30 July 2014

"Summer lovin', had me a blast..."

It's hard to believe two months of summer have passed and there is less than one month remaining until school starts again.
I arrived in Connemara last Thursday, and will be here for the next, and remaining few weeks of summer. I brought three of my friends with me (they're with me above posing in the photo), and we had a laugh of a weekend. They went home on Monday, and since then, I have bought Image magazine, watched Dirty Dancing (great movie), walked up a hill with family and blogged - at last!
I was tagged to do several summer tags by Aveen, Guilianna, Kate and Zara, and it's about time I did the deed, so, I decided to change it up and combine the sets of questions together to form the ultimate summer tag. I altered some questions slightly so it suits the present situation for me. It'll give you that summer feeling alright... or, my kind of summer feeling.

What's your favourite thing about summer?
I don't have one specific favourite thing about summer, as I love the whole aspect of it. Some people say NO SCHOOL, which I do agree with, but I don't like looking at summer as just a break from working, it's an opportunity to do everything you love more. If I could only do one of the things I enjoy in the summer, it would be travelling. Whether it is road tripping to familiar places across the country or jetting off to a foreign land, travelling fascinates me.

Do you have a favourite summer drink?
My entire choice of drinks throughout the year isn't enthralling whatsoever; I like water, 7up, Sprite, milk and sometimes lemonade. No fruity juicy smoothies or creamy frappucinos (although I have tried fraps and milkshakes, I'm not a fan): just the basics, all year round.

Is there a location you like to go each summer?
I have been coming down to the west of Ireland every summer since I was born; it;s family tradition. I love it here. We're on the very coast, and it feels like the middle of nowhere; very distinct to my home in the east. I enjoy spending time down here with my family and sometimes friends.
As well as the yearly trip to the other side of Ireland, I do adore travelling abroad too. I have been to different states in the US and countries in Europe, and in the future I wish to see more places and view more of the world we live in. I went to Portugal this summer and it was my first time visiting, so when it comes to leaving the country my family most of the time go to new locations.

Favourite look for summer?
It depends on the weather. I'm used to all kinds in Ireland, and to hot conditions on holidays. For the generic weather we all know summer for, I like wearing shorts, tees and dresses. You can see an example of my outfits for sunny days in the first part of my summer fashion series here. I think I will have two more parts in it, one with outfits I wear while in Connemara - look out for that!

Dresses or skirts?
Dresses! Only because I have more than of them then skirts; they're both great for styling.

Sandals or ballet pumps?
Sandals. I have a gorgeous pair that I wear all summer long.

Do you prefer your hair up or down for summer?
Both. I don't change up my hairstyles often throughout the year (I should start). I put up my hair or leave it down, basing the decision on my mood.

Deep smoky eyes or bold lips?
As I haven't mastered the dark, dark smokey eye just yet, it's bold lips for me. It's a lot easier and I love a pop of colour.

Favourite perfume for summer?
The scent Pure Daydream by Victoria's Secret is my go to right now. It reminds me of my trip to Florida last summer. Perfumes always give me a memory of around the time it was bought. My sister's Juicy Couture perfume smells like the time we were staying in St. Tropez one year. My Hollister Malaia perfume smells of the school ski trip in primary school. My newest addition, the Nicky Minaj Pink Friday perfume smells like Christmas 2013 (I still wear it now though since it is so good), Do you know what I mean? A summer scent is one that has the scent of summer.

Favourite music for summer?
Anything I listen to during the season is a summer song! Right at this very moment, I love the songs Chandelier by Sia, What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club and some tunes by Fall Out Boy, 5 Seconds of Summer, We The Kings, Clean Bandit, Coldplay and Icona Pop.

When did you get out of school?
Friday the 30th of May. I'm back to school on the 26th of August.

Have you been on any holidays? What’s your dream summer holiday?
I went to Portugal in early July, which was lovely. I don't have a dream holiday, as any opportunity I can get to go to new places is what I love.

S’mores or Ice Cream?
I have eaten s'mores once, as it is an American thing, and it was yummy, but because I eat it more, I'll go for ice cream.

What’s your most fun summer memory?
I have a lot, but some of the best are from when I was away or in Connemara.

Does your skin tan or burn?
Sunscreen on - very very very very very small tan
No sunscreen at all - burrrrn.

Favourite summer nail polish? 
Bright colours!

Would you rather spend a summer day outside in the pool or inside watching Netflix?
A day outside. I do have a nice relationship with Netflix, but lazy days do make me feel unproductive at times.

Sunglasses or hats?
It used to be both, I have to mention, but sunglasses now. I got hold of a pair of cool reflective ones in Portugal which I really like.

Do you have a summer bucket list? If so, share some things on the list.
I don't make bucketlists. When I do I get annoyed easily when I don't do something from it, so I try to go with the flow and do what I want when I want.

Bikinis, Tankinis, or One Pieces?
I only became a bikini girl this summer. I find one pieces more comfortable at times, but bikinis are always prettier, so, bikinis will be my choice.

Must have summer makeup product?
I'm going au naturale a lot these days, but I do love a good waterproof mascara, concealer and any lip product!

Favourite bronzer for summer?
I have trouble with bronzers due to my pale skin; it appears orange if it don't balance it with foundation. I have gotten my first one this year, one by MAC, and it's amazing (when applied right).

Pool or Beach?
When abroad in a hot country, the pool, since the sand burns my feet at the beach! While beaches in warm places are still very nice, I have a special connection with the ones in Connemara. So my decision relies on location.

Summer = crazy hair! What's your must-have styling product?
Dry shampoo, for those days when I don't wash it, just to keep it fresh. My hair doesn't go crazy, which is good!

Sun bathing or fake tan?
To be honest, neither. The reason being; sunbathing in't only dangerous, it bothers me sometimes because of the sunscreen and heat, and fake tan can be blotchy and streaky, and I always need my mum's help. Talk about effort!

Any summer traditions?
Staying in Connemara has always been a summer tradition on my Dad's side of the family.

Favourite BBQ food?
Burgers are so delicious!

I tag YOU for this altered, mashed together summer tag :)
I hope you liked it!

21 July 2014

Alive in the Algarve | Summer Fashion Part 1

A week has passed since I came home to Ireland after a journey home from Portugal and I still haven't wrote about my holiday in the Algarve. For the last seven days I've been cleaning (like, deep cleaning) my bedroom, and since I'm a perfectionist when it comes to that room, it has been taking quite a bit of time. Finally, I'm sitting down on the couch at four o'clock in the afternoon with my sister's laptop (she's at the Gaeltacht) and I'm typing away to my heart's content. The brightness is bothering me though. How to turn it down is the question...
While in Portugal, my family and I stayed in Monte de Quinta in a lovely villa with a mini pool, as well as access to the hotel with a bigger pool (without doubt, we swam). Three words make up the holiday: sunbathing, swimming and eating (almost an alliteration there). Most days were spent relaxing in Monte de Quinta, although we had three big outings; to the beach, twice, and to the water park (Aquashow - loved it). Go-kart racing, mini golf, supermarket visits and dinner at restaurants were our fun evening activities. You can see some photos of the vacation on my Instagram if you click here
It was a very enjoyable holiday; it was great to spend time with my family, especially my older siblings since they were due to go away soon after we came back home (Emily to the Gaeltacht and my brother to Zambia). 
Everything about the trip to the Algarve was wonderful, but one thing in particular that I loved was what I wore...

here is our pretty little pool in our villa - very pleasant for jumping in after sunbathing
Top: Brandy Melville
Shorts: Bershka
Bandeau (underneath): Forever 21
Sandals: Local shoe shop
Sunglasses: M&S

These shorts have done me so much good for me this summer season, as I at last have a pair to rock crop tops with. This tee is super hipster and of course the quote is true; I am the princess of sass (I think... who knows?)

I'm posing just outside our villa in these photos

Top: Penney's/Primark
Shorts: Hollister
Sandals + Sunglasses: As Before

In this sunlight you can't exactly see how bright these shorts are, but trust me, they're quite eye-widening. I love this pair since they're short for the heat and can be worn dressed up or down. This floral, floaty top is gorgeous, and the frilly detail on the back is what makes it stand out.

and this is the fantastic big hotel pool behind me here

Dress: Penney's/Primark
Cardigan: Forever 21
Necklace: Forever 21
Sunglasses + Sandals: As before

You wouldn't quite picture this cardigan and dress together but it works surprisingly! This colour dress is perfect as I can wear it all year round - in the summer it can bring out that tan. A long necklace is great for dresses like these, as it makes the look more exciting and glamorous.

Make sure to look out for the next Summer Fashion look book which will be coming soon! I hope these outfits gave you some inspiration or ideas on how to style your outfits this summer.

14 July 2014

Summer Beach Days

Top: Bershka
Bikini: Penney's/Primark
Sunglasses: M&S

It is not summer until you hit the beach.
Sand, sea, sun, sunscreen, splashes, shivers, ice cream, music, fun and bonfires are the details of a beach day that most people would have a connection to. Going to the beach seems to have always been a traditional summer activity. It's what the majority of the world would relate summer to, but not everyone. Some people don't live near a beach or have warm weather at all. Luckily, I live on the coast, but we don't experience a lot of sunny days here in Ireland. Even though the temperature doesn't usually go above 20 degrees here, us Irish people still go to the sandy shores during the summer season. I have many precious beach memories.

In other, more tropical, countries, the beach is an everyday normality, like in the Algarve in Portugal. I arrived home last night from a week long holiday in the Algarve with my family, and the sun shone with no clouds for company daily. Of course, we went to the beach.
Vale de Lobo beach was slightly different to what I'm used to at home. There were sun loungers for rent, jet skis flying by and the sand was capable of burning your feet to ashes. Apart from the sand scorching my toes, the day was sublime. I joked around in the ocean with my siblings, ate a Caesar wrap at Julias and sunbathed. I have a tan line - not common for the Irish species (unless it's fake or they went on holidays too).

Before I jetted off to Portugal, I did go to the beach with friends, which was just as fun. A lot more photo taking was involved (snapchatting, to be exact), burying people in the sand and chit-chatting. We even tried the cool water hair flick. Some succeeded. I failed.

The time of year for beach outings has began and many people are packing their bags and journeying to the seaside. Us girls like to be ready, me in particular, for anything. We have to be fresh, fed, hydrated and entertained. The sun maybe gone now, Ireland, but there's no time to lose! Bring a wet-suit if you really don't like the chill.

The following is a summary of what I like to bring when going to the beach.

Firstly, and quite obviously, I wear a bikini, shorts, top, sunglasses and sandals, and bring my phone (Sony Xperia), money, a towel and a cover-up with me.

Beauty Must Haves:
- Being protected from the harsh UV rays of the sun is very important.
No one likes deep, red burns! I like Garnier's and Nivea's selection at SPF 30 or 20. For lip balm, I love Maybelline's Baby Lips with SPF 15. Even if it's not very sunny, I bring some - but then forget to apply it and get burnt. Hah.
- Deodorant and body spray may be handy if I will be going out after the beach.  I love my Hollister body spray, and my Sure deodorant for sensitive skin. I didn't bring these to Vale de Lobo though; mosquitos and other bugs are attracted to scents. Insect repellent please!
- I don't wear much make up to the seaside apart from waterproof mascara (which doesn't work for me normally). I like to have concealer (Rimmel), the mascara I used (Maybelline) and another lip balm (Revlon) with me for some touch up in case, again, I'm going out after the swimming and sunbathing.
- A hairbrush. Need I explain? I am obsessed with my Tangle Teaser

Snacks and Drinks:
Unless I'm having a picnic, a Nature Valley bar and a banana help me fight hunger, and water is essential so I can hydrate and replace that horrible salty taste from my mouth with some nice River Rock.

I only go to the beach when I have my friends and family with me, so, in a way, I don't need magazines, my book or music, but they're useful if I'm sunbathing and no ones chatting, just soaking up the sun. Company and KISS are my favourite magazines and I use Spotify or just my library on my iPod to listen to my beloved bands or singers. I sometimes bring a book, or my Kindle (not pictured), but magazines are an easier read for me, and
I can look at them with friends!

You better make your way to the beach after reading this! If it's raining and you don't feel like it, or you can't, no worries. Netflix time!