mending and fixing

I have a good collection of vintage shirts and blouses and while I wear some more frequently than others, one paisley print beauty was sitting forlornly in the back of my wardrobe.

I bought this a few years ago in Lyon Loring in Stoneybatter but discovered after a couple of wears, that the buttons were prone to snapping off and almost all of them fell off.

I kept the buttons and the shirt but never got round to fixing it until one day I took it back out of the wardrobe.

I came up with an interim solution of wearing it under a pinafore so no-one could see the missing buttons.

alt=
A slightly blurry close up of the blouse

Eventually, one quiet Sunday, I sat down with a needle and thread and gathered up all of the buttons to sew back on.

I wanted to use the original buttons as they are really pretty and thankfully, I found all of them bar one.

I always wear my collar open so I didn’t need a button for this, leaving me with just the right amount for all the missing ones.

Before I replaced the missing ones, I went back and sewed the remaining ones tighter so they wouldn’t fall off.

alt=
Paisley print vintage blouse

I ran into a small bit of bother when I realised the button openings were so small only the thinnest needle could pass through them but luckily I had a very thin small needle that did the job.

alt=sewing>
Sewing the buttons back on

Ta-da, my blouse was as good as new and having washed it twice since my stitches have held up nicely.

I intend to wear this blouse a lot more now, with jeans as below or underneath my black pinafore which contrasts really nicely with the black in the blouse.

alt=
My lovely vintage blouse as good as new

Mending and fixing up items can be a pain, especially in this day and age when we are used to everything being instantaneous.

Getting a professional to do it is the ideal option, however, alterations can be pricey, sometimes costing almost the same as a new item.

If it’s a tricky job or an expensive item, I’d advise going to an alterations place such as the Alterations Centre on South Anne Street. I had a dress altered here before and I was really happy with how it turned out. I’ve also used The Zip Yard for alterations and they have branches around the country.

If it’s something like sewing on a button or stitching a ripped seam, why not have a go if you have basic sewing skills? If you don’t but can’t afford alterations, then look up YouTube tutorials for help.

Or you could ask a friend or family member who’s handy at sewing but make sure you do them a favour in return!

My little DIY project has inspired me to see what else in my wardrobe could do with some TLC and hopefully, I’ll get more wear out of what I already own.

alt=
Brooding in black

As well as mending clothes, replacing the heel tips or resoling your shoes will help them last longer. I’ve several pairs of leather boots and good shoes that have lasted me years with repairs.

It’s better to buy expensive shoes which will last longer than a cheap pair which won’t be worth mending.

Outfit: Black trench coat: Daisy Street at Asos: £34.99/ €41.14

Vintage blouse: about €15

Jeans: Topshop €55

Belt: Charity shop €1

Earrings: Penneys €3

Total cost: €115.14

Hope you all enjoyed this post and Happy New Year! Thank you for reading and supporting my blog. If you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my Instagram and Facebook page.

Edel

 

alt=

Three Weddings and a budget

There comes a time in your life when you’re inundated with wedding invitations and dear reader, I have reached that time.

With lots of my friends and family tying the knot in recent years, I’ve been attending weddings right, left and centre.

Now, I love a good wedding mainly because it’s an excuse for a weekend away, a big party and of course, getting glammed up.

However, there’s no denying that weddings cost a bomb between paying for accommodation, wedding gifts and travel. And I frequently have to use annual leave days for them as I’m not guaranteed weekends off work.

So, although part of me would love a new outfit every time, the sensible part of me knows that I can’t afford it.

This year, I had three weddings and I decided I wouldn’t buy anything new from the high street and instead try to re-wear some of my old outfits.

Here’s how I got on:

Wedding number 1: An outdoor wedding in Meath in June.

This wedding was at Boyne Hill House and it was a beautiful day, it didn’t rain, even though there were a few drops on the way down.

The bride was radiant with flowers in her hair, the sun shone and it was a gorgeous civil ceremony. It was really nice to experience an outdoor wedding as I’d never been to one before.

alt=
Boyne Hill House wedding venue

I decided to re-wear an Asos dress I bought for another friend’s wedding two years earlier.

This dress actually fits me better now since I lost weight and I paired it with cream shoes from the charity shop which were €2 and threw an Asos white cardi on top.

This dress is from a brand called Elise Ryan and it cost €57.

I accessorised with a silver bag I already had.

Verdict: The dress was perfect for the weather and the occasion but the shoes were not great.

They were tough going on the grass and I felt like Bambi on ice! I gave them away since as they were not for me.

Hot tip: Don’t wear shoes you’ve never worn previously to a wedding, never a good idea!

alt=
Blue Asos dress

Price:€0 as everything was from my existing wardrobe.

Wedding no 2: A civil ceremony in Co Wicklow in August

Another gorgeous day out in Brook Lodge and MacCreddin Village in the heart of Wicklow.

The dress I wore for this wedding has been in my wardrobe for 11, yes 11 years!

I originally bought it for a Christmas party in 2008 and wore it to my college graduation in 2010.

Happily, it still fits and I added my hero red high heels which have also been in my wardrobe for a long time, around seven years.

They are the most comfortable heels I own, despite being quite high.

The only new part of my outfit was my hairband which I bought from AliExpress for €10.18 and earrings from Penneys.

I re-used the same silver bag as before – it goes with everything and threw on Ray-Bans when it got really sunny.

alt=
Green satin dress

To get the dress ship-shape, I had to gently handwash it as there were some stains on it and the silver straps had gone black so I went over them with silver nail varnish.

A bit of an effort but worth it because I love this dress and I got loads of compliments on it.

alt=
Green satin dress

I think this dress has lasted so long because it’s handwash only. It wasn’t an expensive dress but I’ve taken good care of it.

Verdict: This was a really good choice and I’m glad I hung on to the dress all these years. As it’s quite flowy, I had plenty of room for food and drinks and I lasted most of the night in the shoes too!

Cost: €13.18

Wedding no 3: An October ceremony in a refurbished barn in Co Louth

This was my boyfriend’s sister’s wedding so we were very excited about it and I was very emotional on the big day!

It was the cutest ceremony with an alpaca for a ringbearer and the venue, Seagrave Barns, was stunning.

We also got to stay in a wooden pod which was pretty cool.

For this wedding, I wore a dress and bag which were new to me but they were vintage and secondhand bargains.

While browsing in Retro City Lisboa in Lisbon, I came across a beautiful dress with a floral skirt and black upper half with a sweetheart neckline.

It was a gorgeous fit and really flattering on me, so I knew I had to get it. It was marked €20 but they gave it to me for €18.

alt=
Vintage dress from Retro City Lisboa

I decided I wanted a different bag this time and I spotted a funky 00s style Oriental print clutch in one of the charity shops in Phibsborough. This was about €6.90 but while it’s cute, it doesn’t open very wide so you can’t put much in!

I added a navy vintage belt with a gold buckle and my trusty red heels again. There were a lot of colours going on this outfit but they all worked together.

I accessorised with a hair clip from Nasty Gal and a small gold necklace which was about €6.

Verdict: A good choice, except I only brought a cardigan and ended up wearing a rain jacket over the dress as it lashed rain all day!

I spent the most on this outfit but it was still very little compared to the cost of a new outfit on the high street.

alt=
Floral vintage dress

I think I’ll save the clutch bag for nights out as I tend to bring lots of makeup to weddings and need a big bag.

Cost: €30.90

My total spend on outfits for the three weddings was €44.08, equal to the cost of one dress or pair of shoes on the high street.

Next year, I’ve two weddings lined up and after seeing how little I spent this year, it’s motivated me to re-wear outfits again or choose secondhand/vintage.

It’s possible to re-wear wedding outfits without becoming bored by changing up your shoes/accessories or even trying a different hair/makeup look.

Obviously, I was lucky in that I still fit into those dresses, if I didn’t, I might have had to buy new ones.

Sometimes, you do have to buy a new outfit/shoes/bag, depending on the circumstances and I’m not against that but it’s always worth checking what’s in the back of your wardrobe as well as exploring secondhand/vintage options.

While you might be attending weddings with the same group of people over and over, no-one is going to notice if you re-wear an old outfit, all the attention will be on the happy couple!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and it’s given you some inspiration for wedding outfits.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my Instagram and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

alt=

Lovely Lisbon: Portugal’s purse-friendly capital

This time last year, I’d never even been to Portugal but since I’ve enjoyed two visits to very different parts and fallen in love.

I went on a press trip to The Algarve last year and when it came time to book a holiday this year, a friend recommended Lisbon.

When it comes to holidays, I’m pretty easy to please but I do like a new destination every time.

<img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-12806″ src=”https://joyofblogs.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/img_7153.jpg?w=680&#8243; alt=”alt=” width=”5184″ height=”3456″> Portuguese flag

What’s great about Lisbon:

In terms of value for money, Lisbon is extremely good compared to Dublin/Ireland in general.

We weren’t on a tight budget but the majority of our meals plus drinks came in at under €35.

Public transport is excellent, it only costs €1.50 for a journey on the Metro, regardless if you’re going 10 stops or only 1. They also have the famous trams and modern trams and buses.

alt=
The no 28 tram

We bought reloadable Viva Viagem travel cards which we could also use on the tram and the overground train to Sintra. They are just 50 cent.

Be careful if you’re topping up the travel card as I accidentally deactivated mine by removing it from the machine too soon and had to buy another.

alt=
Beatles t-shirt and vintage shorts

DINING OUT AND LOCAL DELICACIES

Our lunch in Brick Cafe just around from our Airbnb in Intendente came in at €17 for two large dishes, a coffee, and a juice.

Even the most expensive meal we had at the beautiful Pharmacia Restaurant in Lisbon’s Apothecary Museum, overlooking the ocean, only came in at about €65 for two meals and drinks.

The quirky restaurant lets you choose a “prescription” cocktail, including a ‘Placebo’ non-alcoholic one.

However, the service was not as good as some of the cheaper restaurants, i.e. they forgot to bring us water and an ashtray.

It was hotter than normal for September so it was nice to be able to sit outdoors at Pharmacia and also in Alfama where I sampled the tasty bacalhau (codfish) dish for the first time.

Not only was the food affordable, but it was also delicious. Seafood is abundant in Lisbon, whether you want to try octopus, squid or sardines.

Strolling around the cobbled streets of Alfama, we saw some older ladies selling shots of ginjinha liqueur in a chocolate shot glass. Of course, we had to try it and afterward, I tried the ginjinha with tonic, equally delicious.

My tastebuds were also tickled by the sweet tawny port wine, served over ice. I barely touched a gin and tonic because of all the delicious local drinks.

Taqueria Patron in Bairro Alto is a great Mexican spot, we ate here twice.

The nachos and tacos were delicious and we even got a free shot the second time!

One dish I was dying to try was the feijoada, a black bean and pork stew which my Brazilian friends introduced to me to many years ago in the Epicurean Foodhall (RIP).

We found a lovely Brazilian restaurant called Terras Gerais Bistro where we tucked into feijoada served with collard greens and orange slices with a brigadeiro (traditional Brazilian sweet) for dessert.

My boyfriend had never had feijoada before and was so impressed, he recreated it at home.

The restaurant owner was lovely and very welcoming and it felt like dining in someone’s home.

Memmo Alfama
Memmo Alfama

Another lovely place we enjoyed a drink was the Memmo Alfama hotel where we could sit out on the balcony overlooking the sea.

Memmo Alfama Hotel
Memmo Alfama Hotel

My other favourite bar was the quirky Pavailhao Chines, which felt more like a museum as it was full of war memorabilia, antiques and collector’s items.

We initially thought it was closed because the door was locked but you just have to ring the bell to be admitted.

Luckily, another couple arrived and rang the bell just as we were about to leave.

THINGS TO DO

The 33C heat was a major deterrent to sight-seeing but we did venture out in the mornings and late afternoons.

Among the highlights for us were the Jardim Botanico, the Castelo de Sao Jorge, the Feira da Ladra flea market and a day trip to Sintra.

The Jardim Botanico proved to be the perfect place to escape the heat, with the giant trees blocking out the sun.

alt=
Flowers at the Jardim Botanico

alt=
Jardim Botanico

alt=
Jardim Botanico

alt=
The shade was badly needed!

alt=
Jardim Botanico

We also enjoyed numerous drinks in Cais do Sodre and strolling around the Praca do Comercio.

alt=
Praca do Comercio

On Sunday, we took a train to Sintra but almost missed it after a misunderstanding with the travel card and then by me leaving my bank card in the machine!

The train fare was about €5 and it was just 40 minutes outside of Lisbon.

alt=
The town of Sintra

alt=
Street sign in Sintra

There’s lots to see in Sintra and we chose the Quinta da Regaleira and the Palacio Nacional.

I had been thinking about visiting Sintra ever since I read about it on fellow blogger Shona’s site.

Our Lonely Planet guidebook wrongly informed us that entry to the Palacio Nacional was free on Sundays – turns out that’s just for Sintra residents!

It was €10 each to enter the Palacio Nacional. It’s an incredible building with a blend of architectural styles.

Like much of Portugal, Sintra was once ruled by the Moors but later it fell to King Alfonso Henriques.

alt=
Chandelier in the Palacio Nacional

alt=
Ceiling decoration

alt=
Fountain in the National Palace courtyard

alt=
Tile mosiac

alt=
Close up of a tile mosiac

alt=
Tiles and plasterwork at the Palacio Nacional

alt=
Views from the Palacio Nacional

Sintra is surrounded by hills and woods, with palaces and grand buildings around every corner.

The fairytale settings bring hordes of tourists so be prepared for the crowds, both attractions were quite busy.

We had to queue for a short time to get into the Quinta da Regaleira.

alt=
Me at the Palacio Nacional

alt=
Sintra

The Quinta da Regaleira was full of amazing twists and turns, winding stone staircases up to turrets and towers and tunnels behind waterfalls.

It consists of a chapel, palace and gardens and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I was captivated by the imposing-looking Castelo dos Mouros but it looked like it would be an arduous climb!

alt=
Castelo dos Mouros

Food-wise, Sintra was not as good or as cheap as Lisbon but we fuelled up with coffee and a toasted sandwich.

There are lots of little gift shops where you can buy quirky items like a fish-shaped oven glove but I went for postcards and fridge magnets as usual!

alt=
Quinta da Regaleira

alt=
Sintra

alt=
Sculptures

alt=
Fountain

Much of the architecture of the Quinta da Regaleira is said to feature secret religious symbols and references.

alt=
Quinta da Regaleira

alt=
Views from Quinta da Regaleira

alt=
The gardens of Quinta da Regaleira

alt=

We also visited the Castelo Sao Jorge and the famous Feira da Ladra flea market.

alt=
Castelo de Sao Jorge

alt=
Views from the castle

alt=
At the top of the castle

alt=
Views of the Carmo Convent

At the castle, we learned the story of the legendary knight Martim Moniz who threw himself through the castle doors to stop the Moors from closing it, dying in the process.

We had seen depictions of this at the Martim Moniz metro stop but couldn’t figure out what it was about till then!

alt=
It was a hot sunny day

alt=
Me and my bud, Mr Stone Lion

alt=
Old cannon at the Castelo

alt=
Castelo de Sao Jorge

alt=
Lisbon’s famous suspension bridge, Ponto 25 de Abril

Next stop was the market but we didn’t stay long as it was BOILING hot by late afternoon.

alt=
Pottery at the Feira da Ladra

alt=
Views of the cupola

alt=
The market

Check out the beautiful skirt I bought for €15 (I probably could’ve haggled better!) here.

Feira da Ladra means ‘Market of the female thieves’ but thankfully we didn’t get robbed!

There was a lot of junk at the market but there were also some really cool antiques and if you were willing to hunt for them, some good bargains.

I also saw some old Tintin comics and cool maps.

The market is on every Saturday and it’s best to go early in the day.

alt=
Old magazines and newspapers at the Feira da Ladra

alt=
Maps and comic books

alt=
Moorish-style water fountain

My other shopping recommendation for vintage-lovers is Retro City Lisboa which was only a few minutes’ walk from where we were staying.

It has a good selection of vintage shoes and clothing from eras ranging from the 50s to the 90s and I bought this gorgeous dress there for only €18.

Towards the end of our holiday, we visited the famous Se Cathedral which was truly beautiful and afterward we had a drink in Portas do Sol.

And I found the most delicious fresh pasteis de nata in a tiny backstreet kitchen while walking from the Portas do Sol down to the seafront.

alt=
The Se

Inside the Se
Inside the Se

DOWNSIDES

The only major downside to Lisbon is its extremely steep hills, they are tough to navigate in the heat and not for travellers with mobility issues.

However, the trams are handy and you can use the same travelcard for the metro.

There are also elevators in some buildings that will take you up to the top of steep streets, very convenient!

Parts of Cais do Sodre are a little seedy and people approached us trying to sell us coke and weed (possibly just bay leaves) but at no time did I ever feel in danger.

Don’t fall for it 😛

Lisbon is also a lot cleaner than Dublin (they wash the main streets every night), there seemed to be a lot less homeless people (that’s not to say they don’t exist but there definitely seemed to be fewer) and public transport is much better.

English is widely spoken but if you have a few words of Portuguese, try and use them!

I feel there’s still so much of the city we haven’t seen and I hope to be back one day.

We flew to Lisbon with TAP Air, the national airline and it was a great experience. Bags and a small meal and drink are included in the fare, there’s more legroom than on Ryanair and we didn’t have anyone sitting beside us on either leg of the journey.

Our return flights for two were €354 (we got a €20 discount for registering online).

Hope you all enjoyed this post and if you’ve any thoughts, leave me a comment below by clicking the grey speech bubble on the bottom right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media, check out my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page.

Edel

alt=

Oxfam’s Second Hand September Challenge

We’re almost at the end of September and I’ve pledged not to buy any new clothes for a month as part of the Second Hand September challenge.

It’s not the first time I’ve done a “no new clothes” challenge, I did one way back in 2014 and when I was doing my Master’s, I didn’t buy any new clothes for several months as I was broke!

This year, I’ve seen a lot of people doing No Buy July and I almost made it through the month until I caved and bought a little top from Bershka.

I decided to stick to Second Hand September but I had one small problem – going on holidays!

Last year, I didn’t buy any new clothes for my holidays in Barcelona but I picked up a few high street pieces while I was there. Now, I’m not going to guilt-trip myself over that as it was just two things which are still in my wardrobe.

alt=
Wearing an all second-hand outfit in Lisbon

This year, I again refrained from buying new holiday clothes but I freshened up my holiday wardrobe with pieces such as this Beatles t-shirt which I got for €3 in the Irish Cancer Society charity shop with my denim shorts from the Kilo Store in Amsterdam.

My belt is also second-hand, €1 from the Respect shop in Stoneybatter.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2mYL-gCeEP/

alt=
Beatles t-shirt and vintage shorts

Another outfit I rewore on holidays was my green River Island dress, also a second-hand bargain from the Irish Deaf Society shop in Phibsborough.

alt=
Ignore the crazy hair

While in Lisbon this year, I initially avoided going into the shops but eventually I went for a look around.

There was a t-shirt I was obsessed with in Brandy Melville (a shop for teens really, everything was a size 0) but I tried it on and although it was nice, it didn’t fit great so I no longer wanted it after that!

alt=
Green River Island dress from a charity shop

To my credit, I managed to browse all of the high street stores without buying anything other than some jewellery.

I was going to buy some bras which I really needed but the store’s card machine was down as were all the nearby ATMs so I took that as a sign!

But I still managed to find some new wardrobe additions as I’d researched the vintage and secondhand options before visiting Lisbon.

My best find was probably this lovely scarf print skirt for €15 in the Feira Da Ladra flea market.

I probably could have gotten it for less by haggling but tbh, I’m not much of a haggler, especially if I have to do it in Portuguese!

Scarf print skirt
Scarf print skirt

When I got home, the weather was still lovely so I paired it with my white Reeboks, a white crop top and a real suede Mango jacket that I found in the Debra Ireland charity shop in Phibsborough for about €10.

I’m a big fan of scarf print and I’d been tempted to buy similar skirts from Zara or Aliexpress earlier this year.

The best thing about this skirt is it’s really versatile and can be worn to a special occasion, work or a casual day out.

 

alt=
Scarf print skirt from the Feira Da Ladra market

alt=
My scarf print skirt

I also picked up a vintage dress in Retro City Lisboa, a renowned vintage shop that was very close to our Airbnb.

This is a size 12 dress but fits more like a 10. It’s really pretty and I may wear it to an upcoming wedding.

It was marked €20 but they only charged €18.

I also discovered a chain of charity shops called Humana where I thrifted a patchwork denim Zara skirt. This was €10 but still had a Zara tag for €19.99 on it.

The stock in Humana was very summery and not as cheap as you’d find at home, a lot of stuff was under €10 but not as much around the €5 mark.

I did spot a really cool Lacoste bag for €20 but I don’t need any more bags right now! If you are in Lisbon, it’s well worth checking out the Humana stores and they are in other European cities also.

Aside from Belgium, I’ve never actually found a charity shop abroad until now (I clearly hadn’t been looking that hard!)

With just two days left, I’m confident of making it through Second Hand September and I’m proud of myself for taking on this small challenge. There were times when I really wanted to buy new items but I managed to remind myself of how much stuff I already own and also the fact that I’ll be moving house in a few months.

alt=
Wearing my suede thrifted jacket and scarf print skirt

One month without buying fast fashion is really not a big sacrifice and I would encourage anyone to give it a go.

And even though September is nearly over, you can still take part by signing up here.

Oxfam will email you some tips and inspiration along the way if you’re struggling!

Have you taken part in Second Hand September or a similar challenge? I’d love to hear your thoughts, drop me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon below on the right.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel