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It's been nearly 6 months since I last wrote a blog post. If you follow me on social media (where I post a lot more frequently) you'll know I spent 3 months in America and returned home in August. It was the most magical summer, and made me fall in love with the USA. When I got home it was straight back into work, and then in September it was straight back into college.

6 months blog free- where have I been?

10.08.2017


It's been nearly 6 months since I last wrote a blog post. If you follow me on social media (where I post a lot more frequently) you'll know I spent 3 months in America and returned home in August. It was the most magical summer, and made me fall in love with the USA. When I got home it was straight back into work, and then in September it was straight back into college.
As shown on my Instagram (where I do most of my posting lately), I recently won Blog of the Year at the Hybrid Student Media Awards 2017- for the second year running, might I add. I still can't believe I managed to win. If I'm honest, I can never quite believe when things like that happen. Instead of an overflowing sense of gratefulness, I tend to question- why me? Why me, the 'blogger' that posts once a month and with a measly 2000 followers? But over the last year or two, I've taught myself how to feel proud without feeling guilty.

Fake It 'Til You Make It

4.16.2017

As shown on my Instagram (where I do most of my posting lately), I recently won Blog of the Year at the Hybrid Student Media Awards 2017- for the second year running, might I add. I still can't believe I managed to win. If I'm honest, I can never quite believe when things like that happen. Instead of an overflowing sense of gratefulness, I tend to question- why me? Why me, the 'blogger' that posts once a month and with a measly 2000 followers? But over the last year or two, I've taught myself how to feel proud without feeling guilty.
Street-style, rain and new designers- just some of the words that come to mind when I reflect on my experiences at London Fashion Week. Something I get asked a lot is how I got to attend LFW (London Fashion Week, fyi) at the ripe young age of 17. As a wise 19 year old now, and having been at LFW twice now, I figured I'd put together a post on how I got there, and why I wont be going again any time soon.

You might be wondering- how on earth does a teenager from the outskirts of Dublin get to fashion week before they've even sat their leaving cert? The answer isn't really as exciting as people would think. I wasn't suddenly being sent invitations left right and centre to Burberry or Prada shows. I was, however, a very persistent youth. I did my research and after seeing plenty of other bloggers go, I thought I'd give it a shot too. To attend as a blogger, you're supposed to apply for a blogger pass with British Fashion Council, but unless you have a large following, you'll more than likely be rejected. The next step is to check out the LFW website and email each and every PR out there requesting a press invite and with all your details, why you want to go, etc etc. This took me about 4 hours to do each time I went, as I wanted all the emails to be specific to the designer I was applying to.


The invites were sent to my friends apartment (you need a London address if you're not living there) and each time, I was really surprised by the amount I got. Although I'd only received two or three invites from 'big' designers on the official LFW schedule, I was lucky enough to get loads from smaller, new designers thanks to Fashion Scout, who are really accommodating to bloggers like me with a 'small' following.

The first year I went, back in 2015, I came home feeling so inspired. It was the last year at Somerset House, where anyone could soak up the street-style vibes without even needing an invite to get in. I met some lovely bloggers, I was dressed by Boohoo and just had a really fun experience. Exhausting, but fun. I was enthusiastic and dying to go back.

The second time I went was February 2016, where I had a much different experience. When people think about fashion week, they imagine you sitting front row, mingling with celebrities and getting goodie bags worth hundreds. The opposite honestly couldn't be more true. For the few shows I attended that season, I had a standing spot at the back, and as for goodie bags- unless you're a Made in Chelsea star sitting FROW, you can forget about that. It was the first year the main location was at Brewer Street carpark, and because it's on a public road, there was little to no space for peacocking around in true blogger fashion, trying to get snaps of others doing the same. I ended up cutting the season short and spent the rest of my time in London sightseeing and having the best time.


Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences at fashion week because of this little old blog. But the general vibe I got the last time was that unless you're someone with a huge following or work for an important company or have lots of money- it really isn't worth your time going. If I'm honest, you'd get pictures from watching the runway shows on your laptop in the comfort of your own home, minus the snobbery of those who think they're the bees knees. I'm not bitter, just honest. And the truthful side of it is that fashion week isn't just about the fashion anymore. It's about the money, the 'who's who' and the competitive side of the industry. I'm not saying I'd never go back, I would love to go to NYFW or PFW in a few years, but with a more wary eye and more sense in my head.

I'd love to hear people's opinions on fashion weeks in general- let me know your thoughts by tweeting me here!

What It's Like To Attend Fashion Week (When You're 17 And Not Famous)

3.16.2017

Street-style, rain and new designers- just some of the words that come to mind when I reflect on my experiences at London Fashion Week. Something I get asked a lot is how I got to attend LFW (London Fashion Week, fyi) at the ripe young age of 17. As a wise 19 year old now, and having been at LFW twice now, I figured I'd put together a post on how I got there, and why I wont be going again any time soon.

You might be wondering- how on earth does a teenager from the outskirts of Dublin get to fashion week before they've even sat their leaving cert? The answer isn't really as exciting as people would think. I wasn't suddenly being sent invitations left right and centre to Burberry or Prada shows. I was, however, a very persistent youth. I did my research and after seeing plenty of other bloggers go, I thought I'd give it a shot too. To attend as a blogger, you're supposed to apply for a blogger pass with British Fashion Council, but unless you have a large following, you'll more than likely be rejected. The next step is to check out the LFW website and email each and every PR out there requesting a press invite and with all your details, why you want to go, etc etc. This took me about 4 hours to do each time I went, as I wanted all the emails to be specific to the designer I was applying to.


The invites were sent to my friends apartment (you need a London address if you're not living there) and each time, I was really surprised by the amount I got. Although I'd only received two or three invites from 'big' designers on the official LFW schedule, I was lucky enough to get loads from smaller, new designers thanks to Fashion Scout, who are really accommodating to bloggers like me with a 'small' following.

The first year I went, back in 2015, I came home feeling so inspired. It was the last year at Somerset House, where anyone could soak up the street-style vibes without even needing an invite to get in. I met some lovely bloggers, I was dressed by Boohoo and just had a really fun experience. Exhausting, but fun. I was enthusiastic and dying to go back.

The second time I went was February 2016, where I had a much different experience. When people think about fashion week, they imagine you sitting front row, mingling with celebrities and getting goodie bags worth hundreds. The opposite honestly couldn't be more true. For the few shows I attended that season, I had a standing spot at the back, and as for goodie bags- unless you're a Made in Chelsea star sitting FROW, you can forget about that. It was the first year the main location was at Brewer Street carpark, and because it's on a public road, there was little to no space for peacocking around in true blogger fashion, trying to get snaps of others doing the same. I ended up cutting the season short and spent the rest of my time in London sightseeing and having the best time.


Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more grateful for the opportunities and experiences at fashion week because of this little old blog. But the general vibe I got the last time was that unless you're someone with a huge following or work for an important company or have lots of money- it really isn't worth your time going. If I'm honest, you'd get pictures from watching the runway shows on your laptop in the comfort of your own home, minus the snobbery of those who think they're the bees knees. I'm not bitter, just honest. And the truthful side of it is that fashion week isn't just about the fashion anymore. It's about the money, the 'who's who' and the competitive side of the industry. I'm not saying I'd never go back, I would love to go to NYFW or PFW in a few years, but with a more wary eye and more sense in my head.

I'd love to hear people's opinions on fashion weeks in general- let me know your thoughts by tweeting me here!

Prague, Czech Republic

On January 23rd, myself and 23 other students embarked on a four day, three night trip to Prague in the heart of Czech Republic. Last year I headed to the beautiful city of Budapest, so I had high expectations for Prague. Although we were there for 3 nights, the first and last days were primarily spent travelling to and from the airport. We managed to fit a good bit in to our other two full days- here's what we got up to!

Where to stay;

We stayed in the cutest little hostel about 15/20 mins from the city centre by tram called Sir Toby's. The rooms were clean and affordable, and the bar downstairs was where we started our nights every evening. With happy hour from 6-8pm and beers for around 90c, you couldn't go wrong! The breakfast in the morning was a help-yourself sort of situation but the food was delicious. They also had a free dinner most evenings which I tried on the first night and it didn't disappoint. It's the perfect hostel for travelling with a large group of people, but I think if I was to visit Prague again I'd prefer to stay closer to the city centre. I've friends that stayed in a hostel there called Mosaic House and they had no complaints either.

Things to do & see;

For our first full day, we went on a two hour walking tour around the city. This covered parts of the old and new town, and cost around €6 each. Similar walking tours are usually free, but the common courtesy in Prague is to tip the tour guide whatever amount you want at the end. The day we went on the tour also happened to be the coldest day during our trip, with temperatures hitting -9 during the day. We ended the tour a bit early because of it- even with three layers of clothes on, I've never felt a bitterness like it! For our second full day, we took the 1-hour train journey out to the concentration camp town of Terezín just outside of Prague. As a bit of a history nerd, this trip in particular was one that I was really looking forward to! As we went through a company, the trip (including travel time) was about 6 hours long, but it was so worth it. It's genuinely the strangest town I've ever visited, and it was so moving to hear what went on there during WW2.

Food & nightlife;

I'll be honest- 24 students on a tight new year budget meant that most days, we were just eating pizza from the local takeaway retaurants. As I mentioned above, our hostel had free dinner which I tried the first night. I always make an effort to at least try the traditional food in the country I'm visiting! It was some sort of red lentil soup and it was delicious. My favourite meal was on the last evening when some of us went to a local Czech restaurant. I had goulash in Hungary but I was dying to try the Czech version and it was honestly one of the best dishes I've had in a while! I also tried trdelnik (pictured below) which was such a warming sweet treat.

We went out every night (nothing new there) to a variety of bars and clubs including the famous 5-storey Karlovy Lázne, as well as another club called James Dean and a bar called Groove. The student nightlife was a lot quieter than I expected (compared to Budapest this time last year) but the drinks were still ridiculously cheap.

Have you ever been to Prague? If you're heading there soon and need any more information, pop me a comment below or tweet me and I'll try my best to help!




3 Nights in Prague | Travel Guide

2.03.2017

Prague, Czech Republic

On January 23rd, myself and 23 other students embarked on a four day, three night trip to Prague in the heart of Czech Republic. Last year I headed to the beautiful city of Budapest, so I had high expectations for Prague. Although we were there for 3 nights, the first and last days were primarily spent travelling to and from the airport. We managed to fit a good bit in to our other two full days- here's what we got up to!

Where to stay;

We stayed in the cutest little hostel about 15/20 mins from the city centre by tram called Sir Toby's. The rooms were clean and affordable, and the bar downstairs was where we started our nights every evening. With happy hour from 6-8pm and beers for around 90c, you couldn't go wrong! The breakfast in the morning was a help-yourself sort of situation but the food was delicious. They also had a free dinner most evenings which I tried on the first night and it didn't disappoint. It's the perfect hostel for travelling with a large group of people, but I think if I was to visit Prague again I'd prefer to stay closer to the city centre. I've friends that stayed in a hostel there called Mosaic House and they had no complaints either.

Things to do & see;

For our first full day, we went on a two hour walking tour around the city. This covered parts of the old and new town, and cost around €6 each. Similar walking tours are usually free, but the common courtesy in Prague is to tip the tour guide whatever amount you want at the end. The day we went on the tour also happened to be the coldest day during our trip, with temperatures hitting -9 during the day. We ended the tour a bit early because of it- even with three layers of clothes on, I've never felt a bitterness like it! For our second full day, we took the 1-hour train journey out to the concentration camp town of Terezín just outside of Prague. As a bit of a history nerd, this trip in particular was one that I was really looking forward to! As we went through a company, the trip (including travel time) was about 6 hours long, but it was so worth it. It's genuinely the strangest town I've ever visited, and it was so moving to hear what went on there during WW2.

Food & nightlife;

I'll be honest- 24 students on a tight new year budget meant that most days, we were just eating pizza from the local takeaway retaurants. As I mentioned above, our hostel had free dinner which I tried the first night. I always make an effort to at least try the traditional food in the country I'm visiting! It was some sort of red lentil soup and it was delicious. My favourite meal was on the last evening when some of us went to a local Czech restaurant. I had goulash in Hungary but I was dying to try the Czech version and it was honestly one of the best dishes I've had in a while! I also tried trdelnik (pictured below) which was such a warming sweet treat.

We went out every night (nothing new there) to a variety of bars and clubs including the famous 5-storey Karlovy Lázne, as well as another club called James Dean and a bar called Groove. The student nightlife was a lot quieter than I expected (compared to Budapest this time last year) but the drinks were still ridiculously cheap.

Have you ever been to Prague? If you're heading there soon and need any more information, pop me a comment below or tweet me and I'll try my best to help!




As I mentioned previously in my student friendly restaurant guide, there's nothing that makes me happier than dining out. I genuinely spend more money on eating out than clothes and love trying out new restaurants in Dublin. When the team at Balfes* restaurant in The Westbury hotel invited me down for a complimentary meal, I accepted immediately. I may not be a food critic but I can definitely appreciate a good three course meal!
Balfes restaurant, The Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2

The food;

The menu was quite an extensive one making it hard to choose! I went for the grilled chicken, peppers and guacamole salad for starters, as did my mam. We both chose steak for mains- I had an 8oz fillet steak and she had the 10oz rib-eye- served with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and hand-cut fries. For dessert, I went for the chocolate fondant and almond ice cream, whilst my mam had grilled peppered pineapple and cardamom ice-cream. One thing I loved about the food was the portion sizes. I was worried the salad would be huge and that I'd be full before the mains came out, but that wasn't the case at all! The steak was one of the nicest I've had in months, and the chocolate fondant was near heaven.


The service;

The starters arrived 10 minutes after serving and every dish after that was almost just as quick. The staff were so lovely and really made the whole dining experience extremely enjoyable.


The prices;

Slightly on the pricier side, I'll be honest. Considering The Westbury is a five star hotel though, I'd expect nothing less for the quality of the meal. The food was so delicious though and I'm still thinking about that steak...

Overall;

Myself and mam had such a fantastic evening and it's easy to see why Balfes is such a popular venue in Dublin. With it's New York style brasserie vibe and luxurious feel, Balfes is the perfect place to treat yourself to a delicious meal in the heart of Dublin city. I'll definitely be back!


You can find out more about Balfes over on their website here. Let me know what your favourite luxury restaurants are in Dublin!


*disclaimer; I was treated to a complimentary 3 course meal & drink by the team at Balfes restaurant in exchange for social media coverage, but as usual, all opinions are completely my own!



Dublin Dining: Balfes Review

1.14.2017

As I mentioned previously in my student friendly restaurant guide, there's nothing that makes me happier than dining out. I genuinely spend more money on eating out than clothes and love trying out new restaurants in Dublin. When the team at Balfes* restaurant in The Westbury hotel invited me down for a complimentary meal, I accepted immediately. I may not be a food critic but I can definitely appreciate a good three course meal!
Balfes restaurant, The Westbury Hotel, Dublin 2

The food;

The menu was quite an extensive one making it hard to choose! I went for the grilled chicken, peppers and guacamole salad for starters, as did my mam. We both chose steak for mains- I had an 8oz fillet steak and she had the 10oz rib-eye- served with mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and hand-cut fries. For dessert, I went for the chocolate fondant and almond ice cream, whilst my mam had grilled peppered pineapple and cardamom ice-cream. One thing I loved about the food was the portion sizes. I was worried the salad would be huge and that I'd be full before the mains came out, but that wasn't the case at all! The steak was one of the nicest I've had in months, and the chocolate fondant was near heaven.


The service;

The starters arrived 10 minutes after serving and every dish after that was almost just as quick. The staff were so lovely and really made the whole dining experience extremely enjoyable.


The prices;

Slightly on the pricier side, I'll be honest. Considering The Westbury is a five star hotel though, I'd expect nothing less for the quality of the meal. The food was so delicious though and I'm still thinking about that steak...

Overall;

Myself and mam had such a fantastic evening and it's easy to see why Balfes is such a popular venue in Dublin. With it's New York style brasserie vibe and luxurious feel, Balfes is the perfect place to treat yourself to a delicious meal in the heart of Dublin city. I'll definitely be back!


You can find out more about Balfes over on their website here. Let me know what your favourite luxury restaurants are in Dublin!


*disclaimer; I was treated to a complimentary 3 course meal & drink by the team at Balfes restaurant in exchange for social media coverage, but as usual, all opinions are completely my own!



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