Archived - Emma O Donnell
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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 ...

July Photo Diary: Mums 50th, moving house and all the food

July flew by, I took two trips home to Ireland and I was flat searching which those of you who have done it before know it is very very stressful!

The first trip home was to see Mum on her birthday, she was 50 this year so there was lots of celebrations. We went to our favourite restaurant in Letterkenny The Yellow Pepper for dinner and drinks!

this breaded brie tasted as good as it looked

sex on the beach

we also went to the Glebe House Gallery in Churchill, it was home to the painter Derek Hill. It is such a lovely place to visit if you are in Donegal. We took a tour of the house and it has such major decorating inspiration and a very impressive collection of art.

Mum and my auntie then flew back with me to Bristol. The first night they were there we went to Fishers restaurant in Clifton. I would totally recommend it for seafood lovers. I had salmon fishcakes and they were gorgeous
That night we decided to to visit the Clifton suspension bridge. I have been in Bristol almost a year so I thought it was time I visited the iconic landmark. It is really spectacular especially at night, you need to have a head for heights though!
The next day we took a shopping trip to Cabot Circus. We had food in Cote Brassiere which is a chain of french restaurants in the UK. We were able to sit outside in the courtyard in the sun so it literally felt like I was on holidays again

Cod, lentils and spinach, yum!

I didnt buy much in the summer sales this year but I did pick up these espadrilles from Zara. I really love how good they look, Im very fussy when it comes to shoes! They are so versatile, they literally go with anything from jeans to dresses.

cute photobooth of me and Chris on a night out that I love so much! :) sometimes you just need a good night out 

I flew back home again to go to my Mums party, she held it two weeks after her birthday so everyone could come. We had a marquee, lots and lots of food and the best company. I had to leave the next day which was sad because I left behind so much gorgeous food.

After lots of stress, we finally secured a flat in Cardiff and are moving tomorrow. I'm sad to leave Bristol but excited for our new move :)