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Welcome to Penneys To Prada, a Beauty, Fashion & Lifestyle blog written by Emer, an aspiring Web Designer and shopaholic. Enjoy!


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Taking Some Time Out At The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Cork

19 March 2018

I don't know about you, but my idea of a perfect relaxing weekend is heading to a hotel and not stepping foot outside that hotel until the weekend is over. Of course that very rarely happens, especially because most hotels are in city centres and going shopping is always too tempting. 

With that being said, last weekend Dara and I headed down to the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa and the only goal we had was to totally chill out and that's exactly what we did. 


Location:

The Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa is located in Little Island in Cork, about a 15 minute drive from the city centre. There's a KFC and a Costa Coffee right across the road from the hotel (perfect for some late night snacks or early morning caffeine fixes) and although the hotel is right next to the N25, there wasn't a peep from the traffic at all. Since it's just off the N25, it was so easy to find and a nice quick run down from Waterford.

Accommodation:

The room we stayed in was one of their 'Executive Rooms' located on the ground floor and it was huge as you can see from the photo above! The bed was lovely and comfy and we had a big widescreen tv to watch some movies on too. The room also had a Nespresso machine, which if you've ready any of my previous hotel reviews, you'll know I absolutely love because I'm a total coffee addict.


When we first arrived the room was quite warm so we turned down the thermometer in the room. About an hour or so later we realised that the radiator was still very hot so we called reception and someone came down straight away to sort it out and even brought a fan which I thought was very good. 

I loved the colour scheme in the room, those pops of mustard with the blue tones goes so well and overall it was a very comfy, relaxing room to stay in for the weekend. It also had floor to ceiling blackout curtains so we slept undisturbed by any light on Sunday morning until my alarm went off for breakfast and we had to drag ourselves out of the comfy bed!

In the bathroom there were This Works toiletries which I was pleasantly surprised by as they're a brand I love. It's also very rare that a hotel will have a conditioner as well as a shampoo and although it's a minor detail, it's something I appreciated as I am the worst for remembering all of my toiletries!  If you watch the vlog of our weekend which is linked below, you'll be able to see much more of the room and the yummy welcome treat that was left for us. 


The Spa:

Since the weekend was all about relaxing, we booked into the spa for some pampering. The Radisson Cork currently have an offer on called the 'Retreat Afternoon Tea' which is €100. You can choose two from the following: Swedish back massage, mini facial, Indian head massage, full body scrub or a full body wrap and once your treatments are done, you enjoy an amazing afternoon tea experience. 

We both went for the Swedish back massage and it was incredible! The Retreat spa is so calming and 
once our massages were over, we chilled out in the relaxation room and enjoyed some fruit salad and water. We then heading into the pool which has some very fun hydrotherapy features and once we'd turned ourselves into prunes, we headed out to enjoy the afternoon tea.


When I say the afternoon tea was AMAZING, I am not exaggerating. It was actually my first time ever having afternoon tea and I was very excited to pretend I was very fancy if even for an hour or so and drink my tea with my pinky finger sticking out! We had cajun chicken wraps, delicious focaccia slices, and don't get me started on the deserts. I mean how much better can it get than mini scones and apple and cinnamon cheese cakes?! I think this spa package would be lovely even if you weren't staying in the hotel as you can really make a whole day out of it.


Dinner:

Keeping with the theme of food, I have to tell you about the dinner we had. Usually I don't have super high expectations for food in hotels, but the food in Maestro's Bistro was absolutely delicious. I ordered the pizza along with homemade sweet potato fries which as you can see was incredible and Dara had the burger which of course I had to try! Desert was equally as yummy and my chocolate brownie was absolute heaven. I also had the gin bramble cocktail and it was strong and sweet, just how I like them!



Breakfast:

One of my absolute favourite things about staying in a hotel is the breakfast and a breakfast buffet is my idea of heaven. The Radisson Blu Cork had the most amazing breakfast buffet which included a orange press where you could make your own orange juice, a Bloody Mary station for anyone nursing a hangover, fresh pastries and scones and of course all of the essentials for a hearty Irish breakfast. They also had the option to order from the kitchen, so I ordered the waffles because I have such a sweet tooth. 


Overall, we absolutely loved our stay in the Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa Cork. The staff were all so friendly and very helpful, the hotel itself was gorgeous and very calm, and the food just absolutely won me over since I am very much food motivated! If you're looking for a break away that's not in the centre of Cork, but also it's too far away either if you fancy a quick look in the shops, I think this is the perfect place.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you were looking for some staycation ideas that it gave you some inspiration. Thanks so much for reading and a big thank you to Sarah and everyone at the Radisson Blu Cork for having us and being so accommodating.


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My Top Matte Liquid Lipsticks

15 March 2018

As much as I love mascara and think it's probably my dessert island make-up product, liquid lipstick comes very close behind it. You can be guaranteed 9 times out of 10 when I'm wearing something on my lips, it's a matte liquid lipstick. I mean I can't fault them, they're long wearing, have a fab colour pay off and are so much more comfortable to me than a lipstick or lip gloss.

Now, I know that there are some liquid lipsticks out there that can leave your lips feeling dry, flaky and just aren't a fun time for anyone. I think we've all worn a matte liquid lipstick at some stage that's left us feeling like we've rubbed our lips in sand, right? But fear not, I would never lead you astray so today I'm sharing my absolute favourite liquid lipsticks so that we never have to experience sand lips again!


First up we have two of my favourite reds. The interesting thing about these two is that they're on very different ends of the price scale. The 'Lady In Red' matte liquid lipstick from Penneys is just €4 and includes a matching lip liner, and the Urban Decay Vice Liquid Lipstick in shade '714' is €19.50 (but currently on offer for €17.55). Now it has to be said that while they're both almost identical in shade and finish, the Urban Decay liquid lipstick does have more staying power.


One of my favourite brighter pinks to wear is the Flormar Silk Matte liquid lipstick in the shade '04 Daisy' which I'm wearing in the Instagram post above. Since I tend to stick to more dusky pink/nudes, it's nice to pop this on from time to time as I find it brightens up my face and helps me look a lot fresher. The Silk Matte liquid lipsticks are a gorgeous formula too so I need to remind myself to pick up a few more shades the next time I'm in Penneys.


Next up are three of my most warn liquid lipsticks, I love the formula of each one, they don't dry my lips out or start flaking off and they're such gorgeous shades. I have to give a particular mention to the Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink because it's hands down the best liquid lipstick I've ever tried and I don't say that lightly. This gorgeous pink is the shade 'Lover', but I also wear the true red from the range a lot too which is the shade 'Pioneer'. I mean if a liquid lipstick could stay completely intact whilst I devoured a burger from Bunsen, then it really is something isn't it?

The Liquid Catsuit matte lipstick in the shade 'Rebel Rose' from Wet'n'Wild is another one I wear very often, it's a lovely 'your lips but better' shade for me and again super comfy to wear all day. The NYX Liquid Suede cream lipstick in the shade 'Soft Spoken' is my favourite liquid lipstick if I want something a little darker and moodier. It's a really light formula so very comfy to wear. 


So there we have it, my six ride or die liquid lipsticks that I think everyone should try. Are any of your favourites featured in this post? Or are there any matte liquid lipsticks that I simply must try? Thanks so much for reading today's post, I hope you enjoyed it and if you have any lipstick related questions, just pop me a message on Instagram or Facebook.

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A Relaxing Step Back In Time - Barnabrow House Review

22 February 2018

Hello hello! I'm back with another travel post and I'm very excited about this one. Allow me to introduce you to Barnabrow House, a stunning country house located just outside of Cork city that is so full of charm you'll never want to leave. Myself and Dara were invited down to stay and to experience their Gourmet Evening and it honestly surpassed all of my expectations.

Disneyland Paris - My Top Tips

31 January 2018

Disneyland really is the most magical place on earth. It doesn't matter what age you are, or where you come from, or what language you speak, everyone can sense the magic in the air in Disneyland and the excitement is contagious.

Back in November I was lucky enough to visit Disneyland Paris with Primark and had the best weekend ever (just watch the vlog linked below and count how many times I say "I'm so excited"). Lots of you have messaged me since that trip asking if I have any tips for visiting Disneyland and since I've been to both Disneyland Paris, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, I do have a fair few tips to impart on you.

Has The Blogging Bubble Burst?

21 January 2018

Unless you've been living under a rock, or are just sensible enough not to live your life on social media (something I need to learn to do), you'll probably have seen all of the blogger/influencer drama that's exploded over the past few weeks. I have quite a few opinions on all of this and I wanted to take some time to think about it all instead of writing a post on the day it all started in the hope of getting as many clicks as possible.

The Best Of Beauty In 2017

18 January 2018

As well as looking back on my highlights from 2017, I thought I'd also round up my best beauty products from the past year. I got into beauty in a big way last year, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and actually made an effort (for the most part) with my make-up, I took a real interest in skincare and the ingredients I was putting on my face and I loved trying out lots of new products. You could also call this post my 'All Time Favourite Beauty Products' because I reach for each product that I'll be sharing at least once a week, if not more!

A Look Back On 2017 & My Hopes For 2018

7 January 2018

Hello hello hello! It feels like years since I last sat down to write a blog post, didn't that Christmas break seem to go on forever (in the best way possible of course)?! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Years, spent with the people you love the most because that's really what it's all about isn't it?

Today I thought I'd kick 2018 off with a look back on the year just gone and what I hope this coming year has in store. It wasn't until I was planning this post that I realised at the start of 2017 I'd actually written a post called 'What I Want Achieve This Year', and I'm happy to say I achieved just about everything I wanted to, so let's look back on 2017 shall we?


Travel

One of my main goals for 2017 was to travel as much as I could and I ended up visiting Amsterdam, Bruges, Murcia, Disneyland Paris and Belfast as well as lots of other staycation type breaks here in Ireland! My boyfriend and I decided that instead of getting birthday and Christmas presents, we'd go on trips instead because memories and experiences are much more valuable and it's worked out really well. If you'd like to see more of my travels, hotel reviews and places to eat in the cities we've been to, check out my travel section here.


Finding My Footing With Blogging

Even though I've been 'properly' blogging since September 2014, I'd always struggled to find my place with the whole thing. A lot of the time in the past I'd write blog posts that I knew would be popular rather than posts that I had a genuine interest and love for. I changed that in 2017 and started writing think pieces that I'm very proud of on topics like feminism, education and fast fashion (which you can find here). I've always had a love for writing and doing this has really helped me to fall back in love with blogging and remember why I started.


Stepping Outside Of My Comfort Zone

I was given some incredible opportunities in 2017, one of them being a trip to Disneyland Paris with Penneys. Whilst it was the trip of a lifetime, I have to admit that I was very very nervous the few weeks leading up to that weekend. I was worried that I wouldn't get the content I needed, or the content I would get wouldn't be good enough etc. Just silly worries that were totally irrational but we all have our comfort zone and that trip was definitely outside of mine. If you've read my post on the trip, or seen all of my Instagram posts, you'll know I had the best weekend of my life and so in 2018 I'm going to keep pushing myself out of my comfort zone because it's always worth it.
  

Juggling Blogging & College

I don't want to sound like a moan, but blogging takes up a lot more time than people realise. In 2017 I found it a little harder to juggle blogging and college, especially since I'm now in my final year of college. It was hard to prioritise sometimes, especially since I was trying to give blogging as much attention as I could. I was very lucky to work with some of my favourite brands last year and also graduate from my ordinary degree and continue onto my honours degree, so here's to the juggling act continuing in 2018!


All in all, 2017 was a great year for me and it's one I'll always look back on fondly. With that being said, I don't think anyone can say 2017 was easy. There were so many unthinkable tragedies and innocent lives lost over the past year that while 2017 was a great year for me personally, it was definitely bittersweet. One of the strongest memories that I'll probably always keep with me about 2017 was waking up on so many mornings to terrible, stomach dropping news. My main hope for the coming year is that there won't be half as much mindless violence and acts of terror, because I think the world has had more than it's fair share.


The Year Ahead

So what are my hopes for 2018? Well I'd obviously like to be as happy and as healthy as I was in 2017, but there are a few specific goals I want to achieve and hopes I have for the new year.

1. Keep creating content that I'm proud of.

I want to keep up what I started in 2017 and continue writing posts about topics that I love and want to share with people. 2018 might also be the year I give the whole Youtube thing a go, and I'm very excited for all of the ideas I have to come to life.


2. See even more of the world. 

I think travel is always going to be my favourite thing in life. I absolutely love exploring new places and learning all about different cultures. We've already booked a trip to Prague in March and I have a whole list of other countries and cities I'd love to go to, so I can't wait! I'm also going to be working on creating more travel themed blog posts since you all loved my packing tips and travel recommendations last year.

3. Work with brands I love. 

Just like the list I've written of all the places I want to travel to this year, I've also got a list of brands I'd love to work with. I'm very fortunate that my blog has allowed me to collaborate with some of my favourite brands/companies and in 2018 I want to continue creating the same authentic content. It's very important to me that I only ever work with brands that I genuinely love and that I don't take on irrelevant collaborations purely for the financial gain. Of course I don't expect to work with every single brand on my list, but it's good to have dreams to aim for right?


4. Develop healthy habits that will stick. 

In 2017 I developed a real love for going to the gym regularly. It helped keep me sane during very stressful weeks in college and I loved seeing my body getting stronger. This year I want to keep that regular exercise up, but also develop healthy eating habits to match. Right now I don't eat the healthiest diet, and I'm also not the best at cooking, so this year I want to work on that and finally be the complete picture of health.

5. Graduate college and (finally) get out into the big bad world.

I have just one semester left in college and to say I'm excited to be finished would be an understatement. I've had so many people say to me that college is way easier than having a job and to be honest I don't know what they studied but I definitely won't miss the 60+ hours a week that I put into my college work. I'm very much ready to be done and dusted with it all and while at the moment I haven't a clue what my exact plan is for after I graduate, I'm still very excited to get stuck into whatever comes my way.


Here's to the year ahead. I have to say I'm very excited for it all, even though I haven't a clue what it may hold! I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you've got any hopes or goals for 2018, I'd love to hear them.

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