Recently I was at the re-launch of Bubbacue, a delicious Barbeque themed restaurant in Belfast. Actually that synopsis doesn’t do it justice at all! Bubbacue actually tell us on their website that they ‘Embrace the art of the relaxed American tradition which uses smoke to tenderize meat’, a method that produces delicious results! And you have to try their sides (the macaroni cheese!!) and actually my favourite, their lemonade!
Although the calendar said August, the weather said November but that was not going to deter me. Like many of us, I like to make the best of the time still called ‘summer’ and wear the wardrobe that works with the name! I took a quick trip to Dublin a few weeks ago, and having spent much of the holidays day tripping with my little boy, I had managed to miss all the sales up to this point. Zara is my favourite store to shop the sales in, I always find something that will carry me through to the next season at a bargain price. But my focus this time was different. I wanted to find a few extra pieces for a few days in the sunshine. So I took the opportunity to scour the final sale rails, loading my arms with lots of changing room options.
I found a beautiful blue dress with pretty stitched detail along the bust. I tried it on and knew it would be perfect for the heat of the Croatian sun as it was floaty to where it fell, just around knee length. It was only as I strolled along the beach front that I realised there were pockets in the strangest of places. Yes, it was actually a skirt! But in the name of wearing cutting edge fashion, well actually, because I loved the look of it as a dress, I continued to wear it this way.
So now being home and still having a little tan on my skin, I ignored the autumnal weather and headed out for dinner. I added some straps to the dress (being small chested, I don’t really suit strapless tops), threw on my denim jacket and wore it with my trusty trainers. And as I was now taking any spare opportunity to get back to the routine of blogging, I wore my new Mi-Pac, gifted from Menarys, filled with magazines, books and my laptop to complete the look. Not only do I love the soft touch and the polka dot design of this backpack, but with it’s interior including plenty of pockets and separations, it is perfect for carrying anywhere!
Thanks to Jane Williams at JPR, all the lovely staff at Bubbacue and Menarys for sending me my backpack!
Menarys comes with the tagline ‘since 1923’. If a store has been going that long, it’s clear they are doing something right! Beginning in Dungannon, to opening Menarys and Tempest stores across Ireland and with information online, you can get all you need on your doorstep!
My local Menarys is the Lisburn branch, the first or final store in Bow Street Mall, depending on which entrance you come in! The great thing about a department store is that you really do get everything in one place. Offering beauty brands such as Benefit and Lanôme, accessories from own brand Kamia and well known brands such as Guess and Radley, and clothing from Vera Moda, Name it and Jack Jones to name a few and concessions on top of that!
So, the challenge was to find a Christmas outfit for the whole family – could it be done in one store and with one hour of availability?! Well, of course!
On Christmas day we spend the day at home enjoying all the treats Santa delivers. On Boxing Day however, the whole family gets together – this is the day the outfits were planned for.
Menarys holds a good range of stock from Jack Jones for all ages – your traditional ‘Jack Jones’ tees, a variety of jean styles and outerwear as well.
I have worn this poncho nearly every day since getting it! At only £18.99 it is the perfect layer to throw on, and it is so cosy too:)
I wanted a dress of some sort, a dress I could wear with flats or heels, and also one that I could use as a skirt with a knitted jumper. I had previously spotted a dress from Vila which I hoped would fit the brief, however the style didn’t suit my shape. I found a great alternative from Only – a touch of lace, some sparkle and very flattering – watch Instagram to see how I wear it!
And for the little one…
When my little boy was a baby, most of his clothes came from Name it , so when it arrived in Menarys I was beyond happy. Great quality, lovely styles, and a little unique too. Even the six year old feels very cool in this outfit!
And a bonus to you, the sale has already started – head in to see what you will be wearing on your Christmas day! Thanks Menarys for my treats, and just in case you need a post Christmas treat, watch out on Facebook for a competition in January with Menarys! Have a lovely Christmas 🎄
We’ve all been there, well I most certainly have! Trying to shop for the person who has everything, trying to shop for last minute gifts you should have been more organised to buy, trying to buy a unique gift you haven’t given before.
So here is your tip, the tip that will save your skin, just in time for Christmas! And it’s easier than you think, in fact, it’s even a little bit fun! You need to shop local!
The bonus is, because technically you are just going in to browse for the perfect gift, rather than have a specific list, it can never be out of stock, it can come at a range of prices and you can get something original. And if you are completely stuck, vouchers are a wonderful thing! It is also really important to support local talents and business owners.
Of course I can speak best for my locals of Northern Ireland but these retailers can be sourced online too, just be quick, the ‘How many sleeps?’ countdown is on!
Lines and Current
With 10% profits going to a local charity for Christmas, and 10% discount if you sign up to the newsletter, nevermind the beautiful jewellery made by local designer Rebekah – a good deal all round!
Filthy Velvet – for him or her!
Use the code BAHHUMBUG for 10% off (valid until 11.59pm on Sunday)
Limited edition prints from Northern Irish artists.
Art Loves 10% discount and free gift wrapping using code artlovessilverbrogues
Local trinkets from Doris and Jeannie, or jewellery and crafts from Coppermoon.
Doris and Jeannie (left and right), Coppermoon (centre)
A trip to Spires Mall for designers both local and from further afield.
Stop off at Utopia to get any final Christmas decorations. I also managed to buy a stocking filler, a game for my little boy and my sister’s Christmas present. Tick, tick, tick!Or pass on through town to another favourite of mine – Studio Souk, Castle Lane. You are sure to find something in here!
And on to St Georges Market to pick up your final pieces, easy!
And if you are still stuck, offering packages at a range of prices, enjoy some treats from eléni or Vita Liberata. I’ve been using the Trystal Minerals and loving my healthy glow! Package prices ranging from £10-£30 with great savings!
If you haven’t made to to Belfast, head to your local Menarys – from homewares to beauty, clothes for men, women and children to accessories, it’s all here.
Clothes, accessories or decorations. It’s all here!
Or maybe a gift for the whole family that keeps on giving all year round!
Plenty of ideas, no more excuses, go shop! And if you are really efficient you may be able to squeeze in a treat for yourself too!
I recently attended a fashion show held in aid of the charity ‘Freedom Project, Ireland’, a charity established in response to the growing problem of Human Trafficking. It shocked me to hear that human trafficking is happening in my own country, and is growing at an alarming rate. This crime against humanity involves ‘recruiting, transporting, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force and coercion, solely for the purpose of exploiting them’.
Becki Hodge from Freedom Project, Ireland hosted the event, and Menarys and Tempest supported it by providing clothes for the fashion show. There was also a tempting auction to raise funds.
Here are some of the items showcased on the night and on sale in Menarys and Tempest to buy now.
Outfits from Only and Oasis
Love this Floral print – perfect for summer!
My outfit for the show – must learn to look happy in my pics!!
Jacket – Fashion Souk
& tee – River Island
Monochrome trousers – River Island
Silver slingbacks – Topshop
Bracelets – Pluck & Devour, New Look