Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the season

As much as I try to avoid it, I think it’s fair to say summer is no more. Everywhere I look there are signs of autumn with all of those dark blues and plum autumnal colours that are supposed to fill our wardrobes. Can you tell I’m not on board yet? Before I’m head to toe in black, I’m going to wear my summer clothes for as long as I don’t freeze while thinking of ways to transport them to autumn. This is nothing new; remember my summer clothes in winter strategy?

I’ve decided I’m applying this strategy all year round! I had so much fun this summer, playing with shapes, patterns, taking risks and relying on old favourites so why would I give that up just because the seasons are changing?! It was too hard to pick just one favourite outfit of the summer so I’m declaring all of them Outfit of the Season!

There were a number of keys pieces that really stood out and as you probably saw I wore them over and over again. I certainly got my money’s worth out of my selections of skirts. Polka dots, patterns, block colours, pencil, midi; not a day went by when I didn’t wear one of them. I found they catered for my every mood, every event and required zero effort.

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

T-shirts accompanied all of my skirts but if it wasn’t that combination, I replaced it with some fabulous dresses. It really was a good summer, outfit wise. You can tell I take these selfies in the morning, phone in one hand, coffee in the other, generally running from the brown carpet and running out the door!

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

Heels were also another main attraction but more importantly, it was a very sad day when I had to say goodbye to my beloved Penneys red sandals (I still haven’t been able to throw them out!) but thankfully they were replaced with possibly my best investment of the season. Say hello to my new red Saltwater sandals. I’m in love!

Outfit of the Season

Not to be a complete creature of comfort, I did take a few risks over the summer. The great thing about taking a risk is that there is the chance it will pay off and this one sure did. I got great wear out of my navy blue midi jumpsuit and feeling inspired I bought another. This time a little more risque. Comfortable, on sale, short but not too short. This one is staying!

Outfit of the Season

Outfit of the Season

I made such an effort this summer to wear all the things that usually get left in the wardrobe after one outing, never to be seen in public again. Screw that! I wore everything I wanted and loved every minute of them.

xo

 

Exercise is fun?!

#lovetomtomSBD

September and October

#lovetomtomSBD

I have been toying with this month’s same but different for so long that it will be September 2017 before I put pen to paper! You may have heard my recent ramblings on Snapchat about why it was taking me so long. In fact, I needed a little recap as to why I’m doing same but different in the first place and if we cast our minds back to January when it all started, I wanted 2016 to have no new year’s resolutions, no unrealistic expectations, the same things, just different.

Lately there has been one thing on my mind; exercise. There I said it! I got this notion some time ago that I wanted to start cycling to work and the lightbulb went off in my head. This was perfect for same but different but then it hit me: The fear, the planning, the hard work, the dread. At times, these are all things I associate with exercise. Ok so this isn’t the same but different, this is exactly the same! Hence my procrastination on the matter.

Cycling wasn’t the only thing I wanted to try. Even though I don’t really like swimming I thought it would be a good thing to do especially in the winter months ahead. Why would I do something I don’t like, you ask? My thoughts exactly! I could easily spend the next week telling you why I find exercise difficult, physically and mentally but we are all grown up enough to know our own demons and the struggles that people may have. One thing I will say is that, sometimes I like exercising and when I’m in that space, in no way does it feel like a chore. I am not in that place at the minute.

#lovetomtomSBD

So here I am saying that #lovetomtomSBD for Septermenbr and October is going to be about exercise. My plan is to try different forms of exercise like swimming and cycling. For me, at this stage the key to this is that I don’t have to exercise. Of course it’s good for one’s health and all that but like all the other same but differents, this is about having a different perspective so I am going to look at exercise for the next two months as fun things to do and not something I dread.

I’m glad to say that I made my first attempt a few weeks ago in preparation. One Sunday morning I got on my bike and cycled to work as a trial run. For some of you this is no big deal but for me it was a huge deal as I’m rather a scaredy cat when it comes to cycling and traffic. Even though I haven’t cycled to work in peak hour traffic, it was a huge achievement and one that needs more practice. You can guess what I’ll be doing the next few weekends; cycling to work and on the road!

Whether it is cycling, tennis, swimming or aerial acrobatics (something else I looked at), walking, pilates or whatever tickles my fancy I am going to look for one thing in each; fun! Fun in the activity, fun with the people I do it with, fun, fun, fun. That is going to be the key.

#lovetomtomSBD

Wish me luck and don’t forget you can join in too. What do you do for exercise? Is it fun or a drag? Is there anything that you do to make it fun? I would love to hear from you and I should warn you in advance, you may be flooded with photographs of swimming cap hair, my flushed sweaty face and dare I say it….activewear!

xo

August’s Beauty Buy

August’s Beauty Bag

August's Beauty Bag

There weren’t too many new additions to the beauty bag this month but the ones that were added were really interesting. Let me show you.

First up is a product I bought in Paris and another to add to my La Roche-Posay collection. The Autohelios Cream-Gel Moisterising Self-Tanner is one I’ve had my eye on for a while and I’m so glad I took the plunge and bought it. I’m all for easy these days so I was looking for something that required no effort other than me slapping it on and voilá! Beautiful, even, sun-kissed skin. I went straight into this product with no preparations. No scrubbing, exfoliating and whatever else you a supposed to do before applying a tanning product. I slapped it on, as evenly as possible and off I went. Avid tan-users are probably having a meltdown at this point but really I hate all the fuss. Makeup and skincare products are supposed to be enjoyable and easy, not hard work! Ok so back to my haphazard application. Instantly I liked how well it absorbed into my skin. It says it’s a cream-gel and that is exactly what it feels like. There is a slight smell to it but nothing that resembles a fake tan product. My legs felt moisturised and I definitely saw the benefits the next day. My legs had a nice caramel sheen to them that was so close to my own skin colour when it has had some sun I thought my life was going to be changed forever. I’ve used it now for the past month, I’d say two or three times a week and I’ve got the application down pat. For me, less is more. If you lather the entire contents of the tube in one go and expect an even application you will be sadly disappointed. A small amount goes a long way and for me, using it every second or third day is the best way to keep the colour even. A winner all round!

August's Beauty Bag

Next is another purchase from Paris. I found myself in Kiko and like a kid in a lolly shop I wanted everything! After all my poking and swatching I walked away with only one product. Another Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow. I bought one of these in the shade 37, burgundy when I was in Lisbon last year and here I am again in Paris buying the gorgeous shade 07, Golden Beige. It really is a beautiful colour and if you suffer from oily eyelids, this product is going to be your best friend. I have tried it both with a primer and without and both ways the staying power is incredible! I actually find it difficult to remove when I have used a primer so no complaints from me. There is no messing around with this product and it’s the reason I bought it. I apply it straight from the stick across my entire eyelid, apply a bit of mascara and that’s me done.

August's Beauty Bag

While my folks were in town I took advantage of having extra guinea pigs in the house to try some products. Thankfully my ma was up for it so I whipped out Spa Standards seaweed and hyaluronic acid Repairing Face Mask. I bought this months ago and it wasn’t for me. It was almost too moisturising and I really didn’t like how it felt on my face. I prefer a mask that I apply directly to my skin rather than one of those ghost-like masks. Ma has a different skin type to me so it was the perfect opportunity to see what she thought. Overall her reports were positive. She found it hydrating and liked that she could massage the excess serum into her skin after she had removed the mask. She did say that although her skin felt smooth and hydrated, she did not notice a difference in appearance. It’s not one that I will buy again so if you have tried other face masks that you like let me know.

August's Beauty Bag

August's Beauty Bag

The next two have not technically been added to my beauty bag (yet) but they have been put on my wish list. Chanel’s Le Rouge Collection N°1 has so many lovely bits that I want them all but the sensible part of my brain says a definite no to that. If you haven’t seen it you should check it out and help me decide which product I should treat myself to. Naturally I am leaning towards a lipstick but I guess there is no surprise there. Take a look at Lucia Pica talk about red. Absolutely beautiful just like the collection.

The other thing I have my eye on and something I pick up and put down more times than I am willing to admit is Lancôme’s Juicy Shaker. I have never tried a lip oil before and expected it to be like a lip gloss but just by swatching it on my hand I knew immediately that it wasn’t. I was in duty-free at the time coming home from Paris and you know what it’s like at the end of a holiday, you think you have spent enough money and ask yourself do I really need more makeup? Again the sensible part of my brain answered no but I haven’t stopped thinking about it since so as I write this I’ve decided to go buy one. I will let you know in September’s beauty bag how it goes. Until then you can see my girl crush Lisa Eldridge in action.

xo

Summer wrap up

lovetomtomSBD + Summer wrap up

Pit stop

It has been one busy  month here with visitors, travel and whatnot, so I feel I need to do a bit of a wrap up to sort out my head and get ready for what is next. Almost like a de-cluttering of my mind if you will.

As you know my mama and papa crossed the pond for a visit (if only it was a pond!) and we had a jam-packed month with lots of random holiday snaps that only we think are funny but I’m going to share a few with you anyway. We explored Dublin and Ireland, ate and drank too much, debated the style choices of my papa and of course we were lucky enough to have a little jaunt in Paris.

Paris

IMG_5375

Summer shopping

Exploring

Also while they were here I got news that lovetomtom was shortlisted for the Blog Awards Ireland and it was lovely to share the good news with them in person. Another fun thing that happened was I had a surprise dinner for my folks with a years worth of celebrations crammed into one night. If you follow me on Snapchat you would have seen what I was up to. Christmas, Birthdays, Easter, even our wedding was celebrated so with the house decorated (I’m sure our neighbours think we are nuts!) and me cooking dinner in my wedding outfit we had a great night celebrating all the things we normally do from afar. It really was so much fun I’m considering doing it every year, all the celebrations in one night!

Happy....

lovetomtomSBD this month was a huge help to me while I waited to go on my own holidays and even more helpful upon my return to fight those holiday blues. The real lovetomtom also contributed all the way from his holiday in Vietnam! Lucky boy! I have added so many new places to my travel wish list I don’t know how I’ll get through them all but I guess that’s a good problem to have.

the real lovetomtom

After all of that and trust me, that’s the short version, I feel I’m slowly coming out the other side, hair a bit dishevelled, mind a bit cloudy but somehow finding my way back to reality. After a holiday I think it’s so important to plan the next one so until I can do that, I’m very much looking forward to other exciting things that are coming down the track.

With all that going on, I feel I haven’t been around much so normal viewing will resume and I have to say a special thanks to everyone who got in touch to wish me and my parents a fab holiday. If you were lucky enough to have a proper summer holiday or live somewhere with more than an hour of sunshine a day, keep sending your pictures my way!

xo

lovetomtom has been shortlisted!

LWI Blog Awards 2016

Roll up roll up

It is that time of year again, Blog Award time and I am thrilled to see lovetomtom has been shortlisted in the Fashion Blog category for a second year in a row!

Littlewoods-Blog-Awards-2016-Website-MPU_Shortlist

There is a public vote component to the judging and if you fancy, click here to give lovetomtom some love. I had such fun last year getting to the final round so I can’t wait to see what happens next.

It’s hard not to sound like I’m making an acceptance speech when saying thank you but I have to say it: Thank you for all the nominations, votes, support and being part of lovetomtom!!

xo

Paris Again

lovetomtom went to Paris

Again

Paris

With a blink of an eye and what felt like a million footsteps (just ask my folks), my holidays have been and gone. That’s right, I packed my bags for Paris (again) but this time I was able to go with my parents. A first and very memorable trip.

Doesn’t matter how many times I visit Paris, there is always so much to see and of course I always have a lot to say, so here goes.

Where are all the Parisians?

Ahhhh August in Paris. I forgot that while many of us are on our summer holidays, so are the Parisians who actually leave Paris in droves! Not too much of an issue but something to keep in mind if you are planning a trip to Paris in August. Time and time again you will see that hand written sign on a shop front window saying something along the lines of ‘closed until end of August, Bon Vacances’.

Safety

I was a little nervous about heading off to Paris this time round, mostly because my parents were travelling with us and I felt somewhat responsible for them. The decision was made to continue with our travel plans and not to be too flippant about our concerns we made a very simple emergency plan and that’s all we said about that. Even if we didn’t talk about it, our worries were hard to ignore. There was a very obvious security presence on the streets of my beloved Paris and if I’m honest I was a little jumpy. I know I am beyond fortunate that a heavily armed military presence is not part of my day-to-day life, walking the streets, checking bags and scouring everyone and everything that passed them. On the other hand it was a constant reminder of the world we are currently in. A sad and worrying one.

Fashion

Paris will always be special, so let’s get on to the good bits. I had huge plans to do lots of shopping but as makeshift tour guides, I soon realised we were going to run out of time for my grand shopping plans. I did manage a few purchases, two vintage finds which I’m thrilled with. First is this polkadot number which I originally put back on the hanger because I thought the back was the front! A wide-brimmed collar really doesn’t suit me but at a closer glance I realised it was actually the back with big white buttons all the way down the dress. I tried it on (a must when it comes to vintage) and this baby was mine! In pure vintage style it is missing a few buttons and I only realised this once I was out of the changing room after giving everyone a clear view of my underwear. Once I was over my embarrassment I bought this gorgeous dress for only €8 and will enjoy my search for some replacement buttons.

Paris Vintage

The other fabulous vintage number I bought was this blue high-waisted skirt. I’m having a bit of a skirt moment of late and it’s fair to say they have replaced my black skinny jeans. This skirt is the perfect addition to my collection. Unfortunately there are no pockets, and it is an absolute pain to iron, something I don’t do, but that wasn’t going to stop me. I’ve already taken it for a spin and think it might be on repeat for some time, creases and all!

Paris Vintage

Beauty – the skincare type

Like my fashion hopes, I had huge plans to hit the French pharmacies with the same gusto and determination as I do a boulangerie. However, I think I managed about five minutes in a pharmacy while everyone waited patiently outside for me and I was rather overwhelmed by all the things I wanted to buy. I did get a few bits but you’ll have to wait until August’s Beauty Bag for all the details.

Beauty – the city

I have been to Paris I can’t tell you how many times and it never gets old. This trip was a little different as my parents were visiting the city for the very first time. With only four days in the City of Light, we wanted to show them some of the main sights and some of ‘our’ Paris. Basically walking the streets, eating, drinking and watching the world go by. It was fun to do some of the touristy things again and I know I go on and on about Paris, but boy do I love it there!

xo

lovetomtomSBD

lovetomtomSBD

Almost time for holidays

August is here and I’m still counting down to my holidays. Fret not:  While I’ve been counting down to my own holidays, as part of lovetomtomSBD  I’ve had the pleasure of looking through your eyes and seeing all your holiday snaps and adding to my travel wish list. Plus my parents arrived and I’ve been in holiday mode with them so really it’s been a great summer so far and I haven’t even gone on holidays yet!

Here are a few photographs that caught my eye. Take a look at this beautiful view of Lake Como by Amelia at la femme éclectique. A place definitely on my travel wish list.

 

I couldn’t pass a look at Paris through Marie in May’s eyes.

 

Then there was this building in Tokyo to entice me thanks to Kristy Who.

 

And of course I couldn’t resist reminiscing and looking back at one of my own snaps from New York, a place so dear to my heart.

lovetomtom loves NY

 

Once again the reason I started lovetomtomSBD has really paid off this month. Instead of being envious of all the places I haven’t gone, I look at your holidays with hope of all the places I will go. Same time of year, different approach and oh boy is it helping me get through the fact that I’m not on holidays. Yet!

Don’t forget to check out all the links I’ve included of  these fabulous pictures and the people that took them and keep sending yours through. I never tire of looking at them!

xo

 

July’s Beauty Bag

July’s Beauty Bag

I’ve tried to resist adding too much to the beauty bag this month. My holidays are almost in sight and I plan on making a few purchases while I’m away so I’ve tried to resist the urge to shop but my list of holiday skincare and makeup goodies to buy gets longer and longer.

Of course a month couldn’t go by without some newbies to show you, even if I’m trying to be good! Take a look at these two TopShop newbies. Besides nail polish, I haven’t tried TopShop makeup before and as both were on sale for only €4, now was the time to try.

July's Beauty Bag

The matte lipstick in the shade watermelon is probably very similar to shades I already have but it looked the perfect mix of red and pink. Ideal on those days when I can’t decide if I want to wear red or pink lipstick. I love a good matte lipstick but for me, this is not one of them. Don’t get me wrong it is a good lipstick but I prefer mine to be more matte. It’s a little too shiny and creamy for my liking but not one that I would totally disregard. If you are frightened of matte lipsticks or find them too drying, this is for you.

July's Beauty Bag

The TopShop cream eyeshadow also caught my eye because of the beautiful light candy cane pink hue. If I ever wear pink eyeshadow it is often a matte, dusty pink so I thought this would be a nice change. Unfortunately this looks better in the pot than on my eyes but again it’s not a product I would toss aside. I often use it as my base and blend the outer corners of my eyelids with the dusty matte pink I’m used to. Add a truck load of mascara and that is me, good to go.

July's Beauty Bag

Another product added to the household beauty bag this month was Riemann P20 Once a Day Sun Protection sunscreen. The few days of sun we had some weeks back made me stock up on sunscreen as if I was facing twelve months solid of 40 degree heat. I wear sunscreen daily so it won’t go to waste. I’m a huge fan of La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ Ultra Light sunscreen and it is the only one I’m prepared to lather on my face. However, yes you probably saw it coming;  after trying the P20, I prefer it for my body. The consistency of it is the real winner. It feels more like an oil so easy to apply and it absorbs very well on my skin. I feel slightly disloyal to my trusted La Roche-Posay sunscreen. Like I’m trying to convince you I don’t love one child more than the other! While I love both equally, I love them for different reasons and regardless of what it says on the tin, I reapply both throughout the day, everyday!

I am so looking forward to holidays and not just because of the shopping! Can you guess where I’m going?

xo

Houseguests

House guests

Some of you may be aware that my fabulous parents have crossed the pond and made the very long journey to pay Mr B and I a visit. Life has been so busy the past few months, my countdown to their arrival went from over one hundred sleeps to 1 sleep in the blink of an eye! And you all know  I love a good countdown!

House guests means preparations and preparations that I love. Remember the last time I had house guests?  Most of my preparations this time round have been about food and what we will eat and where! I know I have a tough few weeks ahead of me!

Essentials

Essentials

Back home I’ve gone into guest room mode and I always have this image of how I want a guest room to look (I blame Pinterest for that) but sadly, there are lots of things in my house that are there and not by choice. I can only work with what I’ve got and it doesn’t take much or cost much for that matter to pretend like our house is somewhere worth staying. I added a few little goodies  like  toiletries I know they like, samples I know mum would like to try, the city essentials and a well stocked drinks trolley will hopefully make up for the brown patterned carpet! At the end of the day they are here to see us so I guess that’s all that counts!

Drinks trolley

Drinks trolley

Do you like having house guests? How do you prepare? Will I be envious of your guest room?

xo

lovetomtomSBD

lovetomtomSBD

Time to fly away

Before I get stuck into this month’s same but different I want to give you a quick wrap-up of last month. June was all about photography and doing something with all those snaps. I had great fun taking my camera with me nearly everywhere I went and even more fun changing some of the pictures I had hanging in the house. It’s something I’m going to try to keep doing as much as possible as changing a photograph can really lift a room without spending a fortune!

lovetomtom same but different for July and August is about one of my favourite things; travel! Whether you are on this side of the world planning summer holidays or on the other side daydreaming about escaping winter, it is the perfect time for travel and adventures. Actually travel is good at anytime!

I feel like everyone is on holidays at the moment and while I’m counting down to my own, I’m going to live through others’ to reminisce about places I’ve been and to discover new places I want to go. While I wish I could overload you with two months full of photographs of my own travels and adventures, I’ll have to pretend instead and share some pictures I’m drooling over. I’ll include all the links to everyone’s Instragram and websites so be sure to spread the love. What a hard task, checking out talented photographers and exotic places!

 There’s no better way to start than with Gray Malin. Some of you may be familiar with Gray Malin’s work but if, not the only way I can describe his photography is that it’s like a big ginormous bowl of your favourite sweets. I never tire of looking at his pictures and when I grow up I want to have one of his photographs hanging in my house.

Gray Malin

Photograph by Gray Malin

xo