Long Haul Flight Essentials

Long Haul Flight Essentials

Part 2

I have been holding off on putting this video up mostly because if I’m ready to talk about my flight back to Dublin it means holidays are over (insert sad face).

As much as I love holidays and travel I detest flying. Thankfully my plan this time round helped me manage the long long journey and I will definitely be incorporating these tips and tricks on my next holiday. I’m already planning.

Let me know what your travel essentials are and where you’re going next on holidays!


Holiday Fun

Holiday Fun


You have  probably all heard or seen by now that I am on holidays at home in Melbourne. With such a jam packed trip there isn’t a minute to spare in between all the coffees, celebrations, sitting in the sun and of course babysitting the real lovetomtom. Not that I would have it any other way of course!

While I get my dose of family and Melbourne life, here are a few things to keep you along the ride with me. If you haven’t seen it already, check out part one of my Long Haul Flight Essentials video. Part two is coming but if I’m honest it was rather an unpleasant flight to Melbourne and  there are only so many ways to say ‘and then I vomited’ but seeing as I have to take the horrendous journey home to Dublin there will be a part two.

I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to celebrate my wedding with my Aussie family so out came my wedding outfit and we had a lovely celebration at Trunk Restaurant and Bar followed by coffee and cake at Bruntetti, an old favourite Melbourne spot. To top the night off we had a lovely catch-up with our extended family and friends and I had such a great night I had no time to take any photographs!

A trip home is very different to any other holiday. It is jam-packed, emotional and there is never enough time to fit it all in. I’m trying to take full advantage of every moment spent with my family and friends and a little less time with technology which I’m sure you will all understand. Don’t worry though you can stay in touch on Instagram which is where I’m posting a few holiday snaps in between all the hugs and kisses with the real lovetomtom.




Paris Again

lovetomtom went to 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’.


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.


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!




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!





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


I got married!!!

I got married!

Where in the world…

Where in the world

Here we are, the second instalment to my I got married‘ series and let’s get stuck into it. Before that, I need to say how overwhelmed I am at all the good wishes, texts, email, tweets and comments. It really has made this time even more special if that’s possible!

Ok so let’s talk planning. Planning is not actually the correct word as we felt there wasn’t too much to plan. No flowers, no bridal party, no invitations, no guests (yet), no planning of hair styles, no trials, no cars. From very early on we knew our wedding was going to be a party of two. Ok three, if you count the person marrying us. Ok four, if you count our witness! So wedding first, celebrations with friends and family after and given they are on either sides of the world, that meant there were going to be lots of celebrations. Yay! At this stage with just Mr B and I to think about, it was exciting to know we could do whatever the hell we wanted and there was only one question for us to answer; where in the world will we get married?

What a fun question! And surprisingly easy to answer. Just to give you a bit of a time frame, we decided we were going to get married back in April 2015 (that’s code for engaged) and have the wedding in September 2015. So off I went, typing into Google ‘how to get married in France’ and I soon realised this maybe wasn’t going to work out how we thought. It’s not impossible to get married in France but we were not going to be able to manage all the legalities and requirements in our timeframe so back we went to the world map. Italy was our next choice, Amalfi coast to be precise and with a very small amount of research, it looked like a winner. With only five months to the wedding I decided I better get my outfit sorted and I did but you’ll have to wait until next week for that instalment! To make life a bit easier we thought we would pay for someone to take care of all the paperwork. I even looked up wedding planners but quickly realised this was service was not for us. We also realised that like France, there were a few requirements that we didn’t have the time or patience for so we decided Ireland was next on the list and straight after the wedding we would jump on a plane to Italy, wedding outfits and all.

Even though this was our third choice we knew exactly how we wanted it to look. I got rather an unromantic slap in the face when I found out I couldn’t just go and get married. Who knew there was so much paper work to getting married?! This is all manageable of course but it felt stressful and difficult. I had some very interesting phone calls here and if I heard the phrase ‘wedding package’ one more time I really had the potential of turning into bridezilla! There were a few other instances that tipped me over the edge and so we decided to rethink things. Again. We reminded ourselves that we had only ourselves to think about and maybe with a bit more time we could make Italy work so with June 2016 as our new date we went back to researching Italy.

Even with that decision made, other than finding some fabulous hotels we imagined ourselves lounging around, I didn’t get much further with our Italy plans until one day in November I heard details of someone else’s wedding destination and I had a light bulb moment. All I kept thinking was ‘why aren’t we getting married there’? Within a day of researching and joining some forums to see if what I was reading was correct, we had one hundred percent decided on our location. We were so excited that everything was working out just as we wanted (and that it was easy and romantic!) we decided, why wait? Come the last week of December, we packed our bags and flew to…..

New York baby!

New York baby!

New York baby!

New York baby!

New York baby!

New York New York!


I got married!

I got married!

The not quite announcement 

I was trying to find the right title for this series but I keep coming to ‘I got married!’ and it seems perfect! I am thrilled to be sharing this news with you and over the next few weeks I’ll be giving you all the juicy details. Ok not all the juicy details as it’s not just my story to tell but I will be sharing everything from not shouting it from the roof tops, to being told I couldn’t organise a wedding in 3 months and how I made the ultimate decision of what to wear. Basically the when, where and how of this very exciting time and why I’m doing everything in reverse!

I won’t start at the very beginning so let me bring you to just after our engagement. The very short version of that story is that we were in Paris and had just taken a stroll around the Eiffel Tower. We continued our stroll down a neighbouring street, I was busy taking photographs of the beautiful architecture surrounding us and Mr B was patiently waiting for me to finish before popping the question. I’ll spare you all the mushy details but you can guess what happened next. It will be no surprise to you that we celebrated with coffee and croissants.


Ok so we are engaged. Ahhhh that word, engagement! I don’t know what it is but I’m not a fan. I preferred to say, ‘I’m getting married’. Actually it took me a while to even say that. Don’t get me wrong, I was bursting with excitement at the thought of marrying Mr B but we kept the news to ourselves for a while. It wasn’t necessarily a conscious decision not to tell people but there were a few things on our minds. Mainly, I was aware of the fact that I was very far from family and some of my dearest friends and the thought of texting our news felt so impersonal. Until I worked out how I wanted to spread our news, I enjoyed the fact that this was our fun, romantic secret.

Can you keep a secret?

Right, so fast forward to when our news was kind of out in the world. By kind of I mean that Mr B decided he wanted to wait (this will become clear a little later on) and as for me, I told a very limited number of people. This actually took me a few months. Between face-to-face catch ups, arranging chats on Skype, rescheduling chats on Skype and life in general getting in the way, I actually forgot who I had and hadn’t told and I found myself saying ‘did I mention we’re getting married?’. In the end I had to tell a few friends with a text message and you know what, that’s just the way things turned out and it didn’t diminish the excitement or love we felt from those closest to us. Marriage and weddings conjures up all sorts of things for people and it was so interesting to see everyone’s reactions and oh boy were there a lot of questions! How did he propose? When are you getting married? Will you get married in Australia? Will your family come to Ireland for the wedding? Can I see the ring? What are you going to wear? Are you going to take his name? Don’t get me wrong I loved that everyone was so excited and I wanted to share everything with them, but not yet. Mr B and I already had a pretty good idea of what our wedding was going to look like so we felt there really wasn’t a lot to organise. Plus I had no intention of ‘the wedding’ being the driving force of conversations or of my life in general for that matter mostly because I wanted to keep nearly everything to myself until I was ready to share. Like I said, we kind of did everything backwards as now that we are actually married, I am more than happy to chat endlessly about the wedding and all the fun, romantic  details.

That is why now is the perfect time to share this exciting news with you so I’m going to say at this point, ‘to be continued’. Be sure to sign up to lovetomtom so you can get the next I got married instalment straight to you inbox.

I got married!


Summer wrap up

Summer wrap up

Bum cheeks, fake tan & lipstick

The season is starting to change here and before autumn officially takes over I have a few thoughts I want to share. You’ve probably gathered with all my talk of summer that it never really arrived this year in Dublin. But whether you are on this side of the world, longing for a season that never was or on the other side of the world dreaming of what’s to come I thought this would be a good time to have a bit of a chat and share a few things that stood out for me this summer.

As you know I was fortunate enough to have a break in Lisbon and I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t travelled in summer for quite some time, my age, or the fact that I love people watching, but there were a few things that really stood out while I was on holidays. Before I get going can I just say I hate selfie sticks! I actually get rather sad when I see people using them as isn’t the fun part of taking a selfie trying to squish everyone in, laughing so hard and knowing that even though the picture is not quite right it is one you will frame?!

Old school selfie

Selfie old school style

Anyway now that I have that off my chest let’s talk fashion. I think I’ve mentioned this before but as much as I love summer, dressing for it can cause me a bit of stress. This year I was actually looking forward to it as I had purchased some pieces that were comfortable, that suited my body shape and made me feel good. If you haven’t seen them take a peek here. With my summer wardrobe sorted, I unfortunately felt somewhat over dressed. I clearly missed the memo declaring ‘bum cheeks are in’ or should I say out. Yes you heard me right – bum cheeks! I’m personally not a fan of shorts but what I saw were barely shorts! I don’t know how many times a day I said in shock, ‘would you leave the house like that?!’ and although I would never walk out of the house wearing what can only be described as denim underwear, it did make me think. At first I wondered how these came to be ‘fashionable’? Then I thought, maybe people wear them because they like them and they don’t care what anyone else thinks. Having considered both sides of the crack, unfortunately I saw many cracks, all I was left thinking was, where is the mystery? At just that moment I saw an interview by Leandra Medine (aka Man Repeller) with Carolina Herrera. This interview is great on so many levels and I watched it shouting at the screen ‘yes!’ and ‘exactly!’. It was like Carolina Herrera had been inside my head, took my words and stylishly and eloquently put them altogether! Take a look. 

Moving further south, lets talk legs. You know I don’t like shorts, actually anything above the knee can cause my heart to race but because I had some outfits I was comfortable with, I was not going to let my legs go to waste. Let’s be clear, I personally don’t like showing my legs but if you’ve got them, as the saying goes, flaunt them! Ok so back to my legs. Earlier in the year I discovered TanOrganic. We all know fake tan can go horribly wrong and having tried so few, I’m happy to say this self-tanning oil is perfect for me. I put this on before I left for Lisbon and to tell you the truth, it was exactly what I needed to make me less self-conscious. I didn’t think about my legs once while I was away and I was actually happy to have a bit of flesh on display. 

Before I finish up do you remember earlier in the year I went to Paris? Do you remember how well I packed for my mini break? My trip to Lisbon was the complete opposite. My bag was overweight, I packed far too many beauty products and I hardly wore any makeup I brought with me. The latter wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I actually enjoyed keeping it simple with some mascara and lipstick. I ended up wearing one lipstick the whole trip, Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution in the shade Sexy Sienna. It went with everything I wore, was comfortable to wear in the heat and complimented the stunning blues skies that engulfed me. When I looked around me though, I saw quite a distinct style when it came to makeup. Clean, fresh bases and bold lips! My natural instinct is to go for brighter shades in the warmer months but it was great to see people wearing deep, rich colours without it looking heavy or out-of-place. It was a good reminder to wear whatever the hell shade you like, come rain or shine! 

Lisbon motd

Lisbon makeup. Sometimes less is actually best!







lovetomtom went to Lisbon

Part II


It’s amazing what you discover when you explore a city on foot, even when there are hills! Street art, tiles, colours, patterns and people. Lisbon really was a feast for the eyes.

Just some of the wall tiles I captured.


 And a few more tiles.


Don’t forget the floor designs.


lovetomtom loves lisbon!




lovetomtom went to Lisbon

Part I


You probably already know I had a summer break in the fabulous city of Lisbon. The fact that I described it as ‘fabulous’ kind of gives it away but if you haven’t already guessed, I loved this city!

Usually before I go anywhere, I like to do a bit of research, find out what there is to see and do but life has been rather busy and I did none of that. Instead I was packing at 12pm the night before a 4am start the next day. All I knew about Lisbon was that it was sunny, hot and there were these things called Pastel de nata which I knew I would be eating a lot of.

Let’s just put it out there now, Lisbon has some crazy steep hills! Not a deal breaker or anything but with the heat and the tiny, slippery tiles that pave these amazing hills, walking soon became an entertaining challenge. Luckily, public transport is cheap so if your calf muscles are crying out for a break, this is a great alternative. The metro system is easy to navigate and the trams give you some of the best views of the city.

Lisbon trams

A combination of walking and taking local trams is how Mr B and I explored the city.  A city that has so much to offer and could explain the vast number of tourists that filled it’s tiled streets. There are positives and negatives to this and one positive is that I didn’t feel we stood out. Of course we looked like tourists (Mr B’s Irish complexion kind of gives it away) and it goes without saying that in any city, whether you are a local or a tourist, you have to use a bit of common sense when out and about. But because there were so many tourists I felt comfortable enough to have my camera and map in hand without being ogled at. That brings me to the locals. We found everyone to be very helpful, friendly, welcoming and by the third day in what we claimed to be our local bakery, we were greeted by the staff in a way that suggested we had been going there for years!

Tram life

I’m surprised it has taken me this long to get to it but a highlight of the trip were the famous Pastel de nata. I ate one of these heavenly custard tarts every chance I got!  Mr B, with the help of  the Lonely Planet guide book informed me that I wasn’t the only one enjoying these traditional Portuguese tarts. Apparently, in Belém where they originated from, there is one bakery alone  making around fifteen thousand a day! Fifteen thousand a day, in one bakery! Clearly there is something special about these. Not keen on tarts (do such people exist)? Don’t worry, you won’t go hungry. We found all the food to be good, especially if you like fish and it didn’t cost much to fill our bellies. I find it takes a bit of courage sometimes to walk into a place that doesn’t have an English menu, or a menu at all for that matter but these are usually the best and that was definitely the case here. Being vegetarian, I often had to ask if there was anything for me to eat and in one place that had no vegetarian option, I was offered an alternative meal which consisted of a cheese omelette, vegetables and salad. Plenty really when we usually started a meal with olives, bread and cheese. Sticking with meal time, and not to sound like a complete lush, but like the food, alcohol was also very cheap. Cheap, tasty and generous! Generous in the sense that three parts gin and one part tonic seemed to be the standard rule of thumb. Whether it was a gin and tonic, sangria or mojitos, one seemed like two and a quest to get to one of the best views of the city was met with one of the best mojitos I’ve had in my life! Well worth the climb, I mean walk.



Other highlights included an eccentric flea market we found ourselves in. We could have spent all day there, not only because of its size but because of all the characters in it!



We also took the train to Sintra, a town west of Lisbon and this is where travelling in summer can be a bit of a pain. There were so many people there, clearly doing the same thing as us but once we got past the queues, we battled the hills and explored Quinta da Regaleira which was well worth it. This is only just one thing to see and do in Sintra but it was enough for us.

Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra

Quinta da Regaleira

I’ve lots more to show you so stay tuned for part II where I show you one of my favourite things about Lisbon, besides the tarts of course!