15 Feb 2016

Investment Pieces • The Céline Phantom

When it comes to my everyday bags I always have been and I always will be someone who invests in a really well made item that will stand the test of time... and the test of a busy schedule. On occasion, I've strolled out of River Island thinking that I snapped up a bargain after finding a stunning bag for under €30 only to find it falling apart after a few weeks wear. As I've gotten older, I've found that these off the cuff purchases are always the ones that I regret. 

This leads me to the crux of this post. There aren't many 'bold' things that I like to spend my money on - I don't smoke and I very rarely drink - but for the longest time bags (and fashion in general) have been a penchant of mine and I would rather invest my money in a classic, timeless bag that will hold its shape, style and quality forevermore in comparison to the short shelf life of its high-street counterpart. Don't get me wrong, when it comes to these types of investments I certainly don't make my decision lightly, in fact, sometimes I take an annoyingly long time milling over the purchase but it is always worth it in the end.

The Céline Phantom

I purchased the Céline Phantom two weeks ago and I can without a doubt say it is my favourite purchase of 2016 thus far, although I feel as though it will be the stand out purchase of the year come December too. 

I wear it with absolutely everything. It is the perfect day-to-night bag, large enough to (carefully) throw your diary, phone and basically the kitchen sink into but sleek enough to take out to dinner. I decided on the medium size in black. Over the past year or two I eyed a number of different Céline Phantoms in a plethora of colours but the black is much more timeless and as a result, holds its value to a better degree - not to mention the fact that it is much more 'me' than the colour blocked versions (you know me and my neutrals!). I love it for it's simplicity, it's classic shape and it's durability - it's quite the sturdy little bag.

The Purchase

I purchased my Céline Phantom from the little treasure trove that is Designer Exchange. Designer Exchange is a consignment store tucked away in Dublin City Centre. It buys, sells and exchanges designer bags (and other accessories too) so you're guaranteed to pick up a little discount on your purchase. I've only had the most fantastic experiences dealing with Paddy in store. I can't recommend their services enough. They make sure all of their bags are authenticated and in the best shape possible before selling. As you can clearly see, although my Céline was pre-owned, there is barely any sign of wear - it's as good as new! It also came with it's dust bag and all of the original authentication tags which are both things I love to see when purchasing a pre-owned item. What I love most about the store is that every purchase has a back story - when it was bought, why it was being sold, who the previous owner was - it has a little bit of history!

Before You Invest, Consider...

As I mentioned, I really do put a lot of thought into these types of purchases as I want to ensure that I'm making the right decision. A few questions I like to ask myself are, 'Will it work with your wardrobe?', 'Is it durable?', 'Can you use it for all occasions?' or 'Would you be happy only using it for special occasions?', 'Is there another bag you would rather at this price point?' and 'Is this piece timeless?'.

These are all things that I think are important to consider before you invest, no matter what your price range... even if it's just a quick run through in your head before you purchase!

 The verdict thus far? I'M IN LOVE!

What I'm Wearing
Coat: Zara
Dress: River Island
Boots: River Island
Bag: Céline

12 Feb 2016

Product List: My Everyday Face

For someone that loves makeup, sometimes the process of actually putting on my makeup in the morning isn't the most enjoyable thing in the world... mostly because I know I could be doing 5 million other jobs instead of sitting in front of the mirror for an hour BUT I have finally nailed down a go to look that takes all of 20 minutes to achieve. 

This look is for days when I know I have a few jobs to do out of the house and I want to feel fresh but a little more glam than usual.

Although there are days when nothing feels better than a strong lip or a smokey eye, generally I like to have a bit of a difference between my day and night makeup looks, that way I feel a little more glammed up when I have somewhere special to go!

This is the perfect in-between for me. Whispy false lashes (because mine need a little help sometimes), a little winged liner and a whole lot of highlighter are my go to! My lip colour can switch out but I'm having a moment with MAC's 'Velvet Teddy' (heads up, it looks amazing with a tan!).

Ingot AMC Foundation
NARS Radient Creamy Concealer
Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Setting Powder
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow
Ingot Gel Liner
MAC 'Velvet Teddy' Lipstick
MAC 'Whirl' Lipliner

What's your go-to daytime glam?


11 Feb 2016

A Glimpse At My Apartment + My Thoughts On Moving Out Of Home

I've done it! I've moved out of home.

After months of working on this little project with my Mam, I've finally packed up my things and moved them into a little place that I can call my own. A few years back, I remember asking my Mam when was the right time to move out of home (like there was an unwritten rule that you have to move out at a specific age) and she told me that I'd 'just know' - for me, I guess that age was 23. 

Although I love my family home (I've lived there for two whole decades and then some) I don't think you can beat having a space of your own. In the few short days that I've been living here I've been finding myself being so much more productive. You mightn't think it but living with a large group of people can really shape the way you spend your time - even if it's something as simple as the time you eat at. Haha. 

Moving home has felt like starting the year all over again. When decorating the apartment it was really important to me that it was super bright but still very cosy and homey. Honestly, waking up in the morning to a super bright room gives me so much motivation. 

Paying bills, rent and all that jazz is a little bit of a new thing to me (I didn't experience it to the same extent in College). Trying to organise little things like waste bins, phone lines and parking are all things I haven't had to deal with before but to be completely honest, it pushes me to want to do things that I'm not comfortable doing. You'd be surprised how nervous I get talking to people on the phone that I don't know! Haha. Even though it's a bit scary sometimes being uncomfortable is a good thing! If you stay in your safe zone forever you'll never move forward, experience new things or achieve your goals!

Packing was another thing that I didn't anticipate being so difficult. I figured out that I have way too much clothes, most of which I haven't worn since I was in school and a lot of which I had to leave behind! Also, who knew a girl could own so many chargers... the things you find when you're pulling your bedroom apart. 

The first food shop was interesting. I never realised how long it actually takes to push a trolly around a supermarket when you're in bargain hunting mode, nor did I realise how much it was going to cost when you have to pick up all the staples like oil, sugar, ketchup and coffee (which I don't drink, but what if someone else wants it?).

The place isn't completely finished, so for now I thought I'd share a few snippets of how I've decorated different areas of the apartment. It's coming together nicely and is 100% my taste. If you follow me on Snapchat (Username: grace.edenny) you'll know I picked up some unbelievable pieces  over the last 6 months in TK MAXX which is amazing for kitting out your home with pretty things at discounted prices, so if you're in the market, you know where to go! 

All is going well with the big move so far! I have a feeling I'll never be finished picking up little bits and pieces for this place. Who'd have thought that at 23 I'd be spending my Saturday nights scrolling through interiors boards on Pinterest and searching the length and breadth of the internet to find the perfect bedding? I don't think I'd have it any other way! Haha.


9 Feb 2016

How To: Perfect Fluffy Pancakes

Pancake Tuesday has arrived! What's better than an entire day dedicated to stuffing your face with pancakes without having to feel guilty about it? Not much. This is my first year not living at home for Pancake Tuesday and I've been excited all weekend just thinking about cooking up a pancake feast for breakfast in my very own kitchen (it's the little things)!

I'm more of a fan of the American style fluffy pancakes for Pancake Tuesday (or for a cheeky Sunday Brunch) and after years of watching my Mam perfect her method I seem to have picked up a few things! They are easy peasy to make and are perfect for stacking.

What You'll Need
3 Large Free Range Eggs
115g Plain Flour
1 Heaped Teaspoon Baking Powder
140ml Milk
1 Pinch Salt

Serves 3 - 4

How To
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place in two separate bowls. Combine the egg whites with the salt and whisk until they form stiff peaks. Electric whisks / mixers are your friend if you want to save your arms - I decided to hand whisk mine... it was interesting. Haha.

In your second bowl combine your egg yolks with your sifted flour, baking powder and milk. Beat these ingredients together so that they are well combined (make sure there are no lumps / pockets of flour). Once you're finished, gently fold the egg white mixture into this bowl. Be very careful not to over mix, you'll want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture - this is what gives you the perfect fluffy texture. The final product should have an airy consistency - not runny like a crepe batter.

Using a ladle, pour your pancake batter into a good non-stick pan on a medium heat - no butter necessary if your pan is pancake friendly. When you start to see bubbles forming on the top of the pancake it's time to flip! Cook until your pancakes are evenly golden. You'll only need a few more seconds on the second side.

Now it's time to decorate! This part is perfect for getting kids involved or for throwing a little pancake buffet with your friend! Stack them up high and add fresh fruit and cream, butter and sugar, jam, Nutella or, my favourite, a generous drizzle of maple syrup (which is also very tasty with bacon!) - so much choice! 

I think they look so impressive (and very Instagram worthy). This recipe from Jamie Oliver is a great base to start from. It can be doubled or halved depending on the number of people you're cooking for. Whether your pancakes are drizzled with sauces and syrups or sandwiched with fruit, marshmallows and chocolate everyone thinks that you've gone to a lot of effort to make them when really it only takes about 15 minutes!

Let me know if you give them a try! Snapchat me (grace.edenny) or tag me on Instagram (@gracedenny). 

Happy cooking!



8 Feb 2016

Travel Tips: Disneyland Paris

Most people that know me are well aware of my love of everything Disney. I blame my parents for the obsession but I also love them for it. At 23, I am still such a big Disney girl (I'm known to twist my boyfriends arm into visiting too often - he loves it, I know it). For me, nothing beats the magic of walking through the gates of the main Disney park, catching a glimpse of Sleeping Beauty's Castle glistening in the distance whilst skipping down Main Street USA to the soundtrack of classic Disney movies - it's the best feeling in the world and gives me goosebumps to this day!

After my latest visit, many of you asked for a few tips for planning your trip to Disneyland like where to stay, when to visit etc - so here goes!


If it's an adults trip...
Chances are, you'll have a little more choice when it comes to the time of year that you visit. I would suggest that you go out of peak season and mid-week. It's a lot less crowded which makes finding your way around the parks a lot easier and less hectic if it's your first time there and queues for rides and restaurants are a lot shorter. 

Festive times of the year are my favourite (Christmas, Halloween, Easter, St. Patrick's Day etc)  because Disney likes to go all out with decorations, it's amazing - but this can also mean large crowds. However, there is a way around the crowds. Get yourself on to the Disneyland Paris website and look for the dates that the decorations go up. I have managed to avoid the extremely large crowds at Christmas time by visiting in mid-late November and in early January. The crowds are just nice (not too quiet or too busy) and all of the decorations are still up! You've got the best of both worlds (kudos if you picked up the Hannah Montana reference)!

If you're visiting with little ones...
You might be a little more restricted to the times of the year that you can visit. School holiday's unfortunately do mean long queues and big crowds but though it sounds like a nightmare it does add to the atmosphere! Again, you can visit slap bang in the middle of festive periods which means there are more events to take advantage of especially at Halloween & Christmas / New Years!


If you're staying in a Disney Hotel...
3 words: Extra Magic Hours. A huge help if you're visiting with kids or at a busy time of the year. Extra Magic Hours allow you up to 2 hours extra in parts of the park before it officially opens to the public - this includes some of the rides! All you've got to do is stay in a Disney Hotel. 

Disney Hotel's can be a little more on the expensive side but they are so much closer to the parks. Most are within walking distance (Sequoia Lodge, Newport Bay Club, Hotel New York & Disneyland Hotel) which is a huge advantage as you don't have to worry about waiting on transportation or even something as little as forgetting something at the hotel and worrying about the trek back to get it. Access to The Disney Village is much easier - again, you can walk rather than get a bus so you have quicker and easier access to a bigger selection of restaurants and shops!

If you're staying in a Partner Hotel...
This is something we have chosen to do for our last 2 visits. Partner Hotels are still technically Disney Hotels but are a little further away from the parks. Unfortunately you don't have the advantage of extra magic hours but if you've visited Disneyland before and you know the attractions / areas of the parks you want to visit or if you're visiting during off-peak season and queues / crowds are on the smaller side I don't think this is much of an issue. 

Partner Hotels are usually slightly cheaper for the same quality as a Disney Hotel. Free shuttle buses to the parks leave almost every 15 minutes, so you're never waiting too long on transport. You still have access to The Disney Village, you just need to take the shuttle bus. I find if you have a basic plan for your day (even if it's just where you want to eat when the parks close) staying in a Partner Hotel is just as good!


You'll most likely be eating your most important meal of the day (really, you'll need as much fuel as possible for all the walking) in your hotel. Some hotels provide you with a selection of set times for breakfast that you choose at check-in. This means that you will select the times that you will go for breakfast every morning that you're staying in the hotel (this is usually for crowd control purposes & isn't enforced as much at quieter times of the year). Breakfasts are all buffet style with a great selection of hot and cold foods to get you ready for the day! On occasion we have missed breakfast  (bed was just too cosy) but Starbucks in the Disney Village is great in that case. 

Lunch & Dinner : Food In The Parks
Two times of the day that you'll be spending in the parks or in the Disney Village. To get straight to the point, food in the parks and in the Disney Village is a little expensive for what you're getting - so be prepared. You have a great selection of food from Deli's to Fast Food Quick Service and Sit Down Restaurants. We tend to keep the sit down meals for evening time and just grab a quick snack at lunch time whether that's a hot-dog or a sandwich, hence why filling up at Breakfast is a good idea.

There are some cool themed sit down restaurants in the parks such as the Blue Lagoon Restaurant which is situated in the fort in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in the main Disneyland Park, so you can watch the ride go by as you eat. Another themed restaurant to experience? Bistrot Chez Rémy. This restaurant is modelled on the film Ratatouille giving you a rat's eye view of a dinning experience. You spend your time sitting on a bottle top, eating on a jam jar lid underneath an oversized cocktail umbrella - it's pretty cool.

After park hours, check out the Disney Village for more restaurants but if possible try to get to them before the Fireworks Show ends to avoid crowds and a very long wait for food.


Two Park Tickets
Disneyland Paris is home to two parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, and every time I visit I pick up a two park ticket. When it comes to rides there is something for everyone (literally toddlers to grandparents) and if you want to get the most out of your visit it's worth picking up a two park ticket - I could never choose one or the other. Disneyland Park is the original park and is host to lots of classic rides like Pirates of the Caribbean, Phantom Manor & It's A Small World. You also can't leave Disneyland without seeing Sleeping Beauty's Castle! Although there are a few big thrill rides (Big Thunder Mountain, Indiana Jones And The Temple of Peril & Space Mountain), you'll probably find more in Walt Disney Studios. In recent years, Studios has quickly become home to some of my favourite rides. I recommend the Rockin' Rollercoaster, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Crush's Coaster (don't be fooled by the facade, it's way more thrilling than you'd think) and you've got to visit Toy Story Land - great for kids and big kids (the RC Racer is brilliant).

Make use of the Fastpass system where available! It can cut your waiting time for rides in half, especially for the big rides. You pop your park ticket into a machine and receive a Fastpass ticket with a return time. While your waiting you can go off on another ride with a shorter waiting time, then come back and board your ride in a matter of minutes through a dedicated entrance skipping half the queue! 

Be Sensible
You're going to be doing a lot of walking and standing in queues so do yourself a favour and wear comfortable shoes. There's nothing worse than walking around like a new born giraffe because your feet hurt. It can end up ruining your day. Also be aware of the time of the year that you're visiting! Paris can get very cold from Nov - Feb so make sure to wrap up!


Parades & Firework Shows
A must see in my opinion! The Disneyland Park has a few parades throughout the day and a huge firework spectacular before the park closes. Both are amazing and if it's your first time there you have to stick around to watch. Kids and adults alike love seeing all of the characters in the parades and the animations projected onto the castle for the fireworks show are stunning! 

Outside The Park
If you're in Paris for a long enough period of time make sure to take a trip out of the parks. There is a train station right at the gates to the park which you can take directly into the centre of the city! It takes about 40mins and drops you right at the Arc de Triomphe. Paris is such a beautiful city, it's so picturesque and there is lots to see - the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Damme, Montmartre and if you're feeling up to it, it's all walkable!

Disney Hotels & Partner Hotels also provide a shuttle bus (€5 return, I think!) to La Vallée Village which is a fabulous shopping outlet for those of you that might be feeling spendy. Think Kildare Village but bigger (it's actually the same group that own both shopping outlets).

... and that's about it! Short and sweet. Haha. I didn't realise there was so much to say about Disneyland!

I've covered everything I could possibly think of! If you're jetting off to the most magical place on earth I hope you found this helpful and I hope you have the most amazing time!


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