Orange Obviously

Clóda Scanlon, 20, Irish Blogger & Vlogger, Cork City.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

She Believed She Could, So She Did

Hi everyone, happy St. Paddy's weekend!
 Can anyone else not cope with how fast 2017 is going? How is it the 17th of March already!!!
Time flies when you're having fun I suppose!

Anyway, so you might be wondering what this post is about from the title.
With it being International Women's Day last week, I felt inspired to write this post about the kind of  women who inspire me daily! Is there anything better than an appreciation post for our amazing counterparts??

Women in society..

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So as a general consensus, tonnes of women inspire me daily. There's not one particular type of woman that inspires me, but many. I'm very much an explorer, a go-getter, a busy bee and someone with vision and drive.
Like-minded, strong, successful women really inspire me to work hard at everything I do in life whether it's college work, my blog, my goals etc.

Women with ambition. The dreamers, believers, achievers. Entrepreneurs, business women, risk-takers. The one's that have that spark in their voice and the glint in their eye - they're the ones that I look up to!

These amazing women are all over the world, have impacted our society for centuries and carved the pathway for future female generations. Life is short, so the ones that make their mark and do good in this world are the ones that make me extremely proud to be a woman!

In my life..

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Time to focus on the amazing, beautiful, empowering women in my life. They deserve the biggest pat on the back. Most importantly I'll start with the women in my family. I owe them everything.
I am absolutely BLESSED to have a huge extended family. 

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I have fantastic aunties, and girl cousins who have taught me everything I know. They've always looked after me, spoiled me, loved me and most importantly went on the booze with me hahah. No no in all seriousness though, I wouldn't be where I am today without them. Growing up surrounded by strong independent ladies who have a love for travel, music, sport and ambition, I couldn't miss of it!!
I've always been so inspired by my aunties because they are outrageously cool!!! They've taught me craic, caint and ceol. They've taught me that travelling the world while you're young is so important. My aunties were actually the reason I first fell in love with fashion. I used to love watching them getting dressed up and always wanted to see what they had in their wardrobe. So to my irreplaceable aunties thank you - I love you all so so much!!

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To my girl cousins (god there's so many of you).. No one will ever experience the laughs we have had, the songs we have sang, the adventures we went on, the games we played, the MANY weddings, the dancing, the sleepovers, the best memories. Thank you for the exceptional friendships!!!

My two grannies are very special ladies. My Granny Carmel passed away when I was only one years old. But the stories I have heard about her have been that she was nothing but an absolute lady all of the time. I would like to think I got my kindness from her. There's a lovely memory my parents told me. When I was a baby, Granny Carmel had me in her arms and she looked down at me and said "Me and you are going to be good friends". And although I never got to speak to her, I know that we definitely are good friends! If anyone is my Guardian Angel, it is that woman. I can guarantee it!
My other amazing Granny is named Kitty. She's some woman for one woman! Mother to 11, grandmother to 23 (I think), great-grandmother to 2. Literally, our whole family gathers in her bungalow every Christmas Day whether it's rain, hail or snow we make it up the hills of Upperchurch for our annual tradition. Granny always has a big spread. Tarts, biscuits, sweets, drinks, the whole lot. No one ever goes hungry in that house! Kitty makes sure everyone is fed and watered before leaving. She loves company, and loves the chats - just like myself. She is an incredible woman and has done so much for all of us over the years. Love you Granny X

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To my mother Kathleen, my best friend, my confidant, my biggest fan!!! (and that's no word of a lie).
She is the first to like all of my photos, screenshot my content, tag me in things on Instagram/Facebook, snapchat me about things Pippa O' Connor said. Haha the woman gets so excited. But it's lovely that someone loves and supports me that much. If I can do half as much for my children as my marvelous Mammy has done for me, I'd be delighted with myself.
I've never wanted for anything.
From Day 1, I got the best of everything. When I got very sick as a toddler, she was there by my side making sure I got through it!! I had every hobby under the sun from set dancing, Irish dancing, guitar lessons, banjo lessons, piano lessons, vocal lessons, athletics, camogie, swimming, horse-riding, ballet. I went to every summer camp in the parish. I couldn't have asked for a better childhood.
She believed in me and encouraged me to take part in dance shows, Scór, Fleadh Ceoil, singing competitions. And I did very well for myself I'd like to think!! And because of all the activities I was able to do because my mother was there to nourish me, drive me and dress me, I am now a very confident and skilled young lady. I have always reached for the stars, but I couldn't do it without her love and support. Ever since I began my blog, I have got nothing only pride, belief and excitement from my mother. She LOVES it. She's the first person I ring when I get emails about new opportunities etc and hearing how excited she gets makes it all worthwhile.
She has been by side and my shoulder to cry on my hardest days. She has given words of encouragement when I needed them. She is everything I aspire to be like.
I hope some day I'll be able to give back everything you've given me. I'm so lucky to be your daughter. I adore you Mam. X

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To my friends, you are my sisters. Some have been there since Day 1 and others I only know a few months, but you all mean the world to me. I would be lost without ye for the fun, the lols, the gossips, the memories, the secrets that will go to the grave with us. I am so lucky to have a list as long as my arm of fantastic female friends. Ye are some of the bravest, most beautiful beings on this earth. I will never take ye, ye're support or ye're love for granted. Whether I see you/speak to you everyday or once in a blue moon, thank you a thousand times for being my sisters! x

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To my fellow bloggers, vloggers, musicians, students, women in the industry, just WOW! Ye are genuinely the most inspiring, interesting and immaculate people. Ye motivate me to push myself harder everyday. Ye have believed in me and I believe in ye. Let's continue to grow as #GirlBosses and kick ass together!! That's what it's all about. We need to continue to support each other and empower each other and nothing will stop us!

Me, myself and I..

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I'm BEYOND proud to be an Irish girl. Oh my gosh if there is anything I am proud of it is to be Irish. It's something I will carry with me everywhere I go and that I will always shout from the rooftops haha. I know that I will definitely travel after college, but I will leave a little bit of my Irish footprint everywhere I go.
If I'm going to talk about women I need to talk about the one woman who will always be there for me - me! To be honest I need to give myself a massive pat on the back - we all do! I think as Irish people and as females we are very bad to give ourselves credit where credit is due! 
Sometimes I forget just how much I have achieved in my short 20 years. Every once in a while I blow my own mind! 
Last year was a horrific start to 2016 for a few reasons that I won't go into, but I was the one who peeled myself off the floor. I was the one who wiped my own tears. I was the one who got up everyday and kept going. I was the one who learned how to self-love (with a lot of time and a lot of effort). I was the one who made a conscious decision to look after myself and to treat myself (probably a little too much). I was the one who bought a plane ticket to New York and travelled to the other side of the world alone. I was the one who began to invest time and money in my future, my career, my goals. I was the one who decided to challenge myself and climb the highest free-standing mountain in the world to give to people in need. I pushed myself at my lowest point and built myself back up, piece by piece. I experienced the most sensational counties, people and cultures. I totally immersed myself last year and only now I can see how strong I was to do all of that. I couldn't be more proud of myself and all I can say is, roll on 2017!!

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With that I'm going to conclude the post. I hope this will make you think of all the wonderful women in your life and everything they have taught you. I know I'm grateful for the lovely ladies I've met in my short 20 years, and I can't wait to see what other incredible females I will cross paths with!

Clóda 
x


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Monday, 13 February 2017

Madrid Travel Diary


Happy Monday everyone.
 Today I'm back with a super exciting post: my first EVER travel diary.
I've spoken for so long about delving into the world of travel blogging and now I finally am. 
After travelling to America and Africa in 2016, I realised that I have 1000000000% caught the travel bug and I want to bring you guys along with me wherever I go!

So what better way to start off this new aspect of my blog than writing a travel diary on my recent trip to the beautiful city of Madrid in Spain!
So basically this post will be a travel guide on all things Madrid. 
What I did.. Where I went.. The do's and don't's..

Plan Plan Plan, and then Plan some more...

Flights: In November we decided to go on a European city break, and Madrid was one of the cities that was in the €10 seat sale on Ryanair, so we booked the flights for the week before Semester 2 of college. 
We went for about 3 and a half days, which was such a lovely treat to finish off the Christmas break.



Hotel: We booked our hotel through www.hotels.com or www.booking.com
We just searched "Hotel on Gran Via" which is the huge shopping street. Basically it's the Oxford St of Madrid. 
We stayed at the Petit Palace Cliper c/Chinchilla 6. This hotel was in the ideal location. It was right off Gran Via and sooo central - everything was within walking distance. 
For 2 people staying three nights, and in a fantastic location in the city centre, the hotel was so reasonably priced!! I would definitely recommend staying there! It's basic, clean, central, cheap & cheerful.. What else would you need?

Research: One thing I've learned from travelling is that you really need to plan ahead when going on a city break! It's so important, especially if it's only for a few days because you'll want to squeeze in as much sights and shops as possible! 
My Advise:
Make a bucket list!!!
Ask Friends for recommendations.
Google the best places to visit.
Google the hidden treasures of that place.
Search hashtags of that place.
Watch travel vlogs/read travel blogs on the area.
I followed lots of Madrid accounts on Instagram before going, to get inspiration on places to eat/visit.


Stylin'

So I obviously couldn't go on a trip and not feature some outfits!
They're relatively comfy/casual as we did hours of walking each day!


For our first day of exploring, I decided to wear a gorgeous charcoal shirt I had recently purchased in Zara and comfy  ripped jeans from River Island.


I styled them with my Western style boots & belt - a trend I am looooving right now.
You can find the boots: Here

I just brought one bag that would fit everything and go with everything. I love this grey Satchel I bought in Primark in Newry back in August. 



I love this gold chain from Urban Secrets - I got so many compliments on it!


The typical "I'm a blogger, so I take outfit photos on steps" picture!!

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Day 2 was another long day of sight seeing so I went for a striped shirt that had a frill collar, my SoSu high waist jeans and my trusty Adidas Superstars for comfort!
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This was my look for our last night at the Flamenco Dancing show.
The sparkle choker & top are from Penneys. 
The coated jeans are from Vila and I absolutely live in them!
Heels are from Dunnes!

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My outfit for our last day (shopping day) was super casual and cosy!
I popped on this Penneys shearling jacket for popping around the shops.
Paired it with my RI jeans again, a green velvet bodysuit and my white leather converse!
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Food & Drink

Breakfast with a view:


After getting inspiration from Koen Tady's Instagram, I just HAD to have breakfast at the "Gourmet Experience". It's a fabulous food floor on the 9th floor of a department store called El Corte Ingles.
I enjoyed a fluffy croissant and freshly squeezed orange juice with the sun beating down on me as I looked out over this magical city! Such a blissful breakfast spot! 


We even came back again the next day just to capture the view again and fill up on the amazing food!


It truly is a Gourmet Experience.. Woooowza those views!
I would highly recommend going here for a cup of coffee or a drink. 
It's free of charge to come up and enjoy the view and take some pics too!

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Babes who Brunch



Habanera was one of the places I was most excited to go to! 
It was featured in an article that I had stumbled across when researching Madrid. I just couldn't wait to step from the grey streets into this sensational exotic paradise.. 
A picture tells a thousand words, so just.....



Yes this is a restaurant.. I kid you not!



Is this not the most instagrammable place ever?? Seriously though, the aesthetics!!!





And if you thought all of that was fab, wait 'til you see the food!


When on holidays, you've gotta go for the cocktail right? Look how gorgeous it is! 
All those summery vibes..




Are you weak yet?
Look at how stunningly presented this brunch is..
I ordered the fruit salad and American pancakes! I've never tasted pancakes like them before and oh my days, the fruit was so juicy and fresh! It was definitely one of the most incredible food experiences I've ever had! And what's more, both were only about €6. Such reasonable prices for such a luxurious location!


And just when you thought it couldn't get any better than the fantastic food displays and spectacular setting, just wait until you see the bathroom..


That is correct you do see palm trees in the bathroom, as well as a fabulous marble sink!
But the BEST part is..

THE SWINGS!!!
SWINGS IN A FRICKIN' BATHROOM! I looooove this place!
Talk about bathroom goals! If you visit Madrid and don't go to Habanera you are seriously missing out! V impressed!





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Sure we'll go to the Irish pub for 'one'




Are you even Irish if you don't sniff out an Irish pub when abroad?
The James Joyce pub was recommended to us as a lovely place to go to for a late lunch.
We ate some light bites and enjoyed drinks outside watching all the traffic go by which was soooo relaxing after so much walking. Fab spot & great food!

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Dine Al Fresco in Plaza Mayor













A must-visit is the breath-taking Plaza Mayor dotted with Al Fresco themed restaurants all around. 
It was fab to sit here enjoying our meal in the sun while being entertained by street artists.
This is how every lazy Saturday should be spent!

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Taste a traditional Spanish Buffet at Topolino




On our first night in Madrid we just happened to stumble upon this quaint little corner restaurant called Topolino. I would highly recommend eating here if you want to get a flavour of many traditional Spanish dishes! The exquisite array of food is mouth-watering. Thank God it was an all-you-can-eat buffet because I went back for 3rds and 4ths haha!!
It was only €11 pp. Well worth eating here if  you want to get value for money!
(Oh and btw the paella in Spain beats the Aldi one anyday.. obvs!!!)

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Enjoy drinks at Círculo De Bellas Artes as the sun sets




One of the most magical moments of the trip for me was watching the sun set over the city from the rooftop bar on Círculo De Bellas Artes. 
It was so chill, chart music was playing, cocktails were being drank..
Perfect Vibes!

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Experience Madrid's most famous Churros in San Gine's


If you visit Madrid at all, you have to indulge in the chocolatey haven that is San Gines!
It is the cutest little chocolateria which do the most famous churros & hot chocolate in Madrid. They're in business since 1894 - so crazy!!


The interior is divine. Chocolate everywhere, marble & gold decor, photos of famous people who stepped foot through the door framed on the walls. 

Also they are open 24 hours I think, because I read that young people queue up to get churros after being in the nightclubs 'til the early hours.



Look at that piece of perfection.




Hardly enjoyed them anyway...
YUM!

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Places to be & Sights to see!

Ahh and now onto the amazing places you must visit when you're in Madrid!!
Between the architecture, the culture and the views, you'll be wanting to book the next plane to Spain

El Parque del Retiro


As soon as stepped through the gates of Retiro Park, we were instantly entranced in a Winter Wonderland. 
It's so unlike the parks back home in Ireland. Everything is crisp white and it feels like you're walking around the Queens garden. To say it is a luxurious park would have to be an understatement!!



One of my favourite parts about the park is that you can hire out paddle boats and take in the scenes around the lake. A few people recommended this to me and I had always wanted to go on a paddle boat. It was so cheap. Only €6 for the 2 of us in the boat for 45 mins around the lake!!
And the boats can fit about 4-5 people and each boat is only €6 so v v cheap!


Taking inspo from the O'Donovan brothers and "Pulling Like A Dog"



The boats are super safe and family friendly. There was lots of kids in boats too!




Taking in all the scenes around the park!






Next we strolled on to the Palacio de Cristal which is another fantastic feature in Retiro Park.




I could stay here forever, daydreaming in this magnificent building. I've never seen anything like the Crystal Palace. 






It's a pretty big park. We didn't even get to see all of it but, wow!! It was truly beautiful!


Watch the sun set from Círculo De Bellas Artes

So much websites and so many people told me that watching the sun set over the city from the top of Circulo de Bellas Artes was an absolute MUST! And boy were they right! Can you believe it was only €4 for this extraordinary rooftop experience?
It was one of those rare, breath-taking, pinch-me moments watching the sky go from a dusky yellow, smoothing into pastels and exploding with vibrant purples, pinks and oranges and finally darkness slowly fell onto the rooftops. 











WOW! I would highly recommend spending a few hours here to watch that magical sunset and the city lights twinkling up at you, but bring  warm jacket it gets super cold up there when night falls!!


Check out Primark on Gran Via


If you're a shopaholic or a Penneys fanatic you are gonna want to visit the HUUUUGGEE Primark store on Gran Via. It has 5 floors, music blaring and always packed!
It was as if the mother ship has called me home!!
This is how busy it was at 9pm!!

I've recommended some more fab shops on my Madrid Haul Blog Post if you want to check it out and see what I bought. Honestly the shopping over there is to-die-for.


Get a picture with El Oso y El Madrono


Located in Madrid's most famous and most central square, La Puerta del Sol, sits one of Madrid's most important statues. They say you should get a picture with  El Oso y El Madrono (the Bear and the Strawberry Tree).  The Oso and Madrono is the official symbol of the city.
So I got the above picture and bought a keyring (which flips into a bottle opener) with El Oso on it!


Temple De Debod
Want to experience a bit of ancient Egypt in Madrid? Hell yeah, you do!

This mesmerising, mystical monument was built in one of Spain's most beautiful parks, West Park.
It was donated to Spain in 1968.
Admission is free so you should totally come down to check it out, take some pictures and go for a stroll around the beautiful West Park.









See a Flamenco Dancing show

You cannot go to Spain without experiencing Flamenco dancing. Honestly, the passion, the rhythm. 
It was a sensational experience! 






Fly over the city in a Cable Car

For only €5, one of the best things you can do in Madrid is take in the best of views of the city by cable car.










And most importantly, go Explore!


Yes, tick off the things on your bucket list, but go walk, go cycle, go see. 
Explore the unknown streets and take pictures of random buildings that you don't know the name of..
Enjoy the city's architecture for all it is!











The City Hall











City Gate

Royal Palace


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Aaaaand there it is, my best Madrid recommendations! I hope you enjoyed this post and might even consider visiting this beautiful city after reading this!

I would love to get your feedback, so leave comments or message me etc.

So much love,
Clóda
xxx
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