Who is lovetomtom?

The story of lovetomtom

(and his lovesick aunt)

With the pending arrival of tomtom himself, I thought now would be a good time to introduce you.

Some of you may already know, so I will keep this brief and not to give away all his secrets (everyone deserves a bit of mystery) but tomtom is my wonderful nephew. TaDa! (insert jazz hands). Anyone who has a niece or nephew no doubt thinks he/she is the cutest, the smartest, the kindest and I am unapologetically no different! tomtom is very special to our family and as his Zia (aunt) I am completely crazy in love with him.

It’s no surprise then that his visit (along with my fabulous sister and brother in-law) is the event of the year! As part of their visit I will need to design a temporary bedroom, play area, activities and meals for the little man and I can’t wait.

My aim is to create a fun, calm space for him to feel relaxed and comfortable. He is coming a very long way and being on a plane for 24 hours is bad enough for most of us let alone a 2 year old. Don’t worry, I will have plenty of goodies for the grown ups too!

I’m not one for gender colours or gender themes for that matter so over the next few weeks my eyes will be peeled for all sorts of inspiration. I’m going to have to be creative in how I use materials and think outside the box, as after all, they will be going home again (the tissues are on standby).

My sewing machine and paint brushes, as well as my never ending supply of hugs and kisses are ready to go. I’ll keep you posted on what I will be working on and if you have any suggestions please send them my way.

Let the countdown begin! (even though I have been counting down for months but you get my drift).

9 weeks and counting!


Not long tomtom until you can reach out your cute little hands to me in person!



Hats off to you

The day I bought a Cloche

Hats are one of those things I think you either love or hate. I like the idea of owning a hat more than actually wearing one but it’s an item that is a must for both summer and winter. Living in Dublin has made hats a permanent fixture in those cooler months and I figure if I have to wear one, it might as well look good! Given that and the years I have spent daydreaming about owning my very own cloche, the day finally arrived!

After dropping enough hints, Mr B surprised me with a Shevlin Millinery voucher for Christmas. Shevlin Millinery is not new to me. As long as I have lived in Dublin I have walked by, or even ventured in and admired the fabulous display of hats like Charlie in the chocolate factory. 

I wasn’t going to take this purchase lightly which meant I annoyed every person I know by taking them into the studio and trying on every hat in the store. After making my decision, the day came when I went to Cows Lane Design Studio to meet John Shevlin in person and make this special purchase.

Shevlin Millinery

It was so great to meet John and talk all things hats. I have to say there is something rather special about meeting the person that has made the very thing you are buying. If you are in Dublin, I would highly recommended a visit to Cows Lane Design Studio to see his fabulous work in person. If not take a peek here to see all his fabulous hats. John has also been very kind to share some photographs of the hat making process.

Not a surprise at all to me, but when I went to purchase my hat, having thought I had decided on the style and colour, well I changed my mind. Honestly, I could have bought all of the colour combinations there but because this piece is an investment, I tried to think about my wardrobe and what colour and style would give me the most wear. In the end I decided on a wine coloured cloche with a navy blue trim and I couldn’t be happier.

I wore it straight out of the studio and to be honest I’ve never been more delighted to have hat hair! Like most of my luxury items, it’s the story behind the product that makes it luxurious and this for me is a piece I will treasure.


March Beauty Buys

March Beauty Buys

Part 1

If anyone was looking for me this month there were only two places to find me; the pharmacy and the drugstore. I go from one extreme to another when it comes to my spending and although I often love to save my pennies for that special, more expensive item, this month I felt like lots of little goodies and so hours were spent in drugstores and pharmacies testing everything from eye shadows to, of course, lipsticks!

I thought I would show you what newbies I’m trying this month and it’s been a mixture of keepers and disappointments.

March beauty buys

The first thing is hair care. This is one area I never really invest my money. Cheap shampoo and a hair style that requires no product is how I like things. However, a change of hair style means that my regular pick-me-up-haircut is no more. I had no choice but to look at a better way to manage my hair during this gruelling phase.  After a bit of research and advice from my hairdresser, off I went and bought new shampoo and my latest obsession, dry shampoo. I usually wash my hair everyday but not any more; I am officially converted to second day hair.

TRESemmé Dry shampoo

The first product I bought was TRESemmé Cleansing Dry Shampoo. I don’t necessarily want volume which a lot of dry shampoos offer, just clean hair, so I had high hopes for this product and it didn’t disappoint. It does exactly what it says on the tin. I have dark brown hair so thankfully, it leaves no white residue and has a slight fragrance, but nothing that lingers. I am really impressed with this product and will be upgrading to a larger size on my next purchase.

Colab Dry shampoo

Sticking with dry shampoo and one you have probably heard of is COLAB’s Dry Shampoo thanks to Ruth Crilly (aka A model recommends). I am a huge fan of Ruth’s and couldn’t wait to try this product. I got my hands on the New York fragrance and bought the smaller size which is perfect for your bag if you need to take it out with you. This is another great product and comes a very close second behind the TRESemmé dry shampoo. I feel I actually get a better clean with the TRESemmé product and although the New York fragrance is nice, it’s a bit too much for me. It has to be said though, I am being super picky here and would have both going at the same time.

TanOrganic Self Tanning oil

One of my favourites out of the bunch is TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil. There is such a great story behind TanOrganic and it’s well worth your time reading about Noelle O’ Conner. I am by no means into fake tans but I have tried my hand at gradual tans over the years and discarded all of them. Silly when you think about it as I’m from Australia with Italian blood, so yes I have an olive complexion but it’s important to be sun-smart (I use an SPF everyday) and honestly, I like how I feel when I am tanned all over. I can’t speak highly enough of this product. Besides the obvious positive of the natural ingredients, it ticks all the boxes. No smell, easy to use, no transfer of colour and it’s moisturising. The best way I can sum this up is that when I use it (and I would only need to use it once or twice a week), it feels like my own skin, just better. TanOrganic Self Tanning Oil is everything I have wanted in a tanning product and will be a permanent fixture in my bathroom. For all my Aussie pals, you don’t miss out and can find all the details for TanOrganic in Oz here.

I’ve more to show you but this has turned into a mammoth post so stay tuned for Part II. At the rate I’m going, there could even be a part III!




This week’s #OOTW is an oldie but definitely a goodie.

Before I make the big reveal, a bit of history about this dress. This dress was given to me by my fabulous sister Mrs P. Why she gave it up I have no idea but I bet she is sorry now! My sis is all kinds of fabulous and my shopping partner. Hard to do when we live on opposite sides of the world, but we manage. We have very similar taste, often picking up the same clothes and at times even buying them! Living on opposite sides of the world means there is no chance of wearing them at the same time, the only benefit to our distance. Another reason I like shopping with Mrs P is because she’s honest and it’s her honesty that has helped me be confident in the choices I make, and laugh at the bad ones I’ve made!

Me & Mrs P. I can't take credit for this pic so thanks to Mum or Dad for capturing this beautiful sister moment some 28 years ago

 When I look at photos of our childhood it is clear why we have such similar taste. We were often dressed in identical clothes or the same clothes but different colours and like any little sis, I remember always wanting what she had. I adored my big sis (often to her annoyance) and that hasn’t changed one bit! I love her ‘hand me downs’ and on my visits home I will often park myself in front of her wardrobe and ask ‘what have you got to give me?’  She always replies ‘nothing’ but like the great big sis that she is, I always walk away with a new wardrobe.

I tell you all this because the dress that is this week’s #OOTW was originally owned by Mrs P. You may have seen it before (Blue and green should be seen) and I’ll be honest I wear this dress a lot! I love everything about it. Blue and white polka dots, loose enough to be a great summer dress and just the right amount of detailing to make it feminine. It’s a perfect length for me, and the neck line and sleeves even out the bit of leg that is shown. I know summer means showing skin but this dress keeps it all very tasteful.

Blue & white poke dot dress

Blue & white polka dot dress

This dress doesn’t get put away when the sun takes a break. It gets a good run all year round and is starting to show its age but I don’t care. Tights, cardigans, bare legs, flats, boots or brogues, you can understand why it’s on repeat.

The fact that this dress was inexpensive and given to me by my big sis is even more reason for me to love it.

Polka dots & red shoes


The world of skincare

The world of skincare

according to lovetomtom


Since the recent additions to my wardrobe (see ‘My kind of luxury‘) I’ve had nothing but luxury on the brian.  Makeup and more recently skincare falls into that catergory and to tell you the truth I didn’t always see it that way.

The world of skincare can at times be daunting. There are so many products out there which are cleverly marketed and let’s be honest if we acknowledged every little imperfection, fine line, age spot and problems we didn’t even know existed, we would never leave the house! When my skin is not looking the best that is exactly how I feel!

My lovely friend Laura fuelled my interest in makeup. She is one foxy lady and knows her stuff so when I was looking for new products or trusted favourites I would turn to her and to be honest, it’s hard to shut us up! Laura also introduced me to a world (a very big world) of professional make up artists, tutorials and beauty bloggers. People with the expertise and knowledge, people that try, test, demonstrate, review and above all share! I couldn’t believe it.


I’m the type of person who needs to use my senses when I shop and this can be difficult with skin care. Hence the importance of relying on friends who will give honest answers about products they are using and better still it allows you to see these products in action. With that in mind I am in complete heaven with the amount of professional folks out there doing all the hard work for me. There are so many to pick from (and some that I probably haven’t watched yet) but for me Lisa Eldridge, Ruth Crilly and Caroline Hirons have changed my whole attitude to skincare. I am now better informed, better educated on how to address issues with my skin and better stilll I understand which products do what. With all my watching, listening and learning, I have found products that are doing wonders for my skin and I am now not only confident to invest in skincare products but also more than happy to invest the time to take care of my skin.


You will never really know until you try and what works for one may not be great for another but with the abundance of knowledge and information out there I can now say that when that dorky headband goes on to push the hair off my face and I begin what can only be described as a ritual, I relish nothing more than the luxurious feel of my smooth, fresh, clean skin.