Sunday, 25 September 2016

COSTA BRAVA - Calella AKA The Last Hurrah

On the 7th of September 2015, Maeve and I arrived in Barcelona. 

Firstly, we landed in BCN just before 9pm. It was dark, which I've since discovered is not the ideal time of day to arrive in a city you've only been to once that you now plan on living in for the next 10 months. It's not good for you - the sudden realisation hits you of everything you've left behind and you've to go scout out some dinner at 10pm with your friend who is equally as terrified. Upon finishing your spaghetti bolognese, you've to hit the hay to get up and begin your new life in Spain and to start the house hunt which you presume should be easy enough in a city as big as this (IT'S NOT). You're laying there in the dark staring at the ceiling listening to the sounds coming from Las Ramblas on a Monday night (which are weird enough at the best of times) and you have a cry. Your friend is sound asleep and you're wondering how she did that. You're getting a little scared now and you're feeling very lonely on your little bed made out of a palette and an IKEA mattress. But you know what happens then? You wake up to the sun on your face which continues to happen on 95% of your mornings, you find your apartment filled with too many people to have such a small kitchen and one shower to share between the eight of you but you're okay with it so you kit the place out in all the things from Tiger and IKEA, your best friend becomes your family, you're up for anything because it's all new so you agree to go out with two girls from Donegal that you've been chatting to on Facebook and meet the boy you've been emailing because he's essentially your new work mate and arrange pre drinks with a girl from home that you only really know through other people. Do you know what happens then? They all become your people and then they connect you to their people and it's all lovely and many dinners are had, beers are drank, jives are jived and memories are made. 

For my last weekend in BCN, all these lovely people (Niamh, Nadie and Claire - you were missed!) and I headed east to Calella on the Costa Brava and checked off something that we had been meaning to do for a while - camping! We stayed at Roca Grossa, played Articulate, drank G&Ts in the playground, cheered on BCN in the football, sang songs (a bit too loudly), shared the beach with some fisherman late at night, did some yoga, sang more songs, managed to fit five people into a three man tent, swam in the pool AND in the Med. You know what happens then? I leave all these lovely people and fly back to Ireland. I land in Dublin at 11pm. It's dark outside and I'm so happy that it all happened.

Thanks for it all guyz, 

Miss yaz, 



Tuesday, 20 September 2016

August Mood Board ~ Dive Deep

    Have you ever floated in the ocean? Like, lied back where your ears are under the water and the rest of your face looks like its peaking out - and just floated? It is the most.relaxing.thing.ever. This is the feeling that inspired my August mood board, Dive Deep. When life is a bit of a shambles having a positive mindset amongst it all and embracing that still yet all encompassing sound that floods your ears when underwater, that's what you need - stillness amongst it all. One of the most helpful things that helps me out of a mind funk is music. I've recently redownloaded Spotify and I use it morning, noon and night! The Discover Weekly playlist serves up a fresh batch of tunes according to your musical appetite every Monday and is probably my favourite aspect of the app. My only complaint - it ain't got Lemonade! Beyoncé, share the goods paaaleazee! Alas, feast your ears upon some music that inspired my August. 

songs for divin'

songs for floatin'

I hope you're all happy and healthy,


Thursday, 18 August 2016


Deco and I took a trip to Begur in May. Hitting up the Costa Brava was on my to-do list before leaving BCN and Begur ticked off that to-do so right! 

Begur isn’t necessarily a seaside town (the medieval centre is situated on a hill 10 mins from the coast) so a car was necessary to do some beach hopping. We rented ours from Centauro who are my new favourite car rental company. Being under 25 and not owning a credit card can lead to some bulky charges being held on your debit card but with Centauro they accept debit cards with no extra fee and the driver is only €25 per person. Glorious! Now you can use that free money in your account to order G&Ts and eat tapas to your heart's content.  

The trip from Barcelona El Prat to our hotel in the centre of Begur was just under two hours. There’s no direct train line to Begur – the nearest train station is 30 minutes away in Flaça. Buses are an option from Barcelona, as far as I can remember they run twice daily. The company’s name is Sarfa and you can check out their website here

We stayed in a hotel called Hotel Aiguaclara which is just the cutest place. Run by a Catalan couple who will kit you out with all of the maps you’ll ever need, Hotel Aiguaclara is in the centre of Begur. The rooms are beautifully decorated with enviable gallery walls and a rain shower that everyone needs in their life. Breakfast is buffet style and all homemade. There’s even a recipe to make pa amb tomaquet (a Catalan requirement with most meals) right there and then.

Eat & Drink
La Pizzeta - Pizza and pasta galore!
Bar Cal-los - An enviable postcard collection and yummy G&Ts.
Pati Blau - They give you blankets if your table is outside and you're feeling chilly. How nice! I also highly recommend the salmon. 
El Tapas de Begur - Great tapas and beer!

Doesn’t beach hopping sound like the best thing ever? Well it is. Grab a map from your hotel or from the tourist office located in the centre of the town, hop in the car and get going. My favourite beaches are Aiguablava followed by Platja Fonda. One thing – do not solely trust your GPS when it comes to finding these beaches. Use road signs in addition to help you find your way. The Costa Brava is famous for its coves so a lot of these are located in hard to get to places. To get to Platja Fonda in particular you have to walk down 100 steps to get to the sand! But once you do it’s so gorgeous. The first picture is of our first day in Aigauablava. The rest are of our second day when we went to Platja Fonda and walked on the coastal path towards Aiguablava again. There are lots of coastal paths that you can follow – have a look at the maps at the tourist office and they’ll lead you there.

A nice walk around any town you’re in is essential. In Begur, don’t miss out on the castle, which gives you the most beautiful views of the Costa Brava.  

I took a camping trip on my last weekend in BCN so expect a post on that soon. Oh to be back in the Med!

Until then,



P.S. My sister got a Wacom Intuos Pro which I've been playing around with on Photoshop - hence the squiggly lines and doodles on the majority of these photos.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

March Madness ~ Bunkers with Nicola and Sarah

Bunkers del Carmel is probably one of my favourite places in Barcelona. It's an old army bunker that was once used to defend the city during the Spanish Civil War. Aswell as that, have I mentioned before how I love mountains and rooftop bars? Well this place is basically the offspring if those two had a very attractive baby. Whilst Nicola and Sarah (the last of my March visitors) were here, I took them up to ooo and aaa over the views, take a few photos and write some postcards. 

I hadn't heard about this place until I moved to Barcelona when one of my housemates was raving about it. If you're ever visiting BCN it's a must do in my opinion. If you search it on Google maps it comes up pretty easily and you can make your own way or try mine! Take the V17 bus towards El Carmel (you can use your T10 metro card or pay €2.15 each way) and hop off at the very last stop. Walk up the road directly in front of the bus stop. Continue on until you reach a little neighborhood of houses and turn right. Walk up the insanely steep hill (use that gluteus maximus!) and be hit in the face with the best 360 view of Barcelona. It's equally as beautiful at night when the whole city is lit up! 

I'm leaving Barcelona for the motherland at the end of this month. I plan on writing about my experience here including finding an apartment, a job and other things including my favourite spots to eat, drink and be merry! 

Until then,

Friday, 22 April 2016

March Madness ~ A Weekend With Rose & Esther


It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday! And by gettin' down I mean renting green bikes and having a picnic. Rose and Esther arrived yesterday. Last night we got Pizza Circus (XXL oh so delicious pizza from Gracia) and some beer. Today we're feeling fresh and I'm so happy that one of my bestest friends from Erasmus is in Barcelona (Rose) along with her super fly cousin (Esther). First stop is El Nacional for some lunchtime coffees and mini beers. I accidentally stumbled across this place one day and fell in love with it - the restaurant itself is insanely gorgeous, the staff are as friendly as you can get and I want their bathrooms in my future Spanish villa. Next, we head to Green Bikes via Placa Reial where you can hire a bike for €10 for 24 hours. We name our bikes and ride happily on over to Parc de la Ciutadella, picking up a picnic on the way. Rose pops some cava and we witness some fancy acrobatics. The day ends with us riding our bicycles tipsily up Passeig de Gracia and much later having a boogie in a gay bar. 


We've decided to take it relatively easy today as quite a dance was had last night. I've brought the gals to Palo Alto per Rose's request. I add a ring to my ever growing collection. We end the night all cuddled up watching Death Becomes Her. Meryl Streep will forever be a babe. 


What better way to spend a Sunday than on a rooftop bar! We're on top of the Novotel hotel and red wine is the beverage of choice. There's some great views of the city and a little photo shoot is had. Like the classy ladies we are we decide on McDonald's for burgers and beers (yes, they serve beer in McDonald's in Spain). From there we take a taxi to Guzzo and a few hours later we end up at an after-party in a leather workshop. More on that some other time. 

Hip hip hooray for Rose and Esther, two great gals. Can't wait to take a trip to England to see them both again! Perks of having international friends, eh?


Thursday, 24 March 2016


I do love listening to music. But often, I tend to find five songs I really like and have them on repeat for three months solid. Then this makes me frustrated. So! Nowadays when I'm cleaning, working, cooking etc. I tend to pop on a podcast; they're all different, entertaining, educational and funny. I decided to make a list of my favourites to get you introduced to the medium if you're interested. Enjoy!

about - A miniseries hosted by Lena Dunham in which she and other guests talk friendship, bodies, love and sex, work and ''The Big Picture''. I'm a fan of Girls so, like I did with her book, I thought I would give Lena's podcast a go. I wasn't the biggest fan but it's worth a mention for Emma Stone and June Squibb's advice bits. Emma Stone's voice is the 

standout episode - Love & Sex Bonus Episode: First Love Lost. It's heartbreaking and lovely all at the same time. 

about - I can't remember how I came across this one just before Valentine's Day but I really enjoyed it! I do love a bit of love. This is a weekly podcast featuring stories from The New York Times column Modern Love. It features, like Emma Stone's, great voices reading some great stories. 

standout episode - standout episodes in this case; 'One Last Swirl' | Modern Love 2 and 'An Interlude of Clarity' | Modern Love 4. Again, lovely voices and some really well written, reader submitted columns. 

3. Serial
about - I listened to the whole of season one whilst watching Making a Murderer at the same time and half wanted to become a lawyer. Adnan Syed was convicted for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, in 1999. He's still in prison but has voiced his innocence since the murder. Sarah Koenig is host and the definition of detective. You'll be hooked! 

standout episode - The whole of season one. All of it. Yet to start season two. 

about - Garance Doré is French blogger extraordinaire. I first stumbled across Garance on YouTube and have been following her since. Garance includes a French word of the day related to the theme of the episode. Who doesn't want to parle a lil francais?

standout episode - Finding Balance: Zosia Mamet. Garance speaks to Zosia Mamet (Shoshanna from Girls) about success and how realistic and enjoyable it is to really have it all. This episode takes place in a café so the background noise is weirdly comforting, totally immersive and Zosia is a dote. 

about - Sophia Amoruso is the founder and owner of Nasty Gal and author of #GIRLBOSS. In this podcast she speaks to different women about how they went about finding their own success. My favourite part is when she reads out #girlbossmoments sent in by listeners and readers of her books.  

standout episode - all of it. Gals, soak it up. It's good for ya. 

Started The Minimalists yesterday and I already think it's worth a very mini mention. 


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

March Madness ~ La Sagrada Familia

How is it the 1st of March already? I don't even know. Declan's February visit was the kickoff of what I'm calling March Madness; I have four weeks of visitors in a row. First there was Declan, Eavan and Katie just left, Rose and her cousin Esther are coming this weekend and two of my bestest friends, Nicola and Sarah are here next weekend before I fly home for 10 days for my Easter holidays. I've had to buy a blow up bed. Feelin' 23.

For Declan's penultimate visit we hit up La Sagrada Familia. I would highly recommend it! The outside is so obviously gorgeous but the light from the stained glass windows on the inside was my favourite part of our visit. I also enjoyed my typical trip to the gift shop to pick up a postcard and play with the kaleidoscopes. After the church we went to The Beerket, a craft beer place just opposite my apartment. There we drank some delicious beer, saw a funny license plate and enjoyed some great lightning.

Happy March,