In This Week’s News

In This Week’s News

I know I have written loads about my wedding but there is one story I haven’t shared. Don’t worry it’s actually a very short story and you can find in THE NEW YORK TIMES!

I’m so thrilled to see my name maybe not quite up in lights, I’m working on that, but in The New York Times and with this special story.

Click here to read how I picked my engagement ring; it’s in The New York Times!! Just in case you missed that part.

We're married

Photograph by Alex Feld

xo

Awards Season

Awards Season

BAFTAs

I was very much looking forward to the BAFTAs, mostly because it’s in my time zone and I don’t have to stay up until all hours to catch a glimpse of the stars.

There were so many looks that are worth a mention so I’d better get on with it. Emma Stone and Chanel are a great match and this dress-come-trouser combo sure is interesting. The detailing, tailoring, hair and makeup are masterful. The pants, well I’m not sure they add anything to the ensemble but at the same time I don’t dislike them either. Maybe Emma read the weather forecast and wanted a bit of extra warmth for the night. Whatever the reason behind the addition of the cropped trousers, this look is how one should look on a red carpet.

Chanel - BAFTAs

Chanel 

Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen had numerous outfits showcased last night. The first and my favourite, is the gown worn by Emily Blunt. This reminded me of the Alexander McQueen gown worn by Cate Blanchett at last years BAFTAs. Very similar shape and as equally fabulous with the detailing on the bodice and the textured skirt. Her hair and makeup complement the gown and the blue earrings finish the outfit off nicely. Lovely all round.

Alexander McQueen - BAFTAs

Alexander McQueen

The next Alexander McQueen is one I only caught a glimpse of and if I’m being honest, I’m mentioning it more because of the person wearing it; my girl crush Lisa Eldridge. This fun yet sophisticated lip-printed jumpsuit is something I would definitely wear myself. Forget the red carpet, I’d wear it around the house if I owned it!

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Next up and something I’m delighted to see on the red carpet, is colour! Surprising really as I’m team monochrome, but check out these crazy, stylish interesting dresses. I’m not sure I would wear any of them but I love that they are different. Whether you like them or not they sure do make you look.

Jenny Packham

Jenny Packham

Valentino

Valentino

Gucci

Gucci

 I’ll wrap up the BAFTAs with this smashing sequined Louis Vuitton number worn by Michelle Williams. Again l like this as it is a bit different from all the other sequined dresses we see on the red carpet. The shorter length may be seen by some as not red carpet appropriate, but even with her pins out the overall look screams class!

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Still with me? Hang in there as I’m sneaking in the Grammy’s while I’m here. My least favourite of all the awards and with only one outfit worth looking at (for the right reasons) I had to mention this beautiful Givenchy number worn by Adele.

Givenchy

Givenchy

Ok I’ll stop now as I really could have included more, from the BAFTAs anyway. Click the photographs to get all the details and have a really good look at these amazing pieces.

xo

Home is Nowhere

Home is…. Nowhere?

Life

You’ve probably gathered by now that I have recently moved abode. Unfortunately the move wasn’t by choice. If I’m honest it has been rather a traumatic few months so before I go on to how I’m trying to make my new place a home I want to share with you how I ended up in the middle of Ireland’s housing crisis.

If you had the misfortune of being around me at all the past year you would know that I had only two things to talk about: My housing situation and an ill family member. Not surprisingly, I was consumed by both. We got word last year that the rented house we were living in was being sold. A house that five years ago sat empty because no one wanted it due to its poor condition and decor. Not that this that bothered Mr B and I. In fact we were delighted to find a three-bedroom house in a good area and because of its poor condition we were even able to negotiate the rent down. It became our home.

If you live in Ireland, you will know the country is embroiled in a housing crisis. The simple version of it is supply and demand. Add to that the economic effects of the financial crisis as well as the unregulated rental market (although there have been some changes in recent times and one can only hope this continues!) the country as a result has seen a wave of new homeless. As a grown woman with a decent job, I ended up a part of it. Of course it’s a home owner’s prerogative to sell their house but any renter who has received similar news probably wonders the same things: Is the house really getting sold or is it a way to get new tenants in at a higher rent? How accommodating do I have to be for viewings and strangers traipsing through my home seeing as this is not my decision? How are we going to afford to live somewhere else? The answers or the inconvenience didn’t matter as it was happening whether we were on board or not.

With the news that we had to leave our ugly but lovely home we had two options; buy or rent. We decided to take the plunge and try to purchase our own home, the cheaper option of the two. For the next few months we spent every waking minute looking for a house. If you have every looked to purchase your own home you will understand how stressful and consuming it can be. With our endless research and pros and cons lists, what started out as an adventure turned into a race against the clock. Some Saturdays felt like we were on the Amazing Race, often going to four different house viewings scheduled all around the same time! Despite all the daydreaming and way too many hours spent on Pinterest, none of this was exciting or thrilling. Our lists went out the window and we were now in a situation of having to buy a property not necessarily wanting to. It seemed every other person in the buyers market was looking at the properties we were (how dare they!) and with the volume of people at each viewing anyone would think they were giving away houses! And then there were the offers. Offers were usually at least fifty thousand euro over the asking price and that was just the first viewing! This was not a fun time.

Fast forward to December, December 23rd to be precise and we found ourselves in yet another bidding war. Needless to say you know how that ended. Another house (there were four in total)  that we attempted to buy but walked away empty-handed. Part of the process I know, but we needed somewhere to live and that is all I could think about. We had hoped to make that special purchase and move from our beloved rental to what was going to be our beloved home but seeing as that wasn’t going to happen we had to come up with a new plan. We made the decision to join the hunt for a new rental property and take a break from house hunting and with that decision I felt a little sense of relief.

Not for long! I thought I knew what the rental market had to offer. Small spaces, extortionate rents and millions of people competing for the same thing. We found all of that and more! I don’t know why I was shocked. Some of my friends had been through it, the housing crisis was in the news daily and yet I was completely and utterly shocked at what we faced. I was losing my faith in humanity as we went to viewing after viewing after viewing. The combination of greed and desperation made me want to live in my car. Something I often joked about but something I was seriously considering. As my disdain for humankind increased I found the complete opposite in my friends, family and acquaintances. The kindness shown to Mr B and I blew my mind. The offers of a place to stay, the thoughts of asking those around them if they knew anyone that could help, the offers of storage space and mostly importantly an ear to listen to my endless worries, rambles and let’s not forget, the tears! I couldn’t reconcile the two extremes and both made me cry. For very different reasons of course.

I haven’t felt like myself since this whole housing situation started and I often found it hard to function. Between work, family commitments and life in general I started to wonder if this was what life as an adult was? I was consumed with worry and I had no control over it. A difficult thing to manage seeing as I love to control nearly everything (happy to admit it) and so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I could control. Turns out there wasn’t much. I know we aren’t the only ones in this situation. Everyone has a story, a crisis or heart-ache of some sort. Sometimes these things are better shared but up until now, I couldn’t really say everything I wanted as I didn’t have the words. Literally. Anyone who was brave enough to ask me ‘have you found somewhere to live?’ will be all too familiar with the crazed look on my face that greeted them. Smiling and nodding saying ‘no but it will all be fine. It will all be fine’. Either that or I burst in to tears and it’s really hard to write when you’re crying and snotty. Trust me I made a few attempts and you’ll be glad I spared you.

So here I am, still believing home is where you make it but I have to admit in all of my adventures, it never occurred to me that I would have nowhere to make my home. Although I would never choose to live where we find ourselves now or pay the amount we have to in rent, I remind myself it is not the worst option we faced. I also know that we are extremely lucky to have somewhere to call home and this won’t be the last crisis that will present it’s disgusting, ugly, mouldy head. I’m hoping there will be less mould in the next crisis.

With all that said it is now time to take a breath and make the most of our cherished possessions in the four walls we live in. It is these things after all that ignite memories of past adventures, places we’ve yet to explore and our loved ones and they are what make up our home. These and a few nice cushions!

xo

P.S. If you find yourself in a similar situation or think I could lend a hand in any way please get in touch.  You can leave a comment below or email me directly at lovetomtom@outlook.com and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Awards Season

Awards Season 

Screen Actors Guild Awards

I have to admit, sleep got the better of me last night so this morning I enjoyed my coffee while drooling over last night’s stars at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. I love seeing variety on the red carpet, a bit of sleek styling with a touch of pure glamour and let’s not forget the total bonkers outfits; the SAGs did it all for me.

I have to start with this number from Gucci worn by Nicole Kidman. An outfit so outrageous I actually like it! I would have preferred the main body to be black rather than green but if you’re going to go big you might as well go all the way and this sure is all the way!

Gucci - SAGs

Gucci

Next in complete contrast is this very simple but stunning Dior dress worn by Natalie Portman. I’m not a fan of white or cream dresses but this is pure beauty. I’m rather fond of this silhouette but have never managed to pull it off. In my mind this is exactly how you do it! This gown with all its fabric doesn’t swallow her or her bump and the sleeves make a lovely addition to what could have been a very plain dress.

Dior - SAGs

Dior

An awards night can’t go by without something monochrome catching my eye and this Chanel number worn by Janelle Monae tickles my monochrome obsessed heart. The ruffles, the pattern and the fact that it fell just above her ankles was a total winner in my book. I’m not completely sold on her hair but it was definately a good choice having it up to show the glory of the collar. This is one I could definitely imagine myself in!

Chanel - SAGs

Chanel

The big houses were on fire for this awards night! Don’t forget to click the photographs for all the details. Remember I was at home sleeping, not on the red carpet drooling in person.

xo

Question of the Day

Question of the Day

ask lovetomtom

ask lovetomtom

It’s time for me to get back into full swing and I’m delighted to resume what turned out to be one of my favourite things last year; Question of the Day. If you follow me on Snapchat you will be well used to seeing me chat away and answer all your questions. Makeup, fashion, travel, food, your questions, my questions. Anything that comes my way really, you know I love a good chat!

Snapchat, home to Question of the Day, was relatively new to me last year and initially I felt like somewhat of a dinosaur trying to figure it all out. But I’ve come to love the no-fuss, no fancy lighting, ridiculous but sometimes life-saving filters that it offers and it has grown on me. In the meantime we have seen other social media platforms offer similar (or what feels like the same) ways of chatting and while we all have a preferred platform, many of you have been in touch over the past few months to say that you don’t use Snapchat. So, in the spirit of inclusivity, I’m spreading myself out. You’ll be seeing my sometimes unmade mug on all social media platforms for Question of the Day.

Snapchat silliness

It’s time then to hit me with your questions.  You can send me your questions on Instagram or Facebook, on Snapchat or Twitter or email your questions to lovetomtom@outlook.com. You can even stop me in the street! As for my folks (and anyone else who doesn’t use social media), I will always be here to do a round-up of questions, so make sure you are signed up to lovetomtom to get posts straight to your inbox. You’ll be sick of me with all the different ways to communicate!

So it’s just me, my phone and your questions. Let the fun begin!

ask lovetomtom

xo

Awards Season

Awards Season

Golden Globe Awards

Awards season is upon us which means I’ll be sitting on the couch in my pjs, staying up far too late, casting a judgmental eye on complete strangers, in the nicest possible way of course!

The 74th Golden Globe Awards was the one to watch last night and I have to say I thought there were some very good looks and some not so good looks. Let’s focus on the good.

 Emma Stone and Valentino are always on my radar so you can imagine how I  jumped for joy when she stepped onto the red carpet in this Valentino gown, specially designed for her by the one and only Pierpaulo Piccioli. It is not necessarily my colour of choice but who cares, he didn’t design it for me! Beautifully fitted, just enough stars and the perfect way to start awards season.

Golden Globes - Valentino

Next is a designer I had to go searching for. I was so disappointed when I couldn’t see a Delpozo gown on the red carpet and then there it was, Caitriona Balfe in what has to be the best ensemble of the night! Bless her stylish heart for picking Josep Font of Delpozo to dress her for the evening. Beauty is something different to us all and for me, this dress is so beautiful. The dress, the colours, her hair, makeup, actually everything about this look is something I would imagine myself replicating on the red carpet, if I ever had the chance.

Golden Globes - Delpozo

I could go on and on but I’ll wrap it up with this fun and stylish number from Elie Saab. Jessica Biel looked fabulous in this number although if I were wearing it, I’d have a little less boob and leg showing but that’s just me. This is the perfect example of adding a little extra something to a gown without it being overpowering.

Golden Globes - Elie Saab

Just in case you forgot, I was on the couch when this took place not on the red carpet snapping like a crazed fashion fan, so click the photographs above for all the details of photographers, designers, stylists, stars, makeup artists and everyone else who was involved in putting these looks together.

What a great way to start the awards season this year. I can’t wait to see what they wear next!

xo

 

 

A lovetomtom Christmas

A lovetomtom Christmas

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is here which means catch ups, too much food and PRESENTS! You all know by now I’m not that fond of Christmas but boy do I love getting presents! And buying them for that matter.

I started this year’s gift guide by going back to my very first Christmas post and my feelings remain the same. So whether it’s a phone call or a cookbook, a toy or clothes I’m throwing a few ideas your way.

Be sure to click the photographs below for all the details, photographers, prices and why I think these would be great gifts.

#alovetomtomchristmas

alovetomtomchristmas

alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

November's Beauty Bag

There are a few I haven’t included so for my family members, look away now. Everyone else click here to see what other goodies are in this year’s gift guide.

xo

 

November’s Beauty Bag

November’s Beauty Bag

I’m sorry to report it’s a rather empty looking beauty bag this month. Not much in it but it’s not all bad. I spent most of the month drooling over potential wish-list items, pretending I own all of them!

Let’s start with something I actually own; this tiny little beautiful bottle of lip oil heaven. It took me a while to get my hands on the Lancôme Juicy Shaker but not for want of trying. Every time I sampled these gorgeous lip oils I changed my mind about which shade I wanted and walked away empty-handed. Pretty indecisive, I know! However, I finally made a decision and went for the delicious Vanilla Pop and yes, it is actually delicious. If you have never used a lip oil before and you’re not sure what to expect, all I can say is it is nothing like a lip gloss. It is light and moisturising. No tacky, sticky feeling, just pure bliss for your lips. As an avid lipstick wearer I would say the staying power of the oil is not great but everything else about it is so good it doesn’t matter. I think it’s clear I love this product. If you were thinking about trying it I have seen a Christmas gift set of three which is great value for money.

November's Beauty Bag

Next is another lip product and not a newbie but one that has been pushed to the front of the stack; again. I have spoken about Nuxe’s Rêve de Miel and how wonderful it is and not just for lips. It’s back again and I especially like it in the colder weather when my lips feel a little dryer. I love applying it before bed and waking up with the softest, most lush lips! It goes with me everywhere so definitely deserves another mention.

November's Beauty Bag

Last in the beauty bag this month is Sally Hansen’s Hard As Nails Hard As Wraps which I got in a goody bag from a Littlewoods Ireland press preview earlier in the year, It’s not something I would buy for myself as I usually just spend my money on nail polish but I am glad I was able to try it. It claims the ‘Breakthrough patented gel that protects & strengthens fragile, soft or damaged nails’  and I think I have to agree. I use this as a base coat and have noticed the effects when wearing it. I have no idea if there are any long lasting effects but I like it all the same and would definitely purchase it myself.

November's Beauty Bag

Just for fun take a peak at a few things I’m lusting over. First look at the amazing Nars Give In Take eye and cheek palette as part of the Sarah Moon collection. I have seen some of this collection in person but this is just something else entirely!


Then there is Bobbi Brown’s City Collection and trust me this is just one of many wish-list products from Bobbi Brown!

Pretty in the Paris Palette from the City Collection 📷 @lodoesmakeup

A post shared by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics (@bobbibrown) on


There are so many amazing products out this time of year. Some sold out before they hit the shelves but it’s nice to look anyway. You never know – Santa might be reading this as I type!

xo

There’s new trousers in town

Wardrobe staples

#ootw

culottes

Move over skinnies; there’s new trousers in town. You heard – my staple black skinny jeans have been replaced. I blame my beloved jumpsuit. The wide, cropped leg inspired me to invest in a pair of culottes for winter and they have been crowned this week’s outfit of the week.

Culottes can be tricky to wear. They need to sit on the waist at just the right spot and be just the right length and if not, things can go horribly wrong. If I’m honest, these Zara culottes on the hanger are everything I want. Elastic waist, pockets, tie at the front. All very positive features. However, it feels like someone got the measurements wrong, leaving the material about half a centimetre short in a rather uncomfortable spot. Get my drift?

culottes

I’m persisting though as the positives outweigh the negatives. Whether it’s boots, tights, socks, sneakers, heels, a cardigan or a shirt, these black culottes are the perfect staple for the winter months ahead. What’s even better is they have become a part of one of my favourite outfits. The culottes and my white ‘hug’ in a jumper are a match made in heaven.

Culottes

These trousers are here to stay!

xo

 

Exercise is fun!

Exercise is fun

Sort of

Creation Aerial

lovetomtom same but different for September and October was a real humdinger! I have spent the past two months trying to turn exercise into something fun rather than a chore and I’m glad to say I feel I did pretty well.

Cycling on the roads is a huge, scary challenge for me and although it is something I need more practice with, I know I can do it. I wouldn’t completely describe it as a fun activity just yet but I can see the potential is there. I say that’s a win. Walking to and from work was already part of my routine so not too many differences there, other than increasing those walks and being a bit more organised so I was ready and full of beans in the mornings. Of course having a pal walk with me definitely counts as fun.

Speaking of pals, there was one major difference in activity this month that took the form of Aerial classes and I couldn’t have done it without my fabulous friend Ms C. I almost don’t know where to start, I have so much to say. First and most importantly I am so glad I did the classes. Something I can only say now that I’ve finished the term. I was extremely nervous starting out, the unknown can be a powerful thing but having Ms C for company was a huge help. After a class or two my nerves settled down and my energy took a different focus. Without getting too philosophical about my experience I will say I was challenged in ways I wasn’t expecting. Physically I expected to be pushed and oh boy was I pushed. I was often ready to go home after the warm-up and it was evident I was going to need more than five weeks of classes to get anywhere near being physically capable for most of the exercises. What I wasn’t expecting was the struggles with my brain. That part was not fun.

Creation Aerial

I will be the first to admit I thought I was going to be a little better than I was. In fact, I completely stunk! Only I’m allowed to say that of course, but it’s the truth. The Creation Aerial team were excellent in explaining and demonstrating movements and basic techniques and I really enjoyed how encouraging everyone in the class was to each other, but I needed more. There was such a disconnect between my brain and my body, I felt almost out of control. My brain was trying to cope with new information, trying to understand that for example my foot needed to go one way in order for me to move the other way all while holding myself up on the rope or silks. Sometimes, actually most of the time, it didn’t come together.

Creation Aerial

It wasn’t always like this. My third class was the most fun. I started to see the benefits of the gruelling warm-ups and was able to do some of the moves I hadn’t managed the week before. Although these were minuscule improvements they were improvements all the same. At one stage in the class I felt like a kid hanging from the silks trying to get anyone’s attention to make sure they saw that I could actually do something! I felt focused and started to understand how to use my body to make a basic climb more than just a scene from a comedy sketch. I left that class on a high, in pain but on a high. I wanted to keep going, to keep working to get to the amazing standards of those around me.

Creation Aerial

Besides my body and brain, the other thing I didn’t take into account was life. I lost my groove after missing a week due to various things getting in the way and with that I felt I was back to square one. Actually, it was worse. It was worse because I was now at my fifth class and could actually do less than in my first. I felt mechanical and frustrated and with that, as another classmate described it, things had the potential of turning into ‘a downward spiral’ of negativity. Did I have fun? Not all of the time but it was all of my own doing. The mind can be a powerful thing and in trying to be the best at something completely new, I actually missed the point altogether. After all the point was to have fun!

Even though I was completely poo at this, it wasn’t all a complete disaster. I did laugh along the way. Not enough but I definitely learnt a lot in these classes. Most important I learnt I need to loosen up a bit, and not just literally.

If you want to know more about these classes, take a look here Of course I have to say a huge thank you to the Creation Aerial team and students who let me take a few snaps while they were busy teaching, learning and laughing!