A Weekend Camping in Northern Ireland

So the other day I went down the proverbial rabbit trail of looking at #Van Life  pictures on Instagram and Pinterest and you know how they just show you stuff similar to posts you’ve already liked? Well  now whenever I look at either it’s just loads of pictures of camping, pine trees, ceramic mugs and Airstream trailers. I think it’s really interesting that it’s so popular to pack up your life and seek freedom on the road , in a ridiculously expensive and super stylish trailer of course. I’m saying that as a person who would not, under any circumstances want to live in a trailer. And as I write this the universe is conspiring to make me living in a camper van at some point, I’m certain. Dear Universe I like the Airstreams best, okay thanks. Anyway, feeling inspired, we packed up (and by packed up I mean, I nearly packed everything we own, I am a chronic over packer and will read every article on the internet about packing light and then completely forget it and bring 20 pairs of heels to the beach, don’t judge me) and headed out to the woods on a small secluded island, that is, we walked willingly onto the set of every horror movie ever.  There was even a TV left behind just perched on a tree. I know what you are thinking. Why did we stay there after seeing that?? Well my friends,  I can tell you! It was because we’d already set up our tent that has private bedrooms and that thing was a pain in the arse. No, really, the TV was there because the river flooded this past year and washed up all the garbage that had been in the river. I’m sure the river didn’t put it in the tree and that was an intrepid camper and definitely not the guy from Saw. And now you’re asking who disposes of a TV in the river and I second that question. YOU GUYS, we have fucked up the environment already, we have to stop doing this before we all die from climate change or the animals revolting like in that wonderful garbage show ZOO. Anyway we cooked over the fire and drank beer and sangria. I’ll fully admit I’m one of those people who at every social gathering must bring my “special sangria recipe”so I can tell everyone that I lived in Spain, don’t judge me for that either. Also my “special sangria recipe” is wine and whatever fruit I find in the shop. It’s “authentic”. We brought our dog, Tyson,with us as well and were surprised at how well behaved he was, he went to sleep as soon as we put him in the tent! He did momentarily light his tail on fire by going to close to the fire, but no damage was done. It was a wonderful and rejuvenating night for everyone. Except for Tyson’s tail.

picture of camping in Northern Ireland

How did you spend your weekend? Would you live in a camper van for the long haul?

xx

 

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A Weekend in Dublin

The weird thing about moving abroad is that you think you’re going to miss big things from home but it’s really the littlest things that vex and confuse you. While we were out in Dublin this weekend with friends a Spanish friend  expressed her extreme annoyance with having to wait for hot water in Ireland (it’s true, you have to ask yourself if the heat has been on to warm the water or turn on a little “immersion” heater, it’s quite the production). Other things that surprise me about life over here are the hot and cold water taps (how are you supposed to wash your hands?), how delicious the ready made meals are in the supermarket and British television, just to name a few.

dublin2

Anyway, we were in Dublin this weekend and what a surprise for both of us. I lived there for a few months when I was 20 and loved it but walking around again I remembered how cool Temple Bar is, how fun it is going out there and, to be honest, how good the  shopping is. I haven’t done any clothes shopping since moving so I went a bit wild. I was a kid in the 90’s and remember making my first style choices back then so I am nostalgic for the 90’s revival looks. My boyfriend was also surprised by Dublin and enjoyed seeing the sights.We both felt like we were seeing it with new eyes. We also ate a delicious seafood platter at Klaw, it was tasty and the server was so nice. Probably the best thing about the weekend  was being able to catch up with each other and friends and getting a little bit day drunk.

dublin collage

Back at home now and trying to recover from the weekend by eating energy bites and doing Pilates (uggh).

Anyway in conclusion, Dublin is good, working out is bad!

 

 

 

What To Read if You Wish you Were in Paris

 

love style life 2

~Bonjour Tristesse-Francois Sagan
Francois Sagan wrote this classic novel when she was only 18. 18! When I was 18 I was still trying to figure out how to apply make up not completely wreck my life with indecision.  The novel follows Cecile who is on vacation with her father and mistress who are vapid and lazy. When Anne, a friend of her fathers appears their idle and frivolous lives are changed. Bonjour Tristesse is one of my favourite books of all time and belongs in everyone’s bookshelf, Francophile or no.

~ How To Be Impossibly French-Helena Firth Powell
This was the book that started my French obsession (okay, it didn’t start it but it was the first book I bought). I had a baby raccoon at that time (guys, life advice: don’t adopt a baby raccoon even if they are the cutest things known to humankind) and he pooed a little on my book which isn’t very “chic French lady” but oh well. It’s a very enjoyable read and full of good advice.

~The Paris Herald-James Oliver Goldsborough
A semi-fictionalized but mostly biographical version of the American paper in Paris during the 60’s, it can be a bit tedious at times but overall it paints a vivid and beautiful picture of Paris.

~ The Paris Wife~ Paula McClain
Ernest Hemingway is an extremely problematic writer, to be sure, but his role as part of the lost generation and his time in France were important to literature today. This novel follows his stint in Paris through the eyes of his first wife and is beautifully written, insightful, engaging and heartbreaking.

~Love, Style, Life-Garance Dore
Garance Dore talks about developing her personal style and becoming an illustrator, gives fashion tips and talks about her life at the blog. Her writing is so enjoyable I read this in one sitting (sure, it was while I was confined in public transport on the way home for the holidays but still). It’s full of beautiful pictures too!

~ Le Divorce-Diane Johnson
This novel and film have generally gotten reviews ranging from bad to not great. I however have learned from all these books that a French woman is always contrary so I enjoyed this book about American expats in France a lot. And I liked the film. No shame.

~How To Be Parisian Wherever  You Are-Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline De Maigret, Sophie Mas
This book is full of useful advice and even delicious recipes. Whenever I feel like my life is getting out of hand I read this and remember to spend more time staring wistfully off into space, cooking delicious chickens, changing my sisters name in my phone to try to convince my boyfriend that I have a lover and to put ice cubes in my champagne. There’s lots of beautiful pictures as well.

~Parisian Chic-Ines De La Fressange
Of course, if you only buy one book about Parisian style this is the one! From where to shop, fashion rules to follow and break, beauty tips, and more this is a simply beautiful book and one that’s perfect on any book shelf (or coffee table in my case, in case I need some quick inspiration).

 

Well, I’m off now to sit on a bench and suffer some ennui and then have some wine, red of course!