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A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self | Updated

Saturday, 3 February 2018

A Letter to My 18 Year Old Self | Updated
With my 22nd birthday swiftly approaching, I have been feeling nostalgic and had a root through my old blog posts. I then came upon a post that I wrote just before my 20th birthday- a letter to my 18 year old self. Reading that letter made me emotional- I had just gotten out of a two year relationship and still had a whole lot of growing up to do (even though I know I still do). That's why I decided to write an update, a new letter to my eighteen year old self.

Dear Eighteen Year Old Michelle,

Enjoy your last few months of school- you were a quite kiddo but I'm glad you made the most of your time in that mad place. You'll grow to learn that your secondary school gave you a surreal experience, that many kids growing up didn't didn't have. From the funny to the heartbreaking- you'll be thankful that you went to that school. Between the funny moments of girls locking their teachers out of their classrooms, to the scary- a girl falling down three floors onto a marble floor (but still being a ok). Your home ec teacher- Mrs. Edgely, will have thought you more than just that subject. She inspired, motivated, encouraged and impacted her student's lives more than I think she'll ever know. School thought you so much more than just maths and geography. The deaths of two girls in your year and the year below puts life into perspective and shapes your mindset into one of appreciation. You learn the true meaning of 'your health is your wealth' and you never know what is around the corner. St. Dominic's gave you an appreciation for the situation you are in, the opportunities you have in life and most importantly, to value everybody around you that you love.

You will find your voice in college. I'm not sure why you were painfully quiet in school but don't worry, you grow out of it. I think it was a mixture of being insecure, not knowing who you were or what you want to do but don't worry it'll pass pretty quickly. A little switch will flick and all of a sudden you will find your voice, believe in yourself and you'll be like a new person. You'll be so proud to know that you have gotten to the stage of confidence that moving thousands of miles away from home where you don't know anyone didn't even take a second thought.

College wasn't only great for that- you're going to have so much fun, learn so much from it and finally get to be yourself. I truely believe that it was some of the best years of your life. You discover that media is the place you want to be (despite so much negativity about it in your course) and that the journey starts when you graduate. You'll have some mad nights out, end up in strange and testing situations but end up in McDonalds at the end of the semester and it is all ok. That J1 you always wanted helped you grow up and although you went in not having a clue what to expect, it exceeded all expectations.

If I have any advice for you- know your worth. Diving into starting your career will be daunting but don't sell yourself short. Know your abilities and if you have a bad gut feeling- it is worth listening to. This doesn't just apply to your career however- people will hurt and mistreat you and you should have more self worth than to take any crap or to forgive when they didn't deserve to be forgiven. You need to surround yourself more with people who build you up rather than pull you down.

Time and timing is everything- you'll figure that out over the years. Between meeting a boy in San Diego when the last thing on your mind was a relationship to when the decision to finally move to the US came about. Everything happens for a reason and timing plays a huge part in that. Accept that we do not always have control on things and trust that everything will work out. Time gives you an amazing perspective about the mistakes that you have made and how things really were at the time- but that is all one learning experience for you. Just keep living your life for yourself and only yourself. The rest will fall into place. 

Stop giving out about Ireland and enjoy the country a bit more. After you have spent the summer living in California you get the opportunity to explore Ireland so much more. Thanks to a boy you'll get to experience life outside your Dublin bubble, get to see parts of the country that you never did, act the tourist and really appreciate the rolling hills, mad drinking culture and the history. Although it is small, the people are welcoming, the atmosphere is amazing and the healthcare system is quite good too (in comparison to the states haha). It is one of the best countries in the world however you just know while you are young it is just not the place you're meant to be in. You'll grow to love every inch of your Emerald Isle and know in your heart that this will always be where you call home.

Dun Laoghaire will fast become your favourite place. Between the sea, beautiful houses and Scrumdiddlys, it has i
t all. The place is one that both calms and inspires you. It will become a place initially where if you need space or a little cry, you can go, look out at the sea and just breathe and talk with your best friend Lizzy. Although holds that quality as the years go on, it begins to hold really special memories with friends that you will always remember no matter where we all are in the world.

Your nearest and dearest are absolutely amazing. The support of your parents is insane and they have so much love for you. They gave you an amazing childhood and allowed me to take every opportunity that arose. They can be overprotective but you're their one and only so don't get too bothered by it.

As for your friends, you keep a close few but they are all absolutely amazing people. You know that although you don't talk everyday, as soon as we needed each other, we'd drop everything and go. We all have our flaws, some of my friends can be absolutely insane, but I love each and every one.

I'm proud of you for sticking to your guns, having a good perspective on things and being there for your best friends when they needed you throughout the years. Keep doing that, keep the head up and you'll be fine.

Love from your older, and a whole lot wiser 22 year old self x

Writing this letter took so much thought, editing and tears and I'm so happy I could share it with you all. I truly recommend writing a letter to your younger self, it is such an emotional experience but so worth it in the end. When I reflect on my last 'letter to my 18 year old self', I almost find it funny about how much I thought I knew when I actually didn't. 

Thank you so much for reading and have a wonderful weekend x

Hello 2018

Monday, 8 January 2018

Hello 2018
Well it is safe to say that the end of my 2017 has been a whirlwind.

As I sit here in a coffee shop in a Chicago suburb, it really has hit me that I have left the Emerald Isle and I have absolutely no idea about what's ahead. I have just started a brand new life with people I don't even know yet- a terrifying thought. The fear of the unknown is what is getting to me the most- my usual routine has gone out the window. For the first time in my life I'll be completely alone and will have to fully fend for myself- scary ay? But I'm ready for the challenge.

Saying the goodbyes to my friends and family was something that I didn't expect to be so hard. Despite us being constantly online, when there is an eight hour flight between you and your loved ones it can make you feel quite disconnected.

Moving to Chicago however at this time is extremely exciting, new year new me as they say but now I'm starting completely fresh in a brand new city.

I have a few resolutions this year and I thought I'd share them.

TAKE CARE OF MYSELF
The big move I'm sure will take a toll on me and I have vouched to take care of myself as much as I can. I'm going to start by taking care of my hair and skin- using better products and not being lazy with it all. Hair masks and face masks once a week and not just using micellar water to take off my makeup. I want to get my hair cut more regularly so that for once in my life I won't show up to the hairdressers in a years time with a million split ends.

TRAVEL
I don't know how long I'll be in the states for, but if I'm here for the year I want to travel. Some places on my list are San Diego for the fourth of July, New Orleans, Vegas, Philadelphia, New York, Charleston and Nashville. Granted, that is a very far stretch but hopefully I can make travel a priority this year (as long as I get a job of course haha).

I wish you all the best for this crazy year ahead. I cannot wait to make the absolute most of every single day because I'm so fortunate to even have this opportunity in the first place.





How to Style Dresses for Winter With PLT

Thursday, 23 November 2017

How to Style Dresses for Winter With PLT
Is it weird that the only time I tend to reach for dresses is in Winter? It could be because summer dresses are just not my thang and the deep autumnal shades just speak to me.. Who knows but all in all dresses can be worn all year round and I'm here to share some tips about how you can style them this Winter.
OVER THE KNEE BOOTS.. ALWAYS
We all know that bare legs are a no go during the Winter (we need a bit of a break from shaving our legs, right?). One way to stay warm and look trendy is to throw on some over the knee boots with the dress you're wearing. I find that I style them more with flowy and more girly dresses to contrast with the, dare I say raunchiness of the boot.

MIX AND MATCH TIGHT DENIER
During the winter season, tights are an essential in any wardrobe. Not only do they keep us semi warm, they come in so many variations. Personally, I stick to the all black number but I find that mixing up my tight denier can change the look of certain outfits. Now while on them frosty mornings I like to stick to the 'Super Cosy' number from Penneys, for an evening out a nice light, thin pair can change up a look.

ADD KNITWEAR
Get the most out of your clothes and start layering jumpers over dresses. By adding a touch of knitwear, it will elevate your look by adding more texture as well as making the end of your dress look like a skirt! Not to mention, it adds that extra warmth that we all need under the jacket.

OUTFIT #1
Dress / Jacket (Penneys) / Boots / Bag (Old Topshop)

OUTFIT #2

I really hope you enjoyed this post and liked the looks I created for Pretty Little Thing!

Have a great weekend.


A New Chapter

Thursday, 21 September 2017

A New Chapter


I'm currently 21 years old. 21, standing on a stage in my cap and gown with a university degree under my belt. Two weeks ago, on the 7th of September 2017 I graduated with a second class honours degree in Digital Media from Maynooth University.

What an achievement ay? 



(Bag was a brand from Topshop and I can't find it anywhere sorrrrrrry)
Sometimes we take university for granted, I know I did. Complaining daily about how much I didn't like a particular module or how difficult computer science was (in fairness it was very hard haha) but overall I hardly remember the bad. It is so different not being in lectures everyday and not seeing all of my friends. However we all know your girl is not about to give up on them student nights out just yet, I have been out for the past two Mondays in Maynooth chucking back tequila. Just because I don't go to lectures doesn't mean I can't join em' afterwards!   

I've recapped on my university experience on my blog before, you can see that here so I won't go into too much detail about it.

One thing that frightens me however, is the fear of the unknown. I have had the security blanket of education for the last 17 years and now, it is all up to me. 

Fear isn't bad though, it can push you to move forward. 

I'm so excited for this new chapter in my life, although I'm just currently waitressing full time, I'm about to embark on a very big and very scary change and adventure coming after Christmas which I cannot wait to share with you.





Rome Travel Guide | Where to Stay, What to do & Overall Tips

Friday, 18 August 2017

Rome Travel Guide | Where to Stay, What to do & Overall Tips

Rome is one of the most beautiful and visited cities in Europe, and there is a reason for it! The place is just filled with culture and there is something to see around every corner. The beautiful streets and the architecture had me in awe so I decided to share my experience of Rome including where we stayed and what we did.

Where We Stayed

We stayed in a hotel called the Grand Hotel del Gianicolo, a beautiful hotel located about 15 minutes outside the centre of Rome in an area called the Trastevere. We had a really good experience with the hotel, it had a pool which we spent our days at. We initially booked the hotel because it had a pool and I'm very glad we did because the heat was insane (obviously because we went in August- not our smartest move!). 

Things to Note
  • The pool was such a pro- there was always an available sun bed and there was such a relaxing atmosphere.
  • The aircon didn't work properly- they said that it was under so much pressure because it was so hot which is fair enough but it was very very warm. In fairness I found that in Rome in general, nowhere had very good air conditioning.
  • The rooms are small but spotless, have a lovely bathroom, a TV, safe, a mini fridge and great wardrobe space. 
  • Although we loved the hotel, the immediate area around it is quite dead- we couldn't find anywhere to eat and everything was closed. We had to get taxis everywhere however they weren't expensive, sometimes €7 one way into the city.
  • Although the food in the hotel was lovely, the menu is limited and it is so expensive. We ended up paying something ridiculous like €35 for two club sandwiches and chips and two cokes by the pool haha. 
  • Breakfast was nice though and the views were amazing.
Overall though, the staff were very helpful and friendly and I would recommend this hotel. The pool sold it to me!

What We Did

There is so much to do and see in Rome and the place is just brimming with culture and history. We saw the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and all of the main touristy sights (except the Vatican) and we did them all at night. It was easier to see everything at night because it was slightly cooler and there was slightly less people. Be careful around these areas however, there are so many pickpocketers and locals harassing you trying to sell you things (something that really annoyed me hahah). 

We took a trip to the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary too (a must if you're a crazy cat lady like me).

We did a three hour walking tour of Palatine Hill, The Roman Forum and the Colosseum at 2:30 in the day and it wasn't our best idea haha. Although everything we saw was absolutely beautiful, it was about 40 degrees and just unbearably warm to really enjoy. I'm glad I did it to see the amazing sights but it is safe to say that by the time we got the the Colosseum we were fit to go home! 

An area that I highly recommend is the Trastevere area, on the other side of the river Tiber. This area is quieter and much less touristy, filled with gorgeous bars and restaurants giving you a really nice Roman experience.

Where to Eat

There was nowhere that truly stood out food wise except a gorgeous little restaurant we visited in the Trastevere area called Meccanismo. The atmosphere was great and the drinks were very strong, a very good experience overall. 

Overall Tips

  • Avoid Rome in August, it's very warm haha.
  • Be prepared for men to hasstle you to buy things on the side of the street- keep your cool with them because they really tested my patience. 

So thats it, my Rome Travel guide. It is such a beautiful city that everyone needs to put on their bucket list.