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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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Life in your 20s versus life in your 30s

Recently I was looking back at some photos of myself in my early 20s.

I felt a twinge of sadness that I’m no longer that age and more than a few regrets as I thought about things I could’ve done to improve my life and wellbeing back then.

But I’m also relieved that I’m no longer dealing with things that plagued me in my 20s, such as struggling to get by on a low income, worrying about my career prospects as well as dealing toxic friendships and dead-end relationships.

 

I turn 31 on Friday and so far, the first year of the 30s has been far better than all of my 20s put together.

When I was 21, I had only left Ireland once, I was friends with people who dragged me down and held me back, I was hopeless with relationships and I had no idea what to do with my life.

These days I might not get ID’d anymore when buying drink (they did it up until about 28) but I am a stronger, happier more confident person.

Here’s a look at how my life has changed for the better:

DRINKING/SOCIALISING

I used to go out and drink until I fell over or at least got very tipsy. Then I’d be up for work or college the next day no bother.

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Nowadays I drink a lot less and I prefer to go to my local than going into town.

I used to love nightclubs and predrinks but I haven’t been in a nightclub for over a year and I can’t even remember when I last did predrinks!

Of course, I have the odd session or weeknight drinks on a rare occasion but in general, I’m a lot more sensible.

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CAREER

I slogged it out during the recession working in retail, admin and recruitment, sometimes working two part-time jobs at once just to pay the rent.

Once I worked 32 days in a row without a single day off!

I moved to Dublin when I was 24 but found it even more challenging here due to the high rents.

Over time, I saved up and took the plunge to do my Master’s degree in journalism, something I never thought would be possible.

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Life has vastly improved since my early 20s

They say you learn more from your failures in life than your successes and for me, that is certainly true.

After doing two internships, I secured a full-time position in a great company and I’m finally earning a decent wage (enough to get by in Dublin anyway…)

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I struggled in my 20s but am flourishing now.

TRAVELLING

My family didn’t go on holidays when we were kids as my parents worked all hours on our farm and we had no money.

In my 20s, I spent two summers working in America as well as city breaks and longer holidays in the last couple of years.

While I didn’t have much money for travelling in my 20s, I couchsurfed, bunked with friends and stayed in hostels and cheap motels.

I also travelled on my own several times which built up my confidence massively.

I’ve yet to do any backpacking or round-the-world trips but who knows what opportunities may come yet?!

FASHION/STYLE SENSE

My fashion and style sense really hasn’t changed that much but I’m a lot more into charity shopping and vintage clothing these days.

My style is still pretty colourful but I don’t wear heels as much (partly because I wrecked my ankle) or really short tight dresses anymore – not quite as slim as I once was either – but I’m happy regardless!

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I still have this gorgeous jacket I found in a charity shop

In my early 20s, I was obsessed with labels and brands but these days my wardrobe is a  mix of second-hand, vintage and high-street clothing.

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Life has changed for the better

My outfit below is an example of this. I was gifted this black faux fur jacket by PrettyLittleThing and I absolutely love it.

It’s a statement piece that switches up any outfit.

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I still like loud statement pieces

I wore it with Topshop mom jeans, New Look boots and a t-shirt from Etsy.

My accessories are all cheap and cheerful, a vintage belt which was €1 in a charity shop, earrings from AliExpress, a Penneys necklace and a beret I bought for €4 in Topshop.

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I’m less concerned about labels or brands these days
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I’ve found my own sense of style

ADULTING

I don’t and maybe never will have a mortgage but that’s OK. I’ve been renting since I was 18 and last year, finally got a lease in my own name – sharing with a roomie obviously.

In the current rental climate, I feel very lucky to have a safe place to call home.

A lot of my friends are settling down now, getting married and having kids but I don’t feel under pressure. I would love to get married one day but for now, I’m very content with my relationship.

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RELATIONSHIPS/FAMILY/FRIENDSHIPS

As I’ve matured, I’ve developed a more balanced approach to friendships and relationships.

I used to put everything into a friendship or a relationship regardless of whether that person cared for me in the same way. My self-esteem was so low that I thought I needed these people.

When my dad died suddenly in 2014, something inside me snapped and I cut ties with some toxic people. Life is too short to spend it around people who bring you down.

I don’t have lots of friends but the ones I have are reliable and I’m in a long-term relationship with someone who has been there for me through the good times but also some really tough times. He even took the photos for this post!

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New Look snake print boots

I’m aware that I’m still very young and my life is bound to change so much yet but I’m happy with where it is going.

If you’re struggling with any of the issues I’ve mentioned, I hope this will give you hope.  And if you’re near the end of your 20s and dreading the 30s, honestly it’s nothing to be afraid of!

Outfit cost breakdown

Jacket – Prettylittlething but was gifted – Please note they did not ask me to blog about or review it but I absolutely love it!

Thank you to Burrell PR for the generous gift. You can find it here – not an affiliate link.

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Happy ‘cos this jacket keeps out the wind

Jeans – €55 Topshop

Beret – €4 Topshop

Belt- €1 charity shop

Necklace -€3 Penneys

T-shirt – €15.70 Pink Space Store Etsy

Boots – €18 on sale from New Look

Earrings – €1.67

Total cost: €98.37

Thanks for reading this incredibly long post. I’m going to DCU’s Fashion Show this week and I’ll be posting about it soon.

Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

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River Island Spring/Summer 2019 Press Day

River Island is one of those shops that I always wanted to buy from when I was a teen but was way too broke!

Nowadays kids want Gucci bags and LV but all I wanted was a damn pair of River Island jeans…

I always enjoy seeing River Island‘s new collections and this year’s Spring/Summer press event was no exception.

The first rail that really caught my eye was the swimwear. I love browsing swimwear even though it’s not something I would buy every year.

This stunning baroque print swimsuit was one of my favourite pieces.

 

 

It’s €50 which is quite pricey but apparently, you can buy in sterling from the River Island UK site and get it delivered to a store near you. I haven’t tried this myself but let me know if you have.

The other thing I noticed about this is that you’d probably need to size up if you wear a larger bra size, the cups on a size ten looked quite small.

This lime green beauty with a black belt would also look great on the beach.

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Lime green swimsuit

Belts seemed to feature on most of the one-pieces.

I’m not sure yet if I like this trend but it’s definitely going to be a thing because I saw Kylie Jenner wearing a belted one-piece on her Insta!

 

This lilac cut-out swimsuit was another favourite.

I prefer one-pieces to bikinis more and more these days!

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River Island lilac cut-out swimsuit
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River Island swimwear

What really excited me is that River Island now do homeware and my love for homeware knows no bounds!

There wasn’t a massive selection but the chair and cushions above made a great photo backdrop and there were also some cute lanterns, candles and storage boxes.

There’s some gorgeous bedding, vases, planters and mirrors on the website and I can’t wait to check it out in-store as I’m always looking for nice things for my apartment.

 

 

 

 

 

The homeware range is available in Swords, Blanchardstown and Dundrum in Dublin and also online.

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Decorative boxes
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Pink octagonal vase. Pic: prshots.com

Animal prints and logos are sticking around for 2019, judging by these styles.

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Snakeprint shirt.
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Animal print and logos

Neons, polka dots and pyjama-inspired prints also featured heavily.

 

 

 

 

 

This little polka dot dress would be the perfect holiday or summer wedding outfit.

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River Island Polka dot dress

Snakeprint was a common motif on shoes also.

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Snakeprint boots and sandals

There are lots of co-ords in the new collection which I really like but I’ve never worn one yet.

My favourite was this denim ‘Couture’ jacket and skirt set. The jacket is €60, while the skirt is €35.

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Denim ‘couture’ jacket and skirt. Pic: RiverIsland.com

From a more formal look, this powder blue blazer is gorgeous for a special occasion and there are shorts to match.

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Powder blue blazer

River Island do really good accessories, especially bags and wallets.

There were lots of sunglasses and some jewellery on display also, including this fabulous lion head Versace-esque necklace.

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Lion head necklace
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River Island ladies’ sunglasses
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Accessories

River Island shoes are on the expensive side but they are also quite hard-wearing. When it comes to footwear, it’s worth paying a little more for better materials.

I’ve a pair of RI heels that I bought in 2012 and cowboy boots that I’ve had since 2015 so not a bad investment.

If you have a decent pair of shoes, it’s worth getting the heel tips or even the soles replaced as they wear, rather than just buying a new pair.

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River Island shoes

I used my old digital camera to take some of these pictures as the lens is better than my phone and I’d left my DSLR at home.

The results were mixed some of the photos on my phone came out better but it’s handy to have an alternative.

I also browsed the menswear and kidswear ranges.

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Men’s accessories
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The kidswear was so cute!
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River Island childrenswear

The childrenswear really impressed me, it was really trendy and cute and I wanted most of the adorable girls’ shoes and backpacks!

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River Island girls’ shoes and accessories

On my way out the door, I stopped to grab some delicious snacks from the Black Sheep food stand.

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Delicious snacks

I had a two-hour drive ahead of me so they were just what I needed.

Thanks to the River Island team for a lovely afternoon.

Hope you all enjoyed this post, I hope to have some homeware and outfit posts coming soon, including some Aliexpress purchases so stay tuned!

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

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting out of my Comfort Zone

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My photoshoot in St Stephen’s Green. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

I’ve always struggled with breaking out of my comfort zone. When it comes to changing job, ditching toxic friends or letting go of old relationships, I tend to struggle.

Yet every time I’ve made a major change in my life, I always ask myself “Why didn’t you do this sooner?!

As they say, hindsight is 20/20 and you can’t always predict the outcome of a risky choice.

But stubbornly remaining in a comfort zone sometimes can mask our insecurities, the thought that we don’t deserve better than the situations we find ourselves in or that we won’t find something better.

When it comes to my wardrobe, I also find it hard to break out of the comfort zone.

Now, I wear lots of colour and prints but I’m not very adventurous when it comes to trying new shapes/styles/silhouettes.

It took me ages to convert from flares/bootcut jeans to skinnies when they came in and I only bought my first pair of mom jeans this year – and I’m loving them.

One colour I really avoid is yellow. I am very fair-skinned and for ages, I thought citrus colours were not for me.

However, when I was in Barcelona, I spied this cute Kodak tee in H&M. It was yellow – but I had to have it!

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Yellow Kodak tee. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

I had been on the lookout for a pinafore dress and picked up this black cord one to go with it.

Once I’d put the outfit together, I realised there was a shade of yellow which did suit me – yet I’d been ruling it out for years.

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This vintage bag is from a charity shop in Phibsborough and cost approx €5/6. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

I have this soft leather crossbody bag for years and I recently Google the name of the brand, Alex Valentino, and found the same one sold on Ebay for €70! And made in Italy no less!

Mine is showing signs of wear and tear but overall still in good nick.

These photos were taken by a professional photographer Gavin Woodruff who I met through Instagram.

Even though I had always wanted to get some professional shots taken for the blog, I was quite nervous about working with a photographer as I felt like a bit of an imposter.

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Once I relaxed, I felt better. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

However, I needn’t have worried as Gavin was very helpful and provided me with lots of directions and tips on how to pose.

Taking photos in the busy surroundings of St Stephen’s Green was slightly nerve-wracking and at first, I wanted to hide in a distant corner, rather than pose in front of lots of passers-by.

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Excuse my squinty face! Pic: Gavin Woodruff

Gavin encouraged me and I found once I began smiling, I relaxed a lot more.

I would advise anyone who wants to do a photo-shoot to go for it and let people stare – they will have forgotten it in five minutes.

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Smiling and taking it in my stride. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

I tend to suffer from “Awkward Hands Syndrome” but Gavin advised me to put my hands on my hip or my bag or hold my sunglasses for a more relaxed natural look.

He also got me to walk, turn around and face the camera from different angles to get a variety of shots.

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Taking off sunglasses. Pic: Gavin Woodruff
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Here you can see my Kodak t-shirt a little better. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

What I found quite interesting is that sometimes an assertive pose, like putting your hands on your hips can make you feel more confident.

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I love a good hands on hips pose! Pic: Gavin Woodruff

For me, the most difficult part of blogging is putting myself “out there”. I’ve never been a shy person but I do struggle with my self-confidence.

It’s hard to reconcile these two parts of my personality, the chatty and friendly side that many people see and the awkward and nervous side which is also a part of who I am.

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These are some of my favourite shots. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

However, sometimes I’m the only one standing in my way when I refuse to leave the comfort zone and try something new or difficult.

Sometimes, attempts to try something difficult can end in upset or failure (i.e. my surfing lesson in Portugal) or for instance my three failed driving tests over a six-year period!

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Sometimes leaving the comfort zone is awkward! Pic: Gavin Woodruff

We may never accomplish certain things despite our best efforts but I do believe failure is a good teacher, even if she does give the test first and the lesson after!

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Mango star and moon embellished boots. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

My boots were €20 from Mango, my chains are from Penneys and Forever 21 and I bought my Raybans in Barcelona.

I love layering gold chains and I thought they came out great on camera.

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‘Baby’ necklace from Forever 21, Pisces necklace from Primark. Pic: Gavin Woodruff
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Layered necklaces. Pic: Gavin Woodruff
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My Raybans. Pic: Gavin Woodruff

This was definitely not my thriftiest outfit but my bag and boots were good bargains.

Pinafore dress €27.99 H&M (shop here).

Kodak t-shirt €14.99 H&M (It went on sale to €9 but it’s out of stock online )

Boots €20 on sale in Mango

Bag €6 in a charity shop

Beret about €9 from Nasty Gal

Raybans €142!! (If anyone is interested in getting a pair, I do recommend it and they come with a warranty also). They are also so clear compared to cheap sunglasses!

You can get mine for about €86/£78 from The Sunglass Hut at the moment. There are no affiliate links in this post btw.

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Raybans – worth the coin!

Chains about €3 each, Forever 21 and Penneys/Primark.

Total: €225.98.

If you are interested in contacting Gavin or to see more of his work, this is his website and Instagram.

Hope you all enjoyed my final post of 2018. It has been a quiet year for my blog but I hope to devote more time to blogging in 2019.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and thank you for your support throughout the year.

Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thrifty challenge: Ten swimsuits and bikinis all under €20

Last summer, I went a bit stir-crazy and spent most of my time shopping online for swimwear while I was laid up with a broken ankle.

I bought several swimsuits and bikinis but didn’t even wear all of them on holidays.

For this year’s swimwear post, I thought I’d focus on more thrifty swimwear and see if I could find five swimsuits and five bikinis all under €20.

Asos is always one of my favourite places to buy swimwear as they have really original styles.

My first pick is this stunning palm print swimsuit from Pimkie at Asos. It is on sale and comes in at a very affordable €13.98 if you shop in sterling.

It features a cross back and has removable cups, great for those who wear a larger bra size and need some support.

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Palm swimsuit Pimkie at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

Girls who have larger boobs will know the struggle of trying to find affordable and cute swimsuits that also offer support.

This is something I’ve always struggled with when buying bikinis and swimsuits as I need to take about two sizes up in a bikini top and find myself falling out of some one-pieces!

I was pleasantly surprised to see this pretty pink snakeprint swimsuit available on sale for just €19.36 down from €40 from Asos.

Shop in sterling and you’ll get it for a reasonable €15.66.

It is available in sizes DD to G and has underwire support and a clasp at the back.

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Pink snakeprint swimsuit. Wolf and Whistle at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

And this two-tone beauty from Missguided is currently reduced from €27 to €17.

It is perfect for lazing by the pool or popping a pair of denim shorts over for heading out.

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Black and whiter halterneck swimsuit. Pic: Missguided.com

Tall gals will love this gorgeous Versace style chain print suit from Boohoo.com which flatters long lean figures.

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Chain print swimsuit. Pic: Boohoo.com

It was €24 but with a 20% off promotion, it’s only €19. Boohoo also do a similar style in white for only €11.

Versace style prints are one of the biggest trends in swimwear this year and I absolutely love the look.

Bandeau swimsuits are really flattering on smaller busts and petite figures and this lime green one from PrettyLittleThing is only €6.

If lime green isn’t your thing, it also comes in black with white polka dots.

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Lime green bandeau swimsuit. Pic: PrettyLittleThing.com

Donning a bikini can be daunting for many of us but finding a shape and style that suits your body is one way to feel more confident.

This Versace print gold and black beauty from PrettyLittleThing comes in at an affordable €12. It also comes in white and red variations.

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Gold and black print bikini. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

Last year, I found a gorgeous little green sequin bikini on PrettyLittleThing and fell in love with it.

This year, I’ve spotted very similar sequin bikinis in green and multi-coloured versions in Penneys, €17 for the entire set.

These were launched in April so I’m not sure if they are left in many stores but I did see them in Penneys on O’Connell Street in Dublin.

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Sequin bikini. Pic: Primark.com

Frills and flounces look great on petite girls and this green set from Missguided at Asos is just the ticket if you like detailed bikinis.

It’s €17.98 for the entire set in euro but only €14.55 if you use sterling.

I love the bottoms as there are a lot of super skimpy high cut styles out at the moment but this one offers a little more coverage.

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Green bikini, Missguided at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

For those who require more support than a triangle top can offer (*puts hand up*), Asos have an adorable pink bikini top with black spots in sizes DD to F for only €9.68.

It has thick supportive straps and a clasp on the back. It also comes in a triangle top style.

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Pink and black bikini. Pic: Asos.com

You can match this with either a thong or high-cut tanga bottom, depending on how daring you feel, €5.53 and €6.91 respectively.

Shop in sterling and nab the lot for €13.44 (with tanga bottom) or €12.32 (with thong).

Bandeau bikinis are great if you want to avoid tan lines and polka dots are huge this summer.

This adorable red and white one comes in just under budget at €19.58 from Bershka, reduced from €27.98.

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Red and white polka dot bikini. Pic: Bershka.com

Hope you all enjoyed this post, it was a bit of a challenge to hunt down nice swimsuits and bikinis under €20 but it was also enjoyable.

If you’d like to see more thrifty challenge posts on my blog, leave me a comment and let me know.

The Blog Awards Ireland 2018 are now open for entries so if you enjoy reading my blog, please give me a nomination here.

PS- this is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links – all my own choices. For more inspiration, visit my Pinterest swimwear board.

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

Edel

 

 

 

 

sequin mini dress

Christmas Party Style: My 2017 edit

It’s THAT time of the year again. Christmas is coming, the geese aren’t the only ones who’ve gotten fat, (I’ve had too many hot chocolates), and my shopping list is getting longer by the minute.

I’m currently writing this reclining in bed after a night on the tiles at my own Christmas party.

Here is my round-up of some of the best festive partywear of 2017.

SEQUINS

I think most people have a love/hate affair with sequins but Christmas is the one time of the year (apart from festivals) when you can go head to toe sequins if that’s your thing.

My first pick is from Asos. This stunning green sequin midi dress from TFNC is just gorgeous and I actually bought it myself.

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Green sequin dress. Pic: asos.com

I got this altered in the Alteration Centre in Dublin as it was way too long for me. I got about four inches taken off so it now sits on the knee on me.

It cost €24 to have it altered and it was reduced from €87 to €61.50 in an Asos partywear promotion. So, with the alterations, I ended up spending quite a bit but I know I will wear it loads.

I managed to wear heels (low ankle boots) and paired with my favourite embellished black bag.

One small thing I did notice is that every time I tried it on, sequins fall off but not in huge numbers.

I love the figure-hugging yet not tight fit and sweetheart neckline and I got so many compliments on it last night.

If I were able to wear heels, I’d team it with my turquoise iridescent sandals but sadly, my ankle isn’t up to that at the moment.

Another little sequin beauty I fell for was this stunning statement mini dress from Nasty Gal.com.

Unfortunately, this dress seems to be low in stock on both the UK and IE sites.

This dress is €90, however, Nasty Gal is offering 24% off everything meaning you can snap it up for €68.40 at the moment. They’re also doing free delivery, FYI.

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Lost in Music sequin dress. Pic: NastyGal.com

Also in the promotion was this slinky star print sequin dress. It’s very elegant and looks really high-end.

This slip dress is €60 normally but you can get it for €45.60 today.

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Nasty Gal star slip dress. Pic: NastyGal.com

This At First Light multi-coloured sequin and velvet beauty is another Nasty Gal fave.

It’s a really simple v-neck style that would suit most body shapes and with 24% discount, you can get it for €68.40.

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Multi-coloured sequin and velvet dress. Pic: NastyGal.com

If you would rather wear a skirt and top, then look no further than this beautiful embellished skirt from Miss Selfridge.

Currently reduced from €89 to €64 and would look fab with a black camisole top.

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Premium sequin skirt. Pic: Miss Selfridge.com

VELVET

Velvet is such a huge Christmas trend every year and adds a touch of luxury to any Christmas party outfit.

This stunning navy Nasty Gal dress with cut-out shoulders and tassel embellishments is a firm favourite of mine.

It’s normally €75 but grab it for €57 today!

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Navy velvet tassel dress. Pic: Nasty Gal.com

If you’re on a tighter budget, this gorgeous blue velvet Square Up dress from Nasty Gal comes in at €21.50 with the 24% discount applied.

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Blue velvet dress. Pic: NastyGal.com

A simple but cute velvet option is this bodycon embellished black dress from Boohoo at Asos.

It isn’t marked down but it’s only €33 so it certainly won’t break the bank.

If you select to pay in sterling on Asos, you’ll get a few more euro off – bargain! Check out my shopping online hacks post here.

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Black velvet embellished dress. Pic: Asos.com

RED

Let’s face it, red is the colour of Christmas and also 2017’s hottest A/W trend. A red outfit is guaranteed to make you stand out from the crowd.

This red bandeau jumpsuit from Missguided is €41.

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Red bandeau jumpsuit. Pic: Missguided.com

If you don’t like dresses, a fitted suit with a bodysuit underneath can be a great option.

This red blazer from River Island adds a pop of colour to any festive outfit. However, at €80, this is on the pricier side.

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Red blazer. Pic: River Island

The Sugababes threw shade at a girl in a red dress but I’m all about red dresses, especially this River Island beauty.

This floral lace mesh insert dress is €55. The length makes it ideal for a work do, as it’s not too short, but still glamorous.

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Red floral lace dress. Pic: River Island.com

Hope you all enjoyed this post and let me know which items you liked best. I’ve had a mad few weeks with moving house and other stuff on, hence the absence from the blog.

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

Edel

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Coveted Collection: Erdem X H&M 2017

By now, I’m sure you will all have seen the new Erdem X H&M collection. I love designer collaborations but wasn’t able to go to the launch on November 2 as I was working.

I nipped into town last weekend to see if there was anything left but the H&M on College Green appeared to be cleared out, apart from a few pairs of shoes.

There are slim pickings on the official site also, with only one jumper, one shirt, scarves and men’s shoes still left.

I’m a huge fan of this collection mainly because I’m a sucker for anything floral.

The styling also really appealed to me, opulent dresses paired with simple plimsoll sneakers, hoodies over sequin dresses and the use of real flowers in the shoot.

Erdem X H&M dress
Erdem X H&M Pic:H&M.com
Erdem x HM floral dress
Erdem X H&M campaign. Pic:H&M.com

I would definitely buy these trainers if my ankle was ready for them…

Erdem is known for romantic designs, such as these pretty lace detailed dresses, I like the contrast between the floral print and lace and the delicate jewellery.

However, the accessories like the rest of the collection come with a relatively high price tag, €22.99 for a hair clip!

These trouser suits are just divine, too nice to be wasted on work!

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Erdem X H&M. Pic:H&M.com

Needless to say, this collection doesn’t come cheap and customers are also limited to buying one of each item.

One of the more “affordable” items is this hoody coming in at €59.99. I later saw it on eBay selling for €84!

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One of my favourite pieces from the collection is this beautiful dress.

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Floral print dress Erdem X H&M. Pic: H&M.com

Apparently, there were queues outside College Green in Dublin and I can totally understand why.

The H&M site also crashed from all the eager shoppers logging on!

This is the first time Erdem has produced a menswear collection and it’s every bit as covetable as the ladieswear collection.

From sharp tailoring to laid-back pyjama style tops and trousers, the menswear is stylish and suave.

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Erdem menswear. Pic: H&M.com
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Floral men’s shirt. Pic: H&M.com

For research purposes, I trawled eBay to see if there are any pieces available online.

There were lots of offerings on eBay but the competition was fierce with 25 bids on one blouse for example.

If you do decide to buy a piece online, check the seller’s feedback before purchasing and be prepared for a bidding war!

There are some items for sale with just photos from the campaign, I would steer clear of these and look for items which the seller has taken themselves and check for details such as the tag.

This beautiful vintage crocodile handbag with floral interior is listed on eBay and so far no bids on it but I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing! It’s listed for €90 and retailed at €99 on the Irish site.

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Erdem X HM crocodile bag. Pic: H&M.com

These fabulous floral boots in a size six are also listed by a different seller but they’ll set you back a whopping €300!

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Erdem X H&M floral boots

If anyone has bought a piece online, let me know because I would love to get my hands on pretty much anything from this collection.

Hope you enjoyed this post, leave me a comment below and let me know what you thought of the collection.

Thanks to Olivia from the H&M press office for kindly providing me with photos for this post.

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

Edel

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Scarlet Lady: Autumn/Winter Trends 2017

It’s been a long time since I wrote a trend post and I’m really excited about this one. Having been laid up with an injury all summer, the summer trends pretty much passed me by in a blur.

I think all Irish fashionistas love autumn/winter fashion because we know we’ll always get a lot more wear out of it. A harsh reality of our climate!

Once my ankle got stronger and I was back at work one of the first things I did was walk around the city centre and visit the shops.

Might seem sad to some but I really missed window shopping and checking out the new season trends. Have a browse at some of my favourite A/W pieces in stores now.

Red

From crimson to scarlet, various shades of red are everywhere this Autumn/Winter.

Red isn’t a traditional autumn/winter colour but most people can pull it off. I haven’t worn red in years but I’m excited to add some to my A/W wardrobe.

If like me, you’re a bit cautious when it comes to red, then one key accessory is a good way to go. I love these Stradivarius boots and they’re only €29.95 – bargain!

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Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll be back in my heels for quite some time…

If you want something a bit more daring, you can’t go wrong with these high-shine PVC Topshop boots. PVC is huge this autumn winter also so go forth and shine!

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I love this styling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gucci slogan dupe t-shirts are everywhere at the moment and this red River Island one is amazing.

It’s from the plus size range and is available in sizes 18-26.

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This red Gucci-style embroidered bag from Stradivarius is all kinds of fab – I bought it in black and it’s one of my favourite bags yet.

I always get loads of compliments on it and was it only €19.99.

My love for biker jackets knows no end and I’m determined to get a red one this autumn.

Check out this patent biker beaut which is €68 from Missguided.

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Pearl embellishment

This is probably my favourite trend this A/W.

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I’ve already succumbed to this trend – see above my choker from Penneys.

Other personal faves these AMAZING pearl studded boots from &OtherStories, these pink and black Topshop clutches and a Penneys denim jacket with pearl embellishment.

 

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This adorable pearl embellished beret is from Nasty Gal – I really like that the pearls are securely fastened in, not just sewn on.

Piercing embellishment

This is a really cool trend, with everything from jumpers to bags sporting what look like nipple rings and barbells!

This little backpack is from Penneys, FYI.

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I think these embellishments look particularly good on a chunky jumper.

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Cream jumper with piercing details Forever 21.

 

Topshop has nailed the punk look with this denim jacket and skirt set with all-over piercing embellishment. Probably not an outfit for the airport…

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Piercing detail denim jacket and skirt. Pic: Topshop.com

Denim skirts

Ok bear with me, I know it’s September but the denim skirt will still be an A/W wardrobe staple.

We’ve been wearing denim skirts with bare legs all summer but you can still rock a denim skirt with boots and black tights.

 

Plain denim is out with sequins and fishnet diamond details taking centre stage at Topshop this A/W – perfect for all your autumn nights out.

For something a little simpler, check out this contrast panel stretch denim skirt from PLT at Asos – so cute!

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Contrast panel denim skirt. Pic: Asos.com

Lace-up denim skirts are impracticality at its finest – but I can’t help liking them all the same.

An example of something I really like but wouldn’t be quite brave enough to wear!

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Lace-up denim skirt. Pic: Missguided

Checks/Tweeds

If I’m honest I think this trend is a tad dull but at the same time, a brown tweed/check blazer is a great alternative to boring black for work.

It all depends on how you style it!

This long wool masculine style wool coat from Bershka looks great over a more casual outfit.

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Long check coat. Pic: Bershka.com

Zara is definitely the place to go if you’re looking for a tailored piece, this double-breasted blazer is really cool.

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Check blazer. Pic: Zara.com

For a slightly different take on the neverending heritage trend, try these high-waisted trousers from Topshop. The cropped cut and red thread through the middle gives them a modern twist.

The cropped leg and red thread through the middle gives them a modern twist.

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Check trousers. Pic: Topshop.com

PVC

Not one for the faint-hearted but I do have a serious love of all things PVC. These Jourdan Dunn for Missguided Londunn trousers are super cool.

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Lace-up PVC trousers. Pic: Missguided.com

For an equally bold look, there’s always PVC red leggings.

I think I’d feel like such a rockstar in these ones from Bershka, I could almost forget about my ankle!

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Red PVC leggings. Pic: Bershka.com

 

Another high-shine piece I’m loving are these sassy little shorts with scallop details from Missguided.

Gorgeous for a night out and they come in gold and turquoise too – what more could you want?

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Shiny high waisted shorts. Pic: Missguided.com

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post- I certainly had fun “researching” and writing it.

Leave me a comment and let me know which A/W trend is your favourite.

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