A-Z LIST OF THINGS TO DO IN DUBLIN, IRELAND

WEARING:
WHITE TOP: H&M
VELVET TANK: Similar here, here and here
DENIM JEANS: Similar here, here, and here (also a plain black pair here)
BELT: Similar here and here
BOOTIES: Similar here and here

As I have lived in Dublin for almost 9 months now, I thought I’d put together a list of all my favorite things to do and places to see in and around the city. I know Dublin is a popular tourist destination at the moment so I hope this list can help y’all plan your next trip to this amazing city (or at least make you want to plan a trip) 🙂

A. Aungier Danger – Best donut shop around, plus the aesthetics make for a great Instagram post.
B. The Brazen Head – Oldest pub in Dublin and a damn good plate of fish & chips. It’s not far from The Guinness Storehouse, so make a stop before your visit.
C. Coppers – Everyone’s favorite “nightclub” around these parts. Things tend to get crazy here but it’s a hell of a time. PSA: do not go before 2am, I repeat DO NOT GO BEFORE 2AM.
D. 37 Dawson Street – DELICIOUS brunch! killer cocktail menu as well, check it out!
E. Eatyard – An outside food market , with a variety of local vendors. SO delicious and SO worth it when the weather is nice. Plus it’s dog friendly and that’s always a good thing.
F. The Forty Foot – One of the most famous swimming holes around Dublin, if you’re brave enough to jump in that is. Just a 25 minute DART ride out to Dun Laoghaire from City Centre, it’s worth the trip (especially during Christmas – things get wild).
G. Glendalough – Located in the Wicklow Mountains, it is ideal for a nice hike outside of the city with spectacular views.
H. Howth – An easy 20 minute train ride from City Centre, Howth is a coastal city along the Dublin Bay. Packed with a variety of restaurants, markets, and beautiful hiking trails.
I. Irish Whiskey Museum – If you’re into whiskey, take an interactive guided tour through the ages to learn all about new and old Irish whiskeys (with taste tests of course). Prices for classic guided tour: adults €17 and students €15.
J. Jameson Distillery – A basic tourist attraction, but worth the visit. As they currently went under renovations – the new & improved Distillery on Bow St is a site to see. To mix it up a bit try a whiskey cocktail making class where they teach you to make a few of their infamous drinks, it’s a bit of craic 🙂 Prices for classic guided tour: adults €20 and students €16.
K. Kilmainham Gaol – Jail turned museum, loaded with Irish history. Tickets are €8 for adult and €4 for student and I suggest booking in advance as tickets sell out.
L. The Long Room at Trinity College – It’s like stepping into the Hogwarts library, so magical. Entrance fee: €13 for adult & €10 for student (includes entrance to The Book of Kells as well).
M. Malahide Castle & Gardens – Half an hour outside the city you can spend a nice afternoon exploring this castle and the grounds.
N. National Botanic Gardens – The place is massive, and the flowers are so vibrant. It’s best to go in the spring time when the plants and gardens are in full force.
O. O’Connell Street – In the heart of Dublin, north of River Liffey O’Connell St is lined with attractions, shops (check out Henry St too), pubs, and more. The center of the street houses the infamous General Post Office (GOP) and The Spire (needle-like structure pin pointing the center of the city).
P. Phoenix Park – One of the largest parks in Europe, it has beautiful gardens and nice trails. I suggest renting a bike at Pheonix Park Bikes (located at the main entrance) and making an afternoon out of it. Bring carrotts so you can feed all the deer scattered around the park!
Q. The Quays – Bar/restaurant in Temple Bar area (tourist central as we say), the drinks may be a bit pricey but the place is always full and the live music is on point.
R. River Liffey – Take a nice stroll along the river that runs directly through the center of town (hard to miss). You can also partake in different activities on the river, such as kayaking or boat tours.
S. St Stephens Green – My favorite park in Dublin, great to grab a coffee and take a stroll, or bring a book and relax for awhile. Located in city centre, situated at the end of Grafton Street.
T. Trad Music – Traditional (“trad”) Live Irish Music is a must see when in Ireland. It’s fun to grab a Guinness in a classic pub and join in on singing with all the locals. Suggestions on where to go in City Centre: Cassidy’s (on Camden St), The Cobblestone, The Celt, O’Donoghues, Reillys and Peadar Kearney’s.
U. Ukulele Night at The Stags Head – Every Tuesday at 8pm, it’s a popular event so arrive early to snag a table. Plus, it’s on Dame Ln – a nice alley way lined with flag banners and Irish pubs.
V. Visit The Hell Fire Club – Situated atop Montpelier Hill, it has some of the best views of the city. Dating back to the 18th century, The Hell Fire Club was a satanist society who held meetings and practiced rituals at the lodge on top of the mountain. If you’re into spooky things I suggest going after sunset. (FYI: best to go by car).
W. Whelan’s – The infamous pub from the movie P.S. I love you and my absolute favorite place to go out in Dublin. They always have fun events going on (I spent my whole St Patrick’s Day there) plus they do 2 for €10 gin & tonics!
X. Xicos – An underground Mexican styled venue. It is a fun and intimate place to go out and enjoy a drink with your friends (FYI: strictly 23+).
Y. The Yarn – Good pizza and even better cocktails. Perfectly located, right next to the Ha’penny Bridge and The Grand Social.
Z. Zozimus Bar – The aesthetics though!! check out the cool umbrellas hanging out front, so fun.

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24 TRIPS TO TAKE BY THE TIME YOU’RE 24

Wearing:
Shirt: Similar here, here and here
Denim Jacket: Similar here, here and here
Trousers: Similar here and here
Sneakers: Brooks

In celebration of my 24th birthday last week I have compiled a list of 24 trips I believe are worth taking by the age of 24. I have learned a lot through my travels over the past year and I’ve come to realize how important it is to experience different cultures and adventure through new places with a young and open mind.

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ITALY DIARIES: ROME & SORRENTO

Balcony of our hotel in Sorrento, the tile was stunning (on top of the view of course)
Sunset view from our hotel balcony
I want to meet the designer of our hotel – the aesthetics were on point
Sorrento is definitely worth the visit
This alleyway is a hidden gem, much like most of the streets in Italy
At L’Antica Trattoria, a nice restaurant off the main square in Sorrento
Took a boat tour of Capri Island
Blue Grotto, a cave on the coast of Capri – a must see!!
Had a few hours to spare in Capri, so naturally we stopped for mimosas on the beach
Rome has such beautiful architecture, I was excited by the doors alone
The Trevi Fountain is not one to miss
Had to stop over in the birth place of pizza, Naples.
We paid for a guided tour of The Roman Colosseum, well worth it

ROME

Where to stay:
Hotel Nord Nuova Roma – a quaint little European hotel right next to the Termini Train Station
· Easy access from the airport; take a bus straight from the airport to termini and walk about 800 meters
· Pretty central and within walking distance from a few of the major attractions
· Adorable rooftop patio & garden

What to see:
· Colosseum, Arch of Constantine, Palestine Hill, and Roman Forum – We took a guided tour for these and it was well worth the €20 (got to skip the long line). We learned so much about the history of Rome and how it came to be a city. (side note: free admission to the Colosseum every first Sunday of the month)
· Trevi Fountain; make sure to throw a coin in!
· Vatican City, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s Basilica
· Piazza Navona & The Spanish Steps
· The Pantheon
· Campo De Fiori; didn’t have a chance to visit this market but I’ve heard great things
· Trastevere; hip part of town with tons of restaurants along the river

Where to eat/drink:
· Da Luciano; Nice patio with umbrellas and delicious pizza
· Oppio Caffe; excellent view of the Colosseum & perfect place to have a drink while you wait for your tour to start
· Ristorante Birreria Albrecht; near the Trevi Fountain
· (Honestly we just stumbled upon most restaurants we ate/drink at and enjoyed them all)

SORRENTO

Where to stay:
Parco Dei Principi Hotel; The most amazing hotel experience I’ve ever had. From their food to their amenities and staff, all were incredible – I couldn’t recommend enough.
· The hotel is on the cliff right on the water
· Private beach area
· Water front restaurant
· They have a garden trail/park to enjoy on site
(side note: we paid for a park view, less than half the price, and lucked out with a corner room that had a view of both the garden and the ocean).

What to see:
· Piazzo Tasso; the central square with tons of markets, shops and restaurants
· Day trip to Capri island; we booked a “semi-private” boat tour through Viator.com and it was our favorite part of the trip
· Marina Grande; The main harbour
· Vallone dei Mulini; Historic valley in the middle of Sorrento
· Day trip to the Amalfi Coast

Where to eat/drink:
· L’Antica Trattoria
· Shannon Irish pub (of course came across this gem)
· Ristorante Fuoro; Lovely outdoor patio area
· Gio Ponti; restaurant in the Parco dei Principi hotel overlooking the ocean
· Make sure to try Limoncillo since Sorrento is known for their delicious grown lemons

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MOVING TO IRELAND – WORKING HOLIDAY VISA


Wearing:
Sweater: Vintage find on Poshmark
Jeans: Urban Outfitters BDG; similar here and in black here
Socks: ASOS
Shoes: Vans

I have received a lot of questions regarding my move to Ireland and how I was able to do it. For those of you who are interested I have gone into full detail below:

The Visa I’ve been granted is called The Working Holiday Authorisation Visa (WHA). It is basically an agreement between the U.S. and Ireland that allows citizens in college or recently graduated to travel, work and gain experience abroad for up to 12 months. At the point of writing this I have been here over 4 months and I FULLY and WHOLEHEARTEDLY recommend it. If there is even a slight thought in your mind that you would like to live abroad I suggest looking into it. It’s such an amazing life experience that you just can’t get from anything else. Since you are allowed to work just as any other citizen, I have found it manageable to maintain a job and afford to travel as well as have a social life here. Granted I did save quite a bit before moving over, I believe it is doable without having done that. It’s a now or never type thing so my advice is to not let others influence your decision and TAKE THAT LEAP OF FAITH.

In order to be eligible you must be over the age of 18 and currently enrolled in college or have graduated within the last 12 months.
The application is a two-step process in which you submit the following documents to the relevant Irish Embassy (find here)
STEP 1:
– Completed WHA application form (WHA application form)
– Photocopy of your passport, must be valid for at least one year after date of entry
– Two passport-sized photographs (I got mine taken at Walgreens)
– Current CV with at least 2 references (I got letter references from a former employer and professor)
– Evidence of enrollment from your University; or proof you have graduated, such as your original diploma or official transcripts (I sent both)
– Original bank statement with access to at least $4,000; You can go up to you bank and ask them to print this for you and have them sign it
– Application fee (varies between $350 – $360 by region) payable by money order or cashiers check

Once you have been approved for the first stage you proceed to submit stage 2 requirements:
STEP 2:
– Round trip flight tickets; You can’t always purchase tickets further than 365 days out, some airlines have “flex tickets” in which you pay a certain set price and can pick the return date at a later time. I went through United Airlines (they don’t do “flex tickets”) so I just bought the ticket for the latest possible date I could and I plan to call and move it back (for a fee I’m sure)
– Medical/Travel insurance for the duration of your trip – check with your current insurance provider they may have this available
– Your original passport (I mailed with a security signature upon arrival for this one)

On paper it looks like a long to do list but it’s fairly easy to pull it all together if you take it one by one. If you accidentally leave a document out or they need more information The Consulate will contact you first. Aside from being a little difficult to get a hold of (I called almost every day wanting to know if I got approved), the people at the Consulate are very helpful in assisting with any questions and concerns. It took about 2 months to hear back about the first stage of the application and around 3 months all and all to get fully approved.

Helpful links:
www.dfa.ie
www.gooverseas.com
www.forbes.com

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HOW TO STYLE YOUR FAVORITE BAND TEE

Wearing:
Faux fur Jacket: Similar here and here
Shirt: shop band tees here and here
Embroidered Skirt: Similar here, here, and here
OTK Boots: Similar here and here

I believe a good band tee is an essential piece in your wardrobe at the moment. You can wear it casually to the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon or dress it up for a visit to the club on a Friday night. As you can tell from above I am all for mixing different patterns and textures in my daily outfits. This is perfect to do with a classic band tee in order to spice things up a bit. But of course there are more laid back options to pulling off this lively piece.
My advice to you is to style your fave band tee however you f*@#ing want to!! Seriously….. I don’t think you could screw it up. But in case you needed some guidance, below are a few ways you could catch me stylin’ my fave band tees.

1. Nice slimming skirt + oversize jacket (as seen above)
2. Cut the tee to make it a crop (super easy) + throw on a cute pair of overalls over it
3. Wear the band “tee” as a dress + pair with some heeled OTK boots
4. Pair with black pleather leggings + a comfy oversize cardigan + detailed booties
5. Tuck the tee into a pair of white high waisted 70s style flare jeans + pumps
6. Black wash denim skirt + double-buckle western style belt + oversized fishnet tights
7. Nice pair of cropped trousers + slides
8. Black skinnies + oversize blazer + heeled mules
9. Plaid trousers + Skinny belt + loafers
10. Holey jeans + fishnets underneath + ankle socks + worn in vans

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5 WAYS TO KICKSTART YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY

Wearing:
Jacket: Columbia Sportswear
Sports Bra: Target
Leggings: Victoria’s Secret
Shoes: Nike
Water Bottle: S’well

After putting on unwanted weight during my senior year of college (happens to the best of us I suppose), I graduated and decided it was no longer okay for me to continue down a path that my body, nor mind, was happy with. I moved home, joined a gym and committed to staying active and healthy from that point moving forward. Over the past year and a half I have worked my butt off to shed the weight. Yes, there were times when I fell off for a few days or so (hence the holidays) but the goal in mind has never left my sight. Now, I am about 15 months in and around 30 pounds down and extremely happy that I have stayed motivated to continue this journey. No, I am not yet where I want to be but my mind is in such a better place that I have no doubt I will get there.
With that being said, I wanted to share a few tips that helped me kickstart my fitness journey in order to help guide you throughout yours.

1. State of Mind
The first and most important step – make sure your mind is in it for the long haul. “The hard part isn’t getting your body in shape. The hard part is getting your mind in shape.” I saw this while scanning through Pinterest the other day and couldn’t agree with it more. You have to really want it and fully commit to making it happen. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. That is 21 days of pushing yourself to go for a run no matter how tired you are from a long days work. 21 days of reminding yourself to go to the gym in the midst of all your errands. 21 days of making sure to eat a hearty breakfast and cooking a fresh dinner. And after that 21 days is up you still continue to do these things, the difference is that you’ll want to. It eventually becomes a part of your daily routine and when you miss a day your mind feels off beat.

2. Make a Plan of Action
Know what you’re getting yourself into. Join a gym or invest in a few home equipment pieces. Scope out nearby parks and recreational facilities. Take advantage of apps such as Pinterest and Nike+ for workout routines and inspiration. Set a major goal, for example, “I want to lose this amount of weight by this amount of time.” Then continue to set daily or weekly goals, such as “this week I will get to 50 pushups during my workout routine,” in order to stay on track for achieving the overall objective. Make your workout routines at the start of the week or prior to heading to the gym. This way you know the areas you want to work on in advance and have ample amount of time to think of exercises to do for each.

3. Start Small
I like to think this one is common sense. You’re not the high school triathlete you once were, so when you hit the gym for the first time in years and try to imitate what you did back then, you will fully regret it. I promise. Everyone is different so I can’t tell you where to start off but just remember to take baby steps. Crawl before you walk. If that means starting off by simply walking a mile, then so be it. Sooner or later you will be able to run that mile. Then run 2 miles, then 10 miles.

4. Plan Your Meals
This one has been the hardest for me. Never have I been a cook nor even realized what “meal prepping” entailed. I didn’t even start to eat healthy or plan my meals until about 4 months into my journey. I believe it was because I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted and realized that my intensive workouts were pointless if I was blowing it all on take out and processed foods. My advice: do your research, learn when and what to eat to get your body going in the morning. Check out the best meals to eat for lunch and how to prepare them for a week at a time. Cook fresh vegetables and meat (if you’re into that) for dinner.
I ate almost the same thing every week for lunch because it was fast, easy and healthy. Baked (or grilled, if I was really feeling it) chicken with broccoli and diced sweet potatoes. My colleagues always asked how I continued to eat the same things over and over with such self-control and it really reverts back to the first step, state of mind. I didn’t give myself another option. Again, you just have to get in the swing of your routine and it will all start to come naturally.

5. Remain Patient
Like I said previously, even after 4 months I wasn’t seeing the kind of results I wanted to. I didn’t quit and instead became more invested. On the contrary to what any dietary pill infomercial will tell you, things like this take time. Lots of time. The key is to remain patient with your goal always in sight. Don’t become obsessed with weighing yourself every day or even every week, it becomes discouraging. As you continue to work out and grow stronger, you gain muscle which in turn may mean that on a scale you could weigh the same, or even more. But I can promise you that you won’t look the same, or feel the same. If you fall off for a little bit (like when you move half way around the world), then just pick right back up where you left off. After time has passed and you look back at where you started, you’ll realize how far you have come and appreciate the fact that you stuck with it.

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EXTRA-LONG SLEEVES

Wearing:
Top: Similar here, here and here
Skirt: Zara
Sandals: Similar here and here
Socks: Similar here and here

I am obsessed with the whole “extra-long sleeves” trend. Although, it is a bit impractical for things such as eating and texting it makes for a super cute photo op. I am a bit slow on the trend but no time like the present, right? Every girl should hop on this bandwagon because the elongated sleeves make for the perfect slimming winter sweater.
And now on to some unrelated news………

IT IS ALL FINALLY OFFICIAL!!! I will be boarding a plane to Ireland on January 8th (17 days, but who’s counting..) for a year abroad.
I was sitting in my cubicle sometime after I started my first “9-5” job and had a sort of epiphany, as some will call it (aka my mom). If this is what the rest of my life is going to look like then why feel obligated to lock it down right now I thought?! Aside from my short 4 month stint in New York, I have lived in the same 200 mile radius (give or take) my entire life. So when I found out about this Visa (more on that later), I applied and with lots of anticipating… I got approved!! My main goal is to travel, anywhere and everywhere throughout Europe, and see as much as I can during my time there. So I am doing this, I am moving across the Atlantic ocean and onto a tiny green European island. I hope y’all stay tuned for all of my upcoming adventures! 🙂
P.S. if you have any recommendations please leave them below!

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DRESSING FOR FALL WHEN IT’S STILL HOT OUTSIDE

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Wearing:
Top: Similar here
Pants: Similar here
Shoes: Similar here
Bag: Vintage Dooney and Bourke

I am a huge fan of all things Fall/Winter, the colors, the textures, the drinks, the weather, and the atmosphere in general. With that being said, sometimes dressing for Fall when summer heat isn’t catching the hint can be a bit difficult. In these such instances I think it’s best to keep your shirts loose and your pants breezy. These flared Zara trousers are a perfect Fall substitute for Jeans when warm weather is still going strong. I paired them with a loose fitting, soft touch top to add a mixture of textures and some nude platform blutchers to give myself a little height. There is a special place in my heart for Vintage purses and I somehow snagged this beauty for a grand total of $22!!! If y’all haven’t heard of Poshmark yet, you need to jump on the bandwagon. It’s a resale app where you can buy and sell used clothing and accessories. It is where I found this gem of a purse and these never before worn discounted Zara shoes.
Comment below and let me know your thoughts 🙂

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THE SLIP DRESS: DAY TO NIGHT TRANSITION

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Wearing:
Dress: Urban Outfitters
White Top: H&M
Levi’s Jacket: Similar here
Pink Shoes: Vans
Sheer Top: Urban Outfitters
Black Shoes: Similar here and here
Purse: Similar here

The slip dress is the ultimate must-have in your closet this Fall. For that reason I wanted to give y’all some insight on how to style it day-to-night. Staying casual during the day and spicing it up for your night life routine with minimal changes. I have paired this silk silhouette with a plain white tee, vintage Levi’s jacket (snagged this fabulous piece from my step dad) and some monochromatic Vans. Super casual for your daytime activities, such as shopping, brunching with friends or perusing the city. If you’re like me and currently obsessed with blush tones (hence the dress and shoes), here are some similar slip dress styles for your liking: Revolve, White Fox, Top Shop.
As for the “going out” look, I changed into this golden sheer top, some thick heeled black booties and traded the jacket for a small Cross Body purse. Also, My “necklace” is a shoe lace I took from one of my tennis shoes (bet you Brooks didn’t see that coming when they sold me the shoes) adding to the 90s vibe I have going. If you don’t have time to go home between activities this simple change is perfect because you can store the extra items in your car or your purse/tote. The best part about this go-to item is how comfortable it is, being able to wear it all day is a blessing!!

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