A Birth Story : Cara Lily

Monday, 6 November 2017

Cara Lily was born on the 27-09-2017 @ 15:52 weighing 7lb 2 ounces, 21 inches long. She arrived 2 weeks late and I was induced. My waters were broken which was a very quick and easy process, I never had my waters broken before and I was terrified at having to be induced but the experience couldn't have been better. In actual fact, the labour was pretty idyllic! 

After my waters had broken, I met a friend for tea and buns in the hospital, i figured sugary treats would help with my energy. I walked around for an hour afterwards and felt really great and ready for baby! After returning to the labour ward, I was given a drip to increase contractions as I was only having 2 slight pains every 10 minutes. The intensity of the contractions increase immediately and very soon after , I was ready for an epidural. I would absolutely recommend an epidural- it is amazing. It made the labour experience very easy and enjoyable. The 'pushing stage' lasted only about 30 minutes with minimal effort and we couldn't believe how easy it was in the end!

Our perfect little girl arrived so content and was breastfeeding within 30 minutes!

She has been a dream like her big sisters, who have taken to her so easy. Like all mothers, I worried that my other girls would feel left out or 'abandoned' but it has been great so far. I think a routine helps and we keep them in a steady routine so that not much has changed in their lives. I think that is absolute key. 

Even now, she is 5 weeks and she has grown so much. I wish she would stay little forever. I just want to savour every moment as I know how fast it goes by.

The Final Bump //

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Total weight gain: 21 lbs. In both pregnancies, I lost 7lbs from weeks 35-40 so I expect the same this time around. 
Maternity clothes? Topshop Maternity Jeans and normal sized tops. I swear by H&M vest tops, which I wear under everything so I can continue to wear normal sized tops. I really struggled this pregnancy to find anything decent in the stores to wear and I refuse to buy 'maternity' clothes as they are just so hideous. In the picture above, I'm wearing a size 8 Topshop dress which is great as I can wear it after baby too. 
Stretch marks? None
Baby things? My Sleepyhead Deluxe and Moses Basket arrived this week and I am so so happy with them! I wanted an old style moses basket this time around and I just love the one I got . 
I have heard amazing things about the Sleepyhead Deluxe and while it is pricy, I'm hoping that it is worth it.
I also picked a girls outfit and a boys outfit for coming home, I think that day is so special , I wanted something new for the new addition. 
Sleep: Like a baby!
Workouts: Nada- I wish I had done some exercise but I just didn't have any energy whatsoever:( My iron is now normal again at 10.8 so maybe in the next few days , I may manage a few walks.
Diet: I definitely have gone off so much food, especially meat. I don't crave as much sweets and tea as I used to which obviously is a good thing! 
Miss anything? Not being pregnant! At this stage, it gets so much harder to move around as normal. 
Food cravings: Nada.
Gender: Surprise! 
Labour signs: Lots of Braxton Hick contractions, some of which are painful at times. I never experienced these before, they feel like mini , irregular contractions but only last for a short period. 
Symptoms: Tons and tons of movements and kicks!
Looking forward to: Bringing baby home! I'm ready for action now and can't wait to have a newborn again:) 

Over The Knee 2 //

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My last blog post on OTK boots was one of my most popular so now that we are rapidly approaching the cooler days , I'm looking at the chicest boots of the season again.

Last year, I invested in a pair of Stuart Weitzman's Highland OTK boots and have not regretted it since. Although the wear has been minimal with being pregnant, that will all change in the coming weeks .. 

Perfect for those chilly days, these boots will keep you warm and on-trend with ease. Modernised to be more polished, over-the-knee boots are now perfect for day or night. 

My favourite way to wear them is styled with oversized sweaters, skinny jeans with casual tees. A knee length floaty dress is also perfect. The relaxed but elegant look is made complete with a feminine flash of skin at the thighs. But they are so versatile as seen below. Invest in a good quality pair (link below) and they will see you through until next spring.

How to Wear Over-the-Knee Boots In Fall

ACNE STUDIOUS Isa sweater, DITA Daytripper sunglasses, OLGANA PARIS L'officier suede over-the-knee boots, LOUIS VUITTON Petite Malle in Noir epic leather, J.W. ANDERSON Gold plated cuff, LARSSON & JENNINGS Lugano leather strap watch


Knitted dress + over the knee boots / Anna Sofia - Style Plaza

Photo street style

The Best Street Style Pics From Stockholm Fashion Week

Raquel Paiva wears a pair of over the knee boots with a simplistic black knit sweater and grey skinny jeans. Boots: Call it Spring, Watch: Great George, Sweater: Uniqlo, Jeans: DSTLD.

Okay, Olivia Munn Has Been Killing the Style Game via @WhoWhatWear

off the shoulder and over the knee.

I have several over the knee boots so outfits to wear with them would be great in the fall.

Similar styles HERE , HERE & HERE!


Transitioning Into Fall //

Transitioning your wardrobe from season to season is a masterful fashion feat. In other words, its hard work! While it's not quite the right time to bust out the woolly sweaters and leather pants, its time to start sifting through your summer wardrobe to see what chic (and unexpected) summer-to-autumn outfit ideas you can rustle up...
I have put together some of my favourite pieces right now and these are perfect for your autumnal wear.

Transitioning Into Fall //

Happy Shopping:)

The Ordinary Foundations //

Friday, 11 August 2017

Canadian-based skincare brand The Ordinary is well, anything but ordinary. It's line of no-frills skincare products has earned a loyal following for their simple formulas of clinical-grade ingredients that are void of additives and fragrances. 
I have been a dedicated user of their Hyaluronic acid now for months and love it. I mean its slightly more expensive than a cup of coffee and is on equal par with its more expensive peers.

The Ordinary has expanding into cosmetics with two new foundations that the Internet is currently freaking out over. The Serum and Full Coverage Foundations have just solidified The Ordinary’s beauty cult-status when they racked up a waiting list of over 25,000 people ahead of their end-of-April 2017 launch!

I waited until the hype was over and I could actually get my hands on it online without joining a waiting list. I read some reviews , estimated my shade as '2.0 Light/Medium Neutral' in both ( a little bit too light for me) and added to cart....
We Tried The $7 Foundation With a 25,000 Person Wait List

The Serum Foundation lives up to its name with a serum-like texture that’s lightweight but can be built up for medium coverage. It reminds me of MAC Face & Body in its water-ery consistency. Perfect for 'perfect' skin days when you want just a tinted moisturiser feel to the skin.

The Coverage Foundation is a pigment-rich, non-oily cream that offers more a lot more coverage without getting cakey. Both options are enriched with a special pigment suspension technology that helps the foundations go on smooth with a highly saturated effect. They’ll melt into skin but still give you the amount of coverage you’re after. I use a beauty blender to make sure they are blended evenly. 

What’s also impressive is the foundations’ diverse 21 shade range. The Ordinary has made it simple to find the best one for your complexion by denoting each colour with a Y, N, or P, according to skin undertones. And the foundations’ SPF 15 is unique, too. It’s mineral-based so it’s free harsh chemicals that are typically found in common sunscreen formulas. Oh, and did I mention that costing as little as 6,90 euro , these foundations also super-affordable like the rest of The Ordinary’s products.

You can find these foundations HERE! .
The hype is real!

Related imageImage result for the ordinary foundations

New York, New York //

Saturday, 5 August 2017

New York. Concrete jungle where dreams are made, the city that never sleeps, the Big Apple. It's been a full 8 years since I visited New York and while I no longer lust after the newest nike trainers, Abercrombie sweatshirt or Tiffany heart necklace (cringe!) , I was so excited to visit this city and see what it has to offer..

Foto via Gary Pepper Endlich kann ich euch verraten, wo es bald für mich und den G. hingeht: nach New York! Und in die Hamptons! Und nach Boston! Dann nach Toronto – und in einen Nationalpark! Und dann nochmal Toronto. Und dann ist aber wirklich Schluss. Wieso ich von diesem großen Trip bis jetzt nichts...

Things have changed. Big time. The exchange rate is awful meaning that Europeans pay so much more. You get little for your buck here! 
But thankfully, we were avoiding the main shopping areas and doing some serious sightseeing instead! It made me realise how much Ireland has changed- where once American brands were only available in America, now we can pretty much get our hands on anything we want via online shopping and much cheaper too! Brands such as JCrew, Banana Republic and Club Monaco have all come to the UK high street meaning us Irish can purchase them easily online. 

"I live in a brownstone in New York City, in my second life. " ~ I agree with you!!!!!! 

If I lived in New York, it could only be West Village, I just loved the vibe of the neighbourhood, dotted with boutiques and organic cafés that are just so chilled , you want to stay and people watch all day. 

New Event! Everyone in this boarding school is going to meet! Everyone must attend and meet! (( Comment below and meet each other! )) ~ Announcer
The Butchers Daughter
Local city guide—New York City. Magnolia Bakery: West Village. (What we love: Where to even begin...start with the Banana Pudding).
Magnolia Bakery, West Village

A must visit is the One World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan, hop in the lift and arrive on the 102nd floor in less than 60 seconds. The lift provides a virtual time-lapse experience so you can see how New York City has changed over the centuries. 
We were blown away by the One World Observatory's vantage point, which on a clear day, provides a sight line of about 50 miles . We were so lucky with the amazing blue skies!

Tip : Upgrade your experience to priority admission and have your own VIP expedited entry to bypass the general admission lines. 

The view from the One World Trade Center Observatory in NYC
One World Observatory

Springtime In New York by @manhattan-madison-avenue | New York City Feelings | Bloglovin’
Central Park

A stroll around the Brooklyn Botanical gardens , so beautiful, especially in cherry blossom season!

Love this city!

Baby Bump //

Thursday, 3 August 2017

I am currently on the countdown to baby number 3! Baby is currently the size of a butternut squash and with weeks until delivery, baby weighs in at about 4.7 pounds and measures about 17.7 inches! Thats almost baby's full term length!

This time around my 3rd pregnancy has been pretty identical to before. I always had low iron and blood pressure and its even lower now but thats quite normal for most pregnancies. I have gained even less weight than before which is unexpected considering how I have not even done any exercise, at all. Oops
Maybe its because I developed an aversion to tea and sweets in the early days?! Baby is extremely active and I wonder will I even make it to another couple of weeks. Arabella & Isla Rose are extremely clued in to their new baby sister/ brother and ask very precise questions!

People have said that the transition from 2 to 3 is hard but I really think the reality of the transition is different for everyone. I had such a great experience after each birth that I can only hope for the same swift recovery both physically and mentality.  I never had any difficulty with baby 1 or 2. I was very lucky, i know. especially when talking to other mothers who maybe found it more difficult to adjust. I think It all depends on your baby and on your personality. There are things you can do to make it easier on yourself, especially having a strict routine in place with your other children, which we do and stick to 95% of the time. Children thrive on routine so I start from day 1 and I truly believe that is why my children sleep for 12-14 hrs and are great eaters. One of the most important things I will do is have alone time with the new baby for a few months so I can establish a good breastfeeding and sleeping routine. It's always a good idea to accept help when offered, have pre made meals in the freezer and taking things slowly once baby arrives, but making sure that life remains normal and baby fits into your schedule rather than the other way around. 

I am even more excited about this baby arriving as it will be our first baby in our new home!

Surrender To Sorrento //

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Dreaming of a long weekend in Capri and the Amalfi Coast conjures up images of a warm Italian sun, steep cliffs, and the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Stunning Sorrento, on Italy's Amalfi Coast, is one of the country's most beautiful locations. It has all kinds of gems and surprises for the luxury traveller, from 5-star accommodation to fine dining, history and culture. Sorrento is the place to be with its picturesque harbour and fascinating narrow streets filled with homemade gems. 

Beautiful lux hotel - our room was in a caveBellevue Syrene, Sorrento

It's also the perfect base if you wish to explore the rest of the Amalfi Coast region, from Positano to Capri. 
We were lucky enough to spend a fabulous 'baby moon' week here in June exploring the stunning coast. 

Dress - Zara // Espadrilles - Castaner 

I love the parts of Italy that I’ve seen before but I was especially taken in by the Sorrento area. It’s a simply beautiful place to visit. We took a day trip to Capri via a private ferry and explored the streets of Positano stopping every few hours for some fresh pasta, gelato or a coffee in the sunshine. Absolute bliss. 

Dress - Boohoo via ASOS
Bag - Primark / Pennys
Sandals - Oasis
Sunglasses - LeSpecs

Hat - ASOS
Top - Zara
Shorts- Primark/Pennys
Espadrilles - Castaner

Dress- Boohoo via ASOS
Espadrilles- Castaner
Bag- Primark / Pennys

The stunning crystal clear waters of Capri. 

Dress - ASOS
Bag- Primark / Pennys
Wedges- Oasis

The amazing Italian Gelato.... Irish ice-cream will never taste as good after sampling some of the best ice cream in the world!

Hat - ASOS
Shorts- Primark / Pennys
Top - Zara



We flew to Naples in early June and as it was just pre high season, Sorrento somehow manages to overcome the excesses of tourism and remain, well, very Italian.
The main square, Piazza Tasso is fringed with cafes and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by eating amazing local produce. Ah bliss!

View across to Positano on the Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stunning Coastline

Like any beautiful, touristy city, there are some fabulous hotels to stay at with exceptional views, food and pool-side situations. The best way to get here is by a private boat from Capri, that way you can take in the amazing views and avoid the crazy Italian drivers! 

The swimming deck at Parco dei Principi, Sorrento. Photo by David Loftus

Hotel Parco dei Principi - Sorrento, Italy.
Hotel Parco Dei Principe
Thankfully, our hotel (pictured) was a short pleasant walk into the main town. We stayed at the 5 star Parco Dei Principe , and while it was extremely pricy, it definitely lacked the luxuriousness that you find in Irish 5 star hotels. The food was quite pricy and the service was so-so but the views.... Oh the views surely made up for that. If you like a quiet location, this will be the hotel for you. The surrounding areas are stunning and it’s the sort of place where there’s plenty of room to breathe. 
sorrento, italy | villages and towns in europe + travel destinations #wanderlust
charming streets of Sorrento

The narrow streets of Sorrento were filled with many shops ranging from luxury clothing stores, gelato stands to leather goods and tourist items. Great for an afternoon stroll, We met some irish people doing the same thing in the local cafés!

Capri, Italy - //In need of a detox? 10% off using our discount code 'Pin10' at www.ThinTea.com.au
The Isle of Capri
Capri Island, Italy life is but a dream #sdsvacations #pricelessmemories
A visit to Capri is a must- we opted for a 20-minute private ferry from Sorrento to the island of Capri, which has been a favourite island getaway for more than 2,000 years and has charmed everyone from Roman emperors to Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. 
During the day there was plenty to do, from exploring the maze of streets off the main square, which are packed with designer boutiques selling dresses that cost more than my entire wardrobe, to walking the perimeter of the island taking in the beautiful scenery, including the spectacular Faraglioni Rocks.
Just a short bus ride from Capri Town is Anacapri, the quieter end of the island, where you’ll find local craft shops rather than pricey boutiques. The views, especially of Vesuvius, are absolutely spellbinding.
Bougainvillea Flowers at Capri Island, Italy

Best time to visit
The tourist season lasts from March until October, but spring is a great time to visit the south of Italy when the orange and lemon trees are in bloom and it isn't too hot. In summer temperatures can rise above 80F (26C) - and it's more crowded, too.
A little tip....
Taxis are generally expensive in Sorrento, and eye-waveringly expensive after 8pm. We were charged €150 for a 20-minute journey. If you must use one, make sure it is licensed and check the fare before you get in. Better still, see if your hotel has a shuttle bus.