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Top - Forever21, Necklace - Aldo, Skirt - Zara, Boots - Penneys, Bag - 100% legit Mulberry from Hong Kong.....
March was quiet on the shopping front with very few purchases made. However I did pick up this lovely blue faux leather skirt two weeks ago - an unfortunate deluge of rain forced me to run for shelter in the most tranquil place of refuge - Zara on Henry street. It was an expensive hide out. 

Barely a day later I was victim to Ryanair's ever so sly price increases. Perhaps the traffic I single-handedly drove towards the site was my downfall. Although it is very nice to have holidays on the horizon, even if it's a diet of bread and water til June. 

This year the ladies and I are off to Chania in Crete for a week of leisure, copious amounts of tzatziki and perhaps a drop or two of Ouzo! Thankfully one can more or less guarantee sun in Greece, so packing is not a major concern - unlike my last three holidays - Amsterdam, Lacanau and Edinburgh. I am looking forward to wearing the above mini without having to worry about tights or boots. My plan is to gradually add items to my holiday wardrobe, to accompany several other summery purchases I've made since the start of Spring, and old relics that have been knocking around since my Leaving Cert holiday in 2008. Check out my current holiday wishlist below - I spent this dreary Saturday day dreaming and searching for inspiration - along with some flashback photos of my trip in 2012. 

Images via ASOS and Zara. 
 
 
In Cork you're never too far from the water - I've been spoilt living by the Douglas estuary my entire life. I seem to forget that the same can be said for Dublin - Ballsbridge is pratically in Sandymount, well, according to my idea of Dublin geography. My friends and I have been dying to go the Dun Laoghaire Sunday market since we moved up but the weather and timing has always been bad. This weekend though was the perfect opportunity - the weather was somewhat decent and the rain clouds were staying put in the distance. We treated ourselves to delicious street food followed by fudge from the man of Aran. Several gulps of sea air did the world of good to my frazzled head. A delightful antidote to a high paced Saturday. 

In other news I will be attending the launch of the new Levi's flagship store on Grafton Street this coming Wednesday. I had planned on purchasing some Levi's for the event, that is until I had to shell out for flights to Greece - Unfortunately Ryanair still remain cheeky despite their new customer orientated business plan. I'm sure I'll find something - My Dublin wardrobe is overflowing at this point. 
 
 
Every year I have the same dilemma - the transition from Spring to Summer and the outerwear one should possess. I purchased a short trench a few years ago, which has served me well up until now, but I feel it is time to graduate to a smarter, longer and definitely more durable Spring coat/jacket.

I thought I had found the answer to my prayers in the form of a linen trench-come-pea coat, which I wore out and about in Amsterdam - but sadly it was not to be. The pockets rather worringly came away after two wears.  Presently I find myself searching for exclusively practical colours, as I suffer from an overwhelming obsession with having symbiosis in my wardrobe.

I have singled out some favourites from my usual online haunts. This post is merely to serve my indecisiveness. Perhaps flipping back and forth through the slideshow will inspire a selection.  
 
 
Too often do I find myself on a Sunday afternoon contemplating where the weekend went. When I pack for Cork on a Thursday night I throw in the most ridiculous of items in the hope that my choices may inspire a profilic photoshoot. However a lethargic and indifferent individual has taken over my life rendering me incapable of producing creative blog posts. Part of the problem is that I wear all my formal/nice clothes during the week when I'm sans photographer, and dress like a hobo at the weekend when I'm surrounded by my family. For instance, today I wore double denim, to a hotel. A faux-pas, or the condition of the working human? 

There has been a distinct lack of outfit posts on my blog as I am currently suffering from a work-wear casual wear imbalance. I tend to document my work-wear clothes on Instagram with the cringe-inducing hashtag, "From where I stand", (please see above). I can only hope that this crisis of fashion is also due to the fact that the weather is now slightly warmer and I'm simply unable to cope with milder climes. This morning I was frogmarched (by myself), into Penneys to return two skirts which would have been a bit out there for Molly Ringwald in the Breakfast Club, along with some faux LK Bennett court shoes that looked like something from the wardrobe of Kate Middelton. Thankfully my faith in my fashion choices was slightly restored when I managed to pick up some nice items on ASOS in their flash sale. 
 
My obsession du jour is silver shoes. The beautiful brogues I picked up in Faith a few weeks ago unfortunately had to be returned as the silver leaf ripped off them after two wears, I am hoping that the same will not happen to these ASOS slippers. 
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Sunday.
 

AMS.

03/05/2014

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I returned from Amsterdam on Sunday afternoon, wrecked but completely satisfied with my travel destination.

Amsterdam is a certainly a lively spot, with throngs of tourists young and old trotting up and down the canals at all hours of the day and night. We only stayed for two days, but in retrospect an extra day would have been ideal. However we did managed to see the main tourist attractions and explore off the beaten track. I didn’t do too much shopping due to lack of time, but I did manage to drop into the ever so hip Monki store and picked up some psychedelic tops. The weather was unexpectedly cold so I didn’t pack as well as I would have hoped, thus a lack of posey outfit pictures.
It wouldn’t be a holiday post without a summary of where to stay, go, eat etc. So here is my account of how to do AMS on a modest budget. 

Sleep Cocomama Hostel – Yes I know, a hostel, but having been to several hostels throughout Europe I can safely say I would rather stay in a hostel than an underwhelming and over-priced 3 or 4 star hotel. As a former hotel employee, I cannot excuse the following,

  • Extortionate yet average accomodation 
  • Poor customer service
  • Dirty/dishevelled looking rooms

Cocomama met with my exacting standards, and exceeded beyond expectation. The staff were extremely helpful and gave a thorough and comprehensive guide of the city, and an interesting account of the origins of the hostel, (a former brothel known as, “The Princess”). Located close to the popular Rembrandt Plein, it’s a stone’s throw from the city centre with lovely boutiques and restaurants dotted along the streets and canals. 

Visit Rijksmuseum. I’ve always enjoyed fine art but it was only when I went to the Uffizi with Órla aged 17 that I became quite the arto-phile. The Rijksmuseum was only recently re-opened, so it is advised to book online. The Night Watch by Rembrandt was a highlight – it is impossible to miss. 

Canal Tour – With the terminus located in front of Centraal Station, the Canal tours are a fantastic way to see the city. Similar to a hop on hop off bus, the boats follow three different lines, (Red, Blue and Green), visiting the primary tourist attractions, and offer an insightful history of the city throughout the journey. Exceptionally well-priced at 22euro for a 24 hour pass, the boat is a lazy and relaxing way of viewing the city – the couches on board are extremely comfy, and they even have a Heineken tap - should you feel so inclined.

De Wallen (Red Light District) – It is what is.  I wouldn’t call it seedy but it’s definitely tacky. It’s hard not to laugh when you wander down into the district. The countless red lights, Americans aghast at the girls dancing in the windows, the atmosphere in general is fraught with excitement and a feeling of risk. It certainly is a den of inequity, with live shows, museums and coffee shops dotted throughout. It’s as lurid as expected. If you’re brave enough go down Trompettersteeg Alley, it is both terrifying and fantastic. 

De Negen Straatjes (Nine Little Streets) – I wasn’t here for long but it was recommended by our super friendly Hostel host. Decorated with cool vintage shops, boutiques and cafes, Nine Little Streets is a favourite amongst the locals. 

EatToon for Pannekoeken and Stacey’s Pennywell for Burgers. My worst nightmare is restaurants with pictures of food on placards – so if you too are the same avoid anywhere central like the plague. Musuemplein has exceptional vendors offering delicious lunch time treats. 

If you’re looking for a fun weekend break I cannot recommend Amsterdam more – just be prepared for space cake jibes from everyone. 
 
 
Whilst in Dublin I tend to live like a pauper, favouring Tesco Value over M&S, illegally downloading the odd movie to forgo a trip to the cinema, and (sometimes), walking instead of driving. However this scrimping has yet to result in a large golden nest egg, or a bountiful portfolio. Sadly when it comes to the weekend, after a week in the office, I simply cannot control myself. 

Unfortunately for me, (and my finances), I was given the go ahead last week to order items to work. Not a day has gone by since without me frequenting ASOS, Topshop, Missguided and Zara online. 

I managed to whittle down my wishlist to a selection to mix and match items that I can wear in Amsterdam, work etc. In general there is a bluey/navy/creamy theme going on across my wardrobe. I was a devil during my teenage years for buying odd, random and loud pieces that were impossible to match. I've learned with time to exercise caution with regard to bright and excessive items. Here are my choices from my forever favourite ASOS. Affordable, effortless, and timeless. I also included some Instagram pics I took on the sly this week. I've become quite slick at sneaky selfie taking. 
 
 
Although I'm living the dream, (well), up in Dublin, every weekend I find myself longing for Cork. As mushy as it sounds, (and I'm pretty sure I've written about it before) - you can't quite beat the comfort of home. That and the fact that when I checked my bank balance on Thursday night the meagre figure staring back at me put the kibosh on any wild weekend plans in the big smoke. So I packed up Henny the Hyundai full of my washing and hit the M50.

Prior to getting my grown up job, I worked more or less every weekend for three years. A lazy weekend was a unknown feeling, and now that I have that lovely experience to enjoy every weekend, I am truly revelling in it. Yesterday my Mum and I went pottering around town and for a delicious lunch in Tara's Tea Rooms on McCurtain Street. 

If you're following me on Instagram you would have also seen that I popped into Vibes & Scribes. The arts and crafts aspect of the store recently relocated to Bridge Street, and the treasure trove of goodies is quite the spectacle. I'm currently trying to coax my Mum into knitting me a mohair blend jumper, but unfortunately the colour wool I wanted was out of stock. Quel dommage! Perhaps I shall go back to the drawing board with regard to my desired SS14 knitwear. 

Here are some pictures of what I wore yesterday, what I ate, and what I bought! As usual I am wearing my Topshop Jamie Jeans. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 
 
 
It is amazing the difference a pleasant amble in the morning makes to the day. It was a joy to be awoken to a bright and clear sky in Clonskeagh, a stark contrast to the erratic conditions experienced throughout the country of late. Crisp, cool and clear - the perfect temperature for a commuter who wishes to arrive in the office without a big red face and wind, “swept”, hair. It pains me how much I mention the weather on this blog – constantly citing how bad weather hampered blogging plans, but it is really unavoidable in Ireland. Today the weather was beautiful and I was debuting my new skirt - It would have been be rude not to prance around Ballsbridge, posing and taking selfies. Thanks for the help Cian!

The skirt is a new purchase from River Island.  I adore the gaudy, “I’m going yachting”, print. The midi length skirt is a tricky one for me to pull off as I’m not the tallest (5’ 4”), and not exactly enthusiastic when it comes to day time heels. However I paired the silky skirt with a crisp white shirt from M&S, a navy fisherman’s jumper from Vero Moda, Zara boots, and a River Island Coat - I like to think I managed to pull off the difficult length. This is a typical office outfit for me. I'm fond of wearing traditional shirts and plain woollen jumpers with statement jackets, trousers, skirts, accessories etc. A blank canvas matched with a bold print or contrasting material is my ideal day time look - one does not want to be a wall flower but it is important to remember the office is not the place for more avant garde pieces. I took a lot of inspiration from Orla Kiely’s AW13 collection when buying items for work this year. I adore the clothing of the 1950/60s and Orla Kiely’s modern take on the era is everything I want from a working wardrobe – I previously blogged about the exquisite collection here!

Weather and outfit dependent I may blog some more office outfits – the surroundings of my workplace are too nice to pass up on. However I wouldn’t be expecting one this weekend. I hear a storm a brewing. 
 
 
As usual my grand January blogging plans were put on hold due to weather and a very busy schedule. I'm currently in hibernation mode, incapable of staying up past ten, resulting in little or no time to shop online, check out other blogs, or even bother with composing a post. While the lack of frivality is not necessarily a bad thing, (from a financial point of view), I'm getting rather bored with my wardrobe. The unfortunate in between season paradox. 

Thankfully Spring has finally sprung, and I have a trip to Amsterdam on the horizon. My favourite part about planning holidays is putting together a capsule wardrobe, full of mix and match items with the odd statement piece, that will carry one through the weekend. At the moment I'm contemplating Nike high tops, leather, cut-out boots, and a big fluffy coat -  all of which will probably change when I start looking to purchase, Seeing as I am visiting the Netherlands, I have been looking to dutch blogger Lucy, of Lovely by Lucy fame, for inspiration. Laid back cool and casual is the look I'm aiming for - as day to day in the office I look like an extra from Mad Men. 

I have been told Amsterdam in awash with quirky vintage shops and cool pokey boutiques - I've got the vintage bug at moment after spending last Saturday pottering around Georges St Arcade and the environs. However I some how managed to miss the Dublin Flea Market - I was none too pleased when I found out either! I think I may be in Dublin for the next one, all going to plan!  I haven't done much Instagramming of late, (so much so I only managed one day out of the 100 happy days challenge) but here some pictures, which include the fabulous vintage ring I picked up for a song over the Ha'penny Bridge last weekend, the jumper my mum knitted for me and some of the, "cool", looks I'm hoping to emmulate whilst rocking around Daam square.

Photo credit - Pinterest. 
 
 
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Last Sunday I uploaded an outfit snap, suggesting there was a blog post to follow. Unfortunately my current situation is busy and tiring to say the least - not that I'm complaining, I love being an actual human with a normal job. But by 6pm on Sunday I could barely muster up the strenght to call the chinese takeaway nevermind write a blog post. The rest of the week followed a similiar pattern. So here we are a week later with a post about last weekend.

Brian joined me up in Dublin for a couple of days, and we had a lovely weekend of shopping, eating and catching up with old friends. I had yet to visit the sales in Dublin, so I did some hefty damage to my current account on both sides of the Liffey. I also frequented the oh so famous Copper Face Jacks, from which I am still recovering. The main event of the weekend was a matinee of Wicked - which was absolutely amazing, as was expected. However I would not recommend going when you are feeling 

a) Tired
b) Emotional 
c) Hungover 
d) All of the above 

You will cry during, "Defying Gravity."  

Here are some pictures from my fun weekend in the Pale, and some of the lovely purchases I made. It's hard to miss the garish yellow short sleeve jumper from H&M, which will be forever filed under, "Clothes my boyfriend will never understand."