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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Killarney House
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Killarney memorabilia
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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

Steps of Schloss Nymphenburg

Visiting Munich: A most convenient city

The best word to describe Munich city is convenient.  It’s easy to navigate, well-serviced and very accessible.

English is widely spoken (obviously attempts to speak German are appreciated), there’s loads of affordable public transport and the city isn’t overly expensive. Even the main shopping street Kaufingerstrasse never feels overly crowded.

One of the best things about Munich was being able to use the underground stations to cross the road which was super handy. Germans, after all, don’t tolerate jaywalkers!

And the stations had one escalator which ran both ways – how efficient!

Marienplatz Munich
Marienplatz Munich

I shouldn’t have expected any less but this was my first time in Germany.

I hadn’t much interest in travelling to Germany previously because I always thought it seemed dull and unromantic compared to France, Spain and Italy.

I also had the displeasure of living with a German housemate in the past who ran the gaff like Mountjoy!

However, I put my misgivings and grudges aside – and had a wonderful time in Munich.

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Marienplatz – the main square in Munich

Before Christmas, I spontaneously booked a trip to Munich in Ryanair’s Black Friday sale, €16.99 each way.

Flying mid-week was great as the flight wasn’t full and we even got emergency exit seats – all the leg room!

Tip: If you’re flying Ryanair, wait as long as possible to select a seat, this is one way to get an emergency exit seat as they have to put people sitting there.

We landed in Munich eager to sample some Bavarian delicacies and drench our thirst with a beer.

Marienplatz Munich
Marienplatz Munich

We took a train into the city centre from the airport which took approximately 30 minutes.

On disembarking, we wandered down the magnificent archway to Kaufingerstrasse. (Pronounced “Cow-finngir-strassa”, rather than “Cow-Finger-Strassa”!

Archway to Kaufingerstrasse
This archway to Kaufingerstrasse is beautiful but I couldn’t get a photo in the day time

We found a little restaurant called Augustiner Klosterwirt down a side street where we ordered beers and food.

The weather was quite mild and we could even sit outside. Most of the restaurants leave blankets out for patrons on cold days.

The beer was called Edelstoff so it got my approval right away. It was delicious and light and the perfect accompaniment to our meal.

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I had two sausages with a pretzel, black bread and a delicious cheese and butter dip called obatzda.

After our meal, we checked into our hotel, Le Meridien Munich. The hotel was centrally situated, right across from the train station on Bayerstrasse and was gorgeous.

After a brief rest, we headed out to the famous Hoffbrauhaus to grab our second beer of the day.

Although the Hoffbrauhaus was busy, we found a quiet corner, where we ordered two steins and a giant pretzel.

It was a lively place, thronged with tourists and had a live band in traditional dress playing in the background.

After drinking a stein, I didn’t think I’d be able for food anytime soon, so we wandered around the streets.

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Huge pretzel and huge beer!

My appetite soon returned and we nipped into a movie-themed restaurant called 35 milimeter. Here we enjoyed a dinner of burgers and chips, however, I failed to finish a pint.

The next morning I saw the nasty effects of dehydration from flying and drinking. My face was incredibly puffy and it remained like that all day!

Breakfast consisted of a coffee and a schmalznudel, a delicious traditional pastry,  from Cafe Frischhut.

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Delicious schmalznudel

After this, we took a train to go to the Schloss Nymphenburg, or Palace of the Nymph, a beautiful Baroque palace outside Munich.

Schloss Nymphenburg

We had to walk for about 15 minutes through an industrial-looking neighbourhood but gradually, our surroundings changed as we got closer.

The palace was stunning, like a smaller Versailles.

One thing we immediately noticed was that there weren’t loads of visitors, one huge perk of travelling mid-week.

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Inside the Great Hall

It was so quiet that some of the museum workers were even painstakingly brushing dust off a chandelier. Rather them than me!

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On the steps of the Schloss

Steps of Schloss Nymphenburg
Walking up the steps of the Schloss

Given that we were only there for two and a half days, we didn’t plan an itinerary but Schloss Nymphenburg was top of our list as we both like history and I love art and architecture.

It was only €6 to visit the Schloss and the adjacent porcelain museum but we decided to give the museum a miss.

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Details from inside the place

I thought this was great value considering many similar places are far more expensive.

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Decoration inside the palace

The Great Hall is absolutely breathtaking and I could spend hours looking at the stunning rococo design.

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Chandeliers in Schloss Nymphenburg

King Ludwig’s I Gallery of Beauties was also fascinating, a collection of portraits of women deemed to be the most attractive of their time.

The Gallery of Beauties
The Gallery of Beauties

When we came outside, I climbed the steps of the wrap-around balustrade to take in the view from the balcony.

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Views from the steps of the Schloss

Our beer house tour continued in the evening as we set out for the Augustiner Keller. I opted for a radler, a mix of beer and lemonade – ideal if you don’t feel in the mood for more beer.

We headed to a second beer house Augustiner Braustuben for dinner.

My boyfriend had the wiener schnitzel but I wasn’t crazy about eating veal so I gave it a miss.

Afterwards, we went to the bar of our hotel and enjoyed some expensive but delicious drinks – I swapped the beers for tasty French mojitos!

Initially, we had hoped to visit more attractions including the Alte Pinakothek art museum and the Residenz palace in the city centre.

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However, time was limited and my ankle wasn’t up to walking far (although we did do 16,000 steps every day) so we decided to go to the English Gardens instead.

It was a cold day and although we enjoyed our stroll, it probably wasn’t the best time of year to enjoy the gardens.

English Gardens Munich
English Gardens Munich

We stopped off at the Chinesischern Turm or Chinese Tower, a wooden pagoda, five storeys tall.

Here, we finally got to try currywurst with chips at a restaurant and it was absolutely delicious!

Chinese tower, English Gardens
Chinese tower, English Gardens

The restaurant was almost deserted so we enjoyed a peaceful lunch before getting on a tram back into the city to go shopping.

Munich has all the chain stores, H&M, Zara but although there were still sales on,  I was tired and bloated from all the food and beers and trying on clothes was frustrating.

On a whim, I went to Pimkie where I spotted a gorgeous midnight blue puffer coat. It was marked €30 on sale from €60 but was just €24 when I took it to the till! Result!

Our final few hours were spent wandering around the Marienplatz, the main square, stopping off for a look into St Peter’s Church and of course, another beer in the Rathaus beer hall before going heading to the airport.

You can climb up the tower of St Peter’s Church and look out over the city but it was dark by then so we decided against it.

One random observation, there seems to be a lot of people on crutches in Munich. I tend to notice people on crutches more since my injury but there definitely seemed a disproportionate amount of them here!

We mainly walked and used the underground to get around and we bought multi-trip tickets which were very convenient.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed this post. If you’ve been to Munich and leave a comment and let me know what you thought.

Thanks for reading and check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

 

 

Visiting the Basque Country: Biarritz and San Sebastian

After a rather difficult year, I was badly in need of a break and my holiday in Biarritz and San Sebastian was just that.

We booked this holiday prior to my accident and it gave me something to look forward to.

We’d found reasonably-priced flights to Biarritz and after I read Indie and Lily’s blog post on San Sebastian, we decided to spend two nights there also.

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With the cost of two Airbnb’s and renting a car, it was definitely one of the more expensive holidays I’ve been on.

As we’d booked it a long time in advance, it gave me time to save up spending money, however, I did find myself buying clothes for holidays all summer…

I was worried about how my injury would affect my enjoyment of holidays but I actually walked for at least an hour most days.

The most amazing thing happened during our first evening there. I walked a few steps without my crutches! (I’d been trying to do this for some time but could only lurch rather than walk).

I couldn’t believe it as it had been FOUR MONTHS since I had last walked. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing when I showed my boyfriend and I almost cried with happiness!!

Biarritz is a hilly city so there were lots of inclines for me to navigate.

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Biarritz coast

Our Airbnb host informed us that there was a free shuttle bus (the navette) into the city centre every day and we made use of that on several occasions.

However, the city centre navette only ran till 7.30 pm, which meant we usually went for dinner in the local area.

This wasn’t an issue though because our apartment was only 10 minutes from the bustling Les Halles area, full of restaurants and bars.

Our Biarritz Airbnb was a charming retro apartment with a huge terrace.

We spent most of our time at the apartment on the terrace eating outside or chilling in the sun. It was about a 15-minute walk from the city centre but on crutches it took longer.

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The terrace complemented my dinner outfit.

One thing I immediately noticed was that there seemed to be few chain restaurants and stores.

I didn’t see one MacDonalds or Starbucks which was really refreshing. (That’s not to say they weren’t there but there certainly aren’t as many as at home…)

We stuffed our faces with delicious food, from ice-cream to seafood, burgers and frites, churros, croque madames et monsieurs and croissants.

Biarritz is full of gastronomic delights and my diet went right out the window!

Alcohol was also plentiful and I enjoyed several delicious mojitos!

We didn’t really go shopping in Biarritz apart from a brief trip to Galeries Lafayette but this was just for a browse.

We took two day trips, one to St Jean de Luz, a pretty little Basque town.

We lounged on the beach and enjoyed lunch there. I even managed to get into the sea and swim – yay!

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Basque or Euskara is a bit of linguistic mystery, it has no relation to any other European language.

As we drove out of Biarritz, we saw more signs in Basque and signs featuring the Basque cross.

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Sunday was rainy and we decided to drive up into the Pyrenees to a town named St Jean Pied de Port.

The town is famous for being part of the Camino de Santiago Compostela.

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Streets of St Jean Pied de Port

The hilly town wasn’t the easiest for me to negotiate but we walked right to the top of the town, stopping off for a coffee and a trip to a tiny local museum.

Walking up the steep hilly cobbled street in the rain was no mean feat!

I then took a rest while my boyfriend climbed up the Citadelle, a 17th century fortress sitting on the highest point in town. 

On our last day in Biarritz, we wanted to visit the two main tourist attractions, the Rocher de la Vierge, a statue of the Virgin Mary which resides on a rock formation in the middle of the ocean and Le Phare, the historic lighthouse overlooking Biarritz.

However, my injury presented challenges as the Rock of the Virgin entails a long walk out on a metal footpath and the lighthouse has 258 steps and no lift!

We decided to catch a little tourist train out to the Rock of the Virgin (we thought it would let us off but instead it just stopped on the promenade).

This meant we only saw the rock from the distance but given my limited mobility, it was for the best.

It was €6 for a round trip which dropped us back to the city centre.

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Le Phare lighthouse

We drove to the Le Phare and enjoyed taking some photos of the beautiful scenery outside.

I decided against the climb and enjoyed a coffee instead.

The weather was mid-20’s to low 30’s most days with our final day being the warmest and most humid.

We’d gone to the beach that morning to catch a few rays.

That evening there was a thunderstorm which we enjoyed watching out the terrace doors.

After the storm passed, we went to a hipster burger joint called Bonheur. I wasn’t too hungry so just had fries with parsley and garlic -delicious!

The next day we had to rush as we got a message from our host asking if we’d left – we had forgotten to check what time we had to check out at! Oops!

Luckily, we were pretty much packed and ready to go and we set off for San Sebastian or Donostia as it’s known in Basque.

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The streets of San Sebastian

We were only in San Sebastian for two days but it was a wonderful two days.

Buses were plentiful so we didn’t need to use our car.

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Plaza de la Constitucion San Sebastian.

Our first day was spent strolling through the city streets in search of pinxtos.

We soon found a pinxto bar on a side street called Bardulia.

We sampled a mix of cold pinxtos here but to be honest they were quite underwhelming.

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Pinxtos

I noticed that one street was called 31 Agosto and when I discovered that’s because the city was burned to the ground by invaders on the date, apart from that one street.

We arrived on the 29th and apparently, there’s a commemoration on the 31st every year but we were leaving early that day.

We meandered down as far as La Concha promenade and took in the beautiful spectacle of the shell-shaped beach.

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La Concha Beach San Sebastian

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Views from the promenade.

The promenade is lined with ornate white railings with old-fashioned street lamps at the entrance to the beach.

Beside the promenade was a stunningly beautiful carousel which stood out against the bright blue sky.

That evening we had burgers and one of the best mojitos I had all holidays at a restaurant called Muuk in the main square.

The burgers came with a tiny serving of potato shavings, kind of like mini chipsticks!

The following day we went to the beach where I finally got to wear my new bikini from PLT.

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It turned rainy in the afternoon so we went shopping.

I had my heart set on a Longchamps bag but I hadn’t time to go to the Longchamps store in Biarritz.

However, we tracked down the only store selling Longchamps in the area.

N.B shops in San Sebastian tend to close between 2-4, so be aware of this if you are shopping.

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Frizzy hair don’t care

The store in question, Styl, didn’t have a huge stock of Longchamps bags but I decided to get a navy rucksack.

While Stan Smiths were everywhere in Biarritz, in San Sebastian, everyone seemed to sport a Levis t-shirt. I picked one up in Noa and Judy for €25.

I also bought an Iron Maiden tee in Donostia Rock for €24.

After that I wandered through Stradivarius and Bershka, unfortunately, I didn’t get to Zara or Sephora. *sobs*

On our last evening, we stayed in with pizza and beer and watched some ridiculous Spanish TV.

There were some bizarre sketch shows that made us laugh but seeing bullfighting on one channel was horrible.

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Church San Sebastian

I highly recommend both cities and wish we could’ve had more time to explore San Sebastian. Have you ever been to either? Let me know.

PS I’ve been very busy lately so haven’t had any time to blog but will hopefully have an autumn trends post coming soon. Thanks for reading and check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

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Capsule Wardrobe – What to bring on a sun holiday

I’m not a very organised person and often pack for holidays the night before I go. (This could also be down to the fact that I like a spontaneous trip..)

But for once in my life, I’ve booked holidays A LONG time in advance and I’m already outfit planning for it. I haven’t been on a proper holiday in almost two years and I’m really happy to have the chance to go away.

Last summer, I was working Monday to Friday in an internship and working a part-time job at the weekends. It was zero craic…

But this year, I’m going away for an entire week to Biarritz and San Sebastian and there’s no way I’m paying for a check-in bag.

10kg is PLENTY for this outfit-repeating gal!

I’ve already put together a rail of items to bring and hopefully there will be some space left for new purchases 😉

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Looking through the clothes I already have, I realised I don’t really need many new items.

So far, I have one light summery jacket, a pair of white jeans, a playsuit, a dress, a skirt, five pairs of shorts, a bikini, two one-piece swimsuits, two t-shirts, one camisole top, one dressy off the shoulder top and two crop tops. All of these pieces mix and match pretty well together.

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I may bring another bikini or substitute one of the swimsuits for another one, we’ll see.

Holidays are a good time to experiment with colours you don’t normally wear, for instance I normally steer clear of yellow as I’m very fair-skinned and it doesn’t suit me. However, I love these fluorescent yellow shorts for a holiday and have tops with yellow detail to match.

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I don’t wear a lot of white or cream either, but white looks way better in sunshine so I’ve included some white and cream tops to wear with my blue denim shorts.

If you’re going on a sun holiday, casual clothes are more important than fancy clothes, so bring more casual dresses, shorts, skirts, t-shirts and swimwear. Hence, my five pairs of shorts!

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Leave your heels at home and bring a nice pair of neutral sandals for night-time.  For day time, bring another pair of sandals or flip-flops for the beach and a lightweight pair of runners for exploring.

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Heels take up too much room, they’re an awkward shape to pack and your feet may swell on holidays making them even more uncomfortable! (Haha jokes on me I broke my ankle a month after this and spent my holiday in a moonboot).

You can bring a couple of nice outfits for going out to dinner or a night out but try and bring items that double up as daytime wear also.

For instance, I’m bringing a stripy loose -fit playsuit and a floral dress. These will work just as well during the day, unlike a tight bodycon dress or sequin mini-skirt.

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The terrace complemented my dinner outfit.

I have included my lilac faux leather mini-skirt but the rest of my clothes are cotton or cotton-mix to stay cool.

When going to the airport, pick something to wear that you can utilise in your holiday wardrobe also.

For instance, I usually wear a light jacket, a t-shirt, jeans and light runners. Comfortable but easy to shed a layer once you get there. You should always aim to wear your heaviest or bulkiest items, i.e. jeans and runners to keep your suitcase light.

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The first time I ever went on a girl’s holiday to Turkey, I went mad and bought loads of new things, several pairs of heels, three bikinis and loads of going out clothes.

Apart from the shoes I barely wore any of the items again. I was only there for three or four days..mad or what?!

One pieces are great as they double up as a bodysuit with shorts.

You’ll need to leave room in your case for underwear, socks, PJ’s and a small handbag for going out.

I always bring a tote bag to throw all my essentials into, i.e. purse, passport, cosmetic bag, camera etc.

This may not be everyone’s idea of a “capsule” wardrobe as it already contains 19 items before I add shoes but I am going away for a full week,

If I decide to leave anything out, it will probably be some of the dressier items.

With three pairs of shoes, it takes me up to 22 items in total but I will be wearing one pair on the plane.

Let me know your thoughts on packing for holidays, do you stick to a capsule wardrobe or not? I’ll be putting up a swimwear post soon so keep your eyes peeled.

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

Edel

We need to talk about white denim

I have a love-hate relationship with white jeans. Impossible to keep clean, hard to wash and cause all kinds of underwear dilemmas-white jeans are a pain in the arse!

BUT they are also a summer wardrobe staple so I’m sticking with them.

I went through a dangerous white jeans phase when I was younger.

I used to wear white flares with a pair of rainbow stripe wedge shoes far too big for me and a tight green and white boob tube top. Lovely. *shudder*

Thankfully my style has evolved somewhat and I’m willing to try white denim again.

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Frayed white denim yes please! Img:Zara.com

It just so happens I was in Penneys with the grand sum of €1.50, “just browsing”.

I was trying on some white jeans when I realised one pair were marked down from €19 to €1! I took this as a sign from the cosmic gods…

These jeans are slightly cropped with multiple rips and a skinny fit. I never wear cropped jeans but let’s face it at €1 it’s worth a try!

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I styled these with a light denim jacket, blue and white Gazelle trainers and an oversized men’s logo t-shirt from Bershka.

In hindsight, I’d have left the jacket open and tucked in the tee for a more flattering silhouette but it was quite chilly out in Clontarf!

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I really like that these white jeans don’t make my legs look short as I usually find dark jeans more flattering.

They are perfect with flats for a simple summery look.

My above outfit was pretty thrifty, the denim jacket was about €5 in a charity shop, jeans €1, the t-shirt was about €3 on sale.

My shoes are the only expensive piece at €58.95. Total thrifty outfit cost = €66.95.

Here are some other gorge white denim pieces which caught my eye lately.

I also tried on white dungaree shorts in Penneys, I think these are the same pair. It says they’re €15 online but some Penneys may have reduced them.

I love dungaree shorts with a cute coloured t-shirt or a patterned short-sleeve shirt underneath.

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White dungaree shorts. Pic: Primark.com

White denim jackets get a summer update in the form of embroidery.

The floral one is from Topshop and the plainer one is Mango. It has a design on the reverse.

 

For a great pair of white push-up jeans that fit like a glove, try Bershka. I’ve bought their push-up jeans, they fit like a jegging and are so comfortable.

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White push-up jeans. Pic: Bershka.com

 When it comes to white denim, a few rips and subtle embellishment is best. Avoid jeans with loads of detail- white jeans can go from classy to trashy VERY quickly!

This cami top with bow detail on the back is just gorgeous and on sale at Asos.com. It’s reduced from €81 to €49.

 

And an even better bargain is this fab scallop denim mini-skirt from Pretty Little Thing.com. Only €14!!

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White mini skirt. Pic: PLT.com

These oh-so-trendy Zara shorts come with a cute handkerchief attached. I presume it’s detachable?!

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White shorts. Pic: Zara.com

 Another Penneys bargain is this white denim shirt. At €11, even I could (almost) afford it 😛 I love the contrast buttons and detail on the pockets.

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White denim shirt. Img: Primark.com

Just to let you know this isn’t a sponsored post – these are all my personal favourites! What do you think about white denim? Leave me a comment and let me know.

P.S.  The book ‘We need to talk about Kevin’ traumatised me, hence the title, feel free to leave me a comment if you too were traumatised!!

 Thanks for reading and to follow me on Instagram click here and see my Facebook page here.

Edel

Festival Frolics

 

“I want to look weird…but not too weird!” (Two Irish girls discussing festival fashion.)

Dressing for festivals is great fun as it allows you to explore different styles and wear something you might not have considered previously.  Have fun but be mindful and respectful , don’t appropriate an entire other culture!

I’m  considering Longitude again or maybe Tennants Vital as the Red Hot Chilli Peppers are playing…hmm… #decisions

Wherever I go, I’m going to dress the part. While I was in Edinburgh, I visited the Topshop on Prince’s St and got loads of ideas for festival outfits.

This shiny mac is perfect as a cover-up.

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It would look deadly over this crochet top.

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For festivals, I love a playsuit or a t-shirt and high-waisted shorts combo. The pastel playsuit is from H&M and the shorts and Star Wars t-shirt are both Penneys.

Festivals also call for sequins so what could be better than these Topshop shorts with turquoise sequins or the matching denim jacket?

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Img:Topshop.com

A sequin bomber is right up my street and this one from We All Shine is also available at Topshop.

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Img: Topshop.com

This PrettyLittleThing top is on my wishlist, I’m buying it the minute it’s restocked on July 4th!

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Img:Plt.com

For vintage festival looks, try concessions such as Loving Youth at Topshop. Affordable vintage and cute prints, what more could you want? They have bardot tops, reworked camouflage halternecks, printed dungarees and shorts.

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A printed swimsuit works equally well as a bodysuit with shorts or ripped jeans. I’d pair this funky H&M one with fray edge shorts.

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It’s not a festival unless someone’s wearing tie-dye. Europe1972 on Etsy have fab tie dye t-shirts like this rainbow one. For a cool hippie vibe, check out their shop.

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Img: Europe1972 on Etsy.com

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Img: Europe1972 on Etsy.com

Finally patches and iron-on badges are a great way to liven a plain denim jacket. These pastel ones from Jade Boylan Etsy are girly but with loads of attitude!

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Img:Etsy.com

As for festival hair, little French braids on the crown of the head and Mohawk style braids are where it’s at.

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Img:Pinterest.com

This textured messy braid created by TressesbyTress is the ultimate in festival cool.

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Img:Tressesbytress.com

I also love this tiny centre braid as seen on Kate Bosworth (remember her?!)

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Img: Grazia.com

Hope you’ve all enjoyed this festival post, leave me a comment and let me know what your favourite looks are. Follow me on Instagram and see my Facebook page here. Thanks for reading as always.

Edel

Shopping and sight-seeing in Edinburgh

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After a long stressful year in college, I couldn’t wait to go to Edinburgh and visit my friend Jacqui.

Edinburgh is a beautiful city, surrounded by hills with a medieval feel. It’s a bit like Belfast, minus the sectarian murals. It’s also quite small and the airport seems tiny in comparison to Dublin.

The first thing I did was wander into Princes’ St Gardens and up the hill beside the castle.

Just beside the castle, is the Parish church of St. Cuthbert which has an old kirkyard or graveyard beside it.

The graveyard has old graves and tombs, some with bizarre inscriptions. There was also a cute wedding complete with pink balloons and tutu bridesmaid skirts taking place but I didn’t want to go too close!

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Naturally, I hit Prince’s St which is the Scottish equivalent of Oxford St. It was a lovely sunny day and I’d arrived just in time for the H&M sale.

I also came on holidays without a pair of walking shoes so I bought these cute snakeskin plimsolls for £15 and a floral dress for £7. #bargain

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Img:H&M.com

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Img:H&M.com

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I got lots of wear out of this dress, wearing it on hols in Barcelona here

H&M is so cheap in the UK and I spent ages browsing. I have a €5 off voucher from recycling clothes through H&M so may spend that soon.

H&M has some great swimwear  and I’m loving this a-line baby blue skirt which also comes in a lovely burgundy red.

I later found the red one in a charity shop back in Dublin.

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Word to the wise, you now have to pay for plastic bags in shops in the UK.

I was lured into the giant stuffy Primark and spent ages trying stuff before buying fake septum rings, a Star Wars t-shirt and high-waisted shorts.

I ended up bringing the shorts back as they just didn’t fit right, however.

The fake septum ring was not a good idea either as it was very loose and I kept feeling like I would inhale it!

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Southbridge is where most of the charity shops are located, the British Heart Foundation shop is particularly good.

On my second day, I headed up Arthur’s Seat, an ancient extinct volcano overlooking the city.

Here’s the beauty of Edinburgh, everywhere you go there’s something you can climb to look out over the city.

Some places such as the Scots Monument and the observatory at Calton Hill charge a fee of £5 for “the best view of Edinburgh” but if you ask me the best view is from Arthur’s Seat and will cost nothing except perspiration!

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Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill are conveniently close to the city, so close, in fact, you can walk to both. Arthur’s Seat is quite a long climb but it doesn’t get tough till near the end.

I was distracted by a pheasant (or a grouse?!) and many other photo ops on the way up! If you’ve ever climbed Croagh Patrick, Arthur’s Seat is certainly easier.

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The views from the top are breathtaking, from the city to the sea.

The weather was great (although I suspect not as good as in Ireland, I managed to go away during the heatwave).

The hot weather at home meant I foolishly brought almost all summery clothing with me and I was not prepared for the chilly evenings in the north!

Also climbing + dresses is not advised. The wind and gravity were conspiring against my wardrobe choices on Arthur’s Seat.

At Calton Hill, it was even harder to climb up the monument without compromising myself!

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The monument is dedicated to the Scottish military and navy who died in the Napoleonic wars.IMG_20160603_144146530

I returned to the city past Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament and the Royal Mile.

The Royal Mile is full of touristy shops, with slogans such as “Thistle do” and souvenirs ranging from sporrans to whiskey flavour condoms!

I sampled an Irn-Bru on my journey.

This was not the only Scottish delicacy I tasted. I also had chip shop sauce which is sort of a brown sauce but with vinegar, delicious with fish and chips.

I mistook this for maple syrup at my friend’s house… Oh and I had some “porage” also.

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“Porage” It will make you a shotput champion with short forearms!!

But no haggis or deep-fried Mars Bar. 😦 Jacqui told me “Haggis is like black pudding..but more sheepy.”…yum

My third day was spent exploring the Scottish National Gallery which has an amazing collection.

It is free to the public although they encourage making a donation. It also has seats and wifi if you get tired.

I particularly liked the Scottish painters and the Painting as Spectacle exhibition. The gallery is in the city centre and opens every day.

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After two low key nights, we went to the Three Sisters for a night out. Cue too much pre-drinking, some vague memories of dancing and arguments with a taxi driver. I had fun is all I know 😉

After resting my head on fluffy pillows for hours and cooking a pizza in the microwave (don’t ask) I was ready to face the outside world again!

I had intended to do the castle and visit Stockbridge on my last day but I was really tired and just stayed in the city centre..window shopping of course. 🙂

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I loved Edinburgh and can’t wait to go there again. If you’re visiting bring a rucksack as it’s much easier to have when climbing and some sensible shoes.

Also, bring a jacket for the evenings and some climbing-appropriate clothing!

It’s a very affordable city, the buses are the easiest way to get around and a day ticket for the bus is only £4.

Big thank you to my hostess Jacqui, I don’t think I laughed so much in months, it was the perfect tonic for a frazzled Master’s student.

If you’re Insta-obsessed, then check out Sarah’s Five Instagrammable Places in Edinburgh – she’s a photographer so she knows what she’s talking about!

I’m delighted to have been nominated for the Irish Blog Awards again and will have a festival fashion post up soon.

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

Edel

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Rooftop Vibes

I’ve been experimenting with some outfit posts lately and took some photos on the roof of my old apartment. As I discovered it’s pretty hard take photos by yourself so excuse the dodgy ones. This is a spring outfit, wearing my lovely floral imitation leather jacket from River Island,  blue Bershka jeans, Topshop shoes and the watch is from Urban Outfitters.

I’d lusted over the jacket for ages before finding it on sale for €35, the jeans and lace-up shoes I bought in the Christmas sales. I’d wanted a pair of lace-up ghillie shoes for ages and these didn’t disappoint! However I don’t recommend them for an 8 hour shift on your feet, they are too flat for that.

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I really like the stitching on the sleeves and the zips. The only issue I have with biker jackets is they can be very small-fitting and the next size up was too big. So I’m restricted to wearing only a thin top or jumper inside.

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This is one of my favourite summer looks and I’m looking forward to posting more looks soon.

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Hope you liked this outfit post, leave me a comment below and let me know. I’m busy working on my dissertation for college at the moment but also lots of summer posts planned for the blog. You can follow @joyofblogs on Instagram and Twitter or see my Facebook page here. Thanks for reading as always.

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Edel

 

Spring it on

What will we be wearing this Spring/Summer? I’ve been browsing some of the high street and designer trends and here’s what I found.

Frayed denim is a really popular trend as seen here on Rihanna wearing Marques’ Almeida and has been seen on street stylers worldwide also.

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Rihanna wearing Marques’ Almeida. Pic:Pinterest.com

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Rihanna wears a Marques’ Almeida corset on The Voice

Marques’ Almeida are responsible for this look slowing creeping in from the catwalk to mainstream.

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Marques’ Almeida. Pic: Pinterest

Frayed denim can look a bit odd but remember we all thought distressed ripped jeans were odd too and how wrong we were! It can be blended into a casual or formal look.

For an adventurous look, try these long frayed edge jeans from Bershka.

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Pic: Bershka.com

Cropped styles look best, like these also from Bershka.

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Pic: Bershka.com

Zara have an entire editorial devoted to denim on their website. These white frayed denim styles are perfect for summer.

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Pic: Zara.com

Two-tone denims are also dominating the high street market this year. Topshop is the best place for this look.

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Denim jacket and skirt Topshop. Pic:Topshop.com

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Pic: Topshop.com

Culottes- are these ultimate unwearable trend? I hated them at first because they are deeply unflattering and I like fitted clothing. However some people manage to make them look amazing-kudos! I think heels and a fitted top are key.

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Pic: Pinterest.com

I prefer the more fitted culottes but these super wide leg ones from Boohoo look amazing (on the model anyway!) I’m not 100% sold on them for myself just yet.

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Pic: Boohoo.com

Leandra Medine looking gorgeous and not one bit repellant in culottes..sigh. See my Pinterest fashion board for some more inspiration.

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Pic: Manrepeller.com

And the shoe of the season? Why python print! I have an unhealthy obsession with this print so I love these boots and shoes. These boots are from a new online store I’ve discovered, LASULA.co.uk.

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Pic: LASULA.co.uk

I suspect there is no such thing as “python” print, it’s all good old-fashioned snakeskin! Indeed a customary search of Zara.com revealed one item tagged “snake” and zero tagged “python”. 😛

Lace-up styles are still popular, these babies from Bershka are just €25.99 right now. (I still can’t afford them though).

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Pic: Bershka.com

So what do you think of these trends? Anything I’ve missed? Leave me a comment using the grey speech bubble icon on the bottom right and let me know.

Hope you have all enjoyed this post and my last post interviewing Sinead Burke, it’s been one of my most popular posts this year so far. You can follow @joyofblogs on Instagram and Twitter or see my Facebook page here. Thanks for reading as always.

Edel

Oscars Fashion 2016

Apologies for not posting this sooner- I got caught up in college work but here are my favourite looks from this year’s Oscars Awards.

Saoirse Ronan was undoubtedly the best dressed lady in green sequin Calvin Klein dress. I have NEVER seen her look so good, she was just gorgeous! The dress fitted beautifully and Saoirse complimented it with mismatched earrings, I don’t know what that was about but she looked stunning. Apparently her hairstylist was flown out for the event and her hair and makeup were gorgeous and really complimented the dress.

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Margot Robbie stunned in plunging gold Tom Ford gown accessorised with a simple black bag. The Aussie actress looked really sophisticated.

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Meanwhile Jennifer Lawrence wore a black and nude Dior dress with a lace top and voluminous skirt. Her hair is now an icy blonde shade which looked great with her smoky eyes. The dress drew comparisons to one Gywneth Paltrow wore previously but this is far prettier.

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Rooney Mara wore a beautiful beaded Givenchy dress with cut-out details. Her bold red lip and pale complexion set off the dress beautifully but the weird top knot hair do didn’t do her any favours. Great shoes though!

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While Rachel Mc Adams looked beautiful in a dark backless green August Getty dress with a thigh high split and a long train. Down to earth Rachel had her sister do her makeup ! :O

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Priyanka Chopra stunned in a gorgeous Zuhair Murad dress accessorised with $8m worth of Chopard jewellery!

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Lady Gaga flouted convention by wearing a combination of a jumpsuit and a dress! The Brandon Maxwell design evoked old style Hollywood glamour.

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And who got it wrong? Well Kate Winslet’s shiny brown sack would not be out of place on a monk. It had no redeemable features whatsoever! Kate is beautiful but I don’t know what she or Ralph Lauren were thinking….

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Kerry Washington is normally a very stylish lady but picked a weird dominatrix style Versace dress that was completely unsuitable for the red carpet. I have expressed my love of Versace in the past but this dress is a disaster!

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Olivia Wilde wore a Valentino gown which looked like tissue paper  and the choker necklace  really didn’t suit this look. It also looked like it would fall off at any minute!

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And finally while I have a huge woman crush on Miranda Kerr and think she is beauty personified, this cut-out red dress looks cheap and trashy on the red carpet. It would have been perfect if there was just a little more fabric! Hair, make-up and shoes on point though as always.

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Hope you all enjoyed this post and I hope to be posting again regularly soon!

Thanks for reading as always.

Edel