Can I still say Happy New Year?
I realise we are at the beginning of February but Happy New Year! I’m slightly late to the party but better late than never. I feel like I’ve actually been in hiding all of December. I was preparing for my surprise visit home to Australia and it was best for me to avoid being on social media as much as possible as no doubt I would be the one to let it slip. I’ve always wanted to do a surprise like that and it was everything I imagined. And I imagined that moment a lot! It really was a special Christmas; Lucille’s first surrounded by her entire family both from Australia and Ireland. She won’t remember any of it of course but it was very special for me to be able to share a hot, noisy Christmas with her just as I did growing up. The flight from Dublin to Melbourne was a whole other story and one that caused me a lot of stress both in the lead up and in the sky but she did surprisingly well and a dear friend reminded me before I left; the flight is temporary and I reminded myself of that every minute she was awake. Continue reading
A lovetomtom Christmas
It’s time again for a lovetomtom Christmas gift guide and I’m being a little selfish this year and suggesting lots of things I would be more than happy for Santa to bring. Some are practical, some are extravagant, some are bargains but most importantly I hope they are useful to you. Continue reading
Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams
Paris is always a good idea but even more so when there is the chance to see the works of Christian Dior in person. The Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition at Musée Des Arts Décoratifs was the central focus to my last visit to Paris and I’m going to say it straight out; if you have any interest in fashion and art go and see this exhibition! Continue reading
Again & Again & Again
If you follow me on social media you would have seen I recently packed my bags and hit the skies for, you guessed it, Paris. It is hard not to return time and time again and as if the croissants weren’t calling me enough I had the extra excuse of attending the Christian Dior, The Designer of Dreams exhibition to make the trip even more worthwhile. Continue reading
Grief, sunshine and no wifi
You probably saw that I had taken a few days off and hit the hills for some much-needed sunshine. Sorry Dublin, summer has been ok but let’s be honest we could all use more sunshine! A bit of a last-minute trip, mostly because Mr B and I couldn’t decide where to go but we finally got organised, packed our carry-on luggage (Ryanair weren’t getting another cent out of me!) and off we went to sunny Fuerteventura. Continue reading
I have spent a lot of time online the past few weeks, not working as you’ve probably gathered, more as a way of distracting myself from the sadness that fills my heart. Honestly we hear so much negativity around social media and the big bad world of the internet but besides my amazing family and friends, the internet has provided some much-needed daydreaming and security for my heavy heart.
With many hours spent scrolling through my favourite brands and artists, filling my virtual basket with clothes, accessories, shoes, books and makeup and not once following through with a single transaction, I have become an expert at ‘fake internet shopping’. Feeling totally inspired by all the fabulous yet unnecessary material things I thought I was missing out on, I decided to venture into the real world and unapologetically do a bit of retail therapy.
You all know me well enough by now to know that I love shopping. Whether I purchase anything or not I genuinely love strolling through shops, touching fabrics, piecing outfits together, trying on shoes, buying shoes! You can imagine my disappointment then when I finally got myself together to leave my apartment and spend some cash that I was so uninspired by this season’s ‘trends’. I walked and walked and came home empty-handed. There was plenty of course that caught my eye but as usual these items were more wish list than realistic purchases, which leads me here. While the shops are full of hideous off-the-shoulder numbers and copious versions of the same old embroidered shirts, I am steering clear and continuing my Wish List daydreaming over on Pinterest. Each week I’m going to pin everything that has caught my eye. Everything from fashion, beauty, interiors and food, and if I do actually make a purchase, it will get pinned here too! I’ll be updating my Wish List board throughout the week and have already started so why not take a look.
The Backpack Dilemma
I have struggled for some time now with seeing backpacks in mainstream fashion. I’m a firm believer that just because something is in fashion does not make it fashionable and backpacks definitely fall into that category. I detested backpacks in my school days and see no need for them as an adult. Unless you are hiking or possibly travelling but in no other circumstance do I see a need for them.
With all of that said, I do see their practical value and here is my dilemma. Every few months I revisit the idea of buying one mostly due to back pain so I spend hours online researching and find a backpack I deem age appropriate and vaguely stylish. This is then followed by me falling off my chair at the price and I then decide I don’t need one after all. I am currently at the start of that cycle again but with good reason. Before I left for my trip to Oz I considered using a backpack as my hand luggage so my search began. Not wanting to spending a month’s salary on something I may not even use I hit high street chains looking for a plain, practical yet stylish backpack. Most I found were horrible and the ones that got a second glance were more than I was willing to pay. At that point I was ready to give up but I started to look at what was really bothering me about the backpacks I found.
Most of these backpacks were not age appropriate. I’m a grown woman with a lot of stuff to carry around and a ‘mini’ backpack won’t cut it. That brings me to the next thing that bothers me; the straps. Remember the driving force for me wanting to buy a backpack is it’s practical so why on earth would I consider a backpack with straps that resemble shoelaces? My other issue (I’m on a roll now) and this is one that may just be mine, is the shape. I prefer a square shape yet I found very few like this and any that were square were completely out of my price range.
This is where I had a lightbulb moment. In general I found there was some mass generalisation about what women want from a backpack so I started looking at men’s versions and bingo! I started my search from scratch going into every men’s department and do you know what I found? Simple, square, non-offensive backpacks. At that point I bought a men’s black, squared-shaped, fabric backpack for 12 euro from Penneys. I used it on the plane and if I’m honest despite it being aesthetically reasonable, I got what I paid for and I can’t see it lasting many more days.
No doubt I will return to this dilemma at some stage in the future but until then, here are a few I daydream about owning.
Long Haul Flight Essentials
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!
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.
lovetomtom on YouTube
A new adventure
The title says it all doesn’t it? lovetomtom is on a new adventure and entering the crazy world of YouTube. Rather a daunting thought and one I’ve being toying with for some time but I’ve taken the plunge and the adventure has begun. No doubt there will be bumps along the way like filming without the camera recording, something I’ve done already but what’s an adventure without bumps, hiccups, outtakes, technical difficulties and everything else that is going to come my way.
I hope you all come along for the ride and that YouTube will be an extension of all the things I love about lovetomtom.
Here’s my very first video and don’t forget to subscribe, just in case you missed that part.