When I was younger, all I ever did was read. With the rise of the internet, my interest in reading seemed to fall to the wayside, but now I'm making it a resolution to read more books in 2017. I've put together a small selection of recommendations for this year, and if you know of any other new releases that should be on this list, don't hesitate to let me know.

Arden Rose, an internet connoisseur of sorts, has released a book to give you all the life advice that you need to become a properly(ish) functioning adult. The book is a wonderful mash-up of lists, essays, and illustrations, and by the end of it you'll be more confident in being the beautiful largely internet-based, yet socially adept person that you are.

How you could get through the beginning of 2017 without encountering the gorgeous and heart-wrenching poetry of Rupi Kaur is beyond me. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. Split into four chapters, it deals with finding the sweetness in life, because sweetness is everywhere if you're willing to look for it.

In Marie Kondo's second book, she delves into her decluttering method of KonMari. Instead of throwing out things you don't need, find the things in your home that spark joy in your life. Keep those, and discard the rest to live a fulfilling life. In an acknowledgement to spring cleaning for the new year, I included this in my list because I find myself in dire need of its advice.

Self-proclaimed 'original spinster' Holly Bourne has penned the third book in a fantastic trilogy that tackles the important issues of feminism, gender inequality, and societal norms. It'll leave you feeling brave and confident to be outspoken in your beliefs and rejuvenated to start your own feminist revolution.

My Sweet Revenge is a book based on one thing. Paula wants her cheating actor husband Robert to fall back in love with her, but not so that she can keep him, it's so she can break his heart. This is a thoroughly entertaining book full of twists and turns, guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat and yearning to know what happens next.

In this book, Derek Thompson explores the economics and psychology of why certain things become extraordinarily popular. He uncovers the secrets of political speechwriters and the unexpected success of Fifty Shades of Grey, revealing our innermost human desires through the use of logic and analytics.

Guaranteed to be one of the biggest books of the year, this novel tells the tale of a girl called Flora who suffers from anterograde amnesia, which means that she forgets everything that happens in her day-to-day life. Then she kisses someone she shouldn't, and the next day she remembers it. This clever and original story is unforgettable, refreshing, and uplifting.

If you have any recommendations for books for me to read in 2017, please let me know!

Bringing Back Books: Your Guide to the Must-Reads of 2017

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Whether you're a mover, a shaker or a candlestick-maker, you know that every killer party playlist needs at least one throwback tune that gets everyone off their feet. This list promises to get you in party mode and ensure that everyone will let you have free reign of the AUX cable. Let's get our party on.

– 10 –

"Excuse me I don't do this but uhhh" when everyone hears this line you know it's on. Every person in the room can't help but get their groove on and even if you haven't heard it in years, I know you still remember every single word.

– 9 –

What would a party playlist be without Queen B? Classic Beyoncé makes for the best playlists to get you in the party mood and unleash your inner diva.

– 8 –

2007 was a simpler time. Featuring everyone's secret crush from The Princess Diaries, Michael Moscovitz (AKA Robert Schwartzmann, lead singer of Rooney) this song is sure to bring back the nostalgia of your younger years and get everyone out dancing.

– 7 –

Ah, T. Swizzle. Love her or hate her, this is one tune that's catchy like the plague.
I hope you're up to date with your shots.

– 6 –

This infectious beat will turn even your shyest friends into pro rappers fresh from the 'hood.

– 5 –

ABBA never fails to get everyone dancing, from your 5 year old cousin to your granny. Nothing like incorporating a classic into your night of partying.

– 4 –

Another classic that makes everyone want to let loose and dance. I know from personal experience.

– 3 –
Wild Cherry - Play That Funky Music 

Do you have that one song that just requires you to get real funky? Because this is that song. Listen to it. Go.

– 2 –

This song has everything. Try not dancing to it. You can't. If you don't, you are a party pooper. Who invited you? Not me, not anymore.

– 1 –

There are no words to explain the perfection of this creation. If you're not screaming the lyrics, you're doing it wrong.

There you have it! My top ten timeless must-adds to your party playlist, because I know you love being a crowd-pleaser. 

FAVOURITES | 10 Timeless Songs for the Ultimate Party Playlist

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Everyone knows that the basic student home leaves a lot to be desired in terms of interior design. Bland walls, drab curtains and speckled carpets that hide all the spills that are most definitely going to happen over the course of the year. 

I've put together some choice buys that are easy on the pocket and easy on the eye so that you can transform your boring house into a cosy and affordable haven.

20 LED Lights | Penneys | €2

Penneys is always a treasure trove of cheap homeware and fairy lights provide the perfect mood lighting in place of the low-watt bulbs that barely light up your room. These LED lights are currently on sale at €2 for 20 or €3 for 30. We strung them up in our sitting room and it instantly transformed it into a social hub rather than a cold and depressing add-on to the hallway.

SKURAR | Plant Pot | IKEA | €2.50

Plants are great to add a breath of fresh air to any room, and if you're a busy student, looking after one isn't at the top of your priority list. This adorable little artificial plant gets even better when you pop it into a decorative pot like this one.

Elephant Door Stop | Penneys | €8

Always come home to a buddy with this elephant door stop. No more slamming doors in draughty corridors with this little guy to help.

FISKBO A4 Frame | IKEA | €2

Brighten up the house with a bright frame to display your favourite photos or latest artworks. This lino print was lovingly created by my housemate Caitlin and currently resides in our hall.

Salt and Pepper Shakers | Tiger | €3

These whimsical salt and pepper shakers were bought when we moved in. They're fun to look at and surprisingly convenient. Add a touch of style to your inevitable pasta-based dinners.

(The dog statue is from a charity shop off Capel Street - €3)

I hope this helps you to add a little life to your basic student home. It's also a great idea to invest in a throw blanket for those cold winter nights in a single glazed bedroom. 

FAVOURITES | Student Home Decor Tips

Saturday, 24 September 2016

 Blue Scallop Trim Cami - New Look | White Mesh Stripe Midi Skirt - New Look | Suede Ankle Strap Wedges - Forever 21   White Lace Edge Shawl - TK Maxx | Sunglasses - Penneys/Primark White Lace Bow Hairclip - Claire's Accessories   White Textured Front Panel Clutch - New Look | Pearl Earrings - Miss Selfridge

(Include friend as an optional extra)

OOTD | Student Race Day

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Have you ever scrolled through hundreds of choices on Netflix and thought "UGH there is nothing to watch"? Recently I've been complaining about the lack of choice on Netflix Ireland and that new bingeable TV shows are few and far between. HOWEVER, after reading several recommendations on twitter about 'Flaked', a Netflix original series, I gladly pushed all my assignments to one side. and watched the entire first season in one sitting.

 I found myself oddly hooked on this show that had no discernible plotline in the first episode, and when I was asked to explain the premise of the show I found it difficult to find the right words. Chip, played by Will Arnett is a recovering alcoholic and self-help guru who needs to help himself more than anyone else. The show is set in Insta-chic Venice, CA, and honestly made me long for the heat, sandy beaches and those cute kitschy California bungalows. Oh and Chip's adorable bike with the wooden box instead of a basket.

The soundtrack of 'Flaked' for me is one of its biggest attractions, scored by Stephen Malkmus of 90's indie rock band Pavement. The music is unbelievably well suited to the hipster vibe of the show, including tracks by Kurt Vile, Local Natives, Warpaint and EL VY.  I'd recommend the entire show almost solely based on the soundtrack.

Since this show is relatively new on the scene I don't want to spoil too much, but it does have your usual selection of friend and female troubles, albeit served with a twist. This dramedy is slow-burning and intriguing, you live each day and learn the facts along with those already in the dark and ultimately, it is a light-hearted yet poignant series based on underachievement.

All in all, 'Flaked' is definitely, in my opinion, one of those shows to relax and let play. The storyline is heartfelt and captivating, highlighted by the perfectly fitting soundtrack, and I look forward to the release of season 2.

FLAKED | Netflix Review

Saturday, 2 April 2016 Dublin, Ireland

Last semester, we undertook a project in our photography class based on our preliminary research. After deliberating with my lecturer for quite some time, he suggested the project title 'Big Vistas in Small Places'. That was a bit wordy for my taste, so I suggested 'Tiny Landscapes'. He wasn't too keen on that. We continue to disagree, but I'm still going to call it Tiny Landscapes behind his back (sorry Stephen).

This photo is my favourite of the three final images I produced. *TOP TIP* I quickly learned that the surfaces of walls are ideal for this type of project, and I managed to find some fantastic mossy walls just minutes from college.

I took this photo on the same day as the first one. The sun was low in the sky (lens flare, how exciting) which really added extra depth to the images.

I have to make a confession. I knew that water was the perfect way to create the illusion of a vast area, and it hadn't rained for a few days. The one time you need rain in Ireland, it doesn't show up. So I improvised, and poured some water from my bottle. It's all natural anyway.

I really think the project turned out to be a success, and I'm glad I figured out how to create that kind of illusion, even though the odds are I'll barely use it again. But if someone comes up to me and is like "hey make this small thing look big for me" you better believe I'll be ready.

PHOTOGRAPHY | Tiny Landscapes

Friday, 11 March 2016

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