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River Island High Summer Press Day

Last week I had a chance to attend the River Island High Summer event in the Grafton Street store and I was thrilled to go as River Island is one of my favourite shops.

Not only that, but I might be going on a real holiday this year so I needed some inspiration.

I took along my new (well second-hand) Canon camera for the occasion but my photos actually came out brighter on my phone so I obviously need more practice with my camera shutter!

There were five main ladieswear collections, my favourite rail was full of beautiful embellished pieces, such as a beaded skirt and white jeans with pearls on them. The dominant colours on this rail were cream, white, coral and silver.

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Then there was a holiday rail with some bright casual wear, among the pieces which caught my eye were a purple tie-dye jumper and a black mesh skirt with sequin pineapples on it.

There were more holiday pieces mixed in around the room adding to the summery vibe.

Across the room was a rail of gorgeous palm and floral print pieces which I obviously loved.

Remember my last trend post where I said embellished denim jackets were the next big thing?

If you want one that really stands out, then look out for this pale blue denim jacket with pearls and crystals of different sizes and shapes on the back. I am OBSESSED with it.

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Beside this were some bright pink shorts, some lilac colours and skirts covered in sequin discs.

There was also a fabulous pink denim jacket and shorts set pinned to the wall.

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There were also some nice accessories such as a pink floral suitcase, pink floral backpack and my favourite accessory was a white satchel bag with western style buckles.

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The key trends in accessories were pastel colours, fluffy sliders and mules, gingham and floral patterns.

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The bikinis on display were pretty cute also.

We were offered a selection of tasty treats including mini brioches and a refreshing pineapple and cucumber juice with an umbrella- totally summery!

There was also a customisation station where you could pick a pair of sandals to decorate with flowers, ribbon, plastic eyes, whatever you fancied!

The fluffy sliders were a big hit with everyone. Although I probably wouldn’t wear them myself, I do think they add a bit of fun to a holiday wardrobe.

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It was a lot of fun and the girls customising the shoes were really helpful. There were green ferns draped on the walls and a bright pink flamingo adding a touch of colour.

The mannequins were beautifully dressed and the one to the left of the door really caught my eye.

It was wearing a white lacy bardot top with wide sleeves, charcoal grey loose-fitting shorts and a gingham belt. It was a simple but classy outfit, ideal for holidays or festivals.

Beside this mannequin was a rail with gingham, light wash denims, muted colours, light knitwear and some printed and beaded pieces.

I quite liked this collection also, it had a hippie folk vibe, again great for festivals. Just above this collection were beautiful Gucci-esque embroidered loafers.

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The kids’ collection was full of funky sparkly items and sequin disc embellishment.

There was a lot of formal items but my favourite outfit was an adorable girl’s red gingham blouse teamed with black denim shorts on the wall.

The kids’ backpacks and shoes were very cute, I especially liked the white laser-cut boots and bronze rucksack on top of the display.

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I only had a quick glance at the menswear as there was just one rail on show.

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 The only thing I thought the collection lacked was jewellery, River Island has the cutest inexpensive jewellery and I didn’t see any on display. However there were lots of other summer appropriate accessories, hats, sunglasses, espadrilles etc.

I really enjoyed the event and got lots of inspiration for my holiday wardrobe.

Thanks to the River Island team for such a nice day and being very welcoming.

Hope you all enjoyed this brief post and let me know if you like the collections and I’d love to hear your feedback on the photos.

P.S. thanks for the supportive comments on my last post. I was a bit anxious about putting that much personal information about myself on my blog but I’ve received nothing but kind comments. So thanks again guys, your support means the world to me.

Edel

Thrift Alert: Dublin’s best charity shops

There’s nothing better than getting your fashion fix while also doing a good deed. For years I’ve shopped in charity shops and am still amazed by the bargains. We’re talking brand new items with tags on, designer and leather handbags and beautiful vintage clothing.

Enable Ireland

This is one of my favourite charity shops with branches in Phibsborough, George’s Street, Capel Street, Camden Street, Finglas and Thomas Street. Enable Ireland have a good selection of items from workwear to children’s clothes and shoes. 100% of their profits go to funding disability services.

My best recent bargain from there has to be these black patent loafers which were brand new with a €70 sticker but sold for just €20. For more of my Enable Ireland bargains, check out my Charity Shopping Haul post.

I also found this lovely brand new Missguided playsuit in Enable Ireland’s Phibsborough branch. I got so many compliments when I wore this and it was only €4!

Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society shops tend to be quite small but I always enjoy browsing around. I’ve found some good stuff in their Rathmines, Phibsborough and Capel Street shops. The Rathmines one is the most attractive and in general Rathmines charity shops tend to be of a very high calibre!

Oxfam (George’s St)

Oxfam have several stores around Dublin but their George’s Street store is the jewel in the crown. They have both ladieswear and menswear, vintage and a dedicated bridal section with many brand new and designer wedding dresses from sizes 6-22. Brides on a budget, look no further! Oxfam’s profits go to alleviating poverty in third world countries.

I bought these black leather shorts for about €4 in their Stephen’s Green store.

Another gorgeous bargain was this Versace-esque silky bomber.

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Scarf print bomber jacket, Oxfam.

St. Vincent de Paul

SVP are dedicated to helping those living in dire poverty in Ireland and assist thousands each year. Their George’s Street store is a must visit for any thrift shop maven. I’ve seen Versace and Moschino items here and they even have their their own vintage line.

I bought this oversized denim jacket and this cropped red shirt in their Phibsborough branch. (These are both Penneys items but I was on a strict budget at the time!) The jacket was brand new with tags, €8 and the shirt was about €4.

 

Respect (Stoneybatter)

And now for one slightly off the beaten track, the Respect shop in Stoneybatter is one of the most amazing charity shops I’ve ever been in. It looks quite unassuming but is one of the best for a genuine bargain. Among the items I’ve bought there include a black leather DKNY backpack for €6, a €2 Longchamps bag and a red leather American Apparel skirt for €10. I’ve also picked up some great vintage belts here. Respect support people with intellectual disabilities so it’s a really worthy cause.

Macro Shop, Macro Community Centre (North King’s Street)

I love shopping here as the Macro centre gives back to the local community. It also pays to shop here in winter, I recently found real Levi’s cut-offs and a red suede effect H&M skirt for €2 each! Their community centre provides services such as free legal aid, citizen’s information and advocacy to the local residents.

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I later found this skirt for €2!

There are other second hand shops around such as the Second Abbey on Abbey Street which has an incredible selection of clothes, homewares and bric a brac. In some senses, it’s more of a museum!

In general, I prefer to shop in a registered charity shop where possible. That way, you can be sure your purchases or donations always go to a genuine charity. If you want to detox your wardrobe, these shops always welcome donations of clean clothing and shoes.

Do you shop in charity shops? Leave me a comment and let me know if I’ve missed any good ones. Hope you all had a good new year and enjoyed this post.

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

 

 

& Other Stories: The Dublin Début

When A-Wear closed the doors of their Grafton Street premises three years ago, it seemed unlikely a similar tenant would be found to replace them. HMV briefly languished there before leaving a gap once more more.

Thankfully, & Other Stories snapped up the lease and have transformed the vacant building into the epitome of Scandinavian chic. I attended their launch evening last night and I couldn’t believe I was in the same building! (No shade A-wear..)

I’ve been looking forward to this since H&M opened their beautiful College Green store. And when the invite alone is this pretty, you know it’s going to be a good event.

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Arriving at the store, I was warmly greeted with a mini size Moet champagne with a cute compliment inscribed. I could get used to that kind of treatment!

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There were also juices and water on offer from handsome waiters, a DJ playing and 30% off everything in store that evening! I was immediately envious of the DJ’s shift dress, a gorgeous holographic creation.

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I used to love wandering through the various floors of A-Wear and the new Other Stories makes the most of the space available. On the ground floor, there’s a mix of makeup, candles, body products, jewellery, underwear and clothes.

Shoes reside in the basement along with bags and funky accessories such as velvet phone cases. The top floor is devoted to dressy pieces.

If IKEA and H&M had a baby, this is what it would look like.

The entire shop is painted white with marble and wooden shelving. Cacti and plants are dotted throughout the store.

Other Stories offer 10% off to customers returning packaging from their cosmetics and for textile recycling also. Having said that, they use a lot of paper to wrap products so that’s a tad counterproductive!

My favourite area of the store was the top floor. There were so many gorgeous pieces on display, from a holographic skirt, soft forest green t-shirts, lacy tops and leather dresses. The majority of the collections are quite simple but chic.

I also loved the shoes, from turquoise mules, silver snakeskin flats and heeled boots, there were loads to choose from.

The bags were also amazing from mock croc totes, Chloe lookalikes and  PVC satchels.

& Other Stories have a higher price tag to go with the beautiful clothes but some of the pieces were quite affordable with 30% off. Unfortunately I still have to buy all my Christmas presents so had to exercise restraint this time!

I could sit here all day telling you how fabulous & Other Stories is but nah. Go see it for yourselves! It’s opening today at 12 pm, 26-27 Grafton Street and there’s a treat for the first 50 customers..

I couldn’t leave without buying something so I got a beautiful iridescent green nail varnish. On our way out we also got a goody bag. At first I thought mine was jewellery as it came in a beautiful little box but it was actually a set of three lipsticks! I can’t wait to try them. They were €15 each separately so it was a very generous gift.

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Galloon Burgundy lipstick. Pic: Otherstories.ie

Thanks to the lovely staff at & Other Stories and Baluba for a great night. I will be back soon wielding my Visa debit card!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and let me know your thoughts on the new store.

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

 

 

 

Dupe bag alert! Designer lookalikes for under €20!

Dupe bags have a bad name, we’ve all seen (and bought at least once) tacky counterfeit bags on holidays abroad or at dodgy markets.  These days I’m on a quest to find cute dupes for a fraction of the price and here’s where to get them.

There are loads of dupe designs online from Chiara Ferragni, Gucci, Chloe to high street cult brand Skinnydip.

I love  Skinnydip London’s range of bags, they’re cute and quirky  statement pieces. But for a novelty bag they can be quite expensive, sometimes €40+ for a  small bag that can’t be worn everyday. Plus they sell out fast!

Recently I stumbled across bags on Shein.com which are an EXACT dupe for the Skinnydip bags but much cheaper!

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They have a dupe of the ‘Chill Pill’ bag which is sold out on Skinnydip and was about €35. From what I can see the  only difference is the width measurements are slightly different although they may have confused height and width. It’s made of the same material and provides the length of the chain (120cm) which Skinnydip didn’t specify. It’s currently €18.98 on Shein.com and €17.60 on Romwe.com.

Another popular Skinnydip design was the’Tequila’ hip flask. This is about €35 and sold out on the Skinnydip site. Selfridges.com had about 3 in stock for the same price.

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The Skinnydip version…Pic: Skinnydip.com

On Shein.com, the bag comes in four different colours and is on sale at €19.10. I really want the turquoise version! The Shein silver one has a cheaper looking finish, it looks like it’s covered with big glitter flecks, while the Skinnydip one has a smoother looking finish. Measurements are slightly different again, the Skinnydip one looks a little larger. The silver one is also on Romwe for €18.53.

I’ve also found a very similar though not identical dupe for this ‘popcorn’ bag which was originally about €28 from Skinnydip. This was later reduced but then sold out.

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Popcorn bag. Pic: Skinnydip.com

The Shein version is actually cuter in my opinion and is €16.37 at the moment. They seem to be the same size. The Skinnydip one is mixed materials while the Shein is 100% PU.

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Popcorn bag: Shein.com

There are loads of other Skinnydip dupes available on Shein and Romwe from flying spaceships to milk cartons so go check them out!

These ‘Chloe’ style bags are currently on sale on Romwe.com. The black and gold version is €19.46 and €25.94 for the beige and cream.The black and gold one actually looks quite expensive.

While the blue two tone one is to die for and less than €20!

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Two tone bag €16.58. Pic: Romwe.com

Super blogger Chiara Ferragni now has her own line of accessories and they don’t come cheap. But you can nab a clutch bag with Chiara’s ubiquitous winking eye design for €13.89 on Romwe.com!

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Winking eye bag. Pic: Romwe.com

This small wristlet bag is a great Gucci dupe and quite classy looking. Also less than €20 from Romwe.com.

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Clutch bag. Pic: Romwe.com

And for a Moschino lookalike, try this ‘leather jacket’ bag from Romwe.com again less than €20.

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Jacket bag. Pic: Romwe.com

As for a dupe bag to avoid see below…

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‘Campballs Soup!!’ Pic: Romwe.com

Obviously, these bags will reflect the price and won’t be made of the same material of a designer bag (with the exception of the Skinnydip bags of course) so don’t expect too much from them! I’ve bought from both sites before but only bought a bag from Romwe which was fairly decent quality and got a lot of compliments!

Both of these sites have lengthy shipping times and similar prices so it’s best to suss out the individual deals/discounts before buying. There are other similar sites to these which also sell dupe bags but these are the ones I know best.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed this post, let me know if you liked these dupes and if there’s any I missed! Leave me a comment below and let me know if you’d buy a dupe bag.

Thanks for reading as always and don’t forget to check out my Instagram  and Facebook page here.

PS I’ve been shortlisted for the Blog Awards in the best personal fashion category, if you’d like to vote for me, just click here.

Edel

Take Me Away- Swimwear and Sun Holidays

This has been the most depressing summer in Ireland’s meteorological history so I thought I’d cheer us all up with a sun holiday and swimwear post!  I’m about to go on my first sun holiday in about three years and I’m very excited. I’m going to Palma de Mallorca and am looking forward to seeing sunlight!

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SWIMWEAR

This Versace-esque scarf print bikini from River Island is the bomb! It is gorgeous and also on sale at the moment, the top is reduced to €12 and the bottoms to €3. I’m going to try get my hands on one before I go away. I hope I can find it as once bikinis go on sale, the chances of finding your size in a matching top and bottom are pretty slim!

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New Look also do some great swimwear at reasonable prices. It seems silly to spend a lot of money on a bikini considering our fabulous climate! They have covered all the trends from this mesh high neck style, a colour block Triangl lookalike, a simple pink and black trim bikini and a strapless wet look black bikini. All of these bikinis except for the black wet-look style are currently on sale.

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One pieces don’t have to be boring, take a look at these diverse styles from Asos and Motel.

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Asos South Beach metallic swimsuits

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Asos purple seventies swimsuit and Evil Twin Yin Yang swimsuit.

These iconic “Wave” swimsuits by Motel are the coolest one pieces I’ve ever seen!

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And if none of the above have tempted you Nine Crow Street currently are offering 30% off all online orders!

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Vintage geometric swimsuit Nine Crow St.

 SHORTS

River Island have cute baroque print shorts reduced to €12 from €24.

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Or for something a little more boho, I like these black crochet hem shorts from New Look currently reduced to €11.50 from €22.99.

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SHOES

Although I’m not a massive fan of wearing heels on holiday, I do like these white platform wedges currently €30 in the River Island sale. Other cute shoe options include these studded sliders also from River Island at €18.

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Hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to writing about Mallorca and also my upcoming trip to London! I’m also hoping to do a giveaway on the blog soon and it’s going to be a good one 😉 Keep an eye on my Facebook page here for more details!

Thanks for visiting my blog as always.

Edel

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Shopaholic Online

internet shopping

I buy a lot of my clothing online and thought I’d share some of my favourite sites and experiences.

ASOS.com

Possibly the best online shop. Massive array of products and brands, their own brand is excellent quality, they deliver pretty quickly to Ireland and their returns procedure is simple. Standard delivery is free to most parts of the world. I’ve purchased from them in America and while the delivery took longer, it was simple to make a return there also. I love the  site layout, photography and styling. ASOS have good sales and I’ve gotten genuine bargains. Among the stuff I’ve bought includes jeans, brogues, dresses, a handbag and a bikini. I’ve tried a lot of different products and so far been happy with everything!

To order you have to create an account with Asos. You have the option of saving a credit/debit card which is very dangerous/handy depending on how you look at it!

ASOS Marketplace.

This site stocks vintage and independent labels. I haven’t bought from the site yet but it’s great for styling inspiration. Some of the boutiques can be expensive but I’ve seen some great unusual things on there also. Favourite brands include We are Hairy People and Florrie Jane’s Vintage. Plus it’s a great site for independent retailers to establish themselves.

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Cactus print shorts and top from We are Hairy People
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Party ring crop top from We are Hairy People
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Clothing from Florrie Jane’s Vintage

Etsy.com

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I love browsing Etsy. Lately I’ve been shopping for accessories like this galaxy chain from Gina’s Tie Dye.

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The chain was beautiful and I received it really quickly. Unfortunately the pendant fell off the second time I wore it! However I may have been just unlucky. Gina very kindly sent me a replacement necklace which I was thrilled with! This shop has loads of amazing stuff such as ying/yang tie-dye t-shirts and beautiful one-of-a-kind halter tops.

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Photo courtesy Gina’s Tie Dye

I’d been looking for lightweight lace bras like those from For Love and Lemons but cheaper! I struck gold when I found these beauties from Lovy House on Etsy. They are not like a traditional bra so don’t expect a lot of support from them but they are gorgeous!

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I bought the black one pictured above. The only drawback is the lace is slightly itchy! They have a gorgeous selection of lace underwear. Delivery was quite quick considering this shop is based in Vietnam.

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Lovy House lace bra- exactly like For Love and Lemons but much cheaper!

Etsy focuses on promoting handmade or customised items only and is a great promoter of independent fashion. I’ve also bought studs from them for my own customising. You can also give feedback when you receive a product and payments can be made easily through Paypal. The only annoying thing about Etsy is that if you are buying from different stores you have to make each purchase individually. As most shops are small businesses you will generally have to pay delivery charges. I haven’t had to return anything to this shop yet.

Romwe.com

This is a huge online Chinese shop which ships all over the world. Their printed sweaters are my favourite items and they have great unique clothing. They are cheap and have lots of “flash deals” where certain items will be on promotion for 24 hours only. Delivery does take a while but that’s to be expected from China.

Romwe sizes can be quite small also so bear this in mind. I haven’t bothered returning anything that didn’t fit (only once this has happened) as the return would cost the same as the original purchase. I’ve bought a sweater, a skirt, rucksack and a dress from them. The dress was the only unsuitable item being a little too small but it was only €11 so I gave it to a charity shop.

Oasap.com

Oasap is a store which I’ve only bought from once. I bought a pair of printed leggings which were very unusual and cool. The size was good but the colours were quite different in real life and also the fabric was less shiny and slightly transparent. Jury’s out for now! Delivery took some time.

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How they looked online….
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How they looked in real life!

Stradivarius.com.

I decided to try Stradivarius’ online shopping service which is quite new to Ireland. The process is quite simple, you order an item either to your home and pay for delivery or you can pick it up in store for free. I bought these cute blue espradilles.

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You get an email when the item is sent and a text when delivered in store. Returns can be done in store also.I thought it took long enough for it to be delivered considering the stock is only coming from Spain.

Nastygal.com

Previously I devoted a whole post to this site as I went through an obsession with it! Nastygal have an emphasis on daring sexy outfits and bohemian clothing. I’ve bought one dress from them which was nice but the material wasn’t great quality. They are based in America so again shipping takes some time.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN SHOPPING ONLINE!

How soon do you need this item? Many shops may take 2-3 weeks with standard shipping.

Will you be able to return it easily? Read the returns policy carefully, some shops may charge for returns or may not allow returns on sale.

How much will delivery cost? An item may appear very cheap until you add in the cost of shipping! Is it worth it when you have allowed for delivery charges? Some shops have a discount if you buy several items but you may have to spend a lot.

Will it look like this in real life? Remember the camera lies and the item may be a different colour/texture to how it appears online. If in doubt read the description to see what material it is and what care it requires before buying. Some stores will let you ask questions and others allow previous customers to leave feedback which is generally the best indicator.

What are the sizes like? Probably the most important factor to consider, check the sizing guide very carefully and read any comments/feedback regarding sizes. Some sites have vintage “free size” items which will pretty much fit a size 8-12 depending whether you want to wear it baggy/long/fitted etc. Others describe items as “runs small”, “runs large” or “true to size.”

When buying from independent retailers, check that the payment methods are secure and that sellers have good feedback. All the sites I’ve listed are reputable.

Happy shopping all! Hope you have enjoyed this post, thanks for visiting the blog as always. You can like my blog on Facebook here if you’d like to see more. I’ll be preparing my next post on the Sea Sessions festival in Donegal, stay tuned! 😉