Blogs

MY 72 HOURS IN NYC

‘There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless!’ – Simone de Beauvoir

Travel blogs, you know the ones that make every city break sound like the perfect weekend and every holiday seem like a total escape accompanied with the most surreal photos and you genuinely think, how…  disclaimer, thats not me. My photos are a mixture of everyones best attempt capturing what they can on an iPhone, uploading to a google photos account and picking the least blurry ones. Simple! As for three days in New York City – It was amazing, at least we all though so! A weekend filled with food, laughter, family, friends and plenty of G&T’s so have a read to see what we got up to and hopefully it may help on your next trip to NYC. Oh and if you haven’t been – go!

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The concrete jungle, the big apple, the city that doesn’t sleep. A lot of buzz terms for a city I had never been to only watched time and time again in some of my favourite films. I imaged myself from a young age to be Audrey Hepburn gazing through the window of Tiffany’s or on an alternative day  sipping a hot chocolate as I stroll through Central Park with my family – things I only dreamt of as a wee girl!

During a weekend at home back in October my daddy, brother, sister and I sat down over lunch and agreed a family weekend away in, potentially, London ahead of Christmas was a must! Such discussion quickly took speed and before lunch was over flights to New York City were booked and all the best areas to stay were being discussed. Invites were extended to the nearest and dearest and a group chat of 7 pinged to life as everyone gave their tuppins worth of what they absolutely wanted to see, the cookies they needed to try and most importantly, a list of bars which we had to stop in. Every tourist attraction requires refreshments, surely!

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Fast forward five weeks, my out of office activated we flew direct from Edinburgh to JFK, – the journey was a dream. As I scrolled through all the films I had no intention of watching and tried to get stuck into a new book, the only thing I managed to do successfully was sip on a Baileys as the the excitement took over.

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Landing in JFK the snowflakes were coming down hard and fast onto the small peep hole windows of the Delta plane. Was this real life? After impatiently queueing to get through immigration, grabbing our bags we made our way to the arrivals terminal where we met with my daddy and Deirdre and made quite a song and dance.

New York City – we have arrived!

The journey from the airpirt was longer than usual as the uber driver ploughed his way through the bumper to bumper snowy highways which left us checking in at The Beekman Hotel just before dinner time! The old fashioned, contemporary hotel located in Downtown Financial District contrasted old with new and cosy with chic effortlessly. Going through into the buzzing bar area we met with family friends and warmed up with a drink or two!

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Dinner in a beautiful Italian, De Claudio, only minutes from the hotel made for a difficult walk in heeled sock boots (great outfit choice Keels) but before we knew it we were back in the comfort of the cosy hotel bar awaiting the arrival of my brother, Niall (who hoped to be in NYC ahead of our arrival but after a delayed flight and an 8 hour bus journey in the snow he made it just before midnight…) The hotel’s nightclub welcomed a visit from us all before calling it a night ahead of an early morning of sightseeing.

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FRIDAY

A hotel with a Dunkin Donuts on its doorstep is the one for me. Waking up with a coffee and glazed donut we made our way to the harrowingly beautiful 9/11 memorial before hoping in a taxi for brunch at The Butchers Daughter, an amazingly instagramable vegan/veggie brunch spot. The Hangover Killer had me feeling right as rain before the breakfast taco’s landed on the table, mmmmm. Moving on we visited the dreamy Christmas window displays at Macys, Times Square which shock isn’t actually a square (yep, blew my mind), spent too much time in Sephora and walked to The Palace where I did my best Serena van der Woodsen impression too many times and wondered why Dan Humphrey wasn’t waiting for me in reception… moving on. Lunch brought the whole group together at Fig and Olive off Fifth Avenue before walking the length of it (not realising how long it was) to find a rooftop bar with views for absolute days, taking in the Empire State building on our way! The day ended with a group of Irish and New Yorkers in an Irish bar on Fifth Avenue. Cultured, i think not. Cliche? Absolutely. Mc Donald’s in hand I hailed a yellow cab in my best Sarah Jessica Parker impression and was snoozing by midnight. What could tomorrow bring?

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SATURDAY

You know the drill, coffee and donuts accompanied a walk over Brooklyn Bridge which was conveniently located five minutes from our hotel. The absolute scene’s of NYC from Brooklyn are second to none. We dandered around DUMBO (an absolute must) before queueing for Juliana’s Pizza. TIP: It opens at 11:30am and we got there just before, unaware of the queueing ordeal. Thank god we did because hungry stomachs would not have dealt with the queue that followed the first seating! Get there early!
Taking in the surreal sights we made our back back across the bridge and onto the Dead Rabbit, if its the best bar in the world surely you have to sample a cocktail at least! Walking along the water admiring the skyline we took an absolute yolo decision to book a helicopter tour. The views of NYC from the sky were something you absolutely could not imagine, highly recommend if you are on a flying visit, like us! Walking home through Wall Street we had a quick turn around. Our last night in the big apple was a special one and a family friend who runs a top class dining experience made for exactly that! As we sat at the Chef’s Table at the authentic ‘farm to table’ Black Barn Restaurant Crab Tortelloni, Vension Rositto, Truffle Mac and Cheese, King Prawns and Sweet Potato gnocci were only a few of the dishes being passed around. We were spoiled for choice with a full view of everything being freshly cooked right in front of us as we enjoyed amazing wine and lead through every dish by John Doherty the owner and head chef!  If you like a good atmosphere, stylish people, good food, amazing desserts and even better wine then honestly look no further!

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SUNDAY

Check out day. Who knew three days could feel so long but so, so short! We had a long lye that morning before checking out as out flight wasn’t until late that evening and decided breakfast would be in China Town. What a place! I honestly felt as though I had been transported from country to country as we walked through China Town then Little Italy and onto the cool and quirky area of Soho. Desperately trying to pass as cool New Yorkers we grabbed the subway to The Highline –  a linear park over a mile long created on a former New York Central Railroad, the absolute highlight for me, a little planning geek – and dandered through Chelsea and the Meat Packing District all the time wondering how and when I could uproot and move here. Think of these places as the Shoreditch of London, uber cool with an air of, dare I say it, hipster. Totally up and coming and when I return I vow to spend at least twice as long there, if not the entire trip! Ending the day at the Grand Central Station I wished I was hoping on a train else where but unfortunately the hotel was calling as we made our way back to grab an Uber to JKF.

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True, we didn’t see Central Park or make it to the Top of the Rock but in 72 hours we found our own little favourites in the mix of a massive city. The most amazing trip with my favourite people. New York was not what I imagined but in saying that, I don’t actually know what to expect. Admittedly I did think it would have a level of tackiness but maybe we just unintentionally avoided this, who knows! What I do know is that it is the coolest city in the world and I will be making a return visit sometime soon. I mean, I still have to try the cookies from Levain Bakery, apparently they are the best you will eat. XOXO Blogger Girl

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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

COFFEE BREAK?

Everyone loves a coffee, whether it’s a pre 9am coffee run to kick start a dreary Monday, a pick me up at 3pm on a Thursday afternoon when your keyboard starts to look comfortable enough for a snooze, a Saturday morning post gym class or a lazy Sunday when the only decision you have to make is the salted caramel brownie or carrot cake– or both?

Continue reading COFFEE BREAK?

HEY, YOU! DON’T BE A RAT

It’s 9:30pm, I am writing this from the comfort of my sofa, eating banana bread and watching the bake off on catch up – a critical point to begin on. Work finished at 5pm, admittedly I did go to the gym but that’s a daily occurrence. I then proceeded to come home, shower, make dinner and slump on the sofa.

Is this what we all do?

Continue reading HEY, YOU! DON’T BE A RAT

Summer’s over… let’s office!

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but its true! The Edinburgh Fringe has come to an end (listen close enough and you’ll hear locals scream with happiness), sunshine comes a little later in the mornings and hello, its September – where has 2018 gone?! Summer is well and truly over, which means autumn clothing will be making a reappearance soon enough. Anyway, I digress…

Continue reading Summer’s over… let’s office!

LETS MAKE SOMETHING CLEAR

Insecurities, we all have them! As small or insignificant you may think something is, to someone else it could be life changing. The difference between going for that dream job or simply having the confidence to go on a night out!

Continue reading LETS MAKE SOMETHING CLEAR

Flying high on social media?

HELLO! It’s been a while, but very recently I made the journey back home, from Edinburgh to Derry and whilst making my way there I realised a number of things. Taxi’s in Edinburgh are dear, airports are busy, people are very slow and most importantly social media has us hooked, absolutely hooked! During that epiphany, a blog post was born!

Continue reading Flying high on social media?

LEPRECHAUN FOR A DAY

A seasonal blog entry? Who would have thought. This one is a little different from my previous posts but when Edinburgh’s newest lifestyle magazine, Opulence,  asked how an Irish gal in Edinburgh spent the big day I just couldn’t say no.

WearWhatWorks steps away from the usual attire and, as Regina George would say, on St Patrick’s Day we wear green!

Continue reading LEPRECHAUN FOR A DAY

SLOPE STYLE

Ok, let’s begin with this, you have two options:

  1. An all expenses paid trip to lye in the sunshine for a week or
  2. Pay your own way to the slopes?

Before you get ahead of yourself, please don’t base this decision on that ski trip you embarked on with 7 teachers and 39 other students in your 2nd year of secondary school…

For me its a no brainer, I would grab my puffer and start singing in the streets to build up the ski fund if I had to! Don’t get me wrong, I love the heat but honestly, a ski holiday, for me, comes next to none, especially in the company of a big group! Oh sorry, you said your not into sports/outdoor activities? Don’t worry, the Après Ski is enough encouragement for anyone to get involved!

Continue reading SLOPE STYLE

BRITs FasHUN

OK, I’m no massive TV watcher but I love music. I mean don’t get me wrong, I was border line obsessed with Love Island (anyone know when its coming back on our screens) and Celebs Go Dating is on my TV every night (guilty) but the night of the BRIT awards is my all time favourite.  Red carpet, live music,  amazing outfits and horrendously good jokes from Mr Jack Whitehall what is not to love?

Continue reading BRITs FasHUN

My First Event as a BLOGGER!

Have you ever felt like a VIP? Well, get comfy, let me explain.

Dry Jan (for those who actually had the willpower to complete it…) ended with a classy bang on Feb 1st when I was invited to attended my first event as a blogger (faaancy)!  I attended the Sesh Hairdressing Salon Relaunch, and wow, how fantastic!

Continue reading My First Event as a BLOGGER!

Valentines or Galentines?

February, it means one thing right?

Valentines Day, I mean it’s the marmite scenario all over again , you either love it or hate it, you buy into it or you roll your eyes every time you see a cartoon love heart or set menu on your way to the office. Personally, I’m a lot more excited for pancake day on Tuesday but that’s another blog post… oh, and for the record, I would never have marmite on pancakes!  Continue reading Valentines or Galentines?

Five Fave WorkWear Looks!

Throughout the week I wake up and have a different feeling of how I want to look and feel that day and for me, I do that through my choice of outfit! On a Monday, the comfier the better, on a Wednesday I might make a statement, motivation to get things done perhaps but by the end of the week I’m feeling chilled so dress down Friday’s are a must! Continue reading Five Fave WorkWear Looks!

Welcome!

HEY

It’s my very own blog, it’s happening, welcome to WearWhatWorks!

Thanks for stopping by, this blog hopes to covers everything fashion; the benefits of dressing for yourself and wearing what makes you, you! 

As Dr Suss said, ‘Today you are you, that’s truer than true. There is no one alive that’s youer than you!’

Student days are a thing of the past for me, I’m now working a real life, full time job (hehhh, when did that happen?) and since stepping into the ‘real world of work’ I have noticed that many ladies evidentially see dressing for the day ahead as an absolute chore! When I was an office newbie, comments flew past me daily remarking that I had ‘really made an effort’ or that i was ‘looking rather bright’ or I was simply ‘very well presented’ that day and I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but why the hell not!! 

Alot of woman believe men have it easy getting up every morning and mixing it up with a new shirt or tie, but its evident that many woman wake up and begin to rifle through their, potentially outdated, wardrobe without taking the time to stand back and think (even for 2 seconds, I know time is precious pre 8am) how they want to feel that day! That wardrobe should be your saving grace for Monday’s miseries, Tuesday’s turbulence, Wednesday’s workload, Thursday’s triumph, Friday’s fun and (most importantly) the weekend’s antics!

Many woman won’t make half an effort because ‘they don’t care about the men in the office’ or some other ridiculous excuse … its time to start dressing for YOU and make yourself feel good because lets face it, only you can do that!

So, come on, admit it, your workwear hasn’t been updated in, you want to say a few weeks but in reality your wearing that grey jumper, you know the really comfy one you got when you started working… yeah 5 years ago!

Look good, feel good …  its that easy!

But before we go any further, let me introduce myself. I’m Caoilfhionn – commonly mispronounced.  I’m sure you just read past that name and thought ok I’ll deal with that later…Believe me, I have heard every pronunciation from Caitlin to California and to simply, ‘Hi can I speak with the Irish one please?’ So to save you the bother, well go straight in with phonetics – its pronounced KEE-LIN, simples!

Previously I worked in retail where there was no choice but to wear black (black dresses, black skirts, black trousers if you fancied.. but it had to be BLACK) so I was delighted when the opportunity presented itself to get creative with my ‘work-wear’ as its known.

Now please, plenty of people will read this and think, why? What’s the point? But let’s be honest, as much as we don’t want to admit it, we spent the majorityyyy of our week (or life as it sometimes seems) in work so why not make a big deal of it, regarding fashion at least?

When I started out I separated half my wardrobe for ‘work clothes’ and half for ‘weekend outfits’ but as time went on they seemed to merge. I love my job so what’s the harm in mixing and matching? I mean the majority of my Saturdays are spent in gym wear until such time I choose to socialise and Sundays are only fun when spent in loungewear watching Friends or Gossip Girl, am I right?

Its not all work and no play though, I love getting dressed up for a night out, sourcing out the best new restaurants  and sampling all the independent coffee shops Edinburgh has to offer!

So go ahead, have a read, have a scroll because you may just find yourself a high street bargain, the newest trends, a few tips on how to make Monday easier, or more bearable, or even how to jazz up a ‘boring’ Thursday outfit for weekend-eve drinks post office hours!

Follow me on Instagram @_wearwhatworks for daily updates and keep your eyes peeled for more blog posts coming your way! If you would like to contact me, drop me an email at justwearwhatworks@gmail.com or leave a comment below!

For now, I better get back to work…

Chat Soon, Caoilfhionn x

WearWhatWorks