Lifestyle, New York

Good & Bad Days in Quarantine

May 25, 2020

So it’s been a lifetime since I’ve sat down to write a blog post, something I used to do all the time. It’s the reason my job is what it is, I started my blog because of my love for writing, fashion, and documenting things. I’ve kept diaries all my life and I can definitely express myself better with written words that I can get across on video sometimes.

But times have changed, and I changed with them. People prefer watching videos than reading, that’s what the numbers on my Google Analytics tell me anyway, so I decided to put my time where it’s more valuable – in Instagram & YouTube (that’s where you’ll find most of my updates these days).

Quarantine is a strange time for everyone, a lot of us have found time to do things we haven’t in ages. The blessing of Quarantine. I’ve been journaling quite a bit. Writing about my experiences, my feelings having come home from New York in the middle of this crazy time, my hopes for my career, for the future.. when I don’t even know myself what is going to happen over the next few months. It’s allowed me to find so many positives in this strange time. It’s allowed me to get my head around everything I’ve learnt since moving to New York alone in September, and it’s helped me get through days when I don’t feel so good.

There is definitely a weird mix of good and bad days in Quarantine. When my social and personal life is so quiet I have no choice but to feel those feelings I sometimes just wake up with. It could be something as small as a bad dream that sets my mood for the day. Or it could be something rational that has stayed on the forefront of my mind longer than it does on other days. I think what I want to get across in this blog post is that it’s ok to have those days, and it’s totally normal. I want to practice what I preach and do that “self care” thing we all talk about, which for me is writing. My hope for Quarantine is to come out of it better than I came into it, which means going through the hard feelings, feeling them, accepting them and hopefully learning from them. One thing is for sure, I’ll never take normal life for granted again after all this, I’m sure none of us will.

Good days

Ok let’s start with the positives – which you may have heard already if you watched my YouTube video talking about what I’ve learnt in quarantine (click here to watch) or in the podcast I did with Georgie Crawford for the Good Glow (click here to listen)

In general – after moving to New York, and experiencing the sometimes lonely times that come with moving country alone, I am very grateful to be home with my family. I live alone in New York, and with work slowing down a lot due to COVID I just couldn’t imagine trying to fill all day every day by myself. It would be really hard. I’m someone who’s naturally happier around people, chit chatting and just being in the presence of others. I’ve learnt that since moving. So in that sense I know I made the right decision in coming home, to be around people I love for 8 weeks (so far) of quarantining.

The downtime – how incredible has it been? I know for a fact I would never have taken this time off… I would not have allowed myself to sleep in until 9 mid week. I would not allow myself to not have plans on the weekend. Fear of being bored. Fear of not being productive enough. Fear of “if I slow down how will I speed back up?”. I was living life at far too fast a pace, putting a lot of pressure on myself to always be busy. I hadn’t written in months, read a full book in about a year, caught up with some friends in too long… it has given me time to pick up activities I haven’t done since I was a kid: knitting, baking, running in the fresh air.

Speaking of which, Quarantine has definitely made me appreciate the simple things in life so much more. I’ve realised in order to be happy it’s really just making time for the simple things that I need to do (which in normal life I stupidly don’t, too busy rushing around). Taking the time to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, going for a long walk on a nice day, listening to or reading a book, spending hours on the phone catching up with friends, finding a good song I love enough to listen to on repeat, playing with my dogs (to be fair I always made time for this, but maybe not enough). These are the things keeping me going at the moment, among other simple things. I think for a while I thought I needed more to be happy, but it’s really that simple.

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Bad days

Ok I have focused a lot on the positive sides of Quarantine, and there are so many. I’m sure I’ll look back on this time and be so appreciative of all the reflecting I did, and the growing as a person that happened as a result. I do believe we grow from the hard times, the times your out of your comfort zone (which for me has been nearly a full year now but what can ya do? lol) but I want to mention some of the things I find hard about this time too. Mainly to share it and get it out of my head, and also so hopefully any of you reading this who feel the same will know you’re not alone.

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I found a note in my phone I wrote on April 16th:

So we are currently in the weirdest time of our lives, a pandemic that none of us could have seen coming. Would I have still moved to New York if I’d known my year would be this disjointed? This is my third trip home in 7 months, and this one is for a long time. 

I moved to New York with the hopes that it would be a new, exciting, happier chapter for me & although it definitely was at first. The novelty wore off when I realised how hard it would be to move country & do it all by myself. To make choices that really are going to affect me forever. To be away from the people I have spent all my life cultivating amazing relationships with. 

I think back to this time last year & how trapped I felt. I needed to go, I needed to experience this on my own, maybe to learn how much I love and appreciate home but also just to live freely for a while where no one knows me, in the city where I learnt years ago that anything is possible. 

I went there with the highest hopes that things would fall into place. Not stupidly though, I had done my research, I had saved and planned. I’ve lived there before, I sought advice from my friends and most of all I followed my gut. I knew as much as I could have known & it felt like I was definitely making the right move. But now 7 months into this journey I don’t know if it was. 

I recorded a video reflecting on my first 6 months in New York last month and it was a lot for me to share, very personal, everyone has their own opinions on what I should do. Some people say stay longer you’ll learn to love it, others say go home you’re happier there. It’s not an easy decision to make.. I’ve spent so much time and money to move my life there I feel like I will give it more time but I guess the magic I remember from before isn’t there for me now. Maybe I’m older and I appreciate being around the people I love more, maybe that’s not the lifestyle I really want anymore, maybe it’s just been a lot of changes and I need to give it time.. I’m not sure. I’ve learnt since coming home I’m definitely happier when I’m with people, living alone was probably not the best decision for me. 

I stopped the note there, it was probably a lot to think about and consider. It’s kind of the thoughts I’ve had to deal with since coming home, as well as thinking about how much money is literally going down the drain in my apartment I’m still renting in mid-town Manhattan. When these thoughts come into my head and stay, it’s not gonna be a fun day. I’ve trained myself to not over think them most of the time, there’s nothing I can really do right now. “There’s no point in worrying about things you can’t control”.

It’s a month since I wrote that note, and I’ve realised even though it hasn’t been plain sailing or easy. I had to go to New York in Sept, I was dying to. And my gut told me too. I have faith it’ll work out one way or another with time. If NY is really not meant to be this time, how bad, I’ve learnt how much I love home too, so I won’t be sad to come back here. But I do think/ hope when I get back, with all I’ve learnt before and during Quarantine, I’ll be able to be happier there.

I’ve no idea yet when the travel ban will be lifted, I’ve booked a flight back at the end of June. I really hope that I can go back then, hit the ground running, and make the best of what’s left of the summer. The summer I had dreamt about having there for so long.

Another thing I want to mention, but not dwell on (lol), is the fact I’m 27 and am back at home, having lost months in this year. That does get me down sometimes, as much as I’m enjoying being home. I want to be out meeting people, socialising, being independent, progressing my career and life, and I can’t do any of those things. It seems unfair, as silly as that seems to say. I know we all feel a bit like that at the moment. It’s unfair that people have lost their jobs. It’s unfair that other countries lockdown is being lifted before ours. It’s unfair that so many people have been sick and so many have died. This whole thing is a bit unfair isn’t it?

Perspective is so important here though, think about how much we have the opportunity to learn in this time. I feel like I have. I feel like I’ll be coming out of quarantine knowing myself a lot better, feeling more comfortable in my skin, and being aware of the changes I need to make in New York to be happier and feel more settled there.

On the podcast I did with Georgie the other day, she said it was “a gift” to learn these things so young without having been sick. That struck a chord with me.

This time has really given us all time to reevaluate our lives: small changes we could start making, things that make us happy, the type of people we want around. We’re lucky in a sense because if we can learn these things and implement them we’ll end up living a far more fulfilling life than the one we had been rushing through before Quarantine. I know that’s the case for me anyway.

For now, we have to deal with the fact that some days are shitty. We have to try and find positives where it feels like there is none. We have to be easy on ourselves and allow ourselves to feel sad about our current situation. It’s ok to feel worried too, I know I do. Talking about things does help, I try and vent to friends, and let them know I’m here for them when they need to vent. Writing stuff down helps me too. Or listening to uplifting podcasts. Or even taking a bit of escapism on Pinterest, looking at pretty pictures and reading motivational quotes. Sounds silly but these things do help. It’s such a weird time, I’d thought about writing something like this for a long time, but it’s such a complex time it’s hard to mention all the feelings. I’m sure I’ve missed some and look how long this post is already! Lol.

If you made it this far I hope it made you feel a little better, and less alone, 

All of our plans have been messed up, the rug was pulled from underneath us with this pandemic, everyone is struggling in different ways – but we’ll figure it out. Things will go back to normal eventually – a slower normal, where we’re all a bit more compassionate and understanding I hope,

Anyways, I’ll stop babbling on now, 

Hope you’re all keeping safe,

Lou xxxx

Single Life

Tummy troubles!

February 3, 2020

So this is actually my boyfriend’s mate’s date story, but it’s so horrifically genius I’ve told EVERYONE.

FYI… this is not a pretty story and make sure you’ve already eaten before reading this.


So this guy was casually dating a new lady in his life. They went out for a curry together and then went back to his place. He mentioned at this point to my boyfriend that he had bit of a dicky tummy before heading to bed…He said he woke up in pain from his dicky belly and realised he had ‘soiled’ himself in the bed with his new lady friend laying next to it. He ran to his bathroom, cleaned himself up and then apparently gone back to the bed and nudged her into the soiled patch! Then crept back into the other side of the bed. His plan was to make her think SHE had done it instead of him. She woke up mortified and crying from embarrassment and saying how sorry she was. He told her it was ok and not to worry about it.

She did obviously realise shortly afterwards that it actually wasn’t her. I don’t think they went back out after that… No surprise 

 I don’t think I’d call a guy after he rolled me in his poop.
Ps. His friend is in his 30s.

Single Life

The Runaway

February 3, 2020

This was one of the most awful dates ever, so here goes…


At uni I matched with a guy on tinder. I saw him a few time’s on nights out and eventually agreed to a date! 


We went to a really nice Italian in the city, really quiet and romantic! We’re chatting away and I was having some issues hearing him and just took a second to adjust my hearing aid. The look on his face was a picture and he started looking around to see if anyone else had noticed what I was doing. 
After we ate, in mostly silence since he was obviously speechless by my lack of hearing he said he needed the bathroom.


After about 15 minutes I was wondering what was keeping him. They waiter came over and I asked him if he could go and check on my date. He came back to tell me my date had left!! Not only did he leave, he kindly let me pay for his meal too! I was mortified!


A few hours later I got a text saying “my Granny wears a hearing aid and now I can’t stop picturing her when I look at you. I don’t think I should see you again!” 

Single Life

Whiplash in the Cinema

February 3, 2020

A friend of mine set me up with one of her friends, she just gave me his Snapchat and we started talking. We got on pretty well so when he asked me if I wanted to go on a date I was looking forward to it. Due to work/ training  there was only one movie on a day and time that suited us both that week. Eager to go on the date we both agreed to go to that particular movie. When we were talking on Snapchat he kept saying that I didn’t need to bring any money he was going to pay for everything etc etc. 

The day came and we were set to meet at 6:30 and the movie was to start at 7. I was there on time, he texted and said his bus was late he’d be there around five to. I said ok grand I’ll go up to the cinema and buy the tickets, I was in the line and saw one of my friends was working so I went over to her. I was really nervous because it was one of my first dates ever, my friend asked what movie I wanted to see where I wanted to sit etc. I was talking to her for about 5 mins and still no sign of him. Eventually he arrived, I recognised him and walked over to give him a hug. We went into the cinema just as the ads were starting. We found our seats and sat down. (Side note I’d never heard him speak before and aged 17 his voice still hadn’t broken yet, nothing he could have done about it I suppose but it felt like I was on a date with a 12 year old boy). 

To this day it was one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, I was uncomfortable

  1. Because I’d never met him in person before and now we couldn’t really talk because the movie had started. 
  2. Because the movie was awful so I was forced to think about how awkward the situation was

As I was thinking about how awkward I was feeling and fact we had been together for over 90 mins and had barely spoken to one another, this boy decided he wanted a cuddle. I was sitting in the chair as you do. When without warning his arm reached over behind my back and pulled me over towards him with such force He strained my neck. (This creak in my neck served as a memory of this awful date for the following few days). To make matters worse he had pulled me into such an uncomfortable position so I could only see the top half of the screen. For the second half of the movie me being my awkward self didn’t move. I spent the rest of the movie thinking of excuses to sit up. I couldn’t do it I sat for what felt like an eternity with my head pretty much under his armpit. 

When the movie ended (finally), he suggested a walk. I vividly remember the sharp pain as I nodded my head. We went on this walk and walked past my bus stop, “oh my bus is in three minutes” I said, “it’s only early you can’t go home yet” he replied. I was too awkward to argue with him. He suggested we go to McDonalds only thirty seconds up the road. I don’t mind paying on a date by any means but from the way this boy was talking the past few days and seeing as I had gotten the cinema tickets I assumed he would pay for my nuggets and chips. Wrong. We sat down in a deserted McDonalds making awkward small talk until the next bus arrived. He walked me to the bus stop and I went home and put a hot water bottle on my neck. 

New York

Packing for NYC

January 29, 2020

Hey guys.

I regularly get lots of messages asking what the weather is like in New York and what you guys need to pack if you are coming on a trip. Today in the blog I’m going to take you through what I think are your best options and the top 3 things to bring on an NYC holiday right now.

The weather has been pretty good at the moment. Some would say REALLY good! 2 weeks ago we had the warmest weekend with temperatures of 18 degrees. Considering it’s January and its only snowed once this year, we’ve been pretty lucky. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing prettier than New York in the snow, but it can also be a nightmare when you’re trying to get somewhere in a hurry and you’re trying not to slip on the ice! Not to mention how cold it gets. The weather is very questionable at the moment and not your typical NYC winter weather. So in my opinion the best thing to do, is to prepare for all kinds weather. Layers are going to be your best friend. So when choosing your wardrobe I would pick pieces you can layer under and over each other, that way you won’t be stuck.

Thermals

If it’s going to be cold, thermals are amazing. I have only just discovered these and I appreciate them a lot on a cold day. Wear them under your outfit to stay cosy and no one will even see them. Best part is, most thermals are also really comfy so you won’t even notice you’re wearing them.

Coats

Obviously a good coat is essential. Nowadays there are so many stylish but also very practical winter coats which is great. A coat with a hood is probably a good idea incase of random rainfall. Also when its cold a hood is the best for keeping your head warm if you’re not wearing a hat, and of course most importantly protecting your hair.

Shoes

A comfortable pair of shoes is probably the most important thing you should pack on your New York trip. You are definitely going to get your 10,000 steps in everyday, probably double or triple that! I would advise a pair of comfy, waterproof boots. Trainers will also work but if it’s snowing they’re probably not your best option. Wellies work great for snow and rain. Or if you want to invest in snow boots then that’s another option.

For Winter accessories, don’t forget to check out this blog I posted here for everything else you will need. Hope you enjoyed this post guys and hopefully this has been helpful if you are planning a trip here to New York anytime soon.

Chat soon,

Louise xx

*This post contains affiliate links meaning I can make a small % commission if sales are made as a result of this post. It does not affect the price of the item

Single Life

Keep it in the family!

January 29, 2020

Here’s a good one, a few years back when I was single I joined POF (plenty of fish) I was just back from New York and my friend suggested it when I moved to Dublin. So I joined and was messaging a few different guys but then narrowed it down to 3 potentials, 2 of whom were quite nice, so we proceeded to exchange digits and went on dates.

It was coming up to St Patricks Day so they both had asked me what my plans were, and I said I was unsure. I ended up going out with the girls and one of the guys text saying “Hey if you’re out why not meet up”. So after a few drinks I agreed, had a few more drinks and a cheeky snog and he said he’d text me, which he did.

The following day the other guy messaged me asking did I go out. I said “Nah I didn’t bother”. He asked was I free this weekend. I said I was, but then he didn’t text again which was weird. So I asked was he ok? He replied straight away and said “Well not really, was out with my friends for a catch up over the weekend and I asked my brother if he had any women on the go. He said yes he met this really cool girl on St. Patricks Day etc. etc.” He asked for the name, and a photo – turns out they are BROTHERS!!

There’s 7 of them! I almost died!