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Hi!

I’m Alexandra. An American girl living in Dublin, Ireland. I honestly document my adventures in travel, food, beauty, and expat life on a budget.

Summer 2019 Favourites

Summer 2019 Favourites

Happy (almost) fall y’all! I have not shared a ‘favorites’ post since April 2019! I made the conscience decision to wait until the end of summer and post one big summertime favorites rather than do a few small posts each month.

Was this the most exciting summer of my life? No. But it was an efficient use of my time by finishing my HR course and my driving lessons. I also joined the library and I have been reading non-stop. See? Productive summer! A few other highlights from this summer:

I got a new (to me) car

Went to the Westlife concert

Joined the public library

Got a dramatic (for me) haircut – a  bob!

Got to see my first friend I made in Ireland when she was in Dublin for a visit

Visited 14 Henrietta Street

Went to the Guinness Storehouse for the 6th time

Booked our Christmas flights

Booked a holiday to France

Read over 10 books

SHOWS I BINGED:

The Ozarks – P kept on mentioning this show and I kept writing it off. He finally wore me down though and I gave in. He had already watched it and knew I would like it. I should have listened sooner because this was great! I thought I would only be able to see Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth, but I was able to put that out of my mind and appreciate him as a new, more serious character. Laura Linney was unreal in this as well. I can’t wait for season 3.

The Sinner (Season 2) - I watched the first season of this a few months ago and really liked it. The second season was available then, but the first season was heavy, so I left a bit of time between watching. You don’t necessarily have to watch the first season to get the second because they have different story-lines but to appreciate why the main character is the way that he is, I would say watch the first season. Both story-lines are interesting and keep your interest, but I found the second season story-line more intriguing. It is a Netflix show so it should be available to watch everywhere!

Chernobyl – Look, we all watched this so there isn’t much to say. It was extremely well done, interesting, and heartbreaking. If for some reason you were living under a rock this summer and did not watch this, get on it! It is only 5 episodes, but you might not want to binge it all at once.

Big Little Lies (Season 1) – After I finished the book, I had to watch the show! I thought the show was good and didn’t go too far off the original story-line and didn’t mind the parts where they did. That said, because season 1 ended where the book ended, I don’t have much interest in watching season 2. If you’ve seen the show but not read the book, I would recommend reading it because it is slightly different.

Queer Eye (Season 4) – Y’all should know by now that I love this show (for confirmation please see April 2018, June 2018, and March 2019). Season 4 dropped this summer and it did not disappoint.

The Handmaid’s Tale (Season 3) – I lost so much sleep binging this but OH MY GOD it was worth it. Is June going just a bit crazy? Yes, but wouldn’t you if you had to live in Gilead!! I don’t really know how much more they can squeeze out of this for season 4 but will I watch? You betcha. I hope they do wrap this up soon though and don’t spoil it and keep it going just to earn a bit of money.

Mindhunter (Season 2) – Like the first season, this was so interesting. I read The Killer Across the Table, so I was more familiar with the killers discussed in this season. I also felt like you got to know the characters as people better which I also enjoyed. Bring on season 3!

 WHAT I READ:

To hold myself accountable to keep reading I started posting ‘What I Read’ each month. I’m going to link each of those posts below, but my top 3 favorite books of the summer were Where the Crawdads Sing, Where’d You Go, Bernadette and The Killer Across the Table.

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MOVIES I WATCHED:

Baby Driver – I liked this movie so much more than I thought I would. The story is interesting, and the soundtrack is unreal.

Yesterday – P and I saw this in the cinema, and I think it is the first film we have gone to since like 2015. It was cute but not the best movie I’ve ever seen. It would be a good movie to stick on for a lazy Saturday on the couch.

Horrible Bosses – I know this movie came out YEARS ago, but I only watched it this summer and it was much funnier than I expected it to be. This is a good one to stick on if you need a laugh.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – I know, I know, this documentary came out last year, but I never watched it. The trailer for ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’ with Tom Hanks made me want to watch this before seeing the movie later this year. Essential viewing if you watched Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in your childhood.

Girls Trip – If y’all haven’t noticed I rarely see a movie right when it comes out and this was no exception. This will become one of my go-to movies to tune out and just have a laugh to.

 BEAUTY OBSESSIONS:

Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops – I know I’ve mentioned these before, but I fell in love with them again over the summer. I have even perfected the application process, so I use/love them more than when I first got them.

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Ocean Salt – I used to use this when I lived in Florida and had to shave my legs more frequently. Well, Dublin got another decently warm summer and my legs needed a good exfoliation to prep for shaving, so I popped into Lush and picked up the small tub of Ocean Salt. I use this before I shave my legs for a closer shave and one to times a week on my face for a good scrub. The scent is a bit off-putting due to my own not-so-nice memories with vodka but other than that, I love this!

Bourjois Java Rice Powder – I rarely buy anything beauty related without extensive research, but I purchased them on a whim because I trust Bourjois products. My trust in them paid off because this powder is UNREAL. It looks intimidating because it is glittery and pink, but it goes on like a dream and keeps everything in place. It smells like bubblegum too!

Pureology Purify Colour Care Shampoo – I cut like 4 inches of my hair off in August and got my colour fixed and this is what my hairdresser recommended to keep my locks looking luscious. If you’re not aware the water in Dublin is SO hard. My hair and my colour have suffered as a result. I also have scalp psoriasis (gross, I know) so finding a shampoo that has protection against this and cares for colour is hard to find. This keeps my scalp clean and my colour looking fresh! It smells minty fresh and is vegan! Worth checking out if you have a sensitive scalp and coloured hair.

Kiehls Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment – I have used this product on and off for years but recently started to purchase it again when nothing else could get rid of my scalp build-up. This is a great product for everyone because we all get a build-up of products on our scalps. It can be a bit difficult to spread around on your scalp and I recommend putting the product in wet hair. I have tried to do it on dry hair before and it was not as effective.

 

WHAT I MADE:

Crock Pot Chicken Tikka Masala – Let me start by saying I don’t love buying sauces from the store because they are usually sugary than they need to be, but these sauces also have their place. We are all busy and these sauces can come in handy every now and then. I love a good crock pot dump dinner that requires 0 prep, and this is my new go-to one.

You will need:

12 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 jar (500 g) Tikka Sauce

I add in rocket (aka: arugula), mushrooms, and baby corn to mine but you could add in whatever vegetables you want. Cook on high for 2 hours and serve with rice!

5-Ingredient Triple Decker Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars – If you are a peanut butter lover like me then you MUST make these! They are so simple, and I live for a no-bake recipe. The only adjustment I would make to this is I would say you only need 1 cup, not 1.5 cups of peanut butter for the middle. Other than that, these are peanut butter perfection.

WHAT I WORE:

Man, oh man did I get my €20 worth out of this Zara floral print dress over the summer. It is the most comfortable dress I think I have ever owned. It looks cute with sandals or sneakers and you can dress it up or down. It is the easiest piece of clothing I own to just throw on and look put together. I am fully obsessed and wish I bought like 5 more so I could have this dress forever.

Here’s a shocking fact about me (not) – I LOVE midi dresses. I ordered this one from Wednesday’s Girl on ASOS in blue, but it also comes in black. This is my second polka dot midi dress purchased from Wednesday’s Girl, but I am sure it won’t be my last. What can I say? I like what I like. This material is stretchy and super comfortable. If you’re looking for something easy but still want to look put together, this is it!

I LOVE a jumpsuit, but I am not the tallest girl so sometimes they can look a bit silly on me. This one is soooo comfy and easy to get in and out of. No zippers or buttons here or asking a stranger in the bathroom to help you close up the back. I wear this running around and I’ve worn it on a date with P. I think I might wear it for travel coming up soon, so I look put together while it feels like I am wearing my pajamas! This comes in a few patterns if the polka dots aren’t your thing.

Some of y’all might be like DUH when you read this, but I also started taking my clothes to a trailer. Once I had recovered from my surgery, some of my pants and dresses were just too big. They were all in great condition and from some decent stores, so I didn’t want to get rid of them, so I got them tailored! What a life changing concept! My confidence is through the roof when I wear things, I have had tailored because the clothes fit perfectly. Seriously worth every penny to get your clothes tailored!

 

I hope y’all all had an unreal summer! Like I said, this wasn’t the most *fun* summer of my life, but I accomplished a lot that needed to be done. I am now ready to do a deep clean of the apartment and break out all my fall-scented Bath & Body Works candles to prepare for all the cozy time coming up in the autumn and winter.

Fall 2019 Bucket List

Fall 2019 Bucket List

What I Read: August 2019

What I Read: August 2019