Thursday 31 March 2016

Colour POP

 Hello Lovelies :*

I hope you all had a lovely Easter, I ate too much chocolate and cake (Back to normal healthy eating NOW), I spent my Easter in Rome, relaxing and catching up with others. Davide and I went in to the centre one of the days for lunch and to have a relaxing walk around taking in the beauty of Rome. Usually we hang around Via del Corso (the main shopping street) but this time we ate in Trastevere and walked around side streets there. 

 Blazer: Zara Shop here
Top: Primark Shop similar here
Jeans: H&M Shop similar here
Bag: Zara Shop here
Shoes: Zara Shop here

I'm wearing two new Zara purchases here, my new bag and shoes (both can be bought from the links above). I am so proud of myself that I chose a colour other than black for my new handbag. Adding a pop of colour to a dark outfit gives it more life. I spent the last 15 minutes scrolling through all of Zara's bags. So fabulous and they're getting reasonably cheap! I paid €20 for this bag and €30 for the shoes. I had very similar Primark shoes that lasted me for the last 2 years but alas they are now in the bin. </3

Chat soon,


Wednesday 23 March 2016

Saturday Strolls

Blazer: Zara
Top: Forever 21
Jeans: Zara
Shoes: Zara
Bag: H&M

I shot this look on a lovely relaxing Saturday afternoon and I can officially say Spring has arrived! I can finally wear my new Zara Espadrilles. Yet even when there is sun, it can't take my love for black away from me. 
One thing I love about living in Italy, is knowing that within the next month I will be able to go around in summer clothes! Which is also an excuse to go shopping..

Last Sunday myself and some Erasmus cooked for 50 people. Every Sunday I attend an international dinner where people from different countries cook. Sunday was Australia and Ireland's turn with the help of Turkey (as I am the only Irish attending these dinners) so we cooked a heap of Australian and Irish food and it was a great success! Shout out to my dream team! <3

Tomorrow I'm off to Rome for Easter I can't wait to be back in the city I call my second home.

Chat soon girlies!


Monday 21 March 2016

How to Reduce Stress.

Happy Monday everyone!

I hope everyone started this Monday with some enthusiasm and determination.

Today I am speaking about Stress and how to reduce it in your daily lives.

Stress is a problem everybody deals with. But how we deal with it can be another thing. You can let it envelop your life causing sleepless nights or you can tackle it head on to lead a more relaxed life. 
Everyone of all ages deals with their own form of stress, whether it be a class test, state exams, trying to get into your dream college,  work related stress and even family related stress. It can affect everyone. 
Mental Health is extremely important and if we allow stress to come over us it can be very hard to get out of it. This is how anxiety can arise and we all know that anxiety plays tricks on the mind leading us to believe that impending doom is upon us (even when it's not).
 Here is a list of the best ways to reduce stress in your life:

  1. Exercise: Research has shown that doing exercise can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. A vigorous workout releases endorphins (the happy hormone) which leaves you feeling a sense of euphoria which combats stress. Allowing exercise become a part of your life can reduce a lot of the negative stress.
    Yoga can also be tied in with exercise as it calms the mind significantly allowing you to relax all the muscles in your body (including the muscles affected by stress: the neck, shoulders and headaches) and allows you to have a clearer mind.
  2. Meditation: Meditation is one of my favourite things to do. I remember in school some of us would have meditation in the prayer room and we could relax for the whole class meditating. I then found some great apps to help me meditate some of which are: Digipill, Headspace, Calm and Relax Melodies. All of which are free on the app store! I know some of you may say "well I don't have time to meditate, I have so much stuff to do!", well only 10 minutes in the morning, afternoon or evening is plenty of time to relax yourself. I love doing it before going to sleep after using with all my social media. It really helps me to fall asleep.
  3. Cleanliness: Yes I know, why cleanliness? Well it's actually a huge factor. After a long day at work/school/other stressful environment, why come home to a house that is a mess? Coming home to a messy house allows the stress you've been carrying to continue to grow. "Oh god, now I have to clean all this mess...I don't feel like I can relax in a mess like this.. my bed is so messy... I forgot to bring all the dirty dishes from the sitting room to the kitchen last night... the bins are overflowing and now the kitchen has that gross odor again.." Living in an environment that promotes stress on your body is not healthy. Be mindful, clean after yourself if you make a mess. Make your home a place where you feel peace in your mind, not caos. De clutter your space now.
  4. You are what you eat: We have to remember that what we put into our bodies affects us not just physically but mentally. If you feel like you panic a lot when your stressed or actually suffer from anxiety I highly recommend stopping caffeine immediately. Coffee can be a huge trigger of panic and stress, even if you think you need it, you don't. I get by fine with my cups of green tea. Try it, I'm officially converted! If not, just go decaf. This is the same for food. Cut down on sugar and carbs, not completely as a balanced diet is everything. If you notice all you eat is bread based foods and sugar then you know it's time to change now.
  5. Planning: I find that if i don't have my diary full of tasks I get stressed. I have to write down every detail of what is happening in my life. I am a lot more organised now and I always feel on top of things, it gives me time to designate different tasks to different days.
  6. Travel: As you all know I am addicted to travelling and you should be too. Plan at least 2 holidays a year to escape from your daily life. It also is a great motivator to get work done knowing soon you'll be on the beach, in another city or your dream vacation soon.
  7. Do what you love to do: Do what you love, let it suck you in, whether it be going for a walk in the countryside, meeting with your bestfriend/partner, shopping, listening to music or one of your hobbies (sports, piano, ect).

Now lets continue this week with high hopes and some inspiration.

Photo credit: WeHeartIt


Tuesday 15 March 2016

Top Places to see in Budapest

A lot of you may have known that Davide and I went to Budapest recently if you've been watching my Snapchat @CiaraSwalsh and Instagram @CiaraSwalsh

We decided to put our money together this year for our Christmas present to each other and we chose to go abroad. We booked our flights and Hotel in January costing €150 p/p approx. We flew with Ryan Air and our flights cost €50 which is VERY cheap. We then found such a perfect hotel in the heart of Budapest for an amazing price at €200 for 4 nights including breakfast. 

We stayed in a fabulous hotel called 12 Revay Hotel. The rooms are very comfortable paired with a huge photo hung over the bed of famous sites of Budapest, and an amazing waterfall shower! (died and went to heaven every time I stepped in there). The staff in this hotel are ones to remember. We were blown away at how amazing they were. When we arrived our room was a little small so we asked would it be possible to change rooms, and within 30 minutes we had a bigger and more spacious room with no extra cost! The breakfasts were the same every morning (which is to be expected) in a buffet style. Selections of cereals, pastries, hams, cheeses, breads, tea, coffee, juices and of course hot food such as eggs, sausages, beans, bacon etc. We were spoiled for choice. When we walked two steps outside the hotel we were on Budapest's most expensive street full of glamorous shops like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Boggi, and of course an Irish Pub ;)
We were a 1 minute walk from St. Stephan's Bacilica, a 5 minute walk form the main centre of Budapest and 10 minute walk from the Danube river.

With regards food? Ya we didn't really take a liking to the food (sorry Hungarians) and it's also very hard to please an Italian boyfriend with food so we ate in very safe places like Burger King etc. And yes they were full of Italians as of course they couldn't be pleased either haha. If we weren't in a Burger King or KFC we were in an Italian restaurant. 

If you plan to travel to Budapest you must check out the following places:

The Ruin Pubs
The coolest pubs you will ever go to. For those of you who watched my Snapchat you will know what I mean. They are very old buildings and were never renovated. All they did was decorate it in a 70's vibe, serve some drinks and bam, here's your pub!

Hospital in the Rock
This is an old war hospital and really is a must see, if you are confused about finding it travel to the Fisherman's Bastion first and walk down some steps near the Gothic Church.

Szechenyi Baths
You have to go here! Not during the day but during the evening when the sun is gone down. We went in the evening when it was about 3 degrees. We were freezing until we dipped into the 38 degree outdoor bath! Unfortunately I couldn't take pictures because I didn't want to bring my camera with me. You seriously won't be disappointed. There are two baths and a swimming pool in the middle. We ordered a cabin to get changed in for €16 each including towels. So cheap.

Fisherman's Bastion and Matthias Gothic Church
The Fisherman's Bastion is one of the most beautiful creations I have seen in a long time, based in Buda and from the top you can see all of Pest, including the Parliament Building, beside it is a gorgeous Gothic church with the coolest roof!!

St. Stephan's Basilica
When I saw this Basilica in pictures I never realised it's size until I was faced with it. Words can't describe it's beauty, and no picture can do it justice. We climbed hundreds of stairs within the church to reach the top and after the torture it was well worth it with the beautiful views we saw. We were very lucky with the incredibile weather we had.

 We passed this beautiful castle type building on the way to Heroes Square and unfortunately we had no time to go inside, we presume its a type of museum but whenever we return we will be going inside!
 We also found out that there was outdoor ice skating in Budapest during the winter period so get your skates on if you decide to go in the cold seasons

Heroes Square
This square is breathtaking, it represents freedom and was the gathering area for people against communism in which Budapest suffered from years ago. If I had enough time I would have spent a lot more time in this square. 

Shoes on the Danube
This was something I was dying to see when I got to Budapest, this memorial just crushes me. The Shoes on the Danube is a memorial in honour of the Jews killed during WWII by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen. The Jews were ordered to take off their shoes before they were all shot into the Danube river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank..

The Parliament Building
Has anybody ever seen a Parliament Building look so beautiful? I was awestruck when my eyes lay upon it. It's colossal! It's placed right on the Danube river and the views in the evening time are breathtaking and very romantic. 

Dinner on a Cruise
On our last night we wanted to something romantic and something memorable. We saw in our hotel that it's possible to have a dinner in a cruise ship for 2 hours along the Danube. It was about €60 in total for the both of us where there was a massive selection of food on offer in a buffet style. Including tables of fruit and loads of desert too. Upon arrival we were given a glass of champagne and another glass of House wine at dinner while a string quartet played in the background. It was a perfect ending to an amazing holiday. We then got our picture taken outside on deck in front of Buda Castle and the Chain Bridge.

If you have any more questions on Budapest or any tips feel free to leave a comment below or on any of my social media pages.
Find me @CiaraSwalsh


Wednesday 9 March 2016

Budapest Lookbook: black on black

Hey girls!

Hope you're all having a lovely Wednesday, Friday is just around the corner!

I was on the fence about buying this dress from Zara, I bought it because of how cheap it was but when I tried it on I fell in love with it! Paired with my Korkys beauties and voilĂ  here is a cute but simple outfit.

Shop this exact dress HERE - Zara
Boots: Korkys Similar HERE
Watch: Daniel Wellington 

One thing I miss a lot about Budapest is the amazing and clean streets! I know that's weird to say but my God you wont find one crumb on any street! They're just so good for taking photos for the Blog.

See you next time in my detailed post on what we did in Budapest, from where we stayed to the amazing things we saw.



Sunday 6 March 2016

Budapest Lookbook: Black Bow

Hello Lovelies :*

Here is the first of my looks from our trip to Budapest.
Shop this look below

Scarf: Zara HERE
Blouse: H&M Similar HERE
Skirt: Mango Similar HERE
Boots: Mango Similar HERE
Coat: Primark Similar HERE

I bought this Mango skirt in the January sales and I am absolutely obsessed with it, I get a lot of wear out of it which is strange for me as I love sticking to black in general.

I can't wait to share all about my Budapest experience with you, If you followed my Snapchat @CiaraSwalsh while I was away you'll have seen some of the things we got up to.

I'll keep you all posted.
Have a lovely Sunday :*

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