Video | Tips for buying teacups and China

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My china collection

This week I made a fun video over on my Youtube channel sharing my tea set and trinket collection, I  have such fun collecting tea cups and growing my china collection. We all have our vices and mine is most definitely being addicted to buying too many tea sets and trinkets! There could be worse habits? Right?. I wanted to share a few tips for buying china, growing your collection and saving a few pennies whilst doing it too. Collecting china can be costly, especially if you are like me and a fan of collecting Royal Albert, but I have been able to save a few pennies. 

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Comparison is the thief of joy




Why you should only compete with yourself


As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of all joy", and he was most certainly right. Nowadays we have more access to peoples private lives through social media. We consume so much content in a day. We scroll through our news feeds and are bombarded with images, audio and videos. It is no wonder that we start to reflect and look at ourselves and possibly feel a little left behind, envious, sad and maybe even empty too. I too have and still do compare myself to others, It is hard not to, but, I have learned a few ways in which you can get some perspective and stop this bad habit. 


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Cute collar dresses

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Everything is cuter with a collar


I have a little soft spot for a dress or blouse that has an adorable collar. There is just something so smart and fun about a collar. I recently stumbled across a brand called Miss Patina, I had seen one of my fave bloggers wearing one of their dresses so I had a look on their website and fell in love with their dresses. With all brands, I am a little nervous with sizing when ordering for the first time from their website. I decided to get this adorable cat collar dress from their website. I loved the collar as it reminded me of my Blondie but I also loved how fun the cat print was in the dress too. 


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Painting rusty metal garden furniture


Painting my metal bistro set




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Video | Radio behind the scenes and a Homeware haul

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On the air

HI, everyone, This week over on my Youtube I have a Vlog to share with you. I am sharing a behind the scenes of my radio interview with Debbie on 92.5 Phoenix FM. I also popped to the shops after and treated myself to some new Autumn homeware pieces for the house. 

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What I learnt at Youtube creator connect day


Creator connect

I love attending the Youtube creator days, If you have a Youtube channel,  make videos and have over 1k subscribers then you can apply to attend a creator day. This time they did allow creators under 1k to attend by competing in a competition that allowed them to attend. A common question I get asked when I go to these days is how do you get to go? Keep an eye in the creator studio of your youtube page and a notification will pop up and you apply to attend. Then after a few days, you will get an email back confirming if you are allowed to attend. I highly recommend going to them if you can. They cost you nothing, you learn loads, meet like-minded people and of course the free food! 



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Radio interview with Debbie from 92.5 Phoenix FM



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Mirrored spray paint, Mercury glass effect DIY


Mirror spray paint DIY

I have a really fun DIY for you today, I am testing out some Rust-oleum mirror effect spray paint and I am turning some cheap drinking glasses into expensive looking vases. I was sent a sample of the mirror effect spray earlier in the year and it has been sitting in my paint stash for ages. Whilst scrolling through Pinterest for ideas on what to use it on I Stumbled across a technique to get a Mercury effect on the glass. I noticed lately that these mercury effect pieces are really popular in peoples home decor and I have seen some in my fave homeware shops. 


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DIY tyre planter


Garden DIY

This week I have been pottering in the garden and I made some DIY garden planters that I want to share with you today. I put together a video on my Youtube channel too and if you watch it to the end you will get to see a mini garden tour. I can see signs of Autumn starting to sneak into the garden, I have spotted some leaves turning orange and the last of the Summer blooms are opening. What better time to get out into the garden and brighten it up with some new planters. 


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Video | Guest bedroom tour

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Room tour

Over on my Youtube channel this week I am sharing my guest bedroom decor. I know you guys are eager for a Master bedroom tour but I am waiting to get some work done in my bedroom but I am hoping for a tour in August. So, I decided to give you a decor fix and I gave a tour of my guest bedroom. I say guest but it is mainly where the cats like to sleep. This is my fave room downstairs, I just love the wallpaper. I kind of want this wallpaper in my room I just love it! My guest bedroom is in the same style of decor as the rest of my home. I have it really girly and as it is a small room I have it painted in bright colours to make it look bigger. 

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Sunny Sundresses


MidSummer Print Dresses


Today I have two looks to share with you from Joanie Clothing, You might remember last month I featured them on my Instagram and blog as one of my new fave brands. Well, they have just released some new dresses and the prints are just to die for. As always with the dresses from Joanie, they are timeless. With only a few weeks left of Summer and Autumn peeping its head around the corner, you want to spend your money wisely and get your wear out of the items you buy. The two dresses I have today are perfect for now and you can pack them away for next year as they are both a classic shape and print and never go out of style.


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Top tips for getting creative


Igniting that creative spark

Recently I was out on a ramble and I got to thinking about creativity and how to get some inspiration and motivation when you are stuck in a funk. Maybe you are not in a funk but you have ideas that you just need some clarity on. Today I am sharing my tips on what I do to get the creative juices flowing. Whether it is ideas for a piece I am painting or inspiration for a blog post these are some things I like to do to kickstart my brain.


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Avoca Woollen Mills & Mount Usher gardens


Exploring Wicklow

Hi everyone, On bank holiday Sunday I decided to go on a ramble. I am a lover of pretty places, gardens and all things nature. I decided to ditch the drink and hangover for the bank holiday weekend and do some exploring to feed my soul. For a long time, I have wanted to go down to the Avoca woollen mills in the town of Avoca in Wicklow. The drive down wasn't as long as I expected. It took me about 50 minutes from Dublin and thankfully I didn't get lost either. It is a gorgeous drive when you exit the motor way. They don't call Wicklow the garden of Ireland for nothing, there really are some stunning views. 



When you arrive at the Avoca woollen mill you will see the gorgeous white brick buildings with the little red doors and window frames. There are a shop and a cafe but you can also wander into the Mill itself and have a walk around and see everything being made. 
I got to see a man weaving a throw, it was fascinating to see inside and all of the machinery. If you are into your crafts and weaving you will love this place. I captured as much as I could in my Youtube video of the day. My biggest tip, however, is to go during the week. During the week you can see the whole place in action. As it was a Sunday there was only one guy working but going during the week you get to see more. 










I pit stopped in the cafe and had a delicious slice of apple tart and a Mocha to keep me going. I also had a look in the shop where you can buy the pieces being made in the mill. I was tempted by a throw but I couldn't decide on a colour so I left empty handed. You would only spend roughly an hour - two hours here so plan to see other attractions on your trip too I decided to go to Mount Usher gardens on the way back to Dublin. It is only 25 mins from the Avoca woollen mills and really easy to find. 





I rely on my good aul google maps to get me everywhere. I adored Mount Usher gardens but my best tip is to get there early or during the week and I got arrived at a busy time and had to circle a bit for a parking space. Once in, it is an amazing place to explore. You have to pay into see the gardens but it is definitely worth it. I spend over an hour walking around. There is really pretty woodland trails and my favourite was walking along the river. There are lots of bridges too so you can cross over each side.  This time of year I saw loads of colourful Hydrangeas, the last of the Lupins and some beautiful roses. Unfortunately, I had a rainy day but the gardens were still stunning. I will definitely be back on a sunny day. you could spend all afternoon exploring. 








There is also some cafes and shops on the ground and another Avoca. I popped into the gorgeous Strawbridge shop. I wanted to buy everything! Shabby chic heaven but I resisted temptation and came out with a table runner. 



There are so many more places I want to explore sound here, Glendalough is near too so why not plan out your own day. Please let me know if you know of any hidden gems or gardens near me as I love to explore new ones. Leave your suggestions in the comments below. 
Thanks so much for reading, Let me know if you visit any of the places and don't forget to tag me on Instagram. 

Chat soon, 
Catherine. 
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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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Transitional Autumn dresses

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August dress picks


If you have been in the shops recently you would have noticed that it is starting to look a lot like Autumn and so is the Irish weather. I hate wasting the Summer away but if you are going to be buying something new in the next few weeks you are going to want to buy pieces that will take you all the way through Autumn. I am choosing to pick warmer tones over the pastels shades when it comes to buying something new for the wardrobe. I am also starting to struggle in the mornings when deciding what to wear. I find I layer up in the morning and come lunch time I am stripping off. 


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Video | Get to know me


Buying my home and Why I blog


This evening I popped a chatty "Get to know me" video on my Youtube. I wanted to make a chatty video for ages on my channel but talking to the camera is a lot harder than it looks. I have slowly been building up the confidence to film one so I took the plunge and uploaded it. I am chatting about buying my home. How I started up cycling and why I blog. I hope you enjoy it and don't forget to subscribe and thumbs up for more videos. 

Chat soon, 
Catherine. 

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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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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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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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