Thursday, 28 April 2011

A vintage wedding

Library Diva may be turning an unspecified age tomorrow ( a lady, no matter how young, never divulges her years), but there is only one event on my mind tomorrow.  As unoriginal as it may be, i am totally obsessed with the impending nuptials of HRH Will and Kate.  Guffaw all you will, i bet you will be taking at least a furtive glance at Kate's bridal gown.  Yes you will, go on, admit it!
So lets raise a toast to Will and Kate and all of the other lovely couples getting Wed this weekend.  May a lifetime of happiness and good fortune await you.

For all the brides to be looking for the perfect vintage dress for your big day, heres the list you've been waiting for:

Where to Buy a Vintage Wedding Dress

Hayworth Vintage: Ireland's first on-line vintage shop, sells a large selection of beautiful bridal gowns.
Check out

vintage wedding dress company:  A uk based company.  If you see something on line that you love,
you can go over to london to try it on.  Check

Vintage Bride:  An Irish based company. Check out

Oxfam, designer swap shops and charity shops: A discount gown may be waiting for you.
check out

For the perfect musical accompaniement to your fabulous day, check out the very talented and entertaining Alan o Baillie on

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

For the sake of my jeans

After bursting the zip of my by now far too skinny, skinny jeans, i decided upon contemplation that perhaps living a more moderate lifestyle would be a good thing.  Not an easy task- as Oscar Wilde once said 'I can resist almost everything except temptation', so too is it true that i can resist almost anything except- chocolate, cake, magnums, cheese and wine.  Good for the soul but maybe not so good for my jeans!

When one is as diet shy as i am, the only alternative is exercise.  Unfortunately, im not much of a gym bunny and i don't like running (i was built for comfort, not speed).  Swimming and Hiking i love and try to do as much of as possible,but, to be honest the only exercise regime im consistent with is pilates.

I have been going to the pilates studio in Ranelagh for almost 2 years, and in that space of time i don't think i have missed more than 2 classes in a row.  This is somewhat of a record for me, a girl who has tried and dropped a multitude of excercise classes - aerobics, step aerobics, yoga, zumba, hip-hop dancing, karate etc.. I was stuck in a cycle of joining a class, paying the fee, going once or twice before getting bored.  Then i found pilates.

So, i hear you ask, what makes pilates different? 
For one thing, Helen Byrne my tutor is fantastic, she has a small number of students per class and is very good
at spotting if you are doing an exercise or a sequence incorrectly.  For another thing, Pilates is great for toning and streamlining the body. Because the core abdominal muscles are used constantly through the class, pilates is great for flattening the tummy.  I sometimes do a class on saturday morning and have a flatter tummy for going out that night.  Better than spanx!

Oh ya, and pilates is great for the improving back strength, stamina,  fitness, etc.
For more information on the pilates studio in Ranelagh and the benefits of pilates go to

Monday, 18 April 2011

A woman's eternal search

fAs Carrie Bradshaw once said a woman is constantly in search of either a man, a job or an appartment.  At first glance these three activities may appear to be about as far removed from each other as is humanly possible.  However, on closer inspection, they have more in common than you might think.
First, the hunting ground is selected- the bar, the letting agent, the recruitment agency.
Secound, the initial interest is expressed- the chat up line, the answering of a daft ad, the job application form.
Its at this stage things get more complicated:  Do you want to hand over your number,
view the house, go to the interview?
You weigh up your options: Do you have anything in common with this person, do you like the size/location of the appartment, is the company one you can see yourself working in.
If you do decide the man/appartment/job is what you want, you risk either being wrong and wasting your time, or being right and risking disappointment.
If a date goes wrong,  you get dumped and have to start over,
Similarly if your deposit is rejected, you have to keep house hunting and
if you don't get the interview, the recruitment cycle must start again.
One might wonder if all this hunting is worth it, maybe we would be better off
sticking with the first man/job/appartment to come away.
For the past few weeks, myself and my pals were constantly on Daft hunting out
the perfect space to call our own.  At times we wondered would we find all we wanted, were
we being too fussy.  Then it happened, we laid our peepers on the place and just knew it
was for us! There was a click. References were handed in, deposits were paid and then it was ours! Woohoo! 
I guess the moral of the story is the perfect house is out there, along with the guy and the job.
Recession or no recession.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Vintage Fair Dun-laoghaire

The vintage scene in Dublin is buzzing at the moment.  Thanks to muscians like Imelda May and Adele, celebrities like Kate Moss and Fern Cotton and T.V. shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk empire, everyone is being inspired to turn back the clock on fashion.

Why go vintage?
Vintage shopping has a fun, raiding your grand ma's attic appeal to it.  When you enter a vintage shop, its a free for all- from the tragic to the sublime! 
The quality of vintage clothing is often far superior to the clothing you find on the high street.  We are living in an age of disposable clothing.  It is a rare treat to own an item of clothing that was made with love and care.  You can often pick up designer gear at a fraction of the retail price in vintage shops and designer swap shops.
Vintage clothes are living pieces of history, items made in the 50's, 60's and 70's have survived social, cultural and political change.

Golden Rules for buying and wearing vintage (according to me)

1.  Hunt for vintage wares in charity shops, designer swap shops, vintage fairs, vintage shops and markets.
2. Consider what you own already and pick items that would fit in well with what you own
3. Don't be afraid to bargain, not everyone will be open to selling at a discounted rate, but theres no harm in
4 Don't dress head to toe in vintage.  Mix your vintage pieces with modern clothes to avoid looking like a
crazy granny or like your off to a fancy dress party.  I have been guilty of vintage overkill in my time.  Friends of mine may remember a huge 1970's vintage coat i used to wear with a huge red vintage hat.  I thought i looked glam everyone else thought i looked like a crazy lady who keeps cats.  Its a thin line.
5. If you find something you absolutely love, jump on it before someone else does.

Vintage Fair in Dun laoghaire

Im not alone in my love of vintage judging by the massive crowds of retro fans who turned up to the  clothing and decor fair hosted in the Royal Marine in Dun laoghaire today.  A fabulous mix of hair revamps, make-up stands, make-over demonstrations and clothing and decor stands.  Unfortunately, the fair was so over-crowded it was close to impossible to comfortably have a look at all the stands present.  If anyone in the know reads this- please, please change to a larger venue next year.  The cramped surroundings really took away from the experience.

Here are a few treasure troves i discovered today!

Hems and Gem's: The shop is located in Gorey county Wexford and sells reasonably priced vintage fashions.  Check them out on facebook

Hayworth Vintage:  An Irish based on-line vintage shop, postage is free within Ireland

Maeve Brady's Vertigo Vintage:  Affordable vintage bags, hats and jewellery.  Only available
at vintage fair's

Shotsy: Brand new shop in temple bar

Some of my favourite shops had stalls at the fair:

Om diva: Probably my very favourite shop in Dublin.  Om diva specialises in revamped vintage, designer vintage and one of a kind pieces of clothing mixed with cute and quirky hats and accessories.  Check out their 6 week sip and stitch course.  Sewing and wine- it sounds dangerous but is actually great craic. I did a course with my friends and we learned plenty of tips and tricks on revamping tired clothes.!/pages/Om-Diva/293102896824.

Wild child: Check out their one kilo for 20 euro sale!/pages/Wild-Child-Vintage-Clothes/146282568762312

Of course i didn't leave the fair empty handed.  I bagged a georgeous 1970's midnight blue dress absolutely perfect for a wedding im going to in 2 weeks.  I got the dress from hayworth vintage and paid 40 euro (marked down from 45 euro- score).  I also bought a white cotton shirt with lace collar from shotsy vintage.  I plan on teaming the shirt with a pencil skirt or high waisted trousers.

Unfortunately i missed out on seeing loads of stuff due to over-crowding.  Luckily for me there is a vintage fair planned for Galway on the 19th June.  I can't wait for it!
Vintage Heaven in Dublin
a treasure trove of vintage apperal.  Can be a bit pricy but i bagged a turban for 9 euro last
november and have been wearing it constantly since.  Worth a look.

Absolutely fabulous.  Imelda May shops here, need i say more.  Lovely staff, fabulous retro dresses. Definitely worth a browse.  Very expensive, so be warned!

Om diva
Fabulous new and vintage clothing.  Check out their sewing academy.  I dare you to
enter the shop and leave without buying something!

The loft market
vintage and Irish designers.  Mix of price ranges depending on the stalls.  Some of the stalls
cost an arm and a leg and others are very reasonable.  I love chupi.

Wild child
Deadly shop.  Check out their kilo for 20 euro sale.
Irish Cancer society in Rathmines
Small selection but great prices.  I always pop in. 

De ja vu!/pages/Deja-Vu/106167582786986
A designer swap shop in Ranelagh.  Good selection of wares.  Haggling is encouraged.

Lucy's lounge
Located in temple bar.  Great selection of good quality vintage clothing and household items.

Pretty shop, a bit on the pricy side, but they sometimes have good sales.

A new shop in temple bar.  I can't wait to visit

Saturday, 16 April 2011

The beauty of brunch

How good are weekend breakfasts? After a long lie in on a Saturday there is nothing better than a slap up meal with eggs, fancy bread, coffee.. mmm....

Today's breakfast was amazing.  I went over to a friends house for brunch today and was presented with a buffet of salad, eggs, cheese, ham, croissants, tea, coffee, followed by a decadent white chocolate and raspberry cake with cream.  Eating cake for breakfast may seem extremely bold but hey it was after 12 pm, so i guess it was technically afternoon tea!  If i had the recipe for the cake at my fingertips i would give it to you but, alas,  i don't.  Sorry. Trust me it was georgeous :)

I usually make eggs and toast for my own weekend brunch.  Eggs are amazing: cheap, yummy and you can do so much with them: boiled, fried, poached, scrambled, baked.... the list is endless.  Recently a friend taught me how to poach eggs and i swear it has changed my life!  A few weeks ago i went on a poaching bender, i think i must have poached upwards of 6 eggs in one week.  I just couldn't stop.  Its slightly addictive.  Looking at the white swirl around the yolk in the saucepan is mesmerising.

How to Poach an Egg
1. To a saucepan of water add some salt and vinegar.
2. Bring the water to the boil
3. Crack 1 or 2 eggs into the water
4. Immediately bring the water down to a gentle simmer.
5.the white of the egg will swirl around the yolk
6. Allow the eggs to cook for 5 or 6 minutes.

Sometimes i use the poached eggs to make a cheats version of eggs benedict.  Instead of english muffins, i use mccambridges brown bread and instead of hollandaise sauce i use creme fresh seasoned with salt, pepper and chives.

Ger's Eggs Benedict


2 slices of brown soda bread
2 poached eggs
2 rashers or slices of smoked salmon
2 tbsp of creme fresh
seasoning and chives

1. butter the brown bread
2. season the creme fresh with chives and a little salt and pepper
3. fry or grill the rashers if you are using them.
4. layer rashers, poached egg and creme fresh on the brown bread

Serve with very strong tea.

Friday, 15 April 2011

The love of a good dress

Two weeks ago, it happened.  There i was walking down the street, minding my own business when bam it hit me.  Like a bolt from the blue.  There it was, the one i had always wanted.  The dress of my dreams.  A bombshell of a dress.  Mid-lenght in a 60's style reminiscent of Marilyn Monroe and Joan Halloway from Mad men.  The strawberry print on navy blue jersey was georgeous.  I had to try it on...
Slipping it on, it fit like a glove.  The only problem, the price.  A cool 250 euro is more than i live on in a week!  Reluctantly, i put it back on the rail and stepped away from the dress.

The next day at work, i sorrowfully rehashed the story of the dress that was not to be.  "Why don't you pay for the dress in installments, a lot of boutiques are offering that option these days" suggested a recessionista of the highest order.  Mmm.  maybe that would work.

The following day i returned to the shop to plead my case.  Armed with a friend i sauntered up to the counter and requested the dress in my size.  Sorry we just sold that particular dress a few minutes ago.  No i thought it can't be.  I tried a similar dress on but it wasn't the same.  Would i ever get the dress of my dreams...

Luckily for me i made a note of the web address of the company who make the dress.  That evening, i googled the company name.  Finding the company, i e-mailed them enquiring about the possibility of buying
the dress in my size.  Yes they replied.  Yipee! The internet holds the key to all.

Meanwhile, my recessionista friend kindly facebooked me a link to a vintage site  Fabulous clothes and highly addictive.

Did i get the dress in the end?  Sadly not.  After a brief flirtation where we exchanged information on colour, size, price, payment options, postage, the correspondence ceased suddenly.  Im not sure if it was something i said. There i was ready to commit to this dress, to hand over my hard earned cash, then nada...

So how does this story end, am i destined to trawl vintage websites for eternity constantly in search of the one?  Hopefully not,  There is a vintage fair this sunday in Dun laoghaire.  Who knows what i might find...