Thursday, July 21, 2016

Lucy Liu vs Jennifer Lopez

After Irish week, I can go back to usual categories as #WWIB, which I like a lot! 
Today we have two actresses wearing the same Self Portrait black lace mini dress, so cute with all that tiered peplum layers!
This dress has been worn first by actress Lucy Liu, on the red carpet of her animated movie premiere "Kung Fu Panda 3", earlier this year. She went all black with T-strap shoes, but added a pop of colour with a bright red clutch. Actress/singer Jennifer Lopez wore the same piece last week, while attending the afterparty of the theatrical play "Hamilton". She opted for a slick high ponytail and open black sandals.

I have to take sides this time and choose Lucy Liu as the winner of this #wwib...she look fabulous and elegant!

How do you think wore it better?  
Lucy Liu or Jennifer Lopez?

Photo credits: fashionsizzle.com

Monday, July 18, 2016

[Irish Week] 48 Hours in Dublin (Baile Átha Cliath), Ireland


Last Post for Irish Week!!

Quick news before heading to the last post of this Irish week...
I just heard Galway city has been nominated as 2020 European Capital of Culture and I couldn't be happier for such a well deserved accomplishment! 
Go Galway!





If you're planning a weekend getaway in the Irish capital (or anywhere else in Ireland) let me give you the key tip: you've to keep in mind that (regardless of the season) the weather there changes quite often from sunny to windy to rainy ecc ecc...and, even if Dublin is dryier than most of Irish west coast's cities, an umbrella would be more an hindrance than a proper help. Only one piece of clothing will be your most valuable alley: the raincoat!

After saying so, let's get to business: here are my top things to see and where to eat in Dublin! 

I would have loved to share my personal photos while there, but I'm not a great photograper, so I'll pass this time....but I'm learing! - The only who's mine it the one inside Old Library - 


Phoenix Park: is the biggest city park in the EU; 1½ times bigger than Central Park in New York and 3 times bigger than the entire principality of Monaco. 
There you can visit the Dublin zoo or just take a walk throught the park, it's massive!
When I was there I took a break at "Tea Room", a simple and petite bar just near the zoo entrance. The food and beverage are really good and aren't overly expensive, but the most attractive thing about this place is its interior design: so cute, it reminds me of the cartoon scenes in "Mary Poppins".
Trinity College and the Old Library: you CAN'T leave Dublin without seeing its famous university. It is worth a visit, even just for the externals: the campus and the park inside the walls can easily compete with the American ones. If you're a bookworm, then you should definitely visit the Old Library: it has an impressive collections of books (one of the largest in the EU). It's breath taking, but unfortunately the second floor is closed to tourists.

Another tip for bookworms: Free Wee Library



Temple Bar: is probably the best known area of Dublin, with all the pubs and bars. During daytime it may looks like a touristic place (and maybe you're right), but the nightlife there is on a whole other level: there are live bands and all sorts of events, it is really a funny place where to spend the evening.
"Brick Alley" cafè in Temple bar --- highly reccomended!
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland
St.Patrick Cathedral: another place you can't leave Dublin without seeing is the Cathedral named after Ireland's patron saint. The gothic church is pretty impressive from the outside already, but the inside is no less...Even if Ireland is mainly a Catholic country, St.Patrick Cathedral is actually a Protestant church.

St Stephen's Green is a beautiful park in Dublin and, even if MUCH smaller than Phoenix park, it's worth a visit. During summertime, concerts and other sorts of pubic gatherings happpen in there and the surrroundings make you forget you're in a city.


A few tips...
If you opt to have all your meal outside your hotel/hostel here a few places where to go:
Breakfast at "Kylemore" (not expensive at all) or "Anne's Backery". These are both in Shop Street.
Lunch at Panem, for a quick sandwich or an easy lunch.

Dublin Sightseeing buses are extremly handy and you can jump on and off it as many times as you'll like. I don't know if I was lucky or all tour guides are alike, anyway mine were interesting and funny.


Dublin is well served from and to the airport, with buses leaving from various stops in the city centre and out every 15/20 minutes. From the city centre to the airport it's 30/40 minutes by bus.


Here other travel bloggers tips on what to do in Dublin - 
A quick guide to Dublin - world of Wonderlust 
How to spend a week in Dublin That Backpacker
A rainy Dublin travel diary - Perhaps Bananas
10 Terrific places you MUST experience in Dublin - Hand Luggage Only


This is it...Irish Week is over and I hope you liked the idea as much as I liked Ireland!
Slán leat!

Song Of The Day : Paradise by Coldplay

Photo credits: walksireland.com, travel.sygic.com, blog.volagratis.com & q-park.ie

Saturday, July 16, 2016

[Irish Week] Movies and Tv Series filmed in Ireland, but NOT set in Ireland

If you're a cinephile then Ireland is the place for you...thanks to its various landscapes and territories it's perfect for every movie and Tv series genre: comedies, action movies, thrillers and historical too. Maybe what you don't know is that they filmed there quite a number of movies, but pretended to be in another country and, in a case, in a whole different...galaxy!

TV SERIES
Penny Dreadful - shot in famous spots in Dublin (like Dublin's Castle), some filming were also in Co.Wicklow, but Showtime hit show is supposed to be set in London during Victorian age.
Game of Thrones - For Winterfell set, the show has been shot in Co.Down and Co.Antrim. (Northern Ireland) as well as in Belfast indoor sets.
MOVIES
An Klondike (Dominion Creek) - filmed in Connemara, is about 3 Irish brothers who emigrate in Yukon (westernmost Canada federal territories) during Klondike gold rush.
Star Wars The Force Awakens - the last scene where Rey and Finn seek for Luke Skywalker to come back from his self inflicted exile and find him on a lonely island...that is Skellig Michael, an island in the south west area of Ireland.
King Arthur - the 2004 movie is, by title, about the legendary King and his round table knights. King Arthur is one of Britain's most famous kings, and yet the movies was shot in Co.Wicklow and Powerscourt
Harry Potter and the Half blood Prince - the adventures of the famous wizard in the 6th movies were shot in co.Clare and Co.Kerry, Cliff of Moher and Skelling island.
Braveheart - this movie is probably know worldwide as the story of a Scottish patriot...to recreate Scotland's landscapes they shot partly in Co.Wicklow and Co.Meath.

Friday, July 15, 2016

[Irish Week] Real Places in Ireland from the Movie "Song of the Sea"

If you read yesterday's review or watched the movie, you'd probably had some deja vùs regarding some parts in "Song of the Sea"...long story short, the creators took inspirations from real Irish places for their stunning drawings! 

"You'll love the city Ben, I know you will!" - Granny said this to her nephew Ben, while on the road that will lead Ben and Saoirse to their new house...The city mentioned is non other than Ireland's capital, Dublin...and it's easly understadable when the kids runway to go back to their father, they pass through some famous city monuments, like:
 Molly Malone statue
St.Patrick Cathedral & Four Courts Dome

Have you ever thought about what it would be like living in an actual lighthouse island? 
Well, in Ireland there are planty of them, on the mainland and isles all around. Some of them are visitable and in others you can even sleep in as well!
Ballycotton island lighthouse

In the movie they're spirits and fairies turned into stones by an "evil" Owl witch Macha. In reality, anthropomorphic carved stone statues can be found in Caldragh graveyard on Boa Island.

That's it for today's post. I hope you liked it! 
Slán leat!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

[Irish Week] Movie Review: Song of the Sea

As I was an au pair in Co. Galway, the kids I was minding told me everything about it (they saw it twice and almost hit the three time, since they wanted me to see it too)...
I rememebered it was a mix of Irish legends and stories, but I've never thought they could melt one another so well!
Song of the Sea Movie Poster
This animated movie was in cinemas while I was in Ireland, but while there I chose to watch other movies. I saw Song of the Sea recently (it came out last month here in Italy). 
Here's to you, my review and thoughts!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

[Irish Week] Books set in Ireland

Dia duit everyone!
If you follow my books reviews then you'll know that (beside choosing the books mainly from its title/cover) I have periods were I only read a certain genre and sometimes also just books set in a particular country, like when I read everything that was set in Russia (it all started with One Night in Winter by Simon Sebag Montefiore, my review HERE), moving then to Japan, Paris (always a must!), North and South Carolina with Nicolas Sparks and recently Scotland, thanks to Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

Well today is time for you to visit Ireland, thanks to all the books set there, at least, a few of them...These are for all types of readers: historical, modern-age, thriller, young adult, commedies, romance, fantasy...
Enjoy!
Dublin: Fondation (The Princes of Ireland) and Ireland: Awakening (The Rebels of Ireland) by Edward Rutherfurd 
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What Happens in Ireland by Whitney K.E. & Juno And Juliet by Julian Gough (also great if you're into twins themed novels!)
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The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins & Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
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Ireland by Frank Delaney & The Claddagh Ring by Malachy McCourt
The Irish Century series by Morgan Llywelyn
Cecilia Aherns books are all set in Ireland, mainly in Dublin.

Of course I didn't put obvious picks like Dubliner by James Joyce or books from famous Irish authors like Oscar Wilde, Bram Stoker, Yeats, Swift ecc ecc...

If you'd like to read novels based in your favourite place on Earth, then you should pay a visit at Placing Literature website. There you can search for your favourite country, region, city all over the globe and see if there are novels set there...maybe you'll find some you've never heard about!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

[Irish Week] Movie Review: Leap Year

This movie is perfect for "Irish week" and this year in general becuase it's set mainly in Ireland (groundbreaking, I know!) and 2016 has been bissextile, meaning we had an additional day to the calendar, the 29th of February...
Leap Year Movie Poster
Anna has it all: a great job in Boston as "home stager" (don't worry, they'll explain what it actually is further on in the movie) as well as a great boyfriend, Jeremy, and they’re looking for some place to live together. After an interview for an appartment in a very luxury condo, Anna meets with her naive dad and tells him she’s about to get married (a friend saw Jeremy inside a chic jewellry shop) and her dad start telling about some family Irish tradition where a girl can ask her boyfriend to marry her on a leap year….Anna states it as her father’s foolish belifes, but when she thinks Adam is about to propose, she has her hopes disregarded!
Leap Year
Jeremy leaves the next day for a doctor convention in Dublin and so Anna decides to follow him and surprise him by proposing herself; great plan, if it wasn’t for English/Irish weather who forces the airplane to land in Wales and with no other flights scheduled until the storm calms down. But Anna is a pretty stubborn lady and finds a way to at least get on Irish soil…in Dingle, in the South of Ireland. There she immediately meets Declan, unwelcoming owner of a shabby pub and, in one way or anothe maganes to get Declan ride her to Dublin.
As you can imagine, their trip won't be flawless: in fact, they'll have to face luggage's robbery, car malfunctions, cows blocking the way and the good old Irish weather...and a whole bunch of other annoyances. But don't worry, they'll of course manage to get to Dublin...somehow!

My Opinion
This can easly be categorized as chick lit comedy: it has no claims except that make the viewer spend a few hours laughing and enjoying these improbable serie of events and Irish landscapes, which were all added in post production, but they look good anyway! 
It's predictable how it could end, but I love re watching it every now and then because A) Matthew Goode (and I've said all!) and B) it makes you wondering how a road trip in Ireland might be.

Raking : 2
½/5

Photo credits: impawards.com & aceshowbiz.com