Ikea hack | Maryd mini bar



Maryd tray table hack | Gin mini bar


Hands up, who is loving a tasty Gin this Summer? I was not always a lover of Gin, however, the past few months I have acquired a taste. It has also become really popular lately with lots of tasty recipes and different flavours on offer. I love seeing peoples Ikea bar cart hacks and I wanted to make a little Gin mini bar for myself. I decided to use the Maryd tray table as I do not have space in my home for a permanent bar cart. So, I decided to go with a piece of furniture that I could fold away when I wasn't using it and that it was easy to pull out and set up when I wanted to use it. The great thing about the tray table it that I can easily bring it to different places in the house. So, whether it is a Mojito in the living room, a cocktail in the kitchen or a Gin in the garden I can easily fold out my table and set it up. 


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You can't beat a denim dress


Denim Dress Love

Hands up who is sick of the sales in the shops and wants something new in their wardrobe? I have been struggling a little with what to wear for daytime. I feel like I am wearing the same few dresses to work and wanted something new. This time of year is funny in shops, as all the Summer stuff is on sale and the new stuff is looking very Autumnal. This week I stumbled across this denim tunic and it got me thinking how a denim dress is a perfect wardrobe staple as you can wear it in all seasons. So if you are looking for something new in the wardrobe that is perfect for now and perfect for Autumn then have a peep below at my faves. 

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Shabby chic MDF letter DIY


Floral name DIY

This week I got to finally make a little gift for my new niece Lily, Can you believe there is another addition to the family, only last year baby Jack arrived and now he has a little Sister. You might have seen my Ikea shadow box letter DIY, well, I wanted to do something different for Lily. So I decided to leave the letters free standing and out of a frame. These are going to look fab on a shelf in Lily's room but I think this would make a fab wedding DIY too. You could do the initials of the bride and groom to sit at the cake table or on the top table. 

I have put together a Youtube video for you to have a look but I will also explain in more detail how I made it in this post. 

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Why every lady needs a swing dress in their wardrobe

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Vintage style dresses from Rock Frocks


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Kitchen decor update | Video

Shabby Chic Style Kitchen Decor Update



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Video | My day in London


Frenchic press day, Biscuiteers in Notting Hill and The London Eye


Last Wednesday I flew over to London for the day. I will always have a soft spot for London. Those of you who followed me awhile would know that I took m first solo flight to London last year. Now there is no stopping me with the solo travel. On Wednesday I was over in London to attend the Frenchic furniture paint press day. Anytime I visit a place, I like to squeeze as much as I can in one day. Whenever I go to London I normally fly out and home on the same day as it is normally on my day off from work. I get the early flight out from Dublin and normally fly to Gatwick as it is cheaper. I then get the Gatwick Express train to Victoria station. This station is central and there is a tube station where you can easily get around London city from the tube station. 

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Cath Kidston summer dresses

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New season Cath Kidston dresses

Last week when I was in London I popped into Cath Kidston and I treated myself to a new sundress. I don't buy Cath Kidston dresses often as I find they can be quite expensive but as I was over in London and the with the sterling being in my favour I decided to treat myself. I love the different prints that Cath Kidston have in store at the moment. I tried on a few dresses but I loved this smock dress. I loved the little rose print on this dress and It is so shabby chic. I found the fit on this smock dress generous compared to the other tea dresses I tried on. 
When rummaging down the back of the shop I found the most adorable tea cosy. I love the kitchenware in the store at the moment. I recently got sent the Cath Kidston Autumn Winter press pack and the collection for Autumn looks amazing. There are some gorgeous dresses and prints coming into stores over the next few months. 

Have a peep at the one I picked up in store and scroll the bar below for my picks of my favourite dresses in store at the moment. I got a size 10 in my dress also. 

Thanks so much for stopping by, Keep an eye on my blog tomorrow as I will have my London Vlog live and a blog post too. 
Chat soon, 
Catherine.





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Furniture painting workshop with Kyle Lane

Advanced technique workshop with Joanne Condon


On Sunday, Joanne from Kyle Lane invited me down to her studio in Clonmel to attend a one-day advanced furniture painting workshop. I have been a big fan of Joanne and her work for a long time and she was one of the first DIY people I followed on InstagramI love her use of colour and her eye for detail. I would call her a furniture artist as what she does is art. I tend to be quite neutral when it comes to the pieces I have painted for my home but at the workshop I was braver and experimented with a pop of colour. 
For anybody travelling down for the workshop, it took me two hours from Dublin and it was really easy to find. It is in South Tipperary so it does take that extra bit of time if you are travelling from Dublin but definitely worth it. 



The workshop was 10 am until 5 pm which is a great length of time. In the past, I have been to paint workshops that were only 4-5 hours long and they felt rushed. This workshop didn't feel like that at all and best of all there were no hair dryers to dry our paint because we had enough time to let our pieces dry naturally. Whilst our pieces of furniture were drying Joanne gave us demo's on different techniques. She also shared her knowledge and experience of all of the different types of paints she has used over the years.  



Satinwood vs Chalk paint

Before chalk paint exploded onto the market everyone would have used Satinwood and Eggshell paints on wood and metal. Joanne uses Satinwood paints on all her pieces. After trialling different chalk paints she finds satinwood more durable and sustainable over time and I would have to agree with her. I do love chalk paint, however, I have noticed it is not as durable over time and I keep it for small pieces like mirrors/jars and the odd chair. When it came to painting my kitchen cabinets and front door I went with an eggshell paint. With chalk paint I have had to re do and go over some past projects from 2-3 years ago that didn't last long under daily use, However, my kitchen cabinets and pieces I painted with the eggshell are still durable with no chipping. 
There are tonnes of paint brands that sell a satinwood in their ranges. Joanne is a huge fan of Colortrend paints, she also loves Farrow and Ball and Little green too, but for value for money, she loves the Colour Trend range of paints. At the workshop, I used the colour trend satinwood on my piece. 

There are pro’s and con’s to each paint, from my experience if you are painting something big like a kitchen, fireplace, furniture in high traffic areas like your kitchen table etc then go for satinwood or eggshell. 
For smaller projects or pieces that you want to achieve that aged shabby chic and antiqued look then go for chalk paint. Money wise depending on the brand of paint there is not much price difference between chalk paint and satinwood. 
With chalk paint, you can easily get a distressed shabby look and there and brands of chalk paint that have ranges of products to achieve crackle effect and different decorative effects. 



Priming and undercoat

The perks of chalk paint are that it is advertised as being quick and no need to prime. This is something I learned the hard way and I get annoyed when I see paint brands say “no need to sand or prep”! In my experience with painting furniture, you need to prep. I have had issues with stains bleeding through my finished piece, chipping and discolouration due to poor prep, all because it was advertised as no prep. 
 For longevity of your painted piece of furniture my advice is always to prep and here are the steps. 

Clean - Paint will not stick to dirt so remove years of dirt and grime with sugar soap. For stubborn stains, Krud Cutter is amazing but more expensive. Sugar soap can be bought in deals for €1.49. 

Sand - You only need to lightly scuff the piece when sanding, you do not need to sand it back bare. run the paper over the wood in the direction of the grain of the wood. Sanding the piece gives the paint something to stick to and therefore reducing the likelihood of chipping. 

Prime and undercoat - If your piece is knotty pine or dark mahogany then you need to stop the oils from bleeding. You can put primer on the dark circles of wood. Then when using the satinwood you need an undercoat. Apply one coat of undercoat to your piece. 

Paint - With Satinwood you do not need to apply a wax or varnish to your piece the way you would with chalk paint. So you save some time versus using chalk paint. Satinwood dries smooth and wipeable. I painted two coats of paint to my project and I found the coverage really good. Follow the instructions on the tin for drying time. My piece dried quick enough and I was able to take my project home the same day. 

*I recommend following the three steps above if you are using a chalk paint also. Even if the seller and brand advertise it as no prep. I have used many brands of chalk paint and from experience, I would always prep. 




Painting Techniques

I admired Joannes free hand painted flowers on her pieces and wanted her to teach me how to paint flowers. Joanne gave us a demo and I had a little practice on a sheet of paper before taking the plunge and painting them onto my piece. Joanne is really encouraging and just told me to not overthink it and just paint the flowers and use a picture for inspiration. I found this to be so relaxing and therapeutic, I think I spent a good hour just painting flowers onto my piece. 
We also got demo’s on how to whitewash, stencils, brush technique and more knowledgeable things like how to remove paint from old pieces etc. 






I loved seeing what all of the other ladies painted in the workshop. There was such a lovely group of women in the class with tonnes of cakes, tea, doughnuts and chats over lunch. I'm always trying to learn something new and love going to a good workshop. Of all the workshops I have gone to, this was my fave and I gained the most knowledge. If you are a beginner and want to get started then this is perfect for you! Joanne also will send you home with a booklet for you to reference back to when doing your projects at home. I left the day feeling really inspired and had learnt more skills. As the phrase says “ every day is a school day”. You should never stop learning on your creative journey. 


Thanks so much for reading and I put together a Youtube video of the day if you want to check that out also. Don't forget to subscribe too if you enjoyed it. 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 






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My staycation style


What I wore

This week I headed off for a little staycation. I had such a lovely time and it was fantastic to get away on a little break. Nothing beats a trip away where you can avoid the airport queues. I was also blessed this week with fantastic weather and I felt like I was in the South of France with the gorgeous weather and cottage surroundings. I got to shoot my outfits whilst I was away and want to share them in this post. As always I brought some gorgeous dresses with me. As the weather was so good and hot I wanted something to explore in and keep cool.

Day dresses


This first dress is a gorgeous number from Dorothy Perkins. It is from the Petite range however, the length is not too short on me so it might be okay if you are taller. It has a tie back detail and a gorgeous print to it.  You can find it here. 

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Staycation in Ireland | The Boyne valley


Irelands ancient East


Where I stayed and Where I explored


This week I had some holiday days to take from work and I didn't want to waste them. My bank balance is still recovering from my New York trip so I decided to have a staycation and explore some of Ireland's ancient East. I really do think Ireland is stunning and I certainly take it for granted and I don't appreciate what is on my doorstep, so my goal is to explore more parts of Ireland. The older I get the more appreciate the beauty of where I live. I also adore this time of year as we have gorgeous gardens and I love seeing all of the little cottages in full bloom. 

I live in West Dublin so, Meath is on my doorstep and I am close to its border. For ages, I really wanted to stay in the gorgeous railway signal house in The Station House Hotel. So I was delighted when I got the chance to stay there. It was the perfect starting point for exploring. 

Where we stayed


We stayed in the adorable Station House Hotel. If you are from Dublin you would be familiar with this hotel as it is really popular with weddings and a lot of people I know have gotten married here. It only took us half an hour to drive to the hotel and it is located in Kilmessan and it is in the heart of the Boyne Valley Drive. The location is fantastic as it is located 15-minute drive to Trim and Navan.
We stayed in the Railway Signal house suite. This is a real treat especially for my ladies who love a touch of cottage shabby chic. The suite had two floors and a four poster bed. It was beautifully decorated in the same style of the main country house. We stayed for two nights here and I didn't want to leave. I could quite happily live in the little cottage. We also had dinner in the award winning signal house restaurant on our last evening. The food was gorgeous. If you do go to the restaurant and you have room for the dessert then you need to try the dish that had the baked pear. I cant remember the name of the dish but it was amazing! 
You might have noticed on my Instagram that I took some outfit pictures in the stunning gardens. There is a woodland right on the grounds, there is also an area in the centre of the woods for people to get married. I took full advantage of the gorgeous rose bushes and got some pictures. 
If you are looking for a relaxing space then this is the perfect spot. 

Old railway signal house at The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan.
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My Asos Summer sale wishlist

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My dress picks from the Asos sale


Those of you who know me well know I have a slight dress addiction. Nothing gets me excited than a  new dress so I was delighted when this week the infamous Asos sale started. As I have another week until payday I can only lust after my fave dresses but I thought I would put my top picks of the dresses here for you to check out. I tried to share dresses that have a full-size range too so you can get your size before it is gone. I always get excited when I see things in my saved bag have gone into sale. 
The good thing about shopping online is the free returns with Asos. Normally I am good size wise when shopping online with dresses, However, I struggle with buying jeans or anything for my lower half online so I try and buy these in stores and not online.

Let me know if you pick up anything in the sales? Have you got any bargains you picked up in the Summer sales? Let me know in the comments section below.

Chat soon,
Catherine.












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The taste of Dublin food festival


The taste of Dublin 2017


On Sunday I attended the Taste of Dublin food festival for the very first time. I couldn't believe I had never been there before. Graham from The Cupcake Bloke invited me along to have an afternoon tea at his gorgeous stand at the festival. 
As it was my first time I had a good wander around. I also put together a Vlog of the day so you can have a better look at what the day was like. The first thing I noticed was all of the Gin and alcohol stands. There were tonnes of food too but I spent a good part of the day hoping from one drinks tent to the next. So much to taste and sample.
You had to purchase some Florins to buy your food and drink. You cannot pay in cash. So you buy a book of florins when you arrive and this is used as currency. 
There were tonnes of entertainment and areas to sit around and take it all in. Thankfully I got a stunning sunny day to explore the festival. 
Definitely, one to pencil in on the calendar for next Summer. 

Have a peep below at some pics of the day and don't forget to check out my Vlog and subscribe to my channel too. 

Thanks for reading, 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 


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Video| Home office tour


My office / Sewing room

I put together a little video tour of my sewing room/office on my Youtube today. A few weeks ago when I got home from New York I tackled my spare room. I was using this room to do all of my sewing in but the room was not inspiring me anymore. It felt cluttered and dark. I didn't have a practical desk to work off and I needed storage. 
I needed a space that could be an office and both a sewing space. When not using it to sew in it has to be clean and tidy for me to work at. 


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My favourite Summer bags


My Pic of Summer bags

I love Summer bags, I find in Winter I am pretty boring with my bags and I use bags that are darker in colour and pretty plain. Summer means I can get fun with my bags and I have a soft spot for straw and wicker style bags. I also adore a large shopper too for days out any on my summer holidays. The bigger the better for my Summer bags. I love how you can be more fun with your style this time of year, Whether it is a bold print, bright colour and a bit of embellishment.
Have you seen the straw hats everywhere with the sequin writing on them? I love these and I found a few straw bags that are similar style with the sequin writing on them. I have them further down in the post. 

The backpack 

Over the past few months, I am getting a little collection of backpacks. It started last year when I got a backpack to go to London and I thought it would be so handy for my camera and laptop on the aeroplane and when running around London. Up until recently I only used cute backpacks for travelling but since I have started walking to work a few days a week my backpack is now my everyday bag. I was using this little grey one the past few weeks but wanted to get something more pretty for Summer and when I saw this Asos one below I nearly died with the cuteness! This will be perfect for my walks to work and for travelling too. It was also only £32 which I think is good value for a bag. The straps are adjustable and thick too.


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Video | Homesense Homeware Haul


Homeware haul

Homesense has finally arrived on Irish shores. Last night I popped along to the preview of the new Homesense store in Westend shopping park in Blanchardstown Dublin. I have been so envious of my UK and US ladies when I see their gorgeous decor items that they have picked up in Homesense, so, I was thrilled when I heard they were opening a shop in Ireland. 
They are also opening a second store in Cork next Thursday the 15th of June so my Cork ladies you too can get your Homesense fix. I put together a video to show you around the new store and also sharing my loot!. 
I did really well and stuck to my budget too. I hope you enjoy the video and let me know if you like this more chatty style of video or if you want to see more hauls. 

Thanks for popping by, 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 

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New favourite dress brand | Joanie clothing


#joaniegal

Last month a lovely lady tagged me on Twitter in a pic of a cute dress. When I clicked on the link it brought me straight to the Joanie clothing website. I had stumbled across them before on Instagram but I had never actually looked on their website. Last month I purchased this Paris print tea dress and I adore it! I loved it so much I went back on their website on payday and I treated myself to this little nautical tea dress. 
One of the reasons I have fallen in love with their dresses is because of the fit. I am a busty and curvy lady and these dresses are flattering. Both dresses I have from them are cut gorgeous at the chest, they nip in at the waist and have a lovely flare to the skirt. Another reason is the price of the clothes. Both dresses I have were only €45 and the shipping was really quick to Ireland. I love that they use models of different shapes and sizes too. I am wearing a size 10 in the style below. I am also 5ft and the length is perfect for me too. 
What are your favorite vintage style brands? Tag me on Instagram in your pics so I can have a peep. 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 


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Video | Bloom in the park 2017


Bloom 2017 

This week I got to go to the Bloom flower festival. You might remember my post from last year but this year I decided to put together a Vlog of the day so I could give you a proper look. As always there were gorgeous show gardens. I think my favourite was the garden with the little Windmill in it. I also loved the cottage on with a vintage VW beetle in it. 
I also got to bump into some fellow bloggers and Hustlers. I saw the gorgeous Jules Coll and her stunning Mam Jan. Then the ultimate girl boss Jen from Moss Cottage had a stall in the exhibition hall which was fab to see her doing so well. Also, I couldn't forget Camille who also popped along for some lunch and a ramble around the gardens. 
I will leave a link to the video below and a few pictures of the day too. 

Thanks for stopping by, 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 

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How Up-Cycling and DIY help my anxiety


Crafting to be calm 


I am an anxious person, I may hide it well but I am a chronic over thinker. A born worrier and sensitive to the world at times. The way some people suffer from a bad back I suffer from being anxious and I have to be extra kind to myself at times. 
I can't remember a time when I wasn't anxious, to be honest. I was an anxious child/teen and adult. On the outside I am really calm, When I tell people I have anxiety they seem quite shocked but anybody who has anxiety knows that we are really good at hiding it. This world is so full of noise and chaos these days that I am surprised more people aren't suffering from anxiety. Mobile phones, tv, the internet, ads, social media, pressure from peers and trying to be perfect. It is easy to get overwhelmed nowadays. 


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Summer dresses from Carriag Donn


Hidden gems 

I have been a fan of Carraig Donn for a good while now so I was thrilled when they got in touch to see if I would like to pick some of my fave pieces from their new fashion collection. I would have always popped into Carraig Donn for their homeware and trinkets but I always forget to check in on their womenswear. When looking on the site it is full of hidden gems and gorgeous dresses that I hadn't seen on other websites. I have two dress looks to share with you today. 


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Molton Brown Rhubarb and Rose

Rhubarb and Rose

This week I got to pop into the gorgeous Molton Brown in Dundrum shopping centre. You might have seen my Vlog and Blog post from last week in which I got to visit Diarmuid's garden in Dundrum. Well, it was Kelly from Molton Brown who gave me the heads up about Diarmuid's garden as she knew I was a huge fan. After we visited the garden she kindly let me try out a few bits from Molton Brown. 

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Garden of pure imagination


Diarmuid Gavins's Garden at Dundrum shopping centre


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Dipped gold legs | rescuing and old chair


Saving this little chair from the skip

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Ikea desk hack, Desk DIY for under €50

 Linnmon and Lerberg Ikea desk hack


I got a new desk! I am just finishing off re-decorating my office/sewing room and I was badly in need of a new desk. I needed something that was going to be sturdy enough to sew off and something that would double up as an office desk too. I was looking at some second-hand desks and scrolling online but I couldn't find what I had in mind. I then had a look on the Ikea website for some ideas. I was also limited for space and was restricted in how big my desk could be. I stumbled across the Linnmon table top and loved that you can pick different legs to match. 
I wanted something that would pick up the new colours in my room so I decided to give my table a mini make-over so it would match my room better. 


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Weekend wedding guest style


Got a two-day occasion coming up?

Nowadays I find weddings and occasions spill into the next day and end up being a two-day affair. Are you struggling to find something for both days? Well, in this post I have teamed up with the ladies over at mykindofdress.com to share two looks that are perfect for any weekend occasion. Whether it is a two-day wedding or a fancy weekend away with the girls I hope you get some inspiration from these two looks. 

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Summer style in the city


City style with Laura Ashley

On my list of things I wanted to do whilst in New York was to get a proper photo with some yellow cabs in the background. To me the yellow taxi's of New York are iconic. If you watched my NYC Vlogs you will know that the weather was far from Spring-like and it was warmer in Ireland than it was in New York. I had storms, flood warnings and below normal temperatures but that didn't stop me wearing my Nautical skirt from Laura Ashley. Before my trip the ladies at Laura Ashley kindly let me pick some outfits to take on my trip. You might have seen this and the navy dress in my luggage video on my Youtube. 
I met up with the lovely Claire who took some proper blogger snaps of me in front of the Waldorf Astoria. No more tripods and self-timers for me! It was a pleasure to shoot with Claire and if your ever in NYC and need some snaps then get in touch with this lovely lady.




I fell in love with the print of this skirt. An added bonus was that it had pockets and we all know how I love an outfit with pockets. I spent my days rambling around New York with my camera in one hand and either food or my phone in the other so the pockets came in very handy. Although the weather was bad whilst on my trip it felt quite sticky and heavy. It's like the tall buildings kept in all of the air. The knitted short sleeved top kept me nice and cool but also kept away any chilly city breezes and the skirt was the perfect length for exploring but it also kept me cool. 
I spend my lunches admiring all the women in NYC, I would sit and people watch and admire all the eclectic styles of the city, From the polished ladies on fifth avenue to the cool kids of Soho I just loved seeing what everyone was wearing. Of all the styles I saw on the women in the city I just loved how effortless they looked. Like their outfits were thrown together effortlessly and looked polished. Even on the Subway, these ladies managed to make it look classy. 




The best thing about my skirt and top was that they travelled well in my suitcase. I flew with just a carry on case and travelled really light so I wanted to bring pieces that would work together with each other. One of the days I wore the knitted top with a different skirt and I was able to wear my skirt with a vest and jacket on another day. Both items survived my long haul flight with minimal creases. 
You can find my dress and top here and I got a size 10 in both of them.  
Both my top and skirt are from the coastal drive collection. 




I love that my outfit works for both home and away. I can't believe my New York adventure has come and gone. It feels like only yesterday I was booking my flight and now as I write this I am ironing a dress for work tomorrow. I also want to say thank you to everyone for their support as it was my first long haul solo travel trip and you guys were so supportive and encouraging. My goal now is to find another adventure and somewhere new to explore. 



Thanks so much for reading, Today was my first day back to work after my holiday break and it wasn't so bad after all. I need to work to pay for the next adventure lol! The question is now? Where should I explore next? 
Chat soon, 
Catherine. 



*This is not a paid for post, however, Laura Ashley kindly let me choose an outfit from their collection and sent it to me. 

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Create & Cultivate conference NYC 2017


What I learnt at Create & Cultivate NYC


Last weekend whilst I was in New York I attended the Create & Cultivate NYC Conference. The Conference was held in the Knockdown centre in Queens. The day was full of amazing speakers, stunning pop-up booths, a few cheeky cocktails and amazing women. 
I put together a Vlog of the day but I wanted to do a more wordy post telling you the tips and learns that I took from the day. I also wanted to share some pics as the displays and venue were stunning. 


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The collared dress



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New York | Where to explore


Where I explored and where I stayed


I recently had an amazing trip to New York. I travelled solo to go to the Creators and Cultivators conference. As I was travelling long haul I wanted to make an adventure of it so I went for four nights. I managed to squeeze in a tonne of exploring on my trip. I stayed in Midtown Manhattan and I even visited Queens and Brooklyn on my trip. 
I have put together two Vlogs about my trip if you would like to watch these over on my Youtube. 

In this post, I will go into more detail about the places I visited and share lots of pictures on my trip too.



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