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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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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.

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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

Party like its 1988

Sunday was my birthday and I thought I’d write a blog post to celebrate. I had a really amazing weekend and was spoiled rotten with some amazing presents including this Christian Louboutin nail varnish…literally a work of art!

(I’ve already almost stabbed myself in the neck by leaving this on my bedside locker!)

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Christian Louboutin nail varnish

Now all I have to do is paint the soles of my shoes red to accessorise 😛 It could also double up as an excellent weapon!

I also got some other lovely presents (see below) including a new watch and ring from my friends so I’m feeling very lucky and loved!

I’m really grateful to all my friends and family who made my day with their wishes, cards, texts and presents.  I don’t normally write “haul” style posts but my birthday is very important to me. Last year was a very tough year for me so this year I’m seizing any opportunity to be happy. 🙂

Miss Selfridge ring
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Beautiful watch my friend gave me

My weekend couldn’t have been more perfect. I started my weekend going for cocktails in Capitol and had one strawberry Daquiri too many… 😛

The next day I went get my hair done and I got very subtle balayage which I had been scared of trying but I came out of the hairdressers feeling like ….bruno

I then had lunch with my friend in Musashi on Capel Street which is one of my favourite restaurants (not that I eat out a lot!). I had some delicious sushi rolls.

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Later on I went out to Everleigh Gardens and got really dolled up for the occasion! I also did a good deed by informing some visitors from Belfast not to go to Coppers. My reward will be in heaven I know.

I love dancing so its important for me to go somewhere with a good DJ and the music was brilliant all night long, I barely sat down despite my vertiginous heels!

What I wore: Black leather skirt which I bought in Paris at a kilo shop. The store had amazing stock and I also got a Chanel style tweed jacket and a wool mix navy cardigan all for about €34! The skirt only cost €7!!

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Underneath I wore a navy lace bodysuit I bought in the Bershka sale for €9.99, again another amazing bargain!

Bodysuits can be awkward but they remain tucked in unlike tops and give you a lovely streamlined silhouette.

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I accessorised with red heels and gold padlock earrings which I bought in H&M for about €2! If you like this look, you can hype it on Lookbook here.

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I had an amazing weekend. One week until I visit Brussels which I’m so excited for so looking forward to blogging about that soon! Thanks for visiting my blog as always. If you enjoyed this post leave me a comment below and let me know.

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

Edel

New H&M College Green-Believe the Hype

I’m slightly behind schedule on this blog post, all about the brand new H&M store on College Green. However here it is at last! When I heard there would  be a new H&M in the city centre, my first thought was really? Three H&M’s within 15 minutes walking distance of each other?!  However this is no ordinary H&M, it’s a gorgeous new flagship store and anyone who hasn’t been in needs to see it ASAP. The building housing it is the former National Irish Bank and just the building alone is worth a look!

The building is a protected structure dating from the mid nineteenth century and was designed by an architect named William Murray. In 2012 Savills auctioneers listed it for sale at €4 million! H&M were brave enough to buy the building and are also planning to base their sister brand & Other Stories in the former A-Wear Store on Grafton Street. I would love to see this happen as the A-Wear store was quite big and it’s a shame to see it idle now. Also & Other Stories is currently only available to Irish customers online so it would be a welcome addition to Grafton St. Many shops such as A-Wear, Korkys etc. were forced to close due to the high rents on Grafton St. and the area has become less exciting with each closure. I think H&M will breathe some new life into the area and it is badly needed.

A sketch of the building (Archiseek.com).

The store has been open for over a month now but for anyone who hasn’t been there/doesn’t live in Dublin here’s a few pictures. (PS I hate to be the obnoxious blogger who only writes about things in Dublin but unfortunately the capital city is the obvious choice for flagship shops/new openings/fun things).

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Views of the decorative arches.

The new store now comprises of four floors and is 25,000 square feet! It blows the other two H&M stores out of the water to say the least.

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Bird’s eye view from upstairs!

And here are some of my favourite items currently in store. The new shoe department is particularly alluring and I’d crawl on broken glass for these chain-detail patent brogues. I think they’d be the perfect way to brighten up a dull work outfit/plain black dress. *wipes drool off keyboard*

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I’m also completely in love with these Perspex heel shoes-like the brogues they can add a fun dimension to an outfit and yet are very chic. If like me, you hate stuffy conservative clothing but sometimes have to wear it, adding funky shoes/jewellery etc. is one way to “break the rules”.

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amazeballs shirt

I can’t say enough about this shirt, its a mix of formal and fun! I think it would work in both a casual and formal outfit, either as styled or with pale blue jeans.

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And for going out they also have some excellent pieces such as this fringed skirt.

Or this equally cute quilted skirt with imitation leather front.

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I could go on and on about the store but the best way to experience it is to visit yourself! Let me know your thoughts, do you like the new H&M or would you rather see something else there? Do you think the building has been put to good use or do you think there are too many high-street stores in Dublin now? I look forward to your feedback.  PS. if you like reading my blog, you can like it on Facebook here. Thanks for visiting my blog as always. 🙂