Tuesday, 24 October 2017


I've slowly started to develop an obsession with patterned trousers. They're just so easy to make into a look. Simply add a simple t-shirt and jewellery voilà, you're put-together. That's how I usually wear these Urban Outfitters trousers... But on this occasion I went for something a little more daring: a mesh top and bra combo - in broad daylight - sacré bleu! It was New York Fashion Week though, so no one battered an eye. This was nothing compared to the true style icons strutting down Manhattan.

Top + trousers: Urban Outfitters | Bag: Hebe Rose New York

NYFW is old news at this stage, but I had to mention it since it turned out to be one of my favourite weeks in New York so far. I was busy shooting bloggers, running from one event to the next, and loving every second. All while wearing these stripy trousers to death - it's a good thing they're so comfy!

Photos by @shotbyjessica

Oh, and an insane thing happened that week! NASDAQ were asking people to tag photos from 29 Rooms - an interactive, pop-up art gallery - for a chance to be on the billboard. I snapped and tagged and boom! Next thing I know my friend Michelle is smiling away on the NASDAQ billboard in Times Square - in two photos that I took. That's one for the photographer's bucket list right there!

I can barely comprehend my NYFW. Glad I documented it on video because I don't think I'd believe it all happened... NYFW you were bizarre, busy, and just brilliant. Here's to many more!

Follow along with my NYC adventure over on Instagram.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017


I've had yellow-tinted teeth since I can remember. I don't drink coffee or smoke, but somehow that's the colour they remained. Until, that is, I tried at-home teeth whitening with Smile Brilliant.

I didn't know when I'd be able to afford professional whitening - especially with New York City prices - but I couldn't bear my British smile in a sea of perfect pearly-whites. American's sure know how to take care of their teeth! So this alternative to dentist whitening was an absolute godsend.

Of course, teeth whitening strips and the likes have been on the supermarket shelves since forever. But they can be a little hit or miss: they aren't the easiest to use, and they don't always brighten the teeth evenly. What I love about the Smile Brilliant teeth whitening kit is that it fits your teeth perfectly - because the moulds are made from your own teeth! They'll send you clay and trays so you can make moulds and send it back to their lab. A few days later you can expect a package at your door with your new moulds, ready to go!

And then the whitening process begins! First, you apply a strip of the teeth whitening gel to your mouth moulds. You can wear these anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours. Veer on the side of caution first, especially if you have sensitive teeth, and try them for 45 minutes. Then you can increase the time you leave them on in increments of 30 minutes over the next few days of use. Luckily, I've never suffered from sensitive teeth, so after a few days I started wearing the gel for the full 3 hours for maximum whitening. I haven't had any noticeable increase in teeth sensitivity, so I'm thrilled!

After whitening, brush your teeth. Wash and dry the moulds and apply a strip of the teeth-desensitising gel. Wear this for a further 15-20 minutes. Do not skip this step! You do not want to risk making your teeth much more sensitive. Once you've done that, take out the moulds, and you're done!

I must admit, I was shocked at the taste of chemicals when I whitened my teeth the first day. I don't know what I was expecting! But after the first few days, I had gotten used to it, so that's not a problem any more.

And my results? Well see for yourself...

I could not be more pleased with the improvement. I can finally kiss my yellow teeth goodbye!

Fancy trying Smile Brilliant yourself? Enter my giveaway or go ahead and use my code technicolourdreamer20 at checkout for $20 off.

Tooth Whitening Gel

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


Acorn Street in Beacon Hill is said to be America's most photographed street, so naturally I popped 'round and get a few snaps. Over on my photography Facebook page I've shared some photos I took of Louise Sweeney there, but I also got in a few photos myself...

Top, overall shorts and shoes: H&M // Bracelet: Vintage // Watch: JORD

It's clear to see why this little street in Boston has become so photographed. How could a place this picturesque not become a tourist attraction? Cobbled streets, a large American flag, and overgrown greenery all come together to make this the perfect picture spot. Obviously, you can expect a constant stream of tourists with phones in hand to get their pics. But ever committed to get the shot, Louise and I stayed put for a good 30 minutes to get pics without any unwanted bodies in the background!

It's not just Acorn Street that's Insta-worthy, the whole of Beacon Hill is charming. Mosey beyond the famous street and you'll find enough old-timey buildings, cute shops, and brunch spots to keep you busy. Speaking of brunch, Bin 26 Enoteca was where we got our fix, try the eggs Benedict!

If you're like me on a city break, and you love to simply stroll down streets to see what you find, Beacon Hill is a must-visit spot in Boston. I also found a few other great places to visit, but you'll have to wait for the next blog post to read about that... Until then, I'll see you on Instagram.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017


On the week of Independence Day, I got to thinking about my time here in America, and more specifically New York City. I've lived in this city for over 8 months now (whhhat?) and over this time I've discovered some harsh realities about life in the Big Apple.

While I'm usually all about spreading the positivity, today I thought I'd dish the dirt on what's not so great about this great city. So buckle yourself in, it's about to get real up in here... Oh and the photos are of me on my rooftop during 4th of July festivities!

Inside I'm crying...

1. You will be ghosted

If you are unfamiliar with the lingo how old are you? it's simply when someone suddenly poof disappears out of your life. They won't reply to messages or calls, and they certainly won't provide any sort of explanation. Until I lived here, I had no idea what it truly meant to be ghosted. But oh boy do I know now. It's practically an initiation process here. Get ghosted by a love interest, a potential employer, a new friend, and BOOM congratulations you're officially a New Yorker.

Most frustratingly, it's extremely common for prospective employers to ignore you. I must have applied to over a hundred jobs when I first arrived in this city. And 9 times out of 10, I heard nothing in return. Which would be fair enough, if it was only after the initial job application that I heard nothing. But even when I got to the face-to-face interview stage, I'd still hear no word back. In one instance I even emailed an interviewer twice to get a yes or no. It doesn't matter that it was obviously a no at that stage - out of common decency they should have replied! I never heard from them.

It's just so easy to walk away and never see someone again here! The city is so big, you're not going to randomly bump into them. And so the ghosting epidemic continues...

2. You will burn out

While this can happen anywhere, it's particularly true in New York City. There are so many things to keep on top of here. It's not just your job. You'll be looking for accommodation, or scraping together enough for your weekly food shop, or simply trying to keep on top of your social life. It's the city that never sleeps, after all. Might as well kiss your 9 hours a night goodbye.

If you're living away from your family home, like so many Irish are, everything intensifies too. New York, man. It's tough.

3. You will compare yourself to others

I'm not one to compare myself. I know I'm on my own route and taking it at my own pace. But there is something about this city that makes you compare yourself to everyone else here. You'll be in awe of people who seem to do it all: Bagging promotions, working on cool personal projects, and still finding time to go out for cocktails on a Thursday night. How do they do it?

Hopefully it won't get you down too much, but you probably will fall into the comparison trap at least once. If you manage to never compare yourself to others as you live in this city, tell me your secret!

4.You will be broke

New York is expensive. This shouldn't be news to you, especially if you are planning to move over. Funnily enough, it seems like almost everyone scrapes by, regardless of their income. The bigger the payslip the bigger the apartment, I guess. And it is the monthly rent that will eat up most of your cash. Then there's the price of food here. It's insane! No matter how frugal you are, you will feel broke at some point.

5. You will hate it...

But you'll also love it! When I first moved here, I didn't understand how anyone could not adore this place. But as time wore on, I must admit I was worn down by this city. And yes, at times I've hated this city. It's relentless and sometimes it feels like there is no escape from the grind. But, ultimately I still love this place - I wouldn't hang around if I didn't! And if you love the hustle and bustle of city life, there's no doubt you'll love this place too... on good days!

I also did a chatty video about the harsh truths of living in this city, if you feel like listening to me ramble.

It feels strange to write such a negative post, as I am an optimist at heart. I hope it doesn't put you off moving to New York, rather I hope it sheds some light on some lesser talked about parts of living here. It's not for everyone, but if you're even a little drawn to living here I do recommend trying it! It's hard out here, but there's no place like it. Good luck!

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


As much as I love city life, Manhattan gets seriously stuffy in the summer months. So over the weekend, I decided to skip the city and head straight for Coney Island with a few friends.

My first pit stop was Nathan's for the world's best (according to them!) hotdog and crinkle cut fries. And while I can't say if they are the best in the world, it was certainly the best hotdog and fries combo I've had! Hunger satisfied, it was on to the attractions.

Dress: H&M | Watch: JORD | Glasses: Wildfox | Necklace: Top Shop

I'm not the biggest fan of rollercoasters and the like, so I opted to just do the ferris wheel like the scaredy cat I am. But that was lovely, and gave me a chance to get a great view of our surroundings. Add in a fried Oreo or two and I'd say that's a day well spent at the seaside.

Coney Island isn't a must-visit place if you're popping to the city for a holiday, as it is very crowded and there are far better beaches and theme parks to visit. But if you're in NYC a little more long term and are looking for something different to do, it's worth giving it a try. I'd recommend going in the summer season (of course) and on a Friday when there are fireworks! Oh, and there's karaoke on the boardwalk too, randomly enough!

You can also catch up with me over on YouTube. Here's my most recent vlog, featuring my trip to Coney Island...

That's the latest with me. Happy 4th of July y'all. See you in the next post!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


NYC is not a good place for living that frugal life. But alas, here I am with a few cents in my pocket and dreams bigger than I can afford. I thought, why not blog about it? Enter my new blog series: Skint in NYC. Check out the first of the series, Bagging a Free Haircut

I may be counting my pennies, but that shouldn't mean I can't get my fix of culture every now. Luckily, New York City is chock-a-block full of iconic museums and art galleries that you can do on the cheap. The trick is knowing when to visit, and knowing when the admission prices are just suggestions. So let's get into it...

Where: The Metropolitan Museum of Art

What: Pay what you wish

When: Any day, any time

If you're headed to New York, a visit to The Met is probably pretty high up on your to-do list. Thankfully, it's completely affordable, because it's pay what you like! Though you can be easily fooled into coughing up $25 for an adult ticket, as the signs state this as the admission price. Look closely at the sign though, and you'll see in smaller print that this is only a recommended price. In actuality, you can play as little as a dime if you wanted to! Don't worry about the cashier judging you when you hand over a measly dollar bill. Honestly, they get cheapskates thrifty people like me and you all the time. They won't bat an eyelid.

Once you're in, you'll have access to pretty much all the collections on display, save the odd members-only exhibit. A must-see is of course the Anna Wintour Costume Center, to get nerdy about fashion. Next head to The Sackler Wing for the photo ops next to those huge windows... Oh, and the history too I guess! Finally, I always make a trip over to the modern art wing, as it's my favourite style. Whatever kind of art you dig, you're bound to find it here - this place is massive! Be sure to etch out a full day in your schedule for The Met if you really want to see it all.

Where: The Museum of Modern Art

What: Free

When: Fridays from 4pm

Unfortunately, it's not as easy to get into the MoMA for cheap. However, if you're willing to queue for a bit, you can get in for free on Fridays at 4pm! You'll only have a few hours until it closes at 8pm though, so if you're hoping to see it all you better have your walking shoes strapped on tight.

You'll find recognisable work by iconic artists here, including Salvador Dalí's The Persistence of Memory, Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night, and - of course - Andy Warhol's Campbell’s Soup Cans. But it's not all about the well-know pieces. The museum is dedicated to showcasing work by emerging artists too, so you're bound to stumble upon a new favourite while you're there.

Where: American Museum of Natural History

What: Pay what you wish

When: Any day, any time

I have to admit, this museum is not one of my favourites, because it is very focused on natural history (duh). That's not really my thing. But, I had some time to kill and I love me a good outing, so it was fun to wander around. And it's pay what you like, so why the hell not?

Bonus: it's where Ross worked and also hooked up with Rachel(!) - is that not reason enough to visit?

Some deal as The Met, simply hand over your donation and you'll get your ticket. While there is usually a special exhibit that you'll have to pay full price to see, you can skip it and still have plenty to peruse.

Where: Brooklyn Museum

What: Pay what you wish

When: Any day, any time (they're closed on Mondays and Tuesdays though)

Brooklyn Museum is definitely an underrated New York City spot. It's not in a part of Brooklyn that many tourists would wander to, but they should! I mean, for the interior alone, just look...

Seriously had such a great time exploring this museum... It was when I first arrived in the city, when I had no one to hangout with and could only have a date with myself, so that's exactly what I did! Loved it.

Despite all these tips, I'm not saying you should pay the bare minimum to get into these museums. If you have a bit of spare cash then by all means, donate what you can, I'm all for supporting the arts! I'm just letting you know that it is possible to do these museums even if you're on a really tight budget.

This is just a hand-picked selection! There are many free and low-cost museums on offer, check out this list if you're looking for more things to do when you're skint in NYC. Or for something completely different, read about how I bagged a freebie haircut in this costly city.

Until next time, you stay thrifty, NYC.

Monday, 22 May 2017

The Look I'll Be Living in this Summer | OOTD

It's getting hotter here in New York City, so I've been on the hunt for some flowy and light pieces to add to my wardrobe. My budget is not on my side, however, so I've mostly been raiding cheap-and-cheerful shops with little more than $20, hoping for a retail miracle. My prayers were answered, when I stumbled upon this little gem of a jumpsuit in Forever 21.

Jumpsuit: Forever 21 | Watch: JORD | Bag: Hebe Rose | Necklace: Topshop | Shoes: H&M

It's super simple, but that's why it's so perfect for me. With a limited wardrobe - half my clothes are back home in Ireland - I have to get resourceful with my outfits over here. A one-time wear kind of ensemble will not do. I need something that can be worn day and night, and that's definitely this jumpsuit. For nights out, I'll pair it with heels and delicate accessories. I'll dress it down for day-to-day office wear, like how I've worn it here. Throw on my Taylor Crossbody, and I'm ready to land at Hebe Rose HQ for and get my hustle on.

Then there's the accessories. Or should I say: that watch. I received this gorgeous piece by JORD in the post last week and since then it hasn't left my wrist. I forgot how great old school watches are!

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I feel so relieved to have a watch back in my life! It's such a great way to stop wasting time on your phone. Before, I would always be looking at my phone for the time. But of course, then I'd see the notifications and start checking Instagram, Twitter, email... And it's not until I slide my phone back in my pocket that I realise I still have no idea what time it is. Plus I probably wasted 5 minutes from all the needless social media scrolling. So for me wearing a watch is a pretty little life hack.

Psst, click to get $25 off a JORD watch, with the chance of winning a $100 JORD gift card.

You can expect to see me wearing this ensemble a lot this summer. How about you - what is your go-to look for the warmer months? I'd love to hear in the comments!

Thanks to Jord Watches who sent me their Frankie 35 in Dark Sandalwood & Slate watch for review. Cool Watches

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

What Am I Even Doing Here? A NYC Update

Rarely do I share chatty life updates here, but as the halfway mark of my current year long visa approaches, I wanted to sit down and share. How do I begin to make sense of these whirlwind six months in New York City? Let's focus on what exactly I'm doing in NYC...

Jacket and Necklace: H&M | Trousers: Thrifted | Shoes: Penneys/Primark

Firstly, I finally got my job signed off by my sponsor CIEE! So I can finally announce that I'm working with the incredible ethical handbag company Hebe Rose New York! While my focus with them is digital marketing and PR, I've been doing a little bit of everything! On any given day you could catch me running around the Garment District picking out fabrics; pulling inspiration looks from fashion magazines; or meeting influencers who could promote the brand. Think Devil Wears Prada but with far friendlier people! So far my highlight was the Brand Reveal, which was attended by a bunch of cool influencers who I identified and invited. It's my first job in the fashion industry, and I'm getting a real insight into how it all ticks over.

But I'm also getting a taste for the fashion industry from another angle: as a photographer's assistant to NYC fashion photographer Joseph Chen. At this job, I'm learning each and every detail that goes into making a beautiful image. From location scouting and securing permits to hauling lighting equipment around the location to retouching and colour grading the final images. It's been an intense few months, but worth it for how much I'm learning.

And on top of working those two gigs, I also do a lot of freelance photography. I recently launched my Facebook page for that so do give it a like if that's your kind of thing. It might sound crazy busy, and it is, but I love each job and I cannot stress enough how much I am learning out here. All thanks to opportunities I just would not have gotten back in Ireland.

From this post it seems as everything is going swimmingly, and in a lot of ways, it is. But, real talk: New York is tough. Tougher than I ever imagined it could be. But it's all part of the experience. I needed toughing up anyway.

Follow my New York adventure on Instagram.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Inside My Notebook Collection: 5 Excuses to Go Stationery Shopping

Notebooks are my favourite thing to splurge on when payday rolls around. Sometimes I think I have more notebooks than thoughts to write down, but most of the time I think: where's the closest Paper Source?

Since this blog is a space for all my loves and obsessions, it's about time I share my current notebook collection with you, and let you in on what I use each one for too. First up it's...

1. The Journal

This A4 beauty is the Kate Spade spiral notebook in which I write down my thoughts, doodle, budget and keep track of my goals. Whether I'm documenting what's already happened or planning ahead, I'm probably picking up this notebook. It might not be the most efficient way to do the serious stuff like budgeting, but adulting is just so much more fun when it's written in a pretty notebook with a scented gel pen.

2. The Morning Pages Notepad

Writing morning pages is now a morning ritual of mine. Morning pages are when you write down your stream-of-consciousness for three pages. It's simply a way to get your thoughts down on paper, clear your mind and see what's important to you for that day. I usually start by writing what I'm planning on getting done, and end by scrawling down a few gratitudes. This little notebook is perfect for the practice because it's pocket-size, meaning that writing my morning pages doesn't take a huge chunk out of my day.

3. The Appointments Planner

Why "The Appointments Planner" and not just "The Planner"? Welp, it's because I have two planners. Could someone organise an intervention for me because my notebook obsession is getting out of hand...

Anyway, this Paperchase 2017 diary is where I note down every single event, meeting or appointment I have coming up. It's the notebook I'll pick up when I need to know where I've got to be. After I've been to an event, I'll strike through and tick it off. If I don't make it to an event for whatever reason, I'll scribble it out. This distinction is important as I like to be able to look back at a day and be able to see where I was and what I did.

4. The To-Do Planner

The To-Do Planner is the sparkly one pictured above - the blue one is my Appointments Planner. Obviously, I use the To-Do Planner to keep track of my daily to-do list. But it's also important for my goals - I choose a realistic day when I hope to have achieved the goal, note it down, and if that day comes and I've completed the goal I get the satisfaction of ticking it off. I have symbols for whether a goal is completed, not-completed or postponed to a later date, kind of like the ones you find in bullet journals. For the sake of brevity, I won't go into any more detail about my system here, I'll save that for another blog post perhaps!

4. The Work Notebook

Of course, most of my freelance work is done on my laptop, but sometimes you need to note things down on paper for ideas to flow. That's why I use this black marble notebook, from Staples, for my work. Admittedly, I don't use it enough, most days I won't even pick it up. But it is great to have by my side for when an idea needs brainstorming.

And that's all my notebooks... For now! Either I've convinced you that you need another notebook in your life or I've convinced you that I have an unhealthy addiction to stationery. Either way, I hope you enjoyed the post and would love you to follow me on Instagram and Bloglovin'! Until next time xx

Monday, 27 February 2017

Bagging a Free Haircut | Skint in NYC

NYC is not a good place for living that frugal life. But alas, here I am with a few cents in my pocket and dreams bigger than I can afford. I thought, why not blog about it? Enter my new blog series: Skint in NYC.

For the first edition of Skint in NYC, it's all about the hair. If you're going to do NYC when you're broke, you're going to have to do it with good hair. Having no money in this city is ten times when you don't feel and look your best.

Skip to the tips or read on for more chats.

The before. Absolute state of that hair!

I was having a bad day in general, but it was also a bad hair day. My buzzcut had grown out to an awkward, untamable length and the rest of my hair was simply greasy and unloved. Oh, and there was no end to my split ends. All these factors were at play when I wandered past a hair salon with a sign calling for hair models. I barged in, ready to sign my soul away in exchange for a new do.

This is only for hair style changes, you know?
Yes, yes okay.
How short would you go?
As short as you want.
Really, okaaay...

...That, my friends, is the conversation of a desperate girl and a sightly bemused Asian hairdresser.

So I put my name down and later received a text from Mami, the hairdresser who would be giving me my new look. I'd since calmed down a bit and started backtracking... I don't want it tooooo short. Luckily, she wasn't eager do an extreme makeover so I was happy to trust her with my unruly mane.

The hairdresser's was the quirky KIDA NYC at 369 Broome St. Freebies aside, it seems like a great salon to get a cut, with its cool decor, chill tunes and lovely staff.

Before and after

After letting Mami know what I wanted, she got to work. The buzzcut was snipped to size with scissors - rather than a razer - to make the ends look more natural. To finish the look she blowdried it to its natural wave, by scrunching the hair as heat was applied.

Since this was a training exercise for the Mami, the supervisor came over to review her work. The two girls nattered away in Japanese about my hair - presumably the supervisor was giving feedback and letting Mami know where she went wrong. The longer they talked the more I worried something had gone array with my hair! Since their conversation was in Japanese, I was left in ignorant bliss. The cut looked good to my eyes anyway...

The final look

All-in-all, it was a pretty stress-free experience, but not one for the faint-hearted! Ultimately, you are letting someone practice on your hair, so mistakes can be made. And with that word of warning out of the way, here are my tips for getting a free or cheap haircut in NYC, if you care to dare with your hair...

How to bag yourself a free or cheap haircut in NYC:

  1. Decide what you want: Are you going for a colour or a cut? And just how wild would you go with your new style? Obviously, the more open to new styles you are the easier it will be to find a hairdresser who wants to practice on your hair! But don't feel pressured to go for a completely new look if that's not what you're after. Just know how flexible you want to be and make what you don't want very clear once you've found a potential hairdresser.
  2. Bookmark this: This handy guide by New York Magazine has a list of all the top hair salons that offer cuts and colours for free or cheap.
  3. Pop in and ask: New Yorkers are a friendly bunch, so if you spy a cute salon that you'd like to try out, why don't you go in and ask if they're looking for hair models?
  4. Search the Craigslist "free stuff" section: I know, I know. Craigslist is full of creepers, right? Well, not necessarily. I've been using Craigslist to find photography gigs for a while now, and it's been great! You can find freebies here by simply typing "haircut" or "hair color" in the search bar. Of course, on a website where anyone can post anything you're going to get some dodgy posts - so be careful! Have an email or text conversation first and if it's at a legitimate salon, you've found a winner!
  5. Don't forget to tip: Just because it's free doesn't mean that you shouldn't give your hairdresser a small token of appreciation in the form of a tip. Since I am still getting used to tipping etiquette here, I turned to @LeHoarder - a blogger who always bags herself freebie haircuts. She told me that while it is optional to tip, if you're going for a cut you could tip $5-$10 and if it's a colour then $10-$20 will do.

And that's it! Let me know if you've ever been a hair model in the comments.

Keep up with my Skint in NYC series by following me on Bloglovin' or on Instagram. Wishing you only good hair days, always! x