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Charity shopping in a post-Covid world: Liberties, Rathmines and Camden Street

Charity shopping was one of the things I missed most when Ireland went into lockdown. As you all know, I spend an inordinate amount of time browsing and trying on clothes and looking for bargains.

As I moved house just before lockdown, I didn’t even have a chance to visit the charity shops in my new neighbourhood.

So as soon as I heard they were reopening, I was ready to go check them out. Previously, I’d lived on the northside of Dublin and although I’d frequently been charity shopping on the southside, I wasn’t as familiar with its offerings.

LIBERTIES

My first day back at the shops was a little disappointing as there are strict limits on the numbers that can enter at any one time and I had to queue for a few. Staff were meticulous about reminding customers to use hand sanitiser which was great but like other shops, you can’t try anything on at the moment. I wandered around the shops around Meath Street and Thomas Street but left empty-handed. Not all of the charity shops opened on June 8 so I didn’t get to visit them all.

However, a few weeks later I had a successful thrifting spree in the fantastic Simon Community shop on Thomas Street.

It was a Friday and there were a few customers browsing but I didn’t have to queue. I immediately noticed some great stock, including a beautiful blue Sandro dress.

However, as I couldn’t try things on, I had to judicious about my selections. I spotted a really cute floral Nasty Gal blouse with fringing on the sleeves and back.

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€7 shirt brand new
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Floral shirt

It was a size 12 but looked small so I knew it would fit me.

It was new with tags on but was only €7. I’ve already gotten loads of wear out of it which is great!

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The fringing on the back and sleeves

Using my investigative journalist skills (lol), I found it on the Nasty Gal site and it had been €28 full price so I got it for a quarter of that!

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The floral blouse and belt I thrifted

Here I’m wearing it with my favourite Topshop jeans, an old wicker bag I found at home and my Doc Martens.

The floral shirt
Wearing the shirt and belt I thrifted

I also spotted a brand new F&F bra with tags on in my size for €5. The original price was €12.50 so a good bargain!

I know some people wouldn’t even consider buying a bra in a charity shop but this was brand new and I’m trying to avoid buying new where possible.

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Pink F&f Bra
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€5 new bra

I was also tempted by a white denim overall dress but when I turned it around, I saw some marks on it so I left it.

When I was going up to the till, I spied an adorable belt with a gold Scottie dog buckle and three little dogs on the side.

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Vintage style belt

On the inside, I saw it was marked real leather in French and I could tell it was really nice quality too.

It didn’t have a price on it but when I brought it up to the till it was €1!

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My adorable belt was a big hit on the gram also!

Unfortunately, when I got home, one of the dogs fell off the side but I’m going to find a way to reattach it because it is the cutest belt ever!

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So cute!

My total was €13 and everything fit well. The belt is a little small but I will wear it around my waist with a dress rather than jeans.

I visited again recently and there was even more gorgeous (and new) stuff, including an Urban Outfitters keyhole 90s style top and pleated skirt that I may go back for.

I also nipped into the Vincent’s shop on Meath Street which was closed for longer than the others and I saw a brand new tie-dye print slip skirt from Penneys.

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The tie-dye style slip skirt

I’d been looking for a slip skirt for ages to wear with Doc Martens. It was a size 12 and still had tags on, originally priced at €14.

I’m a ten but I thought it looked small and as it was only €5, I decided to get it.

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Primark skirt brand new with tags
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€5, verdy good value!

It’s ever so slightly large for me in the waist but fits well in the hips. I don’t have any weddings this year thanks to Covid but I may wear it to an upcoming barbeque.

RATHMINES

There lots of charity shops in Rathmines but I visited at the start of June when they weren’t all open. Rathmines tends to have some really nice stock compared to the city centre and I admired some skirts in Oxfam but as you couldn’t try anything on, left them behind.

I did pick up a holographic sunglass sleeve for €1 which was great because I lost the one my Ray-Bans came in (typical I know).

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Raybans not included

I will be back to Rathmines another day for a proper shop.

CAMDEN STREET

My blogging pal Ama and I decided to meet up for a charity shop crawl of the Camden Street area which was so much fun. If you can rope a friend into charity shopping, it’s much more enjoyable and also you have someone else’s advice.

We popped into a few of the stores, including Liberty, Enable Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society. Ama was on the hunt for a formal bag and struck gold – we saw a beautiful pink Karen Millen bag that was in excellent condition. It was €15 and in really good nick so she was delighted with it.

I was tempted by a gorgeous Zara long skirt and a real leather Tommy Hilfiger 90s style one with a slight side split.

But the Zara was too small and the Tommy Hilfiger one had a damaged zip so I reluctantly left them behind.

Ama was a good companion for charity shopping as she reminded me I didn’t need more skirts anyway! Check out her blog here.

I spied a Humans of New York book for €10 that I was very tempted to buy but I had no cash and the shop didn’t have a card machine. Now, I’ve noticed a lot of more charity shops take card these days but it’s still worth bringing cash in case they don’t.

Instead I merely bought a few wooden clip hangers for a mere 10 cent each as I don’t have enough at home for the giant skirt collection!

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10 cent hangers can’t beat it

TIPS

You can’t try on clothes at the moment so only buy something if you’re pretty sure it’ll fit and check if it’s possible to exchange if not. I know some stores are offering exchanges at the moment because of this.

Bring cash and cards, some charity shops still don’t have card machines.

Be prepared to queue, most charity shops are quite small and have strict limits on the number of people who can come in. I’ve never had to queue longer than five minutes for any of them but some may be very busy.

Wear a mask and use hand sanitiser – every shop I’ve been to have been asking people to sanitise their hands which is great to see.

And finally – be patient and don’t give the staff hassle, remember the charity shops took a massive hit when they closed and are only getting back on their feet now. So, don’t haggle with the staff and be respectful.

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

Edel

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Decorating a rented apartment on a thrifty budget

I’ve been renting since Methuselah was in short pants. Or at least that’s how it feels. I moved out of my family home in Roscommon when I was 18 and I’m now 31.

Renting brings independence and freedom but with it comes the responsibility of paying the rent, bills, cleaning/general drudgery, dealing with law-breaking landlords and horrible housemates.

I always tried to inject a little personality into my rented rooms, whether it was my carefully chosen posters from the college poster sale (James Dean and Garfield) or my Marilyn Monroe cushion and Breakfast at Tiffany’s canvas print (cringe) and a ‘Bang Head Here’ sign!

I’ve lived in 12 rented properties, one friend’s floor, and two wooden cabins when I worked at a summer camp in Pennsylvania but my current apartment is the first time I’ve had my own lease.

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My living room is a little drab but my plants and some fairy lights give it a lift

It was an exciting and scary move from casually renting a room and although I didn’t have another person to move in with me and split the rent with at the time, I jumped at the chance.

The apartment consists of two bedrooms, one double, one single, a large living room/kitchen and a bathroom.

When I first moved in, it smelled musty, opening the ancient sash windows required brute strength and it was lacking in character.

In time I found a roomie and I starting making my apartment feel like home.

 

 

 

 

 

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The living room when I moved in (I nicked that clothes hamper for the bedroom)

I made a few small changes, such as buying plants, canvasses in the charity shop and a mirror from H&M to give it a more homely feel.

 

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Metal edge mirror H&M. Pic: H&M.com

This mirror was €14.99 plus delivery but I saw a very similar one for about €11 in New Look.

I took my own photos of this mirror but unfortunately, my editing programme cropped it really weirdly and it didn’t look right.

 

 

It’s often a case of make do in a rented place as most have uniform drab furniture and haven’t been painted in years but a print on the walls or a throw over an ugly sofa can give the place a facelift.

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A slight facelift for the ugly sofa

My sofa is hideous and worn so I put a throw on top along with blue velvet cushions* I got in Penneys and another cushion I nicked from my family home. We got the throw from my boyfriend’s sister’s apartment after she moved.

Like many other renters, I don’t have much left once I pay my rent and bills so I look out for cute homewares in the charity shops.

I found these two little canvasses for €3 each and put them up in my bedroom on hooks that were already there.

 

For the living room, I picked up three other canvasses for roughly €9.

They are a bit crooked as the hooks aren’t all at the same height but they give the place a little character and as they are quite muted colours, they suit the overall tone of the room.

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Canvasses in the living room

I also found this seashell dish for just under €3 which I thought would be perfect for storing jewellery.

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Shell dish for storing jewellery

When my jewellery is stored away, I often forget to wear it so this is handy to grab earrings out of.

I also got several plants which I adore. One of my cactus plants came from my old office while the other two I bought in Lyon Loring in Stoneybatter. I’m also trying to grow an avocado plant on the windowsill.

Succulents are the best plants for an apartment as they’re not too high-maintenance.

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My beloved cacti plants

My apartment has large windowsills so I use these as a focal point. On my bedroom windowsill, I have a white rug* and palm tree light* from Penneys, along with some plants, candles and jewellery dish.

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Lamp and cacti plants

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My boyfriend moved in with us recently so while it’s great to have someone to share the rent and bills with, I also had to make room for his stuff and give up some wardrobe space!

I found this pretty Newbridge Silverware box left down by the bins one day so I salvaged it to store belts in. I used to hang them on the back of the bedroom door but they took up too much room there.

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A box for my belts

The bathroom was another area where we needed more storage, with three people’s towels all over the place!

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The bathroom
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Over-the-door towel hooks are a lifesaver!

We only had one hook on the door and one rail but I found these over-the-door hooks* in Penneys which proved to be the perfect solution.

All the towels are from IKEA.

Having two sets of bed linen has been an adult aspiration of mine for some time but I somehow never got round to it.

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Tropical duvet cover and matching pillowcases

I found this beautiful set in Penneys and it looks lovely on the bed (I don’t have time to iron bed linen so excuse the creases).

The flower lights at the top of the bed are also from Penneys but they aren’t much good unless the room is totally dark.

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Double duvet cover and pillowcases

I think this was about €25 for a double with matching pillowcases, can’t quite remember! I bought a pale pink fitted sheet to go with it for about €6.

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Tropical print duvet cover from Penneys

I decided not to put in full photos of the rooms as I’m not quite happy with how they look yet. The apartment could definitely do with a lick of paint and we nearly always have a clotheshorse out so, at the moment, I’m focusing on small areas!

DISCLOSURE: This is not a sponsored post but all of the items marked with an asterix were bought with a voucher gifted to me by Penneys. They did not ask for coverage or to feature items I bought in this post.

All other items, including Penneys items not marked with an asterix were bought with my own money. There are no affiliate links within this post.

I hope you all enjoyed this interiors post and if you’d like to see more of my apartment, leave me a comment below by clicking the grey speech bubble icon.

My next post will feature a thrifty haul from Bray’s charity shops 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!

Me
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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Primark’s Christmas Holiday Takeover 2018

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Primark Christmas

I was delighted to attend Primark’s Christmas Holiday Takeover in the gorgeous number 11, Great Georges Street North.

For the sake of handiness, I’m saying Primark throughout this post but you all know I mean Penneys 😉

First of all, the location was AMAZING. I had often admired the stunning Georgian houses on this street but never thought I would have a chance to look around one.

It dates back to 1774 and has a fascinating history.

I am obsessed with interiors and antiques, so I was in heaven! (Wonder do they do wedding receptions?!)

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Number 11, Great George’s Street

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Christmas centrepiece

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Some of the amazing interior decorations

The Christmas range was spread out in three rooms over two floors and I enjoyed admiring the sumptuous surroundings, ornate chandeliers, paintings, cabinets full of creepy dolls and beautiful old furniture.

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I actually loved the creepy dolls

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More creepy dolls

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A chandelier from one of the rooms

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The cutest Christmas jumper

There was Bailey’s hot chocolate to drink served in beautiful Versace-esque china and adorable snowman cupcakes to eat as well while we browsed.

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Delicious Bailey’s hot chocolate

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Almost too cute to eat!

The event was catered by Black Sheep foods.

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Snowman marshmallow cupcakes

On the first floor, there was loads of cute Disney, Mary Poppins and Harry Potter stuff as well as novelty Christmas jumpers and adorable baby reindeer and snowman outfits.

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Hogwarts cushion and slippers

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Harry Potter cushion

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Harry Potter cushion and throw

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Minnie Mouse slippers

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Disney balloons

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Disney Christmas stockings

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Mary Poppins ornaments and cushion

 

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This reindeer onesie is so cute

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Christmas jumpers

Upstairs, there were rails of partywear for ladies and kids.

Among my favourite items were the multi-colour sequin top and long skirt, a sequin slip dress, a black velvet trouser suit with silver embroidery and a funky mohair colourful leopard print jumper.

All of these items will be available instore in two weeks’ time, just in time for Christmas!

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Christmas partywear

 

 

 

This striped velvet jumpsuit is ideal for a night out over the festive season.

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Velvet Primark jumpsuit. Pic: Primark/prshots.com

There’s lots to choose from, if you aren’t a fan of sequins, there were also gorgeous red and green satin slip dresses.

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Primark sequin top

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Primark sequin dress

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Sequins and sparkle

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Mohair multi-colour jumper

When I posted this amazing leopard print jumper on my Instagram stories, my friend who lives in Brazil wrote to me saying she needed to get her hands on one!

I might have to post her one over because she really misses Penneys!

The childrenswear was really cute also.

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Red shoes

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Novelty reindeer glasses

There were beautiful Christmas trees in each room, decorated with kitschy ornaments, baubles and gold letters and a DJ spinning Christmas tunes in the corner.

My years in retail have left me with a hatred of Christmas music but the event was so much fun, I didn’t even mind.

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Christmas tree

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Christmas tree

I wore my Bershka leather-look dress with black tights and boots.

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My outfit for the day (I look so awkward ) Pic: Anthony Woods)

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Burger ornament

How cute are these Disney baubles? I’m almost thinking about getting a Christmas tree for my apartment this year.

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Primark Disney bauble

The last room held a selection of nightwear and underwear, as well as shoes, perfume, makeup and nail sets.

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Perfume and nail sets

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Burgundy shoe boots

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Glitter vanity case

I’m a sucker for anything floral so I loved these green satin PJs and robe.

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Primark underwear and PJs

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PJs and lingerie

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Lingerie and robes

There were lots of fun and novelty stocking filler ideas mixed around the rooms, from cocktail fishbowls, face masks and games.

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Fishbowl cocktail set

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Facemasks

And there was plenty of decorative inspo from lights and candles to toy elves, Santas and reindeer.

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Tealight holder and candle

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Star light

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Christmas toys and decorations

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Toy reindeer and reindeer slippers

These sequin slippers and rhinestone-embellished hairbrush are both great stocking filler ideas.

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Sequin slippers

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Rhinestone hairbrush

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Rhinestone hairbrush

Thank you to the girls from Primark for hosting such a wonderful event, I can’t wait for the next one!

Hope you all enjoyed this post and got lots of inspiration for Christmas. This post is not sponsored.

I’ll be heading away to Portugal on my first press trip at the end of November and I’ve also upping my outfit post game, so expect some posts on these soon.

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

Edel

 

 

 

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Autumn/Winter 2018 trends: Logos, Animal Prints and Checks

It’s starting to feel autumnal out there so what better time to start planning my autumn/winter wardrobe?

After this year’s heatwave, it feels like we really did have a summer for once but autumn is definitely on the way now.

All the shops are stocked with autumnal clothes and these are some of the trends you’ll see everywhere on the high street and the catwalk this A/W.

Logos 

I blame Fendi and the Kardashian family for this one but logos are back with a bang.

They went completely out of fashion for a while as they were associated with a tacky early 00s look but the logo has been resuscitated and reinvented.

It’s a sartorial throwback to those heady pre-recession days where the only way to let everyone know you had style/money was to plaster yourself with logos.

Think Kylie Jenner pushing Stormi in THAT Fendi pram and you get the idea.

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Kylie and Stormi (is she even in that pram?!)

If Fendi is a tad outside your budget, you’ll find plenty of logo-embossed looks on the high street.

Pretty Little Thing does Dior vibes with this saddle-shaped bag.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the price of this bag online but I’m sure it’s not expensive.

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Saddle-shaped logo bag. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

If you’re heading away before the end of summer, these funky logo sliders would look great poolside and are just €22.

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Logo slides. Pic: Prettylittlething.com

A cute cover-up from those colder days comes in the form of this black jacquard jumper from Zara. It’s €29.95 and comes in small, medium and large.

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Zara logo jumper. Pic: Zara.com

And those want to go with the all-over look, this bodycon unitard from Motel will definitely turn heads, ideal for all the festival girlos going to EP. It’s €49.

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Logo unitard. Pic: Motelrocks.com

I think the key to pulling off the logo look is picking a neutral colour (black, brown, white, cream) and either opting for one all-over piece or an accessory.

Animal print

Animal print is always one of my favourite looks and although some may feel it’s too loud or trashy looking, there’s a lot to be said for a striking print.

Go bold in leopard or pick a dainty print for a more reserved look.

This slip dress can be thrown over a long sleeve-t-shirt and black tights, the perfect transitional outfit. It’s €42 from Motel.

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Animal print slip dress. Pic: Motelrocks.com

If you’re not a fan of the traditional leopard print, there are other beasts in the jungle to take your inspiration from this A/W.

These python print jeans from Zara are €39.95.

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Snake print jeans. Pic: Zara.com

Nasty Gal is always a great place to find on-trend pieces and I’m loving these zebra and leopard print bodysuits.

These would look great with blue or black denim and can be dressed up or down.

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Zebra print bodysuit. Pic: Nastygal.com

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Leopard print bodysuit. Pic: Nastygal.com

These both come in at an affordable €23 each.

And for those who dare, coloured animal print is everywhere and in my opinion worth a try.

This New Look skirt would look great with a black polo neck, black tights and ankle boots.

red animal print skirt
Red animal print skirt. New Look at Asos. Pic: Asos.com

 

Checks, tweeds and plaids (again)

Every autumn without fail, some version of “heritage” aka checks, tweeds and plaids, hit the runway.

If you read my last post, you’ll know the Clueless look will be massive this autumn and I’ll be damned if I don’t get to dress up as Cher Horowitz.

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Plaid jumpsuit. Pic: Romwe.com

This gorgeous bag caught my eye while browsing in & Other Stories yesterday.

At €79, it’s not a bargain item but I am really lusting after it!

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Check bag & Other Stories

I’m not much of a fan of midi-length skirts but the colour combo of this Bershka one is really cool. It’s also wallet-friendly, coming in at just under €20.

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Check midi skirt. Pic: Bershka.com

I’m also here for these paperbag waist check trousers from Zara, €49.95.

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Blue check trousers. Pic: Zara.com

Pinafore dresses

This trend has been around most of the year but swap your denim pinny for a cord one for extra warmth and bonus 60s vibes this autumn.

I love pinafores as I adore anything girly and cute but you can toughen them up with a biker jacket, doc martens or an oversized denim jacket.

Below, I’m wearing a black cord pinafore from H&M with a Kodak logo tee also from H&M.

This burgundy pinafore comes in at just under €50 from Asos.

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Burgundy pinafore. Pic: Asos.com

If that’s out of your price range, Penneys have a very similar style for €15.

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Penneys pinafore dress. Pic: Primark.com

The loose shift style is most flattering on the tall and skinny gals but I prefer a more fitted pinafore that gives me a bit of a waist.

This teal green beauty from Nasty Gal is slightly more streamlined and is €45.

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Teal green pinafore dress. Pic: Nastygal.com

With a pinafore dress, it’s always better to wear layers underneath it and a light jacket on top, as heavy jumpers and hoodies just look bulky.

Scarf prints

Now, this is a trend I can never get enough of. Loud, in-your-face silky scarf prints look amazing on a dress or blouse.

Zara has really done this trend justice, with this gorgeous pleated skirt and matching bomber jacket.

Do yourself a favour and check out their autumn/winter “Retro Aesthetics” lookbook – it is stunning.

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Zara scarf print bomber jacket and skirt. Pic: Zara.com

Both pieces are €49.95 each.

A more demure look is this delicate chain print blouse also from Zara for €29.95.

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Chain print blouse. Pic: Zara.com

This Nasty Gal bodysuit is sure to make everyone green with envy (ha, ha) and is only €30.

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Green scarf print bodysuit. Pic: NastyGal.com

And for something dressy and a little more unusual, look no further than this amazing Asos Design playsuit.

 

 

 

 

It’s a real statement piece and if you shop in sterling you can nab it for just under €47.

Hope you all enjoyed this trend post and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

I’m really pleased to have made the longlist for Best Personal Fashion Blog category in the Blog Awards Ireland and I’m hoping to make the shortlist this year.

I’ve spent five years working on this blog and it really means a lot to me.

This is not a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links – all my own choices. For more inspiration, visit my Pinterest page here.

Thanks for reading and if you would like to follow me on social media,  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

 

 

 

 

Visiting Belfast: Shopping and sight-seeing over the border

If you don’t normally go up the North for shopping or sight-seeing, you’re missing out. Recently I went on a weekend break to Belfast with my boyfriend and we had a brilliant time.

I’ve posted about visiting Belfast before but I spent less than a day there. This time around I spent more time in the city centre and was there for a full weekend.

I have only been to Northern Ireland four times including the last trip which is quite embarrassing!

Where to go shopping:

Belfast has two shopping centres, Castlecourt and Victoria Square. Castlecourt is slightly old-fashioned but has some decent shops, including a nice Debenhams.

Victoria Square is a more modern building and has all the high-street shops such as Topshop, H & M and River Island.

The Topshop is massive and I could’ve spent all day there! But that would’ve been the end of my relationship.. 😛

On the street there’s a massive Stradivarius (one of only three in Ireland), Zara, Primark etc.

What to buy: 

I always buy cosmetics in the North as they are a good bit cheaper. I picked up a new bronzer in Superdrug and got my eyebrows threaded there for only £5!

I also bought Queen of Shaves shaving gel for £2.99 (This is very gentle on your skin but can’t find it in ROI anymore). It was about €8 down here.

Nivea night cream was only £1.99 which was also good value, it’s about €5 here.

Perhaps VAT is to blame but when you factor in exchange rates, we seem to pay a lot more for clothes in shops like Topshop and River Island in the ROI.

For instance, this purple frill jumper was £15 on sale from £30 in Topshop. It ws €42 full price in ROI stores.

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Primark is similar value to what you get at home, one pair of nude tights were £1, a nail varnish £1.50 etc.

The Primark was undergoing a bit of a makeover and was VERY busy when we were there.

Overall the stock in Primark was only OK but the store isn’t the biggest.

 I bought a pair of Onitsuka Tigers for my boyfriend in Office, they were £65 with student discount.

Name brand runners aren’t much cheaper than at home.

Surprisingly I didn’t buy myself any shoes! Nor did I find a dress for my graduation but there’s plenty of time yet.

Bargain shopping/Charity shops

I visited two charity shops and both were pretty disappointing. If anyone can recommend a good one, please let me know.

Vintage shops

There are a few quirky vintage shops around Belfast and my favourite one was Octopus’s Garden on Wellington Street.

It sells records as well as deadly vintage threads and is a good spot for nabbing a band t-shirt.

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Markets

On Sunday, we visited St. George’s Market which reminded me of a smaller version of Spitalfields market in London.

We treated ourselves to a hearty Ulster fry and perused all the goodies the market had to offer.

There were loads of food stalls including some very tasty cupcakes, homewares, bric-a-brac, vintage records and jewellery.

I’d highly recommend this market to everyone, it’s an absolute gem.

Cash or card?

I brought cash which I’d changed commission free in the post office. If you pay in card in the North, there is a small fee, about 14 cent per transaction.

Withdrawing sterling with an Irish card from an ATM will incur a fee of at least €3. Ulster Bank customers can withdraw free from NatWest, EasyCash and RBS however.

Bag charges

FYI, there’s now a plastic bag levy in the UK, retailers must a charge a minimum of £0.05 per bag. Something to bear in mind if you are buying lots.

Where to eat/stay/have fun

Besides shopping, we did enjoy the sights of Belfast, including the Titanic experience which was fantastic. Give yourself a minimum of two hours if you are going here.

It’s an interactive exhibition and I learned so much, not merely about the Titanic but also the history of Belfast.

titanic

We stayed in Jury’s Inn in the heart of the city and our room was gorgeous.

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On Saturday night we had dinner in Deanes Love Fish restaurant and the food was DELICIOUS! Hands down, one of the nicest restaurants I’ve ever been in.

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We also went for a drink in The Crown Saloon, which is one of the most popular bars in Belfast.

The beautiful Victorian decor has been preserved from the intricately-carved wooden booths and ceiling designs, to stained glass windows and funky floor tiles.

Unfortunately it was too busy to sit down.

Another watering-hole we visited was White’s Tavern which is one of Belfast’s oldest pubs. This is a nice little pub to relax and rest the legs in between shopping and sight-seeing.

Finally, City Hall is a must if you like architecture.

city-hall

 FYI, this was not a sponsored post.

Hope you all enjoyed this post, feel free to leave me a comment below.

Thank you for visiting my blog and  don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here.

Edel

The Colour Purple

Have you noticed all the lilac and purple hues this Spring? I love this colour and it’s everywhere from jumpers to lipsticks to wallets.

Last weekend I was in Belfast (more on that soon!) and I bought this pretty Topshop lilac ruffled jumper.

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Topshop lilac jumper. Pic: Topshop.com

Not only was it a complete bargain, £15 in sale, €42 full price but it also combines another spring trend, ruffles! I’ll be wearing this blue jeans or with black leather-look trousers to work.

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Excuse my face, I was a little hungover!

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FYI, the sizing of this jumper was really off, I got a 6 which would normally be too small for me in a jumper but the 8 felt too tight!

I also picked up this lilac quilted wallet in Penneys for about £4.

 It’s very similar to the Skinnydip wallets and matches this bag.

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Purple glitter shopper. Pic: Primark.com

I may have to get the bag too!

I already own a *few* pastel purple pieces..

Warning: lilac runners are as impractical as white ones!

Super jealous of Kate Moss strutting her stuff in this pastel Chanel outfit.

https://www.instagram.com/p/_xZkagOfLh/

Recently I even bought a lilac lippie and was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was. I find pink/purple shades can make your teeth look a little yellow but I really wanted to try it out.

This “Charm” lipstick was about €2 from Bershka. If you want to try an unusual lip colour, go for a cheap lipstick in case you hate it!

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I’ve been looking for a dress to wear to my graduation and I’m very drawn towards lilac and pink. This Missguided dress is currently reduced from €60 to €15 in sale – OMG!

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Lilac crochet dress. Pic: Missguided.com

These skinny cigarette trousers would be great to liven up a work outfit, €12 from Missguided.

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Cigarette trousers. Pic: Missguided.com

It’s a bit early for pajama shorts but how cute is this set ?

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Lilac PJ set. Pic: Missguided.com

Finally I’m in love with this Topshop mesh t-shirt, it looks great layered over a black or white top.

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I don’t know but I’ve never had a pair of Converse yet. This “Frozen Lilac” style is just calling my name right now.

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Lilac Converse. Pic: 6pm.com

If you don’t like a lot of pastel colours, then an accessory like this beanie hat is ideal for just a splash of purple perfection.

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Do you guys like lilac and pastel colours? Let me know, I’d love to hear your opinions.

N.B. I’m not being sponsored or paid by any of the brands featured here-these are all my personal choices.

Thank you for visiting my blog and  don’t forget to check out my InstagramTwitter and Facebook page here. My next post will be all about shopping in the North and a few photos from Belfast.

Edel

Wrapping up warm:OOTD at Dublin Zoo

What’s the only thing better than clothes? Why clothes and cute animals of course!

A trip to Dublin Zoo in December calls for a practical and warm outfit. Some colour co-ordination is vital also of course.

You may have seen this pink jacket with fur collar in my previous posts and on my social media. I’ve been obsessing about it for so long and finally bought it in Asos’s Black Friday sale.

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Of course I had to pair with some Penneys accessories. Well half this outfit is Penneys actually…

My  khaki green hat has a pink rose embroidered on the side which matched my coat and bag perfectly. As for the houndstooth scarf, about 2/3 of the female population own this by now… If you’re reading this, you too are probably wearing it!

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Both the hat and scarf are from Penneys and were €5 each. My trusty tote bag is from Bershka and usually doubles up as a shopping bag. However for a day like this, a rucksack is a better choice. This one hurt my arms dragging it around all day!

To complete the outfit I’m wearing black push-up jeans from Bershka which were €5.99 in sale and fit like a glove.

I find myself wearing these simple white runners from Penneys almost everyday. They are a great basic item that go with every outfit and if you squint a bit they could be Stan Smiths…. 😛

The outfit was perfect for the cold weather and kept me cosy while we strolled around. I hadn’t been to the zoo since primary school (despite the fact I live within 10 mins walk!) and I really enjoyed it.

I actually had my Christmas jumper on underneath this outfit but it was way too cold to show it off! Which is a shame as I consider it quite stylish.

Winter is actually a good time to visit the zoo as it’s not crowded and there are no school tours! That didn’t deter some very excited children from banging on a glass pane at a bewildered gorilla though…

Here are just a few of the gorgeous animals we saw from and you may find them a lot more interesting than my outfit! 😛

orangutangs

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I may have developed somewhat of a fixation with monkeys during this trip but how cute are this little troop just chilling by the lake?!

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The zoo has an amazing array of creatures from orangutans to okapis and everything in between.

The zoo farm is a small section with all the regular farmyard animals, such as goats and cows. Here I embarrassed myself by mistaking a pig for a Shetland pony and a statue of a sheep for a donkey! I think I need to get my eyes tested…

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After the zoo excursion, I headed out to a friend’s birthday in House. Here’s my #OOTN for good measure! I’m wearing a halterneck top with beaded fringing from a charity shop, black leather pants from H&M and my holographic shoes from Missguided.

This may be my final post before Christmas so just hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and thanks for your support throughout the year.

For more zoo photos and possibly some OOTDs, check out my Instagram. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter and keep up with the blog on Facebook here. Thanks so much for reading and feel free to leave me a comment below.

Edel

We need to talk about white denim

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

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

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

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

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

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Frayed white denim yes please! Img:Zara.com

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

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

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

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiB-LRygC9y/?taken-by=joyofblogs

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

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

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

They are perfect with flats for a simple summery look.

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

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

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

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

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

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White dungaree shorts. Pic: Primark.com

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

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

 

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

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White push-up jeans. Pic: Bershka.com

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

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

 

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

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White mini skirt. Pic: PLT.com

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

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White shorts. Pic: Zara.com

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

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White denim shirt. Img: Primark.com

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

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

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

Edel