Thursday, February 09, 2017

Discovering Ireland: Aungier Danger

I remember a time when the words Aungier Danger were completely unknown to my ears and then one day at school my friend Lauren tells me about this donut shop she goes to sometimes for donuts and suddenly I hear about it everywhere, from other people, on the radio etc. It felt as though I had been let into a secret group that not many people knew about and I didn't even know that much about either.

I was to have my first donut from there sometime last year in the small shop swallowed into it's surrounding business competitors and tall buildings. And it was pretty good coming from someone who doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. Back then I had only known of one of it's shops which was located on Aungier Street, however it seems these days the name is popping up everywhere. There is now another branch opened u on South Georges St. right across from the Yamamori Japanese Restaurant which I reviewed last week! It's also pretty close to Bunsen and The Mongolian Barbecue too so you can always pop round there for some dessert.

 If you missed any of the three reviews I have mentioned, you can check them out here, here and here respectively.

The donuts in Aungier Danger are pretty good, I mean as good as donuts can be. I particularly like and suspect that their whole aesthetic, and quirky named donuts are a part of the attraction for people. My favourite branch and the one I've visited most has to be Aungier Street. It is very quiet with most of it's customers being nicely dressed business men and women in suits or other and students from the university directly across the road. The music is left in the hand of the Sales Assistant on duty which lends greatly to its different yet always vibrant atmosphere.

At €3 per donut which I thought and still think is a little much to pay for a single donut but it is no different from the likes of Boston Donuts or The Rolling Donut etc. You won't regret having one but it'd be hard to stomach more than that at any given time because they are VERY sweet. My favourite is the Crime Scene but avoid the Oreo Marshmallow because as tasty as it is, it is so. damn. sweet that you may or may not be able to finish it.

In conclusion, I personally love Aungier Danger hence why I'm choosing to write about it. It's great for a treat every now and again but as a lifestyle eating habit I wouldn't endorse having donuts be a part of it...obviously.

What are some of your guilty pleasures? Have you had Aungier Danger donut? What did you think of it. Let me know below in the comments.

Be sure to subscribe to the Albatroz & Co. Get In The Know newsletter HERE and keep up with the fun behind the blog! Last week's issue will be made downloadable in Sunday's post. The next issue will be sent Monday so subscribe to make sure you're not a week behind everyone else.

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

Dare I Call Myself A Fashion Blogger?

Blouse - Mint Velvet
Skirt - Mint Velvet
Bag - New Look ( similar here )
Statement Necklace - Mint Velvet
Boots - Primark ( Similar here and here )

DISCLAIMER: This post is not sponsored by any brands named nor I'm I affiliated with any of these named brands.

In many ways this outfit is love hate one for me. Not hate, that's too strong a word but not fully love. Individually I love the pieces. For example the skirt is very easy to work into many different outfits, the jersey material is comfortable and warm which is a bonus for the frightful weather we've been having the last week or so here in Ireland. However it can be a little restricting to walk in which really puts a bit of a strain on my knees after a few hours of wear.

The top, I absolutely adore. It's simple with subtle touches like the bow sleeves and the colour is flattering especially with my new grey hair. These pictures were taken a week or two ago with thanks to Stephanie from Wasting Colours hence why my hair is in it's natural 'fro state. The top itself is not tight fitting but quite flowy so perhaps it was not the best match for the skirt which looks better with a simple long-sleeve shirt or tee tucked in with some white or metallic runners ( Americans read: sneakers ).

The bag is one of my favourite accessories pieces right now. Borrowed from my mother and never returned, it has been a staple outfit piece this season. I am not a handbag and purses type, I much prefer a backpack in which I can carry all the unnecessary crap I carry around with me. You can pick up a similar one from Forever 21 for much cheaper than this one cost.

The boots which you've probably seen in many of my outfit posts was originally from Primark/ Penneys and unknowingly donated to my wardrobe by my little sister and has lived there since. I have been unable to find any very similar to it. I did however find two from Asos that both incorporate certain elements of it. Check them out from the links up above.

You can catch the bag and boots in action again in my Shop The Sales post which showcases my favourite outfit of the year so far and where to pick up the bargains in it. There are still some clothes and sizes available so hurry!

The part of this outfit I'm not mad about is the ... outfit. I don't know, for some reason I just feel like it doesn't quite work for my body shape? I adore the pieces individually but put together the outfit seems too grown up for me. I like wearing outfits that I can confidently say speak to my personality so I must've felt very grown up the day I put together this ensemble. I guess I'll just have to keep trying out different outfits and see which I love, oh isn't life hard? Keep your eyes peeled because these pieces will definitely be making a comeback to the blog.

Also the first Get In The Know Issue will go out to those subscribed tomorrow ( Monday 6th ). Thank you so much to everyone that has subscribed already, I am so incredibly happy to have you all on board and supporting me.

 If you've subscribed and have not confirmed your subscription through email you will NOT receive the Get In The Know update so be sure to check your emails for that confirmation email, confirm and you'll officially be in the know.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about then open up your ears and hear me. The Albatroz & Co. newsletter has arrived. At the start of the year I set myself the goal to set up a newsletter and I am glad to say that it is happening. I have set up my Newsletter and I'd love you to be there with me from the very beginning. You can join me, and all the other people in the inner circle here and find out what goes on behind the Albatroz & Co. blog. I'd love to have you along for this journey.

What has been some of your favourite pieces of your wardrobe from the winter season? And on another hand, did you set yourself any goals for the year? How's it coming along?

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Till next time my pretties xxx
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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Discovering Ireland: Yamamori Japanese Restaurant

So last week M and I, as we very often do, went in search of somewhere to eat. As it was late and I eat at a snail's pace we had to find somewhere that closed late enough for us both to eat and enjoy our meal. M was in the mood for some sushi and so we looked up Japanese restaurants in the city and went from there.

Yamamori the restaurant is located on South Georges Street and Yamamori Izakaya, it's nightclub sister is right across the street but they only serve dumplings after 10:30pm so... we went for the restaurant. Driving by for parking, the restaurant itself looked pretty empty and that didn't really fill us with confidence. For a four star google rating I thought it'd be a little more full. In hindsight it was quite late on a Tuesday evening and therefore you can't really expect the place to be packed.

The location of the restaurant itself is not very far from Temple Bar district, just around the corner in fact. It's great for people looking for a bite in the city at night as they do open quite late 10:30pm and 11:30pm Friday and Saturday. And Gino's gelato is on the same street so you can grab dessert right after!

Inside the atmosphere was quite relaxed. Not in the laidback way of Bunsen from my last Discovering Ireland post but a sophisticated relaxed vibe. The tables with their lit tea light candles created a romantic ( at least that's how I took it ) air and the fact that each table had seated couples just fueld that romantic vibe.

The service wasn't exactly fast but it wasn't slow. The waiting staff were not on top of you for your order which one might expect when it's late into the night and about two hours from closing time. They were friendly and helpful in answering any questions about the menu that we ( that's a lie, mostly me ) had. They're water topping skills though, that was lightening speed and you were not interrupted in you conversations to witness the refilling which I was grateful for.

M went for his much craved sushi and some Chicken skewers and I ordered their dinner meal deal which consisted of:  Miso Soup, 3 Piece Norimaki, 2 Piece Lemon Sole Tempura, Lamb Burger and Chicken wings with a side of Black Rice so basically a lot of food. And all for €19.95!

I'll start with my favorite part of the meal, watching M fall in love with his sushi platter. I'm not the biggest fan of Sushi, I like it but not as much as M. So watching him eat his food and enjoy it as much as he did, was pretty funny for me because he kept nodding his head and telling me how good it was.

For someone who says she doesn't like sushi that much, I started my meal with the only sushi option. The Norimaki. It was a chef's choice so I'm not sure which one exactly it was on the menu. It was black rice, cucumber and tuna I believe.

The Lemon Sole Tempura is more or less battered fish. It was lovely, especially with the ginger and soy sauce but in parts there was more batter than fish for me.

The Lamb Burger came on a bed of noodles, lettuce, string beans and runner beans. Although I am not a fan of the veg in it, it looked to be a filling portion. The burger alone, which I ate last could barely be fit into my stomach after all the eating I had done so good luck to ya!

My least favorite part of the meal was probably he Miso soup because get this...I don't like Miso soup apparently. It was my first time trying it so I'm not writing it off. M did finish it for me and he loved it so take his word for it not mine.

The Chicken Wings, which I did not expect to find on a Japanese menu, were quite lovely. Tender, juicy and nicely seasoned. 

By the time we rolled out of the restaurant and went in search of dessert I was so full I didn't think I could fit in anymore. Which is off course is ridiculous because we had hot cookie dough cookies right after.

If you're a fan of Japanese food and sushi, Yamamori is great for dinners and their lunch meals are worth having a look at too although I can't speak for it. I think even if you decide to go for a meal deal you will not be disappointed because I definitely was not. It can be pricey depending on what you are eating but you can be assured the quality of food will reflect that price.

Have you ever been to Yamamori? What did you think of it?

The plan is to return there for some sushi feasting this coming Saturday. Be sure to subscribe to the Albatroz & Co. weekly newsletter HERE to know how it goes and keep up with the fun behind the blog! The next issue will be sent Monday.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

30 Day Challenge: December/January Reflection & February Annoucement

Top - Bershka
Leggings - H & M
Shoes - Zara ( on sale right now! )
Bag - Primark ( similar )
Fishnets - Claire's

Hi everyone! So my last challenge update was back in December where I announced my challenge for that month, Journaling, and then proceeded to drop off the face of the earth. I am glad to say that although I didn't mention it again on the blog, I was in fact still  invested in the challenge and doing it almost everyday. And it was brilliant.

The challenge itself was sparked by a time of anxiety for me, something I at the time classed as over-thinking. I had begun to over-analyse everything I did and said to the point where every action had to have an in depth explanation behind it in case someone asked and I was forced to explain myself. The aim behind the challenge was to help relieve that anxiety and need to chronologically explain everything with scrutinising eyes. Whatever was to be written in the journal was to be left in the journal and that was to be the end of it. That way I could move onto the next day with a clear mind. Easier said than done eh?

Finding the time to write was an easy hurdle to overcome. Every night before I go to bed. I tested the idea of carrying a small journal around for a day or two but the images of losing that journal and someone finding it and reading my most vulnerable thoughts was a little too much so I put that idea to rest.

Finding the energy to write then was a difficulty in itself. Each night I'd settle into bed to write and be hit with a brick of tiredness and suddenly I'd have no energy or desire to even pick up the pen and put it to paper. And when I did start writing there was so much writing that I could be going anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour so my motivation to continue suffered too especially when the a lot of things were seen with self-deprecating eyes. "You're crazy. You're just thinking too much into this. Normal people don't need to write down thoughts to get on with their lives'

They say the pen is mightier than the sword and I was putting it to he test to overcome this anxiety ridden person I had suddenly become. That was another reason why I chose to continue this challenge into January as by the end of December I felt things had actually gotten worse, not better like I hoped.

I began to rely on writing in my journal so much that when I didn't get to write for a day or two, I'd hold unto everything I wanted to write down instead of dealing with it and moving on. I became fixated in the idea of 'If it doesn't go in the journal it cannot be forgotten' and therefore would continue to be scrutinised in my head and grow a billion legs.

For the month of January then I tried focusing on dealing with the issues at the roots of my anxiety, dealing with them and using the journal as an aid to record the journey and end result. It didn't fix anything but things had started looking up.

I finally managed to bring up how I have been feeling with my GP. I'm not a self-diagnosing web-doctor reading sort and try not to label myself with illness without professional input. What I had been calling over-thinking was actually signs of anxiety. Anxiety. My GP gave me two options: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or a referral to talk to someone. I chose to go with CBT as I feel like my level of anxiety at this stage is something I can handle. Equally the idea of talking to someone, something I actually have wanted to do in the past feels a little scarier when you have an issue to delve into. I'm not sure if this is denial about my anxiety or not but we'll see.

All in all the December/January challenge which I plan on making a lifestyle habit has been good for me in helping me identify and begin to deal with my anxiety. We all suffer from times of anxiety and depression etc some worse than others and we have to find our own ways of dealing with it and improve for the better.

Did you take up my challenge to do this Journaling with me or do you already journal? How has it helped you?

 So what's in store for February you may be asking? Well in my last post ( which you can check out here ) I touched on how disorderly things were beginning to feel and instead of falling into a self-pity hole for myself, I'm going to call on an old challenge to stop whining and do something about it. How am I going to do this you ask? I had one comment on the said post from a lady called Rin. As much as I loved reading and responding to your comments, her's stood out for me for a lot of reasons. I could relate so much to what she was saying and found the way she dealt with her sitiuation very helpful. I've taken on her example and instilled them into the 5 simple changes and new habits I plan to enforce in the month of February to bring bring more routine to my life. This is not a srtict day to day complete plan just little changes here and there.

1) Sleep

Sleep. I love to sleep, there's no doubt about that. And I get enough sleep, sometimes too much sleep but not effective deep sleep. The rest you get from going to bed before 11pm and after 1am differ in it's benefits more than you'd think. I want to reap those benefits of getting a deep, good night's rest. 

I did a sleep challenge a few months ago and it went well so I think it's it's time for me to reboot it again. If all goes well I'd love to be settling in early and rising up early to get the most out my days.

2) Exercise

My Atheltics Club trains five times a week and whereas before I'd have made it to a Monday gym session, Thursday evening and the odd weekends, I haven't trained consecutively for a good while now. I cycle to and from work which amounts to about 5/6 hours a week, I've become so used to my route and it's different gradients that some days I feel nothing at all.

So for the month of February, the plan is to exercise three times a week, either with my club wherever possible or at home. I'm thinking of testing out a few workout apps while I'm at it and reviewing them from best to worst. Would that be something you guys would be interested in?

3) Meditation, Yoga & Journaling

In keeping with the journaling challenge, I will continue through to February and also add meditation and yoga to that. Meditation is something I do regularly anyways during the day from a previous challenge so it'll be nice to make more time for it and yoga is something I haven't done in awhile so it'll be nice to go back to it on days in-between exercising. I want to continue to work through my little anxieties and overcome them. 

4) Blogging & Work

There's so much that I want to do this year in terms of blogging and in work, and I know I keep saying that but I'm going to make it happen  I'm making it happen. I've started my new blog series Pretending To Be An Adult Being, which documents my time so far having moved out of the family home, working until I return back to college and all the little bits of adulthood you learn along the way. It's actually second to my Skin Deep series which I did very early on in Albatroz & Co's life. That series looks at basically me and how my values, ideals and perceptions of myself have changed from a very different time to be a better person I can be proud of.

I work mostly evenings and without college to take up my day time, I have a lot of time on my hands, at least for now and it's about time I put that to use. I could be doing shoots for posts days in advance as opposed to rushing to get it done the day before or that very morning. It's time to build my self-discipline up again and start getting sh*t done.

5) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

So I've avoided it long enough. I'll take on my doctor's advice and start on some online CBT courses to work on this anxiety. I've no idea where to start other than typing CBT into google. I haven't even gone as far as that. If you know of any good courses online or books, I'd love to hear of them. You can message me on any of my social media platform or link me below in the comments. Much thanks in advance.

That's the start to finish on the challenge situation. I am excited for February and cannot wait to see how it pans out.

Do you set yourself monthly goals or challenges? What has been your latest and how's it going? Let me know below in the comments!

Also did you know that the Albatroz & Co. weekly behind the blog newsletter I've been harping on about is finally here? Subscribe and be the first to know about giveaways, travel destination announcements and all the fun that doesn't make it to the blog.

 Click here and be your your way to becoming a part of the inner circle.

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Till next time my pretties xxx
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Pretending To Be An Adult Being: Moving Out

Dress - H&M ( On Sale Right Now! )
Fishnet Tights - Claire's
Boots - Primark, Similar here and here
Bag - Primark

In my 2016 review I mentioned that the biggest change to take effect in this new year would be the fact that I moved out of  the family home. With my family moving to England, I stayed behind to attend third level education here in Ireland. For a few months prior to the house share I am in now I lived under the roof and support of dear friends but then, I dropped out of my college course ( the whys of which will come in another post) and made the decision to work for the year before reapplying to another course and now I'm renting out a room in a house.

When you're a teenager and you have fights with your parents or siblings, if you're like me you'd have comforted yourself with thoughts of moving out to your own place and being able to do what you want when you wanted. That freedom was never something I had an issue accessing and from a very young age have been quite independent. No I was not some neglected child, so don't get any sad story ideas. I just assumed a lot of responsibilities at a younger age than others which have not screwed me up as much as they've helped me. Therefore I needed a space within which I could exercise that freedom and independence when my family moved away and I stayed behind for college.

Once the decision was made the execution of it was pretty simple. For a few weeks I lived on keeping an eye on everything available. I wanted to find somewhere relatively close to where I'd been living the past 9 years so I wouldn't be too far away from my little sister, the family we'd accumulated,my  friends, my boyfriend and all the little familiarities I'd grown so accustomed to in the area.

Then it was email after email in reply to ads in hopes for viewings and there were a few. I saw some good houses that ticked all the boxes except the most important one, price. Some were a little on the creepy side like the lady that lived in her sitting room despite having a three bedroom house. You have to go with your instincts when dealing with strangers and maybe there's nothing wrong with her living situation and my perceptions were influenced by my hunger ( doubtful ) but I was creeped out. She did have a cute dig though.

All through this my main goal was to find a place I could be happy and maintain rent when I go back to college. I am in my fourth week at the new house now. Some days it feels longer and other days it feels as though the time has flown by. I spend my days either working, writing, meeting friends, sleeping in and keeping busy with little side projects like organising all my pictures and getting them printed.

It is just myself and the landlady so far so when she's not around it almost feels as though I have my own place. However I do prefer it when she's around as I like the companionship. There's no obligation for us to talk or make long winded conversation. I enjoy our little chats and the golden silent times also.

The one major downside of this month is how out of routine things have become. I don't like strict daily routines but I'm not a fan of the way my self-discipline about doing things has been waning lately. As a goal to be more organised this year, I've been making my to-do lists almost nightly and failing to stick to them.

I've found that my exercise and overall physical health has taken two steps back since I started cycling everywhere. I am saving money not using public transport but I am also spending a lot on food when I meet up with friends. I am great at doing a food shop but my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I'm not getting through everything I am buying before it goes to waste.

I'm not a perfect independent person and I never said I was. I'm learning to use a lot of little knowledge gems that I hadn't paid much attention to before like how you can freeze just about anything to make it last. And there's also a lot more to learn. Yes I am good at budgeting, but I could be better. I can be a little stricter when it comes to pushing myself to exercise, not so much for the physical benefits but the mental health aspects.

I take good care of myself, I know that but if anything this month is highlighting the little cracks I slip into. I have no routine to my life any more, no college to take up the majority of my days and work schedule aren't static, my weeks are never the same and I love that but I don't know if that is hurting or helping me. 

I'm 19 and pretending to be an adult being, if you happen to know where I can find the handbook of adulthood give me a shout. Until then I'll write my own and see where it goes. This is only the beginning and I hope you'll come on this journey with me.

What was your first experience of moving out of home like? I'm not asking for the comments, I do genuinely want to know.

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Till next time my pretties xxx

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