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Depop drama: Buying, selling and everything you need to know

I first used Depop about four years ago when I was in college and desperate to make a quick buck. I listed a few things for sale but as my phone camera was pretty terrible, my pics weren’t very enticing and I never made a sale.

I soom deleted the app and didn’t feel very encouraged to use it again.

Fast forward to 2020, Depop is even bigger than ever. During lockdown I began obsessing about tracking down a pair of shoes after I lost one while moving house. I’m wearing them in the pic below.

After searching the shoe online, several Depop links came up. I downloaded the app again and began trawling.

I messaged several people to no avail but finally I found a girl selling them in a size 5 and bought them from her. Unfortunately, they didn’t fit.

The shoes soon went to the charity shop but my curiousity was piqued and I realised Depop was the perfect way to hunt items that I’d previously seen in shops/online or no longer fitted me.

I tracked down the shoes but sadly they were too small.

This behaviour may seem bizarre to people with real hobbies but for me, it’s proved very satisfying.

A friend of mine even found shoes for her wedding on there. She was finding it hard to shop because of lockdown, I asked her what style and size she was after and within a few minutes, I’d pulled up some options on Depop!

So far, I’ve bought a Topshop jumpsuit that I previously borrowed off a friend, a blue suede Topshop skirt that I’d bought in a charity shop but was much too small, a pair of colour block jeans and a really cool Whitney Houston t-shirt.

I was after this blue suede Topshop skirt for years!

I rarely ever buy new clothing nowadays but I still love looking at what’s available in high-street shops.

So, if you’re looking to make your wardrobe more sustainable but aren’t a fan of vintage/charity shops, Depop is a great place to start and save money while you’re at it. Or you can declutter your own wardrobe and make some money while you’re at it.

The best part of Depop is that your cash isn’t going to line the pockets of a big coporation, Depop sellers are primarily young women or independent retailers.

I finally found the skirt!

Buying tips

Don’t restrict your search to just your own country

It’s tempting to limit your search to your own country as most sellers will ask you to pay postage.

But if you are really keen to find an item, tick the worldwide box and see what you can find. I’ve actually bought more items from UK/Northern Ireland sellers than Irish sellers.

Wearing the jumpsuit four years ago

I bought both the jumpsuit and the suede skirt from UK sellers and they arrived quite quickly.

Take your measurements

Most Depop sellers don’t offer refunds so you’ll need to ascertain the fit before you buy. Ask for measurements, take your own measurements (leg length ankle to crotch, widest part of bust and hips and narrowest part of waist).

Rather than relying on the size provided by the seller, I’ve been taking my own measurements for a more accurate fit.

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I bought these jeans – but they did not fit!

I recently bought a size 10 pair of jeans on Depop only to find that they didn’t fit at all. So, when I was buying the suede skirt, I asked the seller to take measurements and checked them against my own and happily it fit.

Ask questions

If you’re thinking of buying something, ask questions first.

I.e. What’s the fit like, do you have more photos, was this taken with a flash (can make colours look different), any faults etc.

Most sellers are very obliging and won’t mind providing you with more information. Be sure to ask about postage, returns policy and delivery time.

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Whitney t-shirt

Check prices between different sellers

If you find several people selling the item you’re after, check what the best price available is and ask each individual seller about postage costs as they may vary,

That way you can be sure you’re getting a good price. It’s also worth assessing the condition of each item however, some may be cheaper due to flaws/condition.

Haggle if possible

Now I’ve never been the best haggler in the world but this is a platform where you can make offers and bargain.

Some sellers will state that they welcome offers and others will not. You can also offer a swap of an item or ask if they can do a bundle deal or free postage. It’s always worth asking but obviously don’t take the piss either or you probably will end up on the Depop drama Insta!

If an item doesn’t work out

If your item is not as described or has undeclared faults, you can ask the seller for a refund. If they won’t help, you can open a dispute with Paypal.

Every transaction made through Paypal ensures your purchase or sale is protected if anything goes wrong.

Make sure to purchase through the Depop buy button rather than a private arrangement as you have more protection this way. Where possible, ask for a tracking number also.

If something just doesn’t fit and you can’t return it, you can always try selling it yourself or donate it.

Upload a pic of what you’re looking for

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, upload a pic and caption it “not for sale”.

State the brand and size and a description of the item you’re after, you never know someone may have it in the back of their wardrobe!

SELLING

Take the best photos you can

Ideally your photos should be of someone wearing the outfit but if that’s not possible, good lighting and clutter-free backgrounds are a must.

Make sure you show the front and rear of the item and take pictures of any flaws. If the colour is not showing up right in the pic, make sure you mention in the listing what the true colour is.

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My Depop profile (my pics leave a lot be desired but I’m working on it)

Be flexible with your pricing

The quality of the item should be reflected in the price so if it’s an item you’ve worn a lot, don’t charge what you paid for it. New items with tags still on can command more as can lightly worn items or secondhand designer items. If you don’t accept offers/swaps, it’s a good idea to mention that.

Use tags

Depop will only allow five hashtags per item, however, you can include more popular keywords that people commonly search for (y2k comes to mind!)

Be truthful

“Such a stunning Y2K top, one of a kind”, grates after you read it for the 50th time. Likewise, don’t list an old Jane Norman cardi as “vintage”, that will only irritate buyers. True vintage clothing should be at least 20/30 years old so don’t lose the run of yourself.

Give as much detail as possible and be patient if your buyer has questions.

Ask for reviews and leave reviews

It’s nice to be nice and getting a good review will increase trust and encourage more people to buy from you. So ask your buyers to leave a review when they’re satisfied and also review them as buyers. It’s a win-win!

Approach potential buyers

If someone likes an item, don’t be shy, drop them a DM and ask if they’re interested in buying. I get these messages all the time and usually I just reply browsing thanks but a friendly message could help close a sale,

When your items aren’t selling

If your items haven’t sold, there are a number of avenues you can explore. You can delete the listing and reupload it with new pics or update the description. You can lower the price or offer a limited discount or offer bundle prices.

You can also share your items on other social media such as Instagram or Facebook, it may catch someone’s eye there.

Above all, don’t be disheartened, it takes time and patience to build a up a Depop profile.

I’m really enjoying using Depop and I’ve found it to be one of my favourite ways to shop now, particularly when shops aren’t open.

Have you used Depop? Leave me a comment below by clicking on the grey speech bubble icon and let me know.

Thanks for reading as always and I hope you found the tips helpful! Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page and of course my Depop @edelh22.

Edel

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

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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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What to wear to a summer wedding in Ireland

Wedding season is upon us and not only did I have to find a pretty and appropriate dress for a summer wedding, I had to find a dress that would look good with crutches and an orthopaedic boot.

HAHAHA, nothing looks good with crutches and an orthopaedic boot. Especially not a red profusely sweating face…

Ignoring suggestions that I buy a maxi dress (never ever) I tracked down this pretty Elise Ryan dress from Asos that I’d originally wanted to buy for graduation but wasn’t in my size at the time.

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My crutches are just out of shot:P

This dress proved perfect for the occasion, it was fitted in the waist and was knee length. The only mistake I made was wearing a padded bra which made me look very top-heavy so I won’t be doing that again!

I thought I would feel self-conscious because I was on crutches and everyone else was in heels but to be honest, no-one cared what I looked like, everyone was focused on the happy couple.

My dress was €74 on Asos but I paid in sterling and got it for €49.50/€57. It has since gone into sale and is now €52/£38.

Normally I would’ve worn a silver heel with this colour but heels were a no-go! Instead, I wore a plain black flat on my left foot and accessorised with my silver Stella McCartney dupe bag and silver earrings.

I wore a chain-style headband from Penneys also.

I went for a completely different makeup look as I’d normally wear eyeliner and a bold lip but I wanted to experiment with a blue eyeshadow from my Prism palette from Penneys.

I wore blue and silver eyeshadow on my eyelids along with a pop of white eyeliner in the corner of my eye.

I avoided a strong lip for this look and opted for a neutral lipgloss instead. It was a very different look for me but it’s always good to get out of your comfort zone.

Needless to say, getting good photos of my dress proved fairly difficult as I can’t stand for long on one leg!

My posture didn’t do me any favours and neither did the delicious four course meal…

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These are some tips you may find helpful if you have a wedding coming up.

Don’t forgo comfort in favour of style, weddings are LONG days and you’ll be eating a big meal. Tight waistbands and restrictive outfits are not your friends.

A pair of flats is a must and it’s a good idea to bring some plasters also.

If you want to wear your heels for most of the night, minimise discomfort with a gel insole or heel grip. To prevent rubbing and blisters put deodorant on your feet before wearing heels which will minimise sweating.

You don’t have to spend a fortune or buy everything new. Before buying an outfit, consider whether you have a bag and shoes that will compliment it.

It’s easy to get carried away and buy everything new but you’ll also be buying a wedding present and possibly paying for accommodation etc. so take this into account when budgeting.

Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone and try a colour you wouldn’t normally wear.

Here’s some outfit inspiration if you have a summer wedding coming up.

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Purple floral dress. Pic: Asos.com

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Pale pink dress. Pic: Asos.com

 

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Printed bodycon dress. Pic: RiverIsland.com

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Green off-the-shoulder dress. Pic: Asos.com

Hope you all enjoyed this post, I’ve been finding it hard to blog lately as I’ve been under extreme stress partly from my injury and also because my house is being sold so I have to find a new room to rent soon. Those of you who rent in Dublin will know the struggle!

Having a few days off to go to the wedding was just blissful and I really enjoyed staying in Darver Castle in Louth where the reception was held – it’s a gorgeous venue.

FYI, this was not a sponsored post and there no affiliate links.

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

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

& Other Stories: The Dublin Début

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Galloon Burgundy lipstick. Pic: Otherstories.ie

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

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

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

Edel

 

 

 

Interview with Irish activist Sinead Burke

 

For a recent college assignment, I interviewed a fellow blogger and fashion-lover Sinead Burke AKA Minnie Melange 

At just 29 years old Sinead has achieved more than most of us can dream of.

Since I conducted this interview back in 2015, Sinead has given a viral TED talk ‘Why design should include everyone’, been featured on the cover of Business of Fashion magazine, met Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Victoria Beckham, attended the Met Gala, been dressed by the world’s top designers and so much more.

She is an award-winning blogger, blogging on fashion, lifestyle and popular culture as well as a qualified teacher, activist, writer and broadcaster.

Sinead’s site Minnie Melange has won awards and she has been featured prominently in the media.

She holds a degree in Education, a Masters in Broadcasting and currently studying for a PhD in Education. Sinead was named as one of Image magazine’s top 40 women under 40 and was also crowned Alternative Miss Ireland 2015.

Among the thousands of bloggers in Ireland, Sinead is one of the most successful. She has over seven thousand followers on Twitter, has interviewed the likes of Saoirse Ronan, Paloma Faith and Stephanie Roche. Her face lights up when talking about her blogging work.

SB: “Being a blogger in Ireland is amazing. There are so many wonderful opportunities to meet incredible people, work with brands, go to events, to get a sneak preview of new products coming out. Yeah, I’m kinda one of the luckiest people in the country I think!”

“There’s a huge blogging community here, I don’t think I realised until recently how big the community is. There are fashion bloggers, food bloggers, mummy bloggers, so many different types. So many people have been helped, supported, got new information from blogging and I think it can only continue to grow it’s very exciting.”

EH: ” As a little person, when you see little people portrayed in the media and different movies, The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, Jackass, Austin Powers, how do you feel about these portrayals?”

SB: ” I think representation is so important for minority voices in the media. Sometimes when you see little people in something like Jackass as you mentioned there, it can be a little hurtful because you can see people being the butt of the joke. But that is not the responsibility of the little person themselves. If people want to be actors that is their right and I fully support other little people who want to do those roles.

“I think we need to have a conversation with Hollywood, we to have a conversation with scriptwriters, with directors, not just about little people but women in these roles, about people of minority voices.”

EH: “You’ve called being a little person both a gift and a challenge. Can you give me an example of how it’s a gift and a challenge for you?”

SB: “Absolutely. So my biggest challenge is that I’ve grown up and I live in a world that was predominantly built for you and those of average height. And if you can imagine for 10 seconds what your life would be like if you had to live in a world built for me. If you had difficulties sitting on chairs, you would probably not be able to reach light switches, you would have a lot of back pain, but you would find ways to manage.

“And then societal challenges, how people react to me, what they think of me, what they presume I can and can’t do, it’s difficult. But often when you have a conversation with these people, their assumptions are kind of put in place.”

“And in terms of it being a gift, I suppose my ideas, my ways that I live my life have been shaped and challenged by my size and I think it’s given me more empathy.”

EH: “At the moment you’re completing your PhD researching into the voice of the pupil in disadvantaged schools. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?”

SB: “ Sure, I was a teacher in lots of different types of schools and I loved it. But  I noticed that often children don’t have a say about matters which affect them in school. We expect them to read and write and do as they’re told.

It’s really interesting once you give children an opportunity to have a say about matters which affect them in schools, they come up with ideas and ways to make school and learning better for them. It’s really exciting and empowering to be a part of that.”

Sinead is softly spoken yet enunciates every word. I can imagine her sitting comfortably behind a radio mic or explaining something to Junior Infants. Will she choose between broadcasting or teaching in the future?

SB: “ I think it’s really exciting to be a millennial in this day and age. You can be lots of different things. With the broadcasting, I love telling stories and I love being a facilitator for someone else’s stories.  But yeah if there’s an opportunity to host the Late Late and be a teacher or be involved in lecturing I wouldn’t say no.”

As we finish chatting I tell Sinead I’m off to my part-time job in a clothes shop. On hearing where I work,  Sinead can immediately name the founder of the company and tell me how much he is worth. Now that’s what you call doing your homework.

Hope you all enjoyed this interview and thanks for reading. Don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page.

Edel

 

Irish Blogger Conference 2015

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Last weekend I attended the Irish blogger conference in the Radisson in Dublin. It was something I’d been really looking forward to going to, even missing Slane for it! Sorry Hozier, next time…;)

I decided to get dressed up for the occasion and wore my trusty Asos black crochet hem jeans, a floral print top and my black fringed Mango jacket. I accessorised with a tiny gold star chain, black leather rucksack and my new iridescent green/blue Penneys sandals.

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This floral top was such a great bargain, it’s River Island but I picked it up for €5 in a charity shop. It’s a really great shape and fit.

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My jacket is from the new Mango on Henry Street. It’s practically my second home at this stage!

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I was quite nervous but also really keen to see what was in store! The first thing I noticed (besides all the gorgeous glam people everywhere!) was the amazing goodie bag which was under my seat. Ermagerd! It was full of lovely things, make-up, vouchers, skincare and even some edible goodies such as popcorn and a tin of Bewleys coffee.

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The organisers had set up a projector and projected live tweets from the event. They also had organised lots of exciting competitions throughout the day. Among the competitions was a Best Dressed competition and they picked both a male and female audience member who both looked amazing! They also had a charity partner in the form of Teenline (a helpline dedicated to young people in distress) and encouraged us throughout the day to make a donation to Teenline.

Initially I thought that the only speakers would be bloggers but I was delighted to see there was a wide range of speakers from different backgrounds. From fitness experts, social media strategists, designers and even RTE’s vet Pete Wedderburn, it was a great line-up.

My favourite speakers of the day were Alison Canavan and Barbara Scully. Alison who is a prolific Irish fashion models spoke about the importance of taking care of mind and body. She was very candid in speaking about her own difficulties with depression and anxiety and I really admired that.She started her talk by getting us all to do a simple meditation. I was absolutely riveted listening to her as her words really struck a chord with me and the tips she gave us for taking care of ourselves were invaluable. She told us “Depression is a result of lack of expression” which I thought was really profound. Alison imparted a lot of wisdom and you can visit her site here.

Journalist Barbara Scully was another excellent speaker. She was very witty and had the audience in stitches with her funny anecdotes. She reminded us that “the internet is ruled by women and cats” which was met with a great cheer from the largely female audience. She also spoke about the need for more women in journalism and broadcasting and I couldn’t agree more. You can visit Barbara’s site here for more inspiration (and cats!)

I also really enjoyed Darragh Doyle and Timi Ogunyemi ( Picture This) talks and slideshows. Both guys were really witty and interesting.

At the end of the day the host comedian Marcus O’ Laoire talked to a panel of six of Ireland’s well-known bloggers, Nuala Gorham, Joanne Larby, Holly White, Anita White, David Cashman and James Butler. It was really interesting to hear about their different backgrounds and how they’d established themselves. After that there was a Q & A session where members of the audience could ask the panel questions. I thought the best advice came from Joanne Larby (The Makeup Fairy) when she advised the audience never to respond to negative or troll comments online. She reminded us that “brands are watching” online interactions and not to get drawn into arguments.

It was a brilliant event and I’m very glad the organisers Cool Events and the Irish Blogger Association came up with idea. I really enjoyed the whole experience and really commend the organisers on creating such a great event! Here’s to the next one!

PS here’s a sneak peak of what’s featured in my next post…some online shopping goodies and I’ll be giving my opinion on the best online retailers and finding original clothing online.

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Thanks for visiting my blog as always. You can like it on Facebook here for more updates. 🙂

Edel

Let the DIY revolution begin!

willywonka - Oh, So You have a blog? you must be smart

Hello  and welcome to my first post! I have wanted to blog for ages but procrastinated as usual. Also I did think blogging was for  pretentious wankers for a while… 😛  Blogging??! Ain’t NOBODY got time for that! Now I can see its multitude benefits and I really enjoy reading others blogs.  Anyway I will mainly be focusing on my design work and fashion but might go off in a tangent from time to time. 😉

I have been obsessed with clothing, dressmaking and design my entire life and have done dressmaking and art courses to fuel my creativity. Recently due to the fact I was too broke to buy anything new I started making pieces such as studded shoes, cassette necklaces, galaxy print shoes for myself. My friends and even strangers in the street commented on them and admired them. Inspired by the interest I decided to see if my designs would appeal to a greater audience.I set up an Etsy shop and I made a few pieces for friends but I needed to reach more people. Luckily  I got a great opportunity to showcase some of my designs through the awesome Custom Collective team. Custom Collective is the brainchild of Fi Bourke who is a talented Irish designer who wanted to set up a platform for designers and creative minds to showcase their customised products and give people a chance to buy a one-off product or have one of their old pieces upcycled. It’s a fantastic idea and I’m really privileged to be part of this. You can check out some of my designs and other designs on their Facebook page and I will be adding many more soon.

For my first visit to the guys at Custom Collective I made two of my favourite items galaxy print shoes and shorts. I created these with fabric paint and bleach and a lot of imagination. These are a lot of fun to make but quite messy due to the layers of paint and attention to detail required! Check them out below! If anyone is interested in tutorials in how to make these I can try making one.

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Thanks for my checking out my blog! If you guys have any ideas for designs I would LOVE to hear them!

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Seeing stars!

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