All posts by wwearwhatworks

WHAT LOCKDOWN HAS MEANT TO ME…

Ok, hear me out. Before I get into this I need to make a disclaimer. I’m excited for a haircut, to catch up with my nail technician and have my nails done, to be on the first flight home whilst simultaneously being in the pub with friends. I want to go to a gym class and have someone shouting at me to work harder (without the option to fall down on my sofa mid-session), I want to refuel with brunch and a coffee before having another coffee and cake with a side of people watching just because I can. I want met up with a friend and just walk. I want a pint. I want to leave the office on a Friday with the buzzy Friday feeling and nip into Primark on the way past! I can’t wait to go home and see my family, cuddle my godson, hug my friends, go to my favourite restaurant and nip to the shop for a bar of chocolate without having to justify if it really is essential but if I’m being totally honest… I’ve enjoyed lockdown!

Lockdown, for me, has been a slower pace of life, it been kindness, it’s been compassion. It’s been looking out for those who need help. It’s been getting creative online, it’s been pursuing hobbies I usually don’t have time for and it’s been sleeping late on the weekend without feeling like you’re wasting the day! It’s been appreciating the roof over my head, the food in my fridge, my ability to exercise, walk and pick up groceries. It’s been appreciating my health and the health of my family and friends. It’s been checking up on people but also turning my phone off when I don’t feel like chatting. It’s been quality time with my boyfriend which week in, week out we generally don’t make time for because ‘we live together’, duh? It’s been making the hours in the day count and making time spent inside enjoyable. It’s been catching up with family that I don’t always see and it’s been making dinner alongside my brother and sister via facetime. It’s been exploring new ideas for date night, cooking and enjoying new cuisines from the comfort of my own kitchen. It’s been realising who I genuinely miss in my day to day life and connecting with neighbours I usually only see through tired eyes on my way to work.

It’s been fun.

It seems that before covid-19 swept across the globe life was go, go, go and very little no, no, no. Everyday getting a little faster than the last. We were all cursed with the inability to decline when asked to a certain event, birthday or dinner. Surely it’s manageable to fit in a dinner before meeting friends for drinks under the illusion that you would make it home after one glass of wine so you wouldn’t be too rough for that gym class you’ve already booked into the following morning… a thread of thoughts that commonly swam around my head pre-lockdown. We were in competition with ourselves to keep up with ourselves. Ourselves getting more and more exhausted as the days ticked past. I often said, ‘if only I had two weeks to do nothing’! Life was moving at an unsustainable pace and it was coming to a crescendo.

We have been forced to think about life in a brand new way. A way not known to the majority. Need has developed a whole new meaning. In January of this year I needed abs, a lifetime of savings, a new summer wardrobe and a miraculous upgrade to business class as I had just booked flights to Bali. A week after booking the perfect, Instagram worthy accommodation it was pulled from under me and the only thing I needed was my health and the promise of a secure job. I needed a safe home to endure lock down and I needed to contact neighbours in case they needed a little help day to day. Funny that I no longer needed the contents of my ASOS saved items…

I’ll be grateful to have my freedom back and for the pressure on key workers to be lifted but there are definitely a few things I wouldn’t mind hanging around.

– Friends connecting via home baked good getting delivered to doorsteps,

– Kindness of strangers and the community spirit that is subconsciously carrying us along along,

– Road rage at an all-time low, no one is rushing to be anywhere!

– Finding small wins! There is anyways something to smile about ☺️

– Appreciation of those doing jobs we couldn’t survive without, we marvelled at the technology of contactless shopping and self service checkouts but hats off to those stacking shelves every day as a never ending line of people snake around the building waiting to get inside,

– The initiates of independent business owners, grafting and surviving against all odds,

– The support of locals to shout about and back independents,

– The feeling of community when we connect at 8pm on a Thursday night 👏🏻

– And the smile from a stranger on the street as they pass you on their daily walk!

We’ll all remember this for as long as we live and hopefully will never have to endure it again. Let’s take the wee bits we enjoyed and carry them with us to make the world a nicer place to live in. I definitely don’t speak for myself when I say this has shown us that we really never know what tomorrow will bring! 

Chat soon
Keels x

DATE NIGHT: COOKING UP A CHINESE FEAST!

Weekends in quarantine. Weird, amirite? For me the weeks go in pretty quickly, most likely because I’m still working normal hours, so when the weekend rolls around I feel like I have so much time on my hands!

Continue reading DATE NIGHT: COOKING UP A CHINESE FEAST!

Kindleworm?

Reading is something I’ve loved from a very early age. After dance practice when I was younger more often than not I couldn’t head home until my best friend Eimhear and I had swapped books, mostly Jacqueline Wilson of course! To put it simply it’s something I enjoy, I find it is the perfect escape. After finishing a great book, I find myself thinking about the characters long after I turned the last page, wondering how their life planned out and placing them as people I know in real life. Books have the power to make us think! Everything we see now on social media is so visual, it’s incredible, but the reality is; we don’t get the chance to imagine as much as we used to.

Envisaging my house when I ‘grow up’, it’s got a gorgeous reading nook in the kitchen, a bay window with a timber seat, long enough to curl up on, small enough to feel cosy. It’s covered over by beautiful throws and pillows, it has the perfect ledge to sit a hot cup of tea to enjoy as the rain hits the window! I think of this space often but for now anywhere will do. A Sunday morning in bed, cosied up on the sofa, in a coffee shop and as of recent, my front doorstep, the perfect suntrap!

The smell of a new book is up there with one of my favourite scents, closely followed by freshly ground coffee and second to the smell of my home, home. Every home has a smell, right? A few years back my auntie got me a kindle before I set off inter-railing across Europe for 6 weeks and to my surprise I loved it, it became my best friend on some of the longest (and most dodgy) train journeys of my life!

University happened, the kindle fell to the way side and reading became a chore; something I had to force myself to do to get through another class and ultimately my degree. There was no fun in it!

After picking reading back up again in dribs and drabs over the years, lockdown happened. Everything stopped. Life slowed down. Gyms, coffee and bars closed. Next day delivery ultimately banished and being confined to the comfort of my own flat for the foreseeable I picked up a book and I literally haven’t stopped reading since. It’s only been a couple of weeks but it’s safe to say the bookworm in me is back and doesn’t look to be going anywhere soon. As I researched the best fiction books of the past year I started to compile a list and making use of Ryan’s Amazon prime I ordered a number of books totalling a nice round sum of £40. This had me questioning if this was the best option, I noticed that all the same books I was buying were 99p or thereabouts on kindle… an hour later I had ordered a Fire 7 Tablet and couldn’t wait for it to arrive.

I genuinely think it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made this year. The screen is so clear and easy to read, it doesn’t feel like a strain on my eyes, all my books are in one place and I can simultaneously search for books, read reviews and add them to a list I’ve created of books I may be interested in down the line! I think it has made me read more! I’m not waiting on the delivery man and im saving a lot of money (apart from the one slip up I had where I was sure a book was 99p and turned out to be £9.99)! The Fire boasts so many other features that I am yet to try but you can watch Netflix and even ask Alexa to play your favourite songs! If you have amazon prime, Kindle Unlimited allows you access to thousands of books for free! This is a great feature which may get you reading books which initially you may not have considered.

I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, just get into the habit of charging it at night time! Nothing worse than waking up on a Sunday morning, making a coffee ready for a slow morning in bed with your kindle to realise its dead. I can guarantee the first thought through your head will be – a trusty book would never betray me like this…

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’ll never buy a physical book again but for now, it works 😉

Chat soon, keels x

THE LOWDOWN ON LOCKDOWN

A very strange and frightening time for everyone. What is actually going on? How long will this last? Will my family be ok? When can I go for a pint again? Will I survive without my friends? Is a bottle of gin an essential item? Will I actually start missing Susan in accounts?

Continue reading THE LOWDOWN ON LOCKDOWN

REWEAR WHAT WORKS

There is a climate emergency. We all know this, unless you have been living under a rock (or two). Remember the saying live and let live? Nope, me neither! Today it seems everyone knows something more than the person they are talking to and those who don’t agree with them are just ignorant and uneducated. Some know all there is to know and because they are so well educated on one topic, they feel the need to preach this in an aggressive manner to those less knowledgeable. Or maybe I’m being harsh? 

Continue reading REWEAR WHAT WORKS

CHAMPAGNE ANYONE?

The most beautiful in the city in the world. Architecture to die for. Aesthetically pleasing. Idyllic. Gothic. Mesmerising.

Ways I have heard lots of different people describe Edinburgh, and they are all right! When I first moved to Edinburgh one of the things I fell in love with was the views it offered from all parts of the city. Arriving into Princes Street on the top deck of a bus I was struck with the backdrop of the Castle falling over the city. 7 years later the views still take my breath away, especially on a summer’s day or a crisp winter’s morning!

Continue reading CHAMPAGNE ANYONE?

HEY GIRL, PLAY IT COOL!

August is approaching, when did that happen? Despite time moving at lightning speed, it’s hotting up out there – that’s one positive at least! It’s getting to the stage where duvet’s are just getting a bit too much in the night. Frankly what we all need to invest in is one of those sheets you cling to for dear life when you rent a villa in Spain, get too liberal with the air-con pre bedtime and wake with chattering teeth come 3am. I now find myself waking every morning at an ungodly hour with the sun steaming in through the side of the blinds and quickly grab my eye mask in an attempt to steal another hour’s sleep. 7am 7am rolls around and putting together plans and to-do’s for the day whilst trying to cool down in a borderline freezing shower, the thought of going to sit in an office all day in black tights and a fitted dress grabs me and fills me with absolute dread! So what do you wear to work when it is uncharacteristically tropical outside?

Continue reading HEY GIRL, PLAY IT COOL!

UNCOVER EDINBURGH

An exciting meeting to start my weekend. Who am I?!

As I bolted out of the office at midday I internally squealed with excitement. I arrived home with an hour to spare and began to nervously clean every surface imaginable (Mrs Hinch, you have taught me a lot). Was the next thing on my agenda really happening, did they actually want me or would it all fall through at the last minute when they realised I wasn’t in actual fact Scottish, just took Edinburgh under my wing and lovingly called it home from home…

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As I sat with the project team and the lovely Erika Saccone, a European fashion influencer, it seemed it hadn’t fallen through and yep, they absolutely wanted me… Briefing complete, myself and Erika got to know one another over delicious Thai food (Ting Thai Caravan – if you haven’t been, put it at the top of your list) and a few Espresso Martini’s to keep us alert (obviously)  before calling it a night. All good tour guides need an early night, right?

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Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat and Holyrood Palace – just a handful of the amazing sites to behold when visiting Edinburgh… the first time round. They add character and understanding to a historic city but, for me, Edinburgh’s true character can be found through its architecture, the friendly faces and all those little small streets leading to who knows where! Given Edinburgh’s permanent aesthetically pleasing backdrop, admiring the Castle from small cobbled streets can sometimes be more rewarding – chances are you won’t have to force your way past coach loads of tourists and bonus, you may stumble upon an Instagram worthy café for a coffee, #relateable.

Stockbridge doesn’t feature on Trip Advisor’s top 10 places to visit in Edinburgh. A flaw? Absolutely! Let’s get something straight, I’m not the kind of girl who grabs a coffee at the vendor positioned beneath the Eiffel Tower; I want to get lost in the raw, unedited parts of a city, meet the locals and try my best at fitting in. Making the journey to Edinburgh for the weekend, this is exactly what I wanted  Erika to experience in our beautiful city. Factoring in my favourite independent boutique shops en route, I took Erika on a whistle stop tour of the city because, why would we want her to leave without the desire to plan a return visit.

Whether you have lived in Edinburgh for longer than me, have only began your studies here or are planning a flying visit for the weekend, have you ever thought about what you might find if you tried to Uncover Edinburgh?

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Princes Street and George Street offer just about every High Street store your heart may desire, Multrees Walk is the place to be for high end goods and Harvey Nichols, Scotland’s only designer department store, allows you to feel like a glam diva for whatever amount of time you choose to  walk around admiring things you absolutely cannot afford. Nice try Edinburgh, you are just like every other major city in the UK…. when it comes to the High Street that is. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes people mistake Zara as a friend of mine who emails a lot and I love H&M as much as the next gal, especially for workwear, but what I really enjoy is the personable experience that comes with shopping local!

Thankfully, if you dig deep enough you will find that Edinburgh has an abundance of independent retailers all of which are greatly loved by locals and tourists alike who have been lucky enough to stumble upon them!

ALC
A shop where ‘character’ only begins to scrape the surface and describe this independent retailer. Greeted with a warm, cosy atmosphere, it’s inevitable from first impression you will be returning. If the wall size display of jeans, colourful knits or dainty jewellery isn’t enough to grab your attention, the friendly staff or resident puppy, Nessy, (the obvious choice for employee of the month, every month) will do just that. Adele, the founder of ALC, saw a gap in the market 6 years ago for a bespoke boutique in Edinburgh to help it’s customers find that pair of jeans, or in other words – your new best friend! The snowball effect took place and now the shop stocks a wide range of unique brands not readily available on the high street! Stop in to pick up cosy knit to see you through the winter, a statement coat or simply to have a chat with the super knowledgeable girls and suss out your next favourite pair of jeans.
[61 Thistle Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1DY]

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Aoife – fashion student, retail assistant, blogger and stand in photographer. Girl has got it all going on

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NESSY!

Those Were The Days
Sick of the typical shopping experiences? Venture down the steps on St Stephens Street, Stockbridge and travel back in time to fancy yourself as a 1920’s lady trying on a vintage flapper dress or celebrate the Spice Girls going on tour by picking up your favourite 90’s style piece. Handpicked from as far as LA and New York, Claire, a self-confessed Vintage Rummager, does a great job of finding vintage pieces and nursing them back to their pre-owned state with love and care so the customer doesn’t have to! This hidden gem celebrates all era’s and gives ladies and gents alike the chance to pick up something truly unique, offering clothing for all occasions! I can assure you that if you pick up a party dress from Those Were the Days for your upcoming Christmas Party, chances of Susan in HR wearing the same one are slim to none – winning! Claire shared her love of vintage clothing with Edinburgh and opened Those Were the Days 7 years ago. The gorgeous and quirky shop expanded within the last year to host Edinburgh’s only vintage bridal shop with dresses dating back to Edwardian times. Even if you don’t fancy yourself as a vintage lover, so to speak, call to the gorgeous boutique and I can guarantee you will be leaving with, at the very least, a smile on your face!
[26-28 St Stephens Street, Edinburgh, EH3 5AL]

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Self proclaimed vintage lover, Claire!

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Epitome of Edinburgh 
Ever fancied a total investment, in clothing terms, obviously? Epitome stocks the most amazingly niche and luxurious brands from A.P.C. to Engineered Garments and Sofie D’Hoore including many brands which are only available in the UK. The airy and contemporary store shouts about what it aspires to offer from the minute you open the large glazed door and step inside. The atmosphere gives the most relaxed shopping feel and totally transports you from the manic feel of the city centre only minutes away! Epitome has built rapport with locals and tourists alike over the past 6 years situated on one of Edinburgh’s main artery streets. If a luxury Max Mara coat isn’t what you had in mind, the eagerly sought after Veja shoes will catch your eye or admire and treat yourself to a beautiful dainty jewellery on display. Disclaimer, you will be totally spoilt for choice and leave wanting to be 10 times cooler than you think you already are! PS. if all this sounds too tempting, Epitome ship worldwide, so, what are you waiting for!
[35 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QQ]
https://www.epitomeofedinburgh.com/

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Unfortunately for us, our day flew past at lightning speed and  after spending too much time admiring clothes and chattering like best friends with the respective shop owners, 6pm came about quicker than we imagined. A coffee at Burr & Co to perk us up followed by pizza at Civerino’s Slice was the only thing we could manage as we discussed the day – retail therapy is hard work! The following day we uncovered a hidden coffee shop, The Milkman (a personal favourite), and enjoyed the crisp, fresh day in Edinburgh’s city centre browsing the high street and what it had to offer!

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Almond croissants and coffee from The Milkman.

With so many independent hidden gems my trips to the city centre will be a little different from now on, and so will my wardrobe! Zara will still email me on the odd occasion but knowing of such boutiques adds an element of personality and excitement, and if I am ever looking for a chat I will absolutely be popping in to the girls at ALC – even if it’s just to visit Nessy!

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Do yourself a favour, Uncover Edinburgh. You will be shocked with what you find, the people you meet and fun you have along the way! Independent retailers make it very easy to WearWhatWorks.

Chat soon
Caoilfhionn x