Monday, 30 May 2016

CiaraSwalsh turns 1! What blogging has taught me.


Can you believe it's been 1 whole year since I set up CiaraSwalsh? I can't. 
In this past year so much has changed for me, in ways I could never imagine. Since I was a child I loved fashion, I remember for my art project in Junior Cert I based it on fashion, I looked on Boohoo for inspiration (at the time I was obsessed with Boohoo) and I would make replicas of the models wearing these amazing dresses. I always loved changing up my style but I hated copying other peoples' styles. I always had to be different. I am still like that, if i see everybody with the same shoes I won't buy them. Being unique in my style is who I am. Minimal, elegant and classy is what I love. Some people say I love granny clothes hahaha (I'll take that as a compliment because I love wearing my granny's knitted cardigans!).

I'm feeling very proud today, CiaraSwalsh has grown so much, I remember when I was out at the back of my house taking pictures with my phone. Now I have my very own camera (Nikon Coolpix P530). 

Here is what the past year has thought me:

It's a LOT of work!

Don't be fooled by pretty Instagram pictures and Blog pictures, being a blogger is hard work. From trying to come up with content all the time, to be constantly engaging with followers, to taking pictures, finding a photographer, editing, outfit sorting/travel booking, money spending, making sure to post regularly on social media, to snapchatting, to admin work (up keep of the blog and answering emails) and then having a social life and study on top of that. This is my dream so this is work I love doing. If you want to start a blog for the "carefree lifestyle and free stuff" you should turn around and rethink your career path. I blog because I love it, I'm not in it for the "free stuff", it's not even free we are asked if we would like to try a product and if we like it we would advertise it for that company. We give publicity. I only accept products if I have genuine interest in working with that brand, I also decline brands too. I would never be misleading to my amazing followers *virtual hug*.

The Blogging Comunity is AMAZING!

This past year I have met amazing bloggers and also made friendships through Instagram and other social media platforms. Bloggers who are in the same boat as me are always there if I need some advice and vice versa. I believe in building others so I always aim to build other bloggers. I have never come across bloggers bashing one another, the support out there is great. Since being in Italy this past year I have missed out on a lot of blogger events and a lot of opportunities to meet fellow bloggers. But the power of social media is great for keeping in touch. 

The Ciara Walsh of last year is not the Ciara Walsh of today.

Well that's normal because as humans we always change, and since I have been living in another country for about a year I have become more Italian in some ways. But my ignorance of the world is no longer there, since CiaraSwalsh is also a travel blog I have understood that life isn't what the Irish society teaches us, every country has a different type of society and when you go abroad learn to accept their traditions. My mind has been opened and I am a lot more accepting of other peoples' views and opinions. I have friends from different parts of the world and I try to understand their social norms just like they try to understand mine, Last year I didn't know what I was going to do with my life, I was stuck in a rut, I was studying and trying to keep a long distance relationship work, and of course a lot of other life stresses. Now since setting up my blog my path looks a little more clear, I don't know where CiaraSwalsh will take me but I love the feeling I get when I work my ass off for you guys. Also the long distance isn't so long any more since I'm in Italy! I have also learned that people will support you and others won't, complete strangers could be the basis of your strength and motivation, whilst your closest friends might never support you. But I've learned to accept this and turn negativity into positivity. People who don't support me give me that motivation to better myself and CiaraSwalsh so I can prove them wrong.

My love for photography has grown.

When I was younger I would go around Galway and take pictures, I would put the craziest effects on them. I loved taking photos but I never realised I was bad hahaha. Since Davide gifted me my camera for my 21st birthday my photography has grown immensely. I always want to have perfect pictures for CiaraSwalsh. My editing skills have come a long way but I know I still have so much more to learn and I'm excited about that. I always use VSCO Cam to edit my photos and then I use some Instagram effects, hate the Instagram filters but the effects are amaaaaze!

Personality is Key.

When blogging you should always try to get your personality across. Without personality people can't connect with you. Snapchat is a great way to get your personality across. I've only been speaking on Snapchat for the last month and a half, I wish I had started sooner because the interaction I have with you guys makes my love for blogging more meaningful. 

Here's a recap of some of my favourite posts to date:





  Budapest 





So what's next for CiaraSwalsh? I am going to continue the growth of my followers, I will always put 110% into my posts and I will have a lot more travel opportunities coming up. More events to attend, more connections to be made, more outfits to be styled. I am so grateful to see each and every view, and every follow. Without you guys none of this would be possible! Thank you!

Keep an eye out on my Instagram/Snapchat and Facebook in the coming days for a big competition to celebrate having the most amazing followers.





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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

May Product Review.

Hey girlies! 

Just like last month I decided to continue with a monthly product review because I saw a lot of you loved it (Thank youuu)!

This month I am reviewing products from Buth Bheag Candle Co.L'OrĂ©alBeauty Deli and Bottega Verde. I have been trying these products out for a while now and I want to share my thoughts with you. You can shop all these products below.


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Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Discover Napoli, Sorrento, Capri, Mount Vesuvius and Pompei.

"Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow."-Anita Desai.

When I read this quote I thought about all the experiences I have had since moving abroad. It's very true and I know these experiences have changed me greatly as a person. 
Recently I went on a four day trip with ESN. ESN are a Erasmus organisation who bring Erasmus students together and have the possibility to do fun things. So they organised this trip for a total of €160! Complete bargain, so I went for it!

We went to Napoli, Mount Vesuvius, Sorrento, Capri and Pompei.

Napoli







When we got to Napoli we had a small tour of the city as well as a lunch break, so of course when in Napoli one MUST eat pizza. If you don't know, Pizza is from Napoli! 
To be completely honest, Napoli is probably my least favourite city of Italy that i've been in so far. Sorry to cause offence but I just didn't like it. Too caotic! Good pizza though.

 Sorrento




When we reached Sorrento I thought I had reached paradise. It was so beautiful, I had never seen a city so beautiful. Definitely a holiday destination in the future. We didn't have long here which was a downside (and also the downside to programmed trips) but we had enough time to explore and take pictures. Here are some shots I got up high of the gotgeous harbour. Notice the cliffs, Sorrento is up high too so we had to walk down tonnes of steps to get to one of the beaches. We also DIED walking back up! 
Outfit details: Dungaree dress- Boohoo. Crop Top: Penneys/Primark.

Capri




Top: Boohoo
Shorts: Primark
Jumper: H&m
Bagpack: Daisy Street from Asos






Did you just die and go to heaven while looking at those pictures? Because that's what happened when we got to this island. I thought Sorrento was beautiful, but when I got to Capri, I thought I had seen the most beautiful place in the world. When we arrived (we got a boat from the harbour of Napoli to Capri) we went on a boat tour around the island. For only €10 extra I was definitely not missing out on an opportunity of a lifetime! We saw part of the Blue Grotto (which is the picture of the crystal blue water) and we also got to drive through the Lovers Arch. The sights were incredibile. When we got off the boat I bumped into my old secondary school and my old teachers!! It was amazing to see them so big big shout out to the Pres in Tuam! It really is a small world. 
We then got a tour of the island before heading to the beach. To get to the centre of Capri we had to take a lift to the top because it's situated up very high amongst the cliffs. 
Overall Capri was the highlight of my trip. I will definitely be returning.


Mount Vesuvius 

There's me on the top of Mount Vesuvius at the crater (it's HUGE by the way). We got a bus to a certain part then we walked about 40 minutes up. Yes I did it in sandals and yes I regret it.
When I got to the summit I noticed smoke coming out of crevices in the crater. It scared me a bit I have to admit as the Volcano is still active. But when I asked, the guide told me its actually the steam from water that goes through the cracks, it's heated from the lava below. This made me a tiny bit less nervous. But it's still magnificent. That's one volcano ticked off the bucket list!
Outfit details: Jumper-Mango. Dungaree dress-Boohoo. Sandals-Penneys/Primark.

Pompei



Last but not least, Pompei. Pompei is incredibile. They say it would take two days to see the whole city. We saw only a small part. We saw the way of life these people had back then. The tiles on some of the floors still intact, paintings and murals on the wall still have it's colour! I loved learning about everything. They also showed us the people who died and were perfectly preserved. One a baby lying down, another seemed to be an adult crouched on the ground looking petrified and another, a dog. It broke my heart. It was sad to know that not only did they die from the 500 degree lava but also the poisonous gas that was released with it. That even if people got away from the ash, the lava etc. they couldn't get away from the gas. 

Overall I am so glad I went on this trip, the only thing I don't like about organised trips is that I can't do what I would like, or see more than what I would like to see. So in the future I will probably organise my own trips like I have always done. But it was great to go with such a great group!

Until next time..


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Sunday, 8 May 2016

Lauryn Rose: Think of Me Collection

When Lauryn Rose Jewellery contacted me to work with them on their "Think of Me" Collection I was absolutely delighted and for two reasons; one, because their jewellery is to die for and two, because 10% of their profits from the Collection goes to the LauraLynn Children's Hospice. 
I've added some photos from one of their photo-shoots of some of their pieces and also the pieces I was given. 



 


The idea behind the "Think of Me" Collection is brilliant. I study psychology so I can understand completely the concept. Basically, these beautiful pieces remind us of our children/loved ones, 
"the thinking behind the charm is that there is increased emphasis being placed on the powerful effect of using antecedent stimuli to effect behaviour".
  What is antecedent stimuli? An Antecedent is a stimulus that causes somebody/something to preform a learned behaviour that will make sure the organism reduces punishing consequences. Originally this collection was inspired by a near fatal car crash. So taking a glimpse of the charms can automatically trigger the brain to slow the car down.




A great thing about ordering online is that there is next day delivery so last minute gifts are not a hassle. And what's even better? Their pieces are made from Italian leather!
When I got my pieces I was blown away by the amazing packaging, they even included rose petals inside! Girls, I literally died from how fab it was, I'm a sucker for great packaging.

Check Lauryn Rose here.


Disclaimer: I am not paid to write this post, all views and opinions are my own. Lauryn Rose sent me their pieces for free to write a review.


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