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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

Confidence, courage and community: What 4 years of blogging has taught me

When I began my blog in 2013, I was so broke, I didn’t even have a smartphone, never mind a camera or any other blogging equipment.

I had a part-time job which I didn’t like very much and as I’d moved to Dublin from Galway a few months beforehand, I didn’t know many people in Dublin.

I had a lot of free time and needed an inexpensive hobby to entertain myself with.

I thought about starting a blog years before but was afraid to “put myself out there.” Eventually I decided to just go for it, because I had nothing to lose.

I soon realised blogging was rekindling my passion for writing and it made me feel excited.

I’d completed a psychology degree in 2010 but since leaving college, I’d floundered.

I had done some subbing in a school for autistic children and I also worked in a summer camp for special needs children abroad but I found the work very emotionally draining and was deeply unhappy.

When I started my blog in 2013, I was working in retail but that certainly wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.

When I began blogging, I found it helped me in various aspects of my life.

 1.Confidence

Although I am very outgoing and have never had problems making friends or chatting to strangers, I sometimes suffer from a lack of confidence in myself and my own ideas and opinions.

At this point in my life, I would go out of my way to avoid talking about my personal life with other people, as I didn’t want them to know I worked in retail and wasn’t as successful as some of my friends.

I was also suffering from extreme anxiety, particularly at work. After enduring severe bullying in a previous job, I found myself unable to articulate myself properly to managers in work.

I would find my hands shaking during routine work meetings or speaking to managers one-on-one.

When someone criticised my work, I would take it very personally and feel as though I was being bullied again.

Once I began my blog, I had something I enjoyed talking about and I gradually began to feel more confident in myself and my own abilities.

I still struggle with anxiety and low self-esteem from time to time like many people, but blogging helped me regain a lot of the confidence I was missing.

2. Career

When I was younger, I was determined to have a creative career. Being from a rural background, there was a lot of pressure to go down a traditional route, like primary school teaching.

I cannot tell you how many times people tried to dissuade me from pursuing my interests and tried to steer me towards teaching. (No shade to all the amazing teachers but I would have made a REALLY terrible teacher!)

Ever since I was a young child, I loved fashion and art and hoped to pursue fashion design. After spending the year after Leaving Cert doing an art portfolio course, I wasn’t quite so sure and decided to study psychology instead.

However, once I began writing about fashion, I knew I had found something I really wanted to do.

It also rekindled my interest in writing about other topics and media in general. I began to write other pieces for online magazines and really enjoyed it.

A few months after I began my blog, I realised I wanted to do a postgraduate course in journalism.

It took another two and a half years for me to get my act together and save the money and while it was extremely tough, it was also the best thing I ever did.

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I’m now working as a digital journalist and while I’m now 29 and slightly older than some of my colleagues, I also have experience in other areas on my CV.

Before I found my current position, I had applied for a LOT of jobs and at the interviews, the interviewers were always curious about my blog.

It certainly helped me get a previous internship and my current job and I am very grateful for that.

3. Community & Friendship

At first, I used to just tweet my blog link into cyberspace or sometimes share on my own personal Facebook page.

Needless to say, I didn’t get many clicks, apart from a few from curious friends.

I joined several blogging groups on Facebook, including the Irish Bloggers Group. Here I found an amazing community of bloggers, blogging about diverse topics and openly sharing personal experiences, such as mental and physical health problems, relationships and bereavements.

I learned many tips from other bloggers here and all about the basics of blogging. What I didn’t know, I researched.

Then in 2015, I met some blogging friends in real life. I’d joined Girlcrew and noticed a post about forming a blogging meetup group.

The day I met my blogging friends sticks out in my mind for several reasons.

Earlier that day, I’d been to an inquest into my dad’s sudden death a year before. It was a very sad and difficult day and I thought about skipping the meetup.

But once I got there and met the founder Sinead (SineadSocial) and the other bloggers, I was so excited to chat to other people about blogging and share blogging tips and stories.

I left feeling happy and I’ve gone on to become good friends with other bloggers.

They are Sinead, who coaches other bloggers on starting a blog, social media and blogging resources, Kathryn (ViolinKit), who shares my love for vintage clothes and thrifty finds and Ciara (Irish Travel Key), who is passionate about travelling abroad and day trips in Ireland.

Then there’s Martina (From the tiny flat), who blogs about healthy eating, exercise and training on her blog, Senan (Oakleaf Adventure) who blogs all about outdoor life and Eadaoin (Firechild Photography) who is an avid photographer.

Meeting these people was crucial to my enjoyment and knowledge of blogging.

I’ve also connected with some lovely fellow bloggers online who I’ve never met but enjoy their content.

My blogging journey has been very positive in general but I have experienced some jealousy and resentment at times. Blogging can also be lonely, so having a supportive group of blogger friends makes all the difference.

I’m so glad I have my blogging friends and I’d recommend anyone who wants to learn more about blogging to join the Girlcrew Bloggers.

4. Perseverance

There were several times in my life when I felt like abandoning my blog. I was filled with self-doubt when I compared my humble blog to that of prolific bloggers. I had thoughts like “I’m no good at this”, “no-one will be interested” and “I don’t have enough followers.”

Counting followers, clicks and hits and comparing your blog to that of others will only make you unhappy. If you admire another blogger, see what you can learn from them but never try to copy their content.

It’s good to keep track of your followers and hits on your blog so you can assess what type of content your readers enjoy most but don’t let that take over.

In 2014 I contemplated completly abandoning my blog. My dad had just died and I hadn’t posted in several months. I was very upset for months afterwards and I found daily life a massive struggle.

I found it hard that life around me was still going on as normal while my life seemed so empty and sad.

Gradually I began posting again and although I was still dealing with the bereavement for many months afterwards, it helped having something I still cared about.

I’m so glad I didn’t give up on my blog as it proved crucial in helping me find work in the INSANELY tough media industry.

While my blog is still quite small, it fills a huge part of my life.

It’s a hobby, something I can put on my CV, it has taught me so many skills I never would’ve learned on my own (SEO, basic code, basic photography etc.) and I’ve also enjoyed some moderate success.

In the first year of my blog, I made the long-list for the Irish Blog Awards and in 2015 and 2016, I was delighted to be shortlisted for Best Fashion category.

I’ve also had the pleasure of attending some amazing events and meeting interesting people in the worlds of blogging, PR and media at these.

I used to think I couldn’t blog because I didn’t have the best equipment or loads of money for clothes and I have a tendency to look awkward in photos.But in reality, it was only my own fear holding me back.

I can never keep a straight face while posing for a photo so if I take an #OOTD it’s usually with a big cheesy grin on my face.

Although the world of fashion blogging can be competitive, I’ve found my niche with thrifty style.

Hope you all enjoyed this post and thanks for bearing with me on this one.

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

Edel