Emma O Donnell
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December and January Photo Diary: Christmas and a trip to Dublin

January felt like a year so these photos seem so old but I wanted to catch up between Decemeber and now.

This Christmas I celebrated some of it in Cardiff and some of it at home in Ireland. This picture is from Winter Wonderland in Cardiff.

I've been loving festive beauty this year, particularily anything festive from Lush and the Body Shop.

Chris got me some amazing gifts for Christmas this year. My favourite is the Fred Perry bomber from the Amy Winehouse collection, its soo cool. I also got an amazing Edie Sedgwick vinyl, its a soundtrack from the movie Ciao Manhattan which I watched a few years ago and is quite confusing but it does have some great footage of Edie. I also got this amazing photography book on Andy Warhol's factory by Stephen Shore which has some great photographs and a few I haven't seen before. 

some more presents that I got for Christmas, I especially love the Andy Warhol badge and the Tarte gifted mascara, its so good I recommend.

I also got Black Opium by YSL from my brother for Christmas, Ive been wanting it for so long, it kind of smells like Jimmy Choo which is another of my favourites but its a tad sweeter

My parents got me some makeup (that I requested lol) including the Naked 2 palette. I love this palette because it has such a good range of colours and lots of shimmer shades which Im a big fan of these days.

This picture is of my garden at home just after the snow. I miss living in the country sometimes and I cant wait to go back to visit.

we celebrated four years together on New Years, we went out for food in Las Iguanas and then to gig before catching the fireworks. We went home soon after midnight though bc I was working New Years Day (don't you just love retail haha)

I treated myself to a candle from the white company because it was in the sale and I absolutely love their candles, they last so long too!

In January France Gall passed away so I thought Id commerate her by listening to a record of hers I picked up in a market in Paris. I love French music and its always sad to lose a star of the sixties

I went to see Paramore last month. It was such a flashback to my teens, I loved Paramore and went to see them twice in Ireland. I wish they played more of their earlier music but I still enjoyed seeing them again.

Dream Wife finally released their first EP last month so I got the limited edition copy with a signed zine because Im a sucker for limited editions. I love Dream Wife, I think they are a great band with lots of energy and I definately recommend that you catch them on their UK tour.

An outfit I wore out last month, I love the detail on this mesh top from Topshop. In hindsight though, maybe January isnt the best time for mesh, I was freezing haha

I also went to Dublin in January. I'm looking for a new job at the moment so I really wanted to see friends before things got busy. I love Dublin and it was really nice to be back and hang out in the city for a few days.

I went to a few of the book stores that I love in Dublin, this picture is from a shop called The Winding Stair, I also really like Books Upstairs too.

Dublin have an And Other Stories  now which Im super jealous of because I honestly love this store.

I'm really hoping to go back in August and maybe do a tour of Ireland and visit Dublin, Galway and Donegal.

I really hope that one day ill actually have time for blogging again, I miss it a lot...

all photos from my instagram where Im a lot more active

November Photo Diary: Autumn Walks, Retail Therapy and Graduation

It's the 11th of Decemeber and I'm only posting this now but at this time of year its hard to get a minute. In November, we took a walk around Roath park in Cardiff, it isn't too far from where we live so it was nice to explore the neighbourhood.

It's honestly such a pretty place, it has a huge lake, parks and a tennis court.

dont know what this is but it makes for a great picture

We celebrated Chris's birthday at the beginning of November, we out for a fancy meal and had the best cocktails!

I got my hair cut super short again, it wasn't intentional and I felt super sad about it because I knew my graduation was only a few weeks away and I felt so self-consious but what can you do, it will grow back!

We also went out to The Lanes in Bristol one week. I love The Lanes because they play indie, rock n roll and 60s classics. They also have cheap drinks which naturally means we get super drunk and take photobooth pictures.

We bought some more Ikea furniture to store our records and books. We got one of the Kallax square units and a Billy bookcase. We have quite a big set up in the living room now which does make it more homely plus we can actually take our records out now and use them.

I went on a bit of a spending spree this time of year because the amount of sales and discounts is too hard to exist, plus the change of the season meant I needed a bit of a wardrobe refresh. I bought these amazing Vagabond Marja ankle boots from Office. They are such good quality, really sturdy but comfy. I've been looking for a nice Chelsea boots for ages because my current ones are quite scuffed so I'm happy I found these.

I also got some Benefit goodies because they had a 3 for 2 offer for black friday. I absolutely love the galifornia blusher and the dandelion twinkle highlighter as a combination. Roller lash is my favourite mascara, I had it in the travel size and I was running out so I got the full version.

I also graduated in November! It was such a nice day but it flew by so fast, I would have liked to meet up with friends and make the most of the free prosecco but all of a sudden it was midnight and I had to catch my bus home (very cinderalla here)

I will miss the student life

While I was in Bristol I went to lovely cafe called Poco, its a bruch/lunch place by day and a tapas bar by night. One thing I miss about Bristol is the food, there's so many nice places to eat especially along Gloucester Road.

We also went to the Christmas markets in Bristol. I feel like Christmas has just crept up on me so fast, I haven't had much time to do festive things but next weekend I plan to do something Christmassy.

September to October Photo Diary: Alvvays, Manchester, Peace

I am suuuper late with this one because I've just been so busy since I started working. I thought about not making this post but I do really love looking back over my photo diaries. I've combined September and October in this post so I can bring you right up to date.

In September I went to see Alvvays in Bristol. I've wanted to see Alvvays since they released their first album in 2014, so I was so happy to finally see them! My favourite song from the new album in Plimsoll Punks but I also like Dreams Tonite. They also have such a cool video for Dream Tonite because they spliced themselves into archival footage of a World Fair in Montreal in 1967. It looks impressive and gives the song a really cool feel. 

I seen them in a venue called Thekla in Bristol which is such a cool place because it is literally a boat with a stage under deck. It is one of the few places left in Bristol that is available for bands to play in but sadly it might close due redevelopment/gentrification. I've seen this happen both in Bristol and Cardiff. In Cardiff two venues threatened to close, The Moon and Clwb Ifor Bach due to noise regulation after Weatherspoons proposed to open a hotel on the same street. It makes me so angry that music venues are closing because the council would rather listen to developers than their citizens. Its really ripping the heart and soul out of cities. I mean who needs more shops and offices in ugly glass buildings!! If you feel the same you can sign a petition to save Thekla from closure, I don't know how persuasive an online petition will be but at least its something. 

On a happier note, I submitted my dissertation and I got my results all within a month. I got a distinction overall which I am super happy about and I also found out today that I won an award for the best performance on my degree programme!! So on the academic front I am on fire!!

This is one of the looks from September, I went into full Autumn mode with this plum vintage jumper. I was also trying out a new hairstyle because I've been having a hair crisis recently (more to come on that front)

I also found this vintage bag that I left at home in Ireland for some crazy reason because it is literally so nice. It has a cute sixties shape and goes so well with this black vinyl skirt trend that I totally bought into. I was going for Chanel vibes in this flat lay as you can probably tell.

I bought some black loafers this month which is a major tick off my wishlist. I've been searching for loafers that fit me for ages becasuse I have really weirdly shaped feet and literally nothing fits but I found these loafers in TK Maxx and they were on sale too!

I've started to explore Cardiff a bit more and I went to their independent cinema called Chapter. Its a multi arts venue with an art gallery and a restaurant too.

I went to see a movie called Daphne which was so good. Its about a Londoner that witnesses a violent robbery which causes her to question her life and relationships. It's just really witty and interesting. I loved Emily Beecham's performance too, I need to see more things by her.

The Barker Tea House is another cool place to go to in Cardiff. Its in the Castle Aracade and its just like a Parisian Cafe. It also does the nicest tea and cake. 

I went to Manchester in October to see St. Vincent!

I was a disappointed in St. Vincent tbh. I seen her back in 2014 and it was amazing. She had so much energy and her band was so good. Now that she has dropped her band, her old songs sound really flat. It also wasnt enjoyble because she was standing by herself on the corner of the stage and I could barely see her. Things did pick up during her new album because the songs suited a solo performance a lot more and the visuals did help it give it a bit more energy. I still like her new album Masseduction a lot but I wouldn't see her again unless she brought back her band. 

It was my first time in Manchester so I went to the Northern Quarter and went to Night and Day Cafe and Jimmys for a few pints. They both seemed like really nice venues, I love that Manchester really values its bands and music venues.

I honestly wish I could decorate my flat like this

The next day we decided to take a trip to the Salford Lads Club. It was kind of silly to walk miles in the rain considering there isn't much to see there but I'm such a Smiths fan so being in Manchester, it was kind of a must.

I went to see Peace last month too. I've loved Peace for ages so it was a major tick off my music bucket list. I did enjoy seeing them but it was ruined quite a lot by the crowd. It was really crazy in the venue and I got knocked around a lot and I couldnt hear Peace properly either. Maybe I'm just getting old but I much prefer a chilled out crowd especially for bands like Peace.

I wore this sassy number to the gig. Silver boots, fishnets and a glitter dress is the ultimate combo.

... and finally we have Halloween. I didnt do anything for Halloween this year, I think its been the most un-Halloween Halloween in living memory. I didn't know anyone who did anything for it and there was many events on :P Its sad because I do love the season. I did however, carve this pumpkin, as you can see I am a pro and will be taking bookings for next year ;)

August Photo Diary: First Month in Cardiff, My Birthday and Wolf Alice

I always love August not only because its my birthday month but because it always has great weather and it feels like the last celebration of Summer. I know a lot of people love Winter but Im dreading leaving the Sun behind. I think if you are born in Summer you just like Summer and vice versa.

At the beginning of August, I moved out of my flat in Bristol. I was actually so sad to leave because I loved my flat and the area I lived in. I will also miss all the cool things there are to do in Bristol but Cardiff is only an hour away so I wont miss out too much.

Before I left, I went to the Bristol Balloon Festival with the charity I was interning with this Summer. Although I couldnt stay to see any of the hot air balloons, I did really enjoy the festival especially since the weather was so nice.

The weekend before my birthday I went out in Cardiff with a few friends. This is the picture I took before I got rained on and competely ruined my hair haha

On the day of my birthday I had a really nice day shopping with Chris, I got some things for the flat, a bag and some loafers.

Chris got me this beautiful necklace and the dress I'm wearing in the last picture. The necklace is even more special because it looks exactly like the necklace he gave me on our first Christmas together that I lost in Paris. 

We went to Cote Brassiere for my birthday meal. I love the atmosphere in there, it feels like you are dining in Paris, also the garlic bread is amazing!! lol

Afterwards we went next door to Bills and got some drinks and dessert

My doughnut in take this month is shocking!

We also went to see Wolf Alice in Pontypridd near Cardiff. Wolf Alice were doing an intimate tour where they play in lots of small venues around the UK. I couldn't believe it when I saw they were playing in Pontypridd, the last time I seen them was in the Motopoint Arena in Cardiff. They were honestly so good this time, they are a band that should always play small venues. You dont get the same buzz at an arena. I love their new songs Yuk Foo and Beautifully Unconventional, I can't wait to hear the new album now!

I also went to Hubfest in Cardiff this month. They had lots of bands playing in venues around Womanby Street in Cardiff.

A friend recommended Rainbow Maniac and I loved them, you should check them out

It was such a nice night, I just love festivals in a city.

I've also been exploring Cardiff myself this month. It takes a while to get used to a new city but I'm starting to find my way around it.

Last week I went for a walk around Bute Park in the sun, I cant believe how big it is.

Last weekend we went to Cardiff Bay for a few hours because it was so nice out

They had a fair on but it was really for young children so I couldnt participate :( but it was still a fun little day out nonetheless

September will be an interesting month because I have to submit my 20,000 word dissertation and find a job, eek! wish me luck ...