FASHION + LIFESTYLE + TRAVEL

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29.11.16

Christmas party outfit inspiration



Party season is well and truly upon us! I can't believe how quickly it's come around, can you? I have a love-hate relationship with planning Christmas party outfits in the sense that I love getting dressed up, but sometimes it's just too stressful trying to find the right thing to wear. I either find too much and can't decide, or I find nothing and have a last minute panic. This year, I actually found a dress really early on (crikey) which practically never happens. I bought this Topshop beauty which is I adore - apart from the trail of glitter I leave behind! There are several trends I'm loving at the moment and I'm a tiny bit gutted I haven't got another five parties lined up...although it's safe to say my bank balance would hate me for that.


I've been drooling over the teal sequin dress all week but just can't justify buying it with no occasion to wear it, although part of me is thinking it would be fab for NYE. I love the twist on this year's sequin trend with bright, bold colours. Another few favourites of mine are the glittery boots (hello party feet) which are perfect for adding some glitz to a simple outfit and the red velvet shoes (almost typed red velvet cake then - always got food on the brain!) I have a love-hate relationship with velvet too, it looks amazing and I love to wear it...as long as I don't have to touch it too much. Anyone else struggle with the texture of velvet?! The embroidered playsuit is another fave of mine and gives a wintery, glam nod to the embroidered floral trend, which I'm glad it still around after the summer!

What do you think of my party picks?

Katie x

22.11.16

Dublin Travel Guide



I'm baaaack! You hadn't noticed I'd disappeared, had you? I did the un-blogger-like thing of not scheduling anything while I was away and not working on any content during my trip either. SHOCK. It was pure bliss just to have a few days away from absolutely everything. I did choose to go to Dublin though, so maybe not the most peaceful break to opt for! It was most definitely worth it and lovely to spend some quality time with the family. My boyfriend disappeared off to Dubai for 5 days (it's okay, I wasn't jealous or bitter at all...) and we managed to time a nice family getaway for the same weekend which was perfect. I've put together a short guide of my top eats, where to stay and places to shop (of course).

Stay



For our short break, we stayed at the most amazing apartment in central Dublin - just a 10/15 minute walk from the main shops and restaurants. We did contemplate a hotel but honestly, having an apartment with its own lounge and kitchen was so ideal and made it the perfect place to chill and slouch in between shopping, exploring and going out for food. We stayed at Staycity Saint Augustine which is an aparthotel with a super friendly reception and modern, self-contained apartments. We managed to bag a top floor apartment with views across the city. I shared a twin room with my little brother, which reminded us of holidays from our childhood where he'd do nothing but chat until about 2am! (Not much has changed). My favourite time of day was at night when you could see the city skyline lit up from our balcony - I imagine it's lovely during the summer months, with the balcony doors open and having drinks while the sun sets! I've also realised they have aparthotels across Europe *starts planning next trip away*.

Eat & Drink



Oh, THE FOOD. I've never been somewhere and had consistently amazing meals every day until I visited Dublin.  Honestly, you'll be spoilt for choice - we passed so many pubs, bistros, brasseries, Indians, cafes, Thai restaurants, a Mongolian BBQ (which sounded amazing), Italian restaurants, wine bars and more. Almost everywhere catered for awkward little gluten free me and we didn't book a table the whole time we were there. We were turned away from a couple of places due to them being busy, but there was always another restaurant just round the corner. I love the amount of independent restaurants and cafes in Dublin, you really don't see many chains around. I've included a few of my favourites below!
  • KC Peaches - ideal for lunch with loads to choose from and gluten free options. Sandwiches, soup, hot food, salads. Just grab a plate and load it up with anything and EVERYTHING. (Tip - their loaded potato skins are a taste sensation). 
  • Copper Valley Bistro - a good amount of choice to suit everyone and amazing fresh food! My favourite meal from the whole weekend.
  • The Larder - amazing meat and fish dishes, gluten free options (including dessert!) and their own brewed beers - if you like that sort of thing.
  • M&S on Grafton Street - I know, go all the way to Dublin and end up in good old M&S. But a lot has to be said for their tea and cakes - perfect for refueling between some shopping. They also had so many gluten free options I was in cake heaven.
  • Grafton Street, Parliament Street and Exchequer Street - a few good areas if you're looking for a nice restaurant or cafe!

Shopping



Not sure why I left shopping until almost last seeing as it was my favourite part?! Dublin is a lovely city, although I found the main activities/things to do were eating, drinking and shopping rather than a huge amount of sight-seeing. Not that I minded as those are pretty much my three favourite things. Grafton Street is fab for shopping, hop in to Brown Thomas if you want to ooh and aah at beautiful designer handbags and jewellery. It looks so festive over the winter months so go and get yourself in the Christmas spirit. Folkster is a brand I've had my eye on for a while after following them on Instagram, and I literally stumbled across them down a cute cobbled street. I did buy the boots of my dreams and a gorgeous teal skirt (outfit post soon!) but I could've gone crazy for their ball gowns and glittery dresses. If you have an occasion to go to, definitely check Folkster out. It was like walking in to Cinderella's wardrobe - minus the glass slippers.

Dublin has a huge Zara and H&M as well, which are definitely worth looking round. I don't have a Zara very close to me at home so it was a great opportunity to have a nose around. I did almost buy an amazing coat but talked myself out of it due to the lack of space in my suitcase! I did find a cute jewellery shop though and treated myself to a Celtic knot ring. I was going to replace my old Cladder ring but fell in love with this design instead. 

Explore




If you get the chance to venture out of the city, do it. We have family further south in Ireland and it was a great excuse to see them and to see more of the country. Ireland has a beautiful landscape and the sun even came out for our little road trip! Dublin is a nice city but we really enjoyed venturing out to some more scenic areas and seeing rural Ireland.

My brother has made a short travel vlog (which is basically me cringingly chatting away and pulling weird faces throughout). If that sounds like your cup of tea, have a watch. Have you been to Dublin before/have any recommendations to add to the list?

Katie x