Friday, 20 January 2017

The Anticipation of an Event

 I've always been someone who likes to have things booked into the diary to give me that little spur on when I'm feeling a little blue. Part of the greatness of a particular event is the anticipation of it; planning it, packing for it, the journey; it all adds to the happiness of that event! When I know I have a trip booked, part of the happiness this even brings me is the anticipation of that event. Booking it makes me happy, and planning it makes me just as happy as the trip itself!

The lead up to Lindos, a week of food and sunshine, was a huge part of the fun!

I read a really good book last year. The type of book that you take ages to read just because you don't want it to end! I picked up "The Happiness Project" written by Gretchen Rubins at JFK before our flight back to the UK. I started reading it there and then, and it's been making my life that bit happier ever since!

Gretchen speaks about the happiness that the lead up to an event can bring people. I guess it's always been something that is true, but reading this book really defined it for me. It's making me appreciate the little things in the lead up to events so much more. I arrived home from work one day back in November, and my mum was burning a candle. It took me a little while to realise what the candle reminded me of, but slowly I knew that it was Christmas. Dan's birthday is on the 1st December so I would usually reject any idea of Christmas before that day out of respect for his birthday! But this year, I savoured that smell and it got me that little bit excited for Christmas - I was embracing the happiness that the lead up to Christmas brings me and so many others!

When I first started to really consider this concept, I immediately felt guilty for comparing the lead up to a trip to as amazing as the event itself. My first thoughts were that the event should be so good that it would outshine anything else. Gretchen made me realise that it is absolutely fine to appreciate the lead up to the event and to enjoy it just as much as the event itself. If we all took a little more happiness from the excitement of things we are looking forward to, I reckon that there would be a lot more happiness to go around.

Here's to enjoying the anticipation of the event just as much as the event itself. Personally, I know that this will bring a whole new heap of happiness to my life.

Do you get just as excited about the lead up to an event as you do for the event itself?

Friday, 13 January 2017

48 Hours in Dublin

 Back in November we headed to Dublin to celebrate my Dad's 50th Birthday! We had decided that just the usual birthday celebrations wouldn't be enough and began scheming for his birthday trip back in February. We wanted to go somewhere close enough for a weekend break, and somewhere with lots to do and decided that Dublin would be perfect.

My Sister and I flew out after work on the Friday night with the boys to surprise our Dad who had flown out in the morning; it was so exciting knowing that he had no idea we'd be turning up. The surprise was well worth the wait, and seeing the smile on his face as we walked into the bar was incredible! After a couple of pints (we were in Ireland, what else would we be drinking?!) it was up to bed to prepare for our first day of adventures. In true Suitcase and Sandals style, instead of doing things day by day, I'll be rounding up our adventures!

Where We Stayed

Mum wanted to stay in the hotel she and Dad had stayed in for their tenth anniversary, so we booked into The Parliament Hotel (formerly The Arlington) which was great. The rooms were clean, and had everything we could need in them! We got a really good deal for our stay, and were minutes away from Dublin Castle and The Temple Bar area of the city which was perfect. The staff were excellent, and put a note in our booking to say that we were surprising out Dad so they shouldn't mention the other rooms. We did have a slight issue with the temperature of the showers on day two, but as we were in a rush we didn't bother to complain about this although with the experience I had with the staff, I think it would have been dealt with quickly and efficiently.

Where We Ate

 As part of our hotel booking we got breakfast included which was usually 10 euros. We all had a full Irish breakfast on both days so we were pretty full for the majority of the day which is ideal when you are exploring a new city. Lunch was a spud pot from the Temple Bar food market on day one, and potato wedges from The Hairy Lemon which were possibly the best wedges I have ever had! Dad chose to go to a gorgeous Italian called Pinocchio in Temple Bar for his birthday dinner, and the food was delicious. The prices were reasonable, and the restaurant was so busy; always a sign of a good place. I believe they also offer cooking lessons too which would be fun!

What We Saw

We spent the first morning strolling through Temple Bar, and the food market seeing a few notorious sights of Dublin whilst we were there, including the Ha'Penny Bridge and the River Liffy. We wandered up to the Pop and Rock  museum which was very interesting and featured some very famous names such as Thin Lizzie and U2. Temple Bar area is a must if you are in Dublin. The cute cobbled streets and various markets and shops were so lovely to stroll around. I'd definitely recommend a trip to The Temple Bar, an absolutely massive pub which looked so gorgeous and festive.

Day two took us to the Guinness storehouse which we had already pre-booked! The tour was self-led and we spent a few hours learning about the Black Stuff before heading up to the bar which has 360 degree views of Dublin, including the Wicklow Mountains. Well worth a visit. As we had a flight to catch late afternoon, the rest of the Sunday was strolling around Grafton Street and visiting St Stephen's Green which I can imagine would be lovely in the summer!

How We Got There 

We booked flights from London Stansted to Dublin through Ryanair - some tickets cost us £80 whilst others cost us £40 which shows the difference in price depending on when you book (surprisingly, the cheaper tickets were booked later!). It only takes about an hour by plane, and it was super easy to get to the city centre. Our taxi was around 30 euros for four people, and it took 30 minutes. If you wanted to get a bus into the centre, I believe they run every 15-30 minutes and a single costs 6 euros which is a good deal.

Dublin is a lovely little city, with lots to do and so much to see - I wish we had had a little longer to see more of the city and maybe even take a day trip to see the stunning Wicklow scenery. I'd recommend Dublin if you are looking for a weekend city break, as you can definitely do a lot in a small space of time.

Have you ever been to Dublin?

Friday, 6 January 2017

Wishlist | January

 There are so many gorgeous pieces out there at the moment, and my wardrobe has been calling out for a freshen up for a little while now. As it's January and I have a little bit of spending money from Christmas, it seemed like the perfect time to do so. Finding a piece you really love is always such a bonus, and I've definitely found myself a few staples recently!


How gorgeous are these pieces! I'm especially in love with the gorgeous watch, and the sequinned boots. I'm all about the effortless style; pairing a slightly jazzier piece such as the watch or boots, with a more laid back outfit like jeans and a tee. 

What have you been lusting over this January?

*I was kindly gifted one of the watches by Browns Family Jewellers. I have been wearing it for a while now and can honestly say it is one of the loveliest watches to wear! It's so comfortable, and I think it is so stylish too. It goes perfectly with everything - from my work uniform to an outfit perfect for drinks with the girls!