The perfect summer occasion dress

Chi Chi Corinne Bardot dress

Got a day at the races planned? Maybe a Summer wedding coming up or a big party? I have a gorgeous little dress from Chi Chi London to share with you today. It can be so hard trying to find the perfect dress for an occasion. Summer is packed with ladies days, weddings and parties and I am always on the look out for a cute dress. The guys over at Chi Chi London let me choose my pick of the occasion dresses to share with you today.


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Video| Painting outdoor furniture using Authentic outdoor paint


Autentico Versante Matt | Outdoor paint


This is my favourite time of year. The days are finally getting longer and I can paint some pieces out in the garden after work. Around April and May time, I try and get out into the garden and give it a cleanup and a freshen up. I treat my garden like it is another room in my house, so I like to use colours that will brighten up my garden and enhance it. 


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How to grow your Instagram followers organically.


Organically and ethically grow your Instagram followers


There has been a lot going on with Instagram at the moment. From algorithm changes to fake follower buying scandals, there has been a bit of an uproar recently. Instagram is still one of my favourite platforms to use. However, I have noticed a rise in spam accounts and spammy tactics from some larger accounts to gain a following. It is also a little harder for your post to be seen.
It has taken me a long time to build a following and a question I get asked a lot is how to get more followers. I use Instagram as a platform to distribute content from my blog. I also love taking and sharing pretty photos. I don't have a massive following in comparison to larger accounts but I have got some tips I have learned along the way that I can share to help you build your following.


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My new trunk luggage


Old school steamer trunk luggage


This week I treated myself to some new luggage as a little treat for my upcoming New york trip. I am starting to get really nervous and excited for the trip. If you follow me on Snapchat you will know I recently tried a few Aldi shops trying to get their cabin luggage last week that was similar to the Ted Baker luggage. I wasn't able to get my hands on their cabin bag but I got these instead which I think they suit me better. 


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Video | How to make fabric bunting


How I sew bunting


Today I am sharing how I make bunting in a DIY video. I have an order of 12 metres of bunting for a customer so, I decided to share how I make my bunting. There are loads of ways in which you can make bunting but today I will share how I make mine. 
Fabric bunting is great as it is really durable and can be taken out for parties or used for decoration in the home, you can also throw it in the washing machine if it gets dirty too.

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Video | Ikea hack, How to make a shadow box/box frame


DIY Shadowbox frame



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Vesper247 New season collection, occasion dresses.


@vesper247


I have two stunning occasion dresses today from the guys over at Vesper247. My motto is " buy the dress and the occasion will follow", However, lately I have been coming across the most stunning occasion dresses and I definitely need to plan more nights out so I get to wear them all. The guys over at Vesper247 let me pick out two of my fave dresses from the new collection and I picked these two show stoppers. 


The red lace bodycon Bethany dress


Little black dress? No! Little red dress. Every lady needs a red dress in her wardrobe to pull out when she needs to look her best. I adore this one because it is a winner for flattering curves. It has 3/4 sleeve detail so hides the tops of the arms and it has a gorgeous bow detail on the front. Plenty of stretch too and I am wearing mine in a size 10 and you can find it here. It also goes to the knee giving it a ladylike length. 



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What I learned at Youtube creator connect day.

Creator Connect


On Saturday last week, I got to go to my first Youtube event. I got to go to the Google HQ in Dublin city and I went to The Foundry, an innovation centre beside the Google headquarters, to take part in a roundtable discussion group. This was kind of a big deal for me as I get really anxious at meetings and going to new places. To go somewhere that I had never met anyone and also participate in a discussion group was a big deal for me. So wanting to push my comfort zone I signed up to go to the event. 
I wanted to share what I learned at the day. I hope this post will be helpful for anyone who, like me has started a Youtube or if you are thinking of starting one. Even if you are a more experienced Youtuber you might find some of the tips refreshes what you already know. 



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Secret botanics from Chi Chi

Chi Chi Christa dress

The ladies over at Chi Chi London sent me a stunning dress from their new collection secret botanics. You might have also seen the dress I shared last week on my Instagram. I am a big fan of the Chi Chi dresses as they look really expensive but most of them are less than £100. The one I have today is only £65 but I feel it looks way more expensive. Chi Chi are my go-to brand whenever I have a fun event or occasion happening. 

Sizing?
A question I get asked a lot with these dresses is how do they fit? All of the Chi Chi dresses I own are in a size 10. The fabric is really stiff and has no stretch so if you are between sizes then get the larger. I am busty too but I find they are good on the chest and not too tight. 

The dress I am sharing today is the Christa dress. I just adore the ladylike off shoulder shape. I love this shape as the off shoulder detail covers the tops of your arms and attracts your eye to your chest. This dress also comes in yellow which would be perfect for Easter occasions. If you have a wedding coming up then this would be fab! I chose this dress because of the gorgeous floral pattern. I just love the colours, especially coming into summer. 
Now I just need an occasion to wear my dress, I am thinking of wearing mine over Easter for the races. I think it would be the perfect ladies day dress. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 



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Afternoon tea in Ladurée Dublin

Tea for two


One of my goals for this year is to visit more pretty places and take more days off. So this week Camille and I went to Ladurée in Dublin to have afternoon tea. We got one of those deals off that we had seen on Facebook. It was a €45 for two people deal which included bubbles. We were delighted with this, so we planned it before payday when we knew we wouldn't have much money left but still could have a treat. 



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Spring workwear look


Feeling pretty in a pencil dress


It can be so hard to find nice dresses for work. Thankfully I get to wear my tea dresses to work and I don't have to follow a strict formal code but I do like a good tailored dress, especially when I want to look smart. Workwear doesn't have to be a trouser suit either, a midi style dress like the one I am sharing today can be the perfect addition to your workwear wardobe. 
You might have seen me wearing this dress during the week on my Snapchat, I wore it to afternoon tea and felt ever to sophisticated and such a lady in it too. 
You can find my dress here.
I am also loving handbags that have a cross shoulder strap. I treated myself to a new one in brighter colours for Spring. I love these tote style bags as they fit my camera perfectly. Making it the perfect bag for exploring. I will be travelling to New York soon so this will be a great bag for exploring. 

Thanks so much for reading, just a short and sweet blog post today. Keep your eyes peeled this weekend as I will have a blog post sharing all the details on my afternoon tea. 

Chat soon,
Catherine. 





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Video:Mother's day DIY gifts using chalk paint and jars.


A DIY gift for mothers day


Today over on the Rust-oleum Instagram account I shared these DIY projects but If you missed my Instagram story takeover then don't worry as I have taken some pictures of what I made and I have included all of the links to the items I used. As it is Mother's day next weekend I thought it would be nice to upcycle some items that would make a gorgeous gift. 

Flower display using some old jars 



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@iclothing Snapchat takeover, Spring occasion outfits.

Spring occasion outfits from iclothing


Today I shared some occasion outfits over on iclothing's Snapchat. This time of year is jam-packed with occasions from Communions, weddings and not forgetting mothers day next week. I got to pick three looks off the iclothing website to share with you today. 
I also have a discount code for you if you want to update your wardrobe. Use the code DAINTY for 15% off from Thursday the 16th of march until midnight Sunday the 19th of March. 


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My journey towards body acceptance

Once I start to accept my body then the confidence will follow


Last week on Instagram I posted a pic of me in my jeans. No big deal I hear you say, but I am not a jean wearer. I haven't owned or worn a pair in easily three years as I always felt too self-conscious of my body to wear them. I was blown away by all of the kind comments. There was so many I couldn't reply to them all. I wanted to write this post to inspire women who are feeling the same way that they are not alone and that I feel insecure at times about my body too. Whether your slim, small, tall, curvalicious, we all need to be kinder to ourselves. 

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Small business spotlight, LoveOlli

LoveOlli haul


This week I got some happy mail from the guys over at LoveOllie. What caught my eye about this brand was the stunning vintage style patterns and old world look of the products. A lot of the items are handmade too and they are also an Irish company. LoveOllie is created by designer Olive McCaughan. I got to pick my fave pieces off their website and I am going to share them today with you. 



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Video: Afternoon tea with thefancyhen.ie |Ad


Have a classy hen party


During the week I had an amazing time with the girls from thefancyhen.ie on one of their hen party activities. I got to go on the old school vintage bus and got treated to tea and cake served to me on gorgeous vintage china. 


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Full skirts and cold shoulders.


Vintage style #ootd for Spring


Today I went on a little adventure which I will share with you on the blog this Sunday, but today I just wanted to share my outfit with you and the links to each item. 
I am a lover of the full skirt so I am thrilled to see that they seem to be a key piece this Spring Summer. I just love the shape of them and feel like a proper lady in a full skirt. I am a curvy shape so I love the high waisted style to nip in at the waist and give me an hour glass shape. 


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February roundup


Nobody can start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending - Maria Robinson. 

Reflecting on the month using my happiness planner I wanted to do a round-up of the things I achieved in Feb. I can honestly say since starting my planner back in January, I have really felt enlightened and content in February. I ticked off things on my lists, I had adventures and pushed myself out of my comfort zone. 

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How to make your house look bigger and brighter

Let the light in 


I want to share some tips and tricks I have used to make my house look much lighter, airy and bigger. 
The biggest struggle for me was making my small bungalow look bigger. 
My home looks big in pictures but it's actually smaller in real life.  I have used lots of tricks to make it look much bigger and brighter. 

Layout

My house is a dormer style bungalow, I have a side entrance so my hall and entrance lacks natural light. I make sure not to block any windows or clutter areas where there is natural light with clutter etc so the light can pour in. 

In my living room I have a lovely large bay window, however, I only get the sunshine in this room in the morning and then the sun moves to the back of the house. 
I make sure not to block this window and I just have cream wooden style blinds on the windows, I don't have curtains either in this room.
Lay your room out with light in mind, putting a sofa in front of a window might give you floor space but it might block loads of natural light from your room.  

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How to paint your fridge.

How I painted my fridge from Black to pink. 


I finally killed the ugly corner of my kitchen. Yes! the black fridge is no more and it now fits in with the theme of my house and my kitchen decor. I am thrilled with how it turned out and I am going to share with you lots of pictures and how I actually done it. 
I love the style of the vintage fridges that are around but they are so expensive and I seen one for over €2k which is insane for me to spend on a fridge so I decided to give my existing one a retro feel to match my kitchen.


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Dublin tech summit 2017


What I learnt


On Wednesday I attended the Dublin tech summit in the Convention centre in Dublin. I want to share the things that I learnt whilst at it as I know a lot of people weren't able to get their hands on tickets. If you are a blogger or run a business and want to get some tips on improving your social media and sales then this is the post for you. 
We mainly attended the business and marketing talks as well as the fashion talks as these were more relevant to what I do. It was also a full house for Gary Vee's talk which was really motivating and inspiring. I got to meet up with my blogging besties and had a really fun day learning and catching up with people who inspire me. 

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Video: My Paris adventure.

Where we stayed and where we explored. 

I had the pleasure of visiting Paris this week for the very first time. It has been a place I wanted to explore for the longest time but never got around to it. If you follow me for awhile you will know my goal for this year was to buy less things and collect more memories. This was our first proper trip away together since I bought my house three years ago so it was a real treat to get to go away together and what perfect place to visit than Paris. 


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Spring bedroom refresh with Marks & Spencer |AD

Bringing a touch of spring to my bedroom


I love this time of year and I love giving the house a freshen up. As you know I am always changing up my decor but a simple and easy way to give your room a new look without getting the wallpaper striper out is to simply change your bedding. Today I have teamed up with Marks & Spencer to share my new Spring sheets and decor. 

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Vintage florals with Laura Ashley.

Spring wardrobe refresh. 

Its finally February and its officially Spring, I have a special love for February as it is my birthday month, the days get a little longer each day and their is shoots coming up in the garden. I am not a lover of Winter at all, I am definitely a Spring baby at heart. Today I have a gorgeous floral outfit from Laura Ashley that will breath new life into your wardrobe.


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Turning 29, the things I would love to tell my younger self.

My age is just a number but happiness is priceless. So don't count how long you have to live instead count on all the happiness you can have in this life. -unknown.



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Video: How to make a hanging fabric love heart.

Valentines DIY

Today I have a video for you, I love making these hanging hearts and I thought it would be a fun video for a Valentines DIY. Now they aren't just for valentines, you can make these hearts in loads of different fabrics from florals to stripes and they add a touch of romance to your house.  
I know a lot of you ladies who love the shabby chic decor style go mad for the hanging hearts so why  not have a go at sewing them yourself. In the video I use my sewing machine but don't worry you can hand sew your hearts too. Don't get disheartened also if your hearts aren't perfect as it has taken me ages to perfect sewing them on the machine. My first few attempts were dreadful lol!. 

I would love if you gave my video and thumbs up and a subscribe to my Youtube channel. Thank you so much for you kindness and support on my channel. 

Tag me in your heart pics on Instagram and comment below with any questions. 
Thanks for stopping by,
Chat soon,
Catherine. 


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@iclothing snapchat takeover.

Snapchat take over outfits 

So today I had the pleasure of taking over iclothing's Snapchat account and shared three looks. As promised here are the links and the details to each of the dresses and items. I hope you enjoyed todays takeover and you can follow my Snapchat account (username daintydiaries) if you want to see more of what I get up to on a daily basis. 
I got to pick my fave items on the website and its great to see tons of spring summer stock online as I can safely say I am done with Winter and want to add a few pieces to my Spring wardrobe. 

The dresses.



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Video:How I up cycled my vintage phone to shabby chic pink.

Retro phone makeover using Rust-oleum

You may have noticed I am on a bit of a spray painting buzz at the moment. Rummaging through the shed for things to up cycle I stumbled across this old telephone. I remember buying a second hand vintage Royal Albert telephone and the chap I bought it off gave me this phone as well as he was throwing it out. It was really grubby but I seen the potential and wanted to give it a second chance. It has been sitting in my shed for ages. These retro style phones are big money if you go and buy them in the shops. 
So armed with my can of candy pink spray paint I salvaged this beauty and gave it a new lease of life. 

You can also find my other post where I spray painted some household items copper here. 
I hope you enjoy the Youtube video too and find it useful and if you have a moment I would love a cheeky subscribe to my youtube channel. 




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My top tips and advice for anyone starting a blog.

How to grow your blog. 


Lately I have been getting questions about blogging and the most popular questions are. 
How to build a following? 
&
Where to start?

Now I wouldn't class myself as a major blogger or even in the same league as the big ones but I have a decent amount of readers and I have learnt a lot in the past three years of blogging. Over the past few months I have been getting questions from people who want to start blogging but don't know where to begin and just want some advice on it all. 

My first question I ask people to ask themselves when thinking of starting a blog is why?Do you wanna go to glam events and get blogger mail? do you wanna make a ton of money and be famous?
If these are your main reasons then these are not reasons to start a blog. Yes there can be perks but you have to put in the work and be genuinely passionate about what you are writing about.
I have seen a few blogs come and go over the years and the main reason was they were in it for the wrong reason. Genuine passion shines through and blogging is harder than it looks. You need to be passionate about what your are writing about and genuinely interested in building a community. Are you willing to stay up late drafting posts?, shooting photos and filming videos on your day off? Some don't realise how hard it is and just give up because they expected over night success. 
You have to Hustle! Some people do get lucky but the majority of us have to work our asses off for it.


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Video: My living room tour.


The cosiest room in the house. 


For this weeks Youtube I decided to do a living room tour and show my tea cup collection also. I will do a full house tour in the Spring but for now as I have so many trinkets I decided to do some shorter room tour videos so I could show all of my trinkets and details in the room. 

For those of you who have followed me a long time you will know the style of decor that I love. I adore all things light, bright, floral and girlie. I love that cottage style and it makes my house look so much bigger having it so bright and airy. 

I hope you like this weeks Youtube and if there is anything specific you want to see please get in touch or comment below. 
Below are some pics of the living room for you to have a look at and don't forget to subscribe and thumbs up if you enjoyed the video. 

Chat soon,
Catherine. 






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How I painted my pine fireplace

My mantle makeover.  

My living room used to be so dull until I tackled the job of painting the fireplace. 
This was an old blog post that I have just re edited to add in some new photos. I left in the old ones for you to have a look at the before pics. This was back in the day of the camera phone pics so please be kind lol!. 

The fireplace for me was the focal point of the room so when it was the darker colour it really made the room look small and dull. It took me about two days to complete the paint job. Its over two years since I painted it and I can happily report that it is still perfect and I have had no chips or flakes. You can scroll below for how I done it. 


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Parisian chic, Style Inspiration.

"You don't need to be born in Paris to have Parisian style" - Ines de la Fressange.

If you follow me on Snapchat you will know I am so excited to be visiting Paris in February. It is my first time and I am almost ashamed to say it is my first time as it is such a stunning place and the motherland of the shabby chic style that I love and I can't believe I have never been there before.  
Whilst planning my outfits I was stalking the styles of the Parisian ladies on Pinterest. They exude such elegance and class. A timeless style that looks effortless and chic. 
Today I have a few pieces to share with you from Dorothy Perkins that is Parisian inspired and will definitely be getting packed in the suitcase for my trip. 


Focus on the fit. 


 As I am heading to Paris in February it is going to be freezing! So I wanted a nice tailored coat to wear as I explore and ramble around Paris. 
I chose this petite jacket from Dorothy Perkins as it is really fitted and tailored to my smaller frame. If you are short like me you will know how hard it is to get a good fitting and smart looking jacket. This is perfect! I didn't have to shorten the arms and just like the Parisian ladies it is classy and elegant. A lot has to be said for a well fitting jacket. 




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Video: Spray paint DIY using Rustoleum metallic spray paint and primer.

DIY spray paint tutorial.


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The perfect transitional tea dress for January.

Feeling grey this January?

Well I know I am! Sick of the dark colours, dark nights and grey days of Winter and I want to brighten up my wardrobe and my mood. I bought this New Look dress off Asos after having a scroll for something new. 
The winning thing about this is it has sleeves! Hurrah! So my fellow bingo wing hiders this is one for us. With the post Christmas pounds still hanging around I get self conscious of my arms. Its also bloody freezing too so a sleeved dress is a perfect addition to my wardrobe. 
Perfect for petites too and I got mine in a size 10, the arms aren't too long either on me. 

You can find this dress here.

January is a tough month and if your feeling a little grey or under the weather then you are not alone. Make sure to take some time out for you this month, wether its a new dress, a facial or simply a walk somewhere pretty make sure you plan in some me time. 
Also its okay to feel a little grey as I know I struggle with the lack of sunlight this time of year. Come 4 o clock I actually just want to have a nap and I know its down to the darkness as in summer I never feel like this.
 Try if you can to still go out on a walk even on the grey days as just being out in the fresh air is a major help for lifting your mood. Sometimes I will even have a quick 20 mins tidy in the garden but it all helps. 

Have you found some cute dresses or pieces to get you into spring? Or have you any tips to share for feeling a little better in January? Tag me or leave your link below in the comments section. 

Thanks for stopping by, 
Chat soon,
Catherine. 

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The tools I use for blogging.

You're only as good as your tools.  


Wether your a newbie or an experienced blogger or just curious to see what I use for my blog from photography to my website then this is the post for you. 
Also to note that you don't need these things to be a successful blogger, for a very long time I was taking photo's off my iPhone and writing on a netbook but last year I wanted to invest as I really enjoy what I do and wanted to make better content and the iPhone camera just wasn't cutting the creative juices for me anymore. 

So I started saving up for the things I wanted, wether it was money from teddy bear and craft sales or asking for a new lens for my birthday I managed to build up and collect the tools I have today. 

( Blondie insisted on being in this shot )
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Video: Chalk painted headboard using Rustoleum chalky finish furniture paint.

My headboard make over. 

Today I have a little diy video for you and a review of the Rustoleum chalky finish furniture paint. 
I have been asked a lot about my opinion on this paint and if I thought it was any good and as I had never used it before I didn't want to give an opinion on it until I tried it.  

Chalk painted headboard in rustoleum chalky finish furniture paint in the shade winter white, shabby chic makeover.
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Why I blog?

Getting back to basics!


Whilst setting some goals for 2017 for my blog I had a few days to reflect. I wanted to get back to basics as I had gotten caught up in the statistics and spending more time scrolling through Instagram and Snapchating than actually writing and creating. 
I was feeling a little lost to the end of 2016 with where my blog was going and I had gotten too caught up in trying to make my side business an actual business that I got a little lost.



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