4 Days in Dublin City Guide

Recently I spent almost a week in Dublin and the surrounding areas. Quite a few people have asked me “How long would you recommend spending in Dublin?” which sparked this guide.

The breakdown: I’ll be starting by telling you where to stay, a few of my favorite eateries, and where to shop before moving on to an itinerary for your 4 days.

Where to stay:

Dublin is a pretty walkable city (for the most part). I’d highly recommend finding either an Airbnb or a hotel in the city center which will put you in the heart of restaurants, tourist attractions, and shopping.

Where to eat: 

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Esquires Coffee

Where to shop:

  • Brown Thomas – luxury department store
  • Grafton Street– traditional Irish stores & chain stores
  • Arnott’s – Irish department store
  • Henry Street – off of O’Connell

Day 1: Hop On Hop Off Dublin

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The Volunteers mural at Trinity College Dublin by Joe Caslin

In every new city I visit, I start with the “Hop On Hop Off” tour. It’s touristy but is great for getting a lay of the land. Two other benefits specific to Dublin? While walkable, some of the main touristic attractions (think: Guinness Store House) cannot be reached on foot. Also, it rains A LOT. It’s nice to be in a covered vehicle instead of walking in the rain.

There are 2 main bus options – World Wide Sightseeing (red) and CityScape (yellow). Be sure to check them both out because the options are slightly different. And be sure to haggle as they’ll usually be willing to lower the price by a few euros.

Make a plan for your must-visit stops in Dublin. Try to visit either half of them or most of them (Depending on what you decide for Day 3). A must-visit spots:

  • Trinity College Tour & Book of Kells
  • Trinity College “The Volunteers” Mural
  • Wild deer at Phoenix Park
  • Guinness Storehouse
  • Temple Bar
  • National Botanic Gardens
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Malahide Castle

Day 2: Cliffs of Moher

Again, for the planning the day trips, there are a few options. Be sure to check out prices and look at what each company offers. The buses mentioned above work with day trip companies so you may be able to score a deal. The Cliffs of Moher are about 3 hours East of Dublin via bus.

Attire: It may rain so bring rain jacket or poncho. Don’t bring an umbrella because it will ABSOLUTELY get blown away. The Cliffs are extremely windy so be sure to have a hat, jacket and scarf.

At the Cliffs: When you get to the cliffs, the tour will usually give you 2.5-3 hours. While a decent amount of time, it isn’t enough to see everything. Start by walking in the direction of the O’Brien’s Tower (up to the right), because the view from that side of the cliffs is much better than if you walk towards the left. Paying to go up to the Tower can be skipped in my opinion. Leave the last 45 minutes to walk the other direction as there are more cows on the other side of the cliffs.

Day 3: Howth & Dublin

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Marie Louise Tea Room

Day 3 should really depend on how much you accomplished on day 1 in Dublin. The seaside town of Howth (about a 45 minute train ride away and doesn’t require an organized tour) is quaint and walkable – I highly recommend the Marie Louise Tea Room for a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. You could spend half the day here and the rest in Dublin. However, I’d only hit this spot if you have extra time. Otherwise, stick to Dublin.

Day 4: Giant’s Causeway & Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

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Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

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Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge are about a 3 hour drive north of Dublin. If you like the tour company that you selected for your first day trip, I’d go with them again.

The Giant’s Causeway has about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, the result of an ancient volcanic eruption. It is absolutely unique and a must-visit. But be sure to have a jacket and your walking shoes (as I’d recommend for all of Ireland), as it is a bit of a hike.

I visited the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge near the end of the day where there were fewer people, which I highly recommend doing. However, the sell tickets by the time, so make sure to arrive an hour before you want to actually visit. As you wait take a short drive to the O’Conner’s Bar in Ballycastle for a meal (it is SO worth it).

Note: If you have a 5th or 6th day, you should also add Belfast and Cork to your itinerary. I unfortunately was unable to get there but hear that they are must-visits!

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5 minute tasks to take your LinkedIn from flat to fantastic

I remember back in college during my second year when the business school required that we all create LinkedIn accounts, add a professional photo, and start building our online resumes. And for the longest time, that’s all I thought it was – an online resume. It was the detailed version of the paper document provided to potential employers. It was also where you went along adding friends (like Facebook) and professionals you met through internships and networking events.

Fast forward two more years to senior year, where I went on a school trip to visit LinkedIn, Adobe, and a few other Silicon Valley companies, where the speaker talked about the importance of being active on LinkedIn (outside of updating your resume and adding friends). At that point, I still wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. I religiously updated my profile with big projects and work experience, but never shared an article, updated a status, or wrote an article. Particularly since I didn’t know what to share or what to write.

Now I am a year out of college (and might I mention employed), and have written 2 articles, shared a few more articles, and expanded my professional network. Checking my LinkedIn is on my morning To Do list, similar to checking my other social media accounts.

A common misconception: I only need to update my LinkedIn if I am looking for a job

Your LinkedIn is a constantly evolving curation of your professional life. It’s a place that can track your and your company’s achievements (outside of your daily task). So if you’re updating your profile a week before you quit your old job, sorry but it’s a little late. But I will say updating it, even if it’s late, is of course better than nothing.

Update your photo & background

I’m throwing this one in as the first and foremost task to do because it is something that people often forget.

Profile Picture: Your photo is the first thing everyone looks at. It should be well-lit and professional. Hire a photographer to take a headshot, or if that isn’t an option, find a friend with a nice camera to do the trick. (A poorly lit blurry photo doesn’t exactly say “professional.”)

Background: I think this feature was added in the last year or so. While you don’t have to change it from the generic one, I do think it can elevate your profile and bring some personality to it. LinkedIn has a few you can choose from, or I love the free headers from this site. For example, I picked a background of an array of colored pencils since it was bright and represents my creative marketing side.

Use your feed to your advantage (alt title: Re-tweet!)

As my network grows, my home feed grows with it. Seeing what people are posting is not only a great way to stay up to date with what’s happening, but it is easily accessible content that you can use to build your own profile.

For example, recently a VP at my company shared an article by Ariana Huffington that I found particularly interesting. I shared the article (and mentioned him in my re-post) and you can imagine the entire ordeal took less than 3 minutes.

Promote your school or company

Also on the note of sharing articles, you should be proud of where you work and where you go to school. Adobe recently did a major renovation to HQ with a cool video to go along with it. That’s so shareable! I follow USD on LinkedIn too which gives me access to their content.

Post about the little things

Serving lunch at the Soup Kitchen with your team? Snap a quick pic and post it to your status. Traveling for work? Share a cool photo of the city or of your office. Your network likes to see what you’re up to.

Make your one-time contacts part of your network

In the past few months, I’ve been traveling quite a bit for work. Between plane conversations and casual chats with the people I’m sitting next to, I’ve engaged in some great discussions. When you walk away, make sure that you have their full name, that way in the 1-3 days after your meeting, you can add them on LinkedIn. You never know when you might be in their city or you might need their expertise. You suddenly made a one-time contact into a full-time one.

(Note: I’ve also done this with inspirational speakers that I would love to learn more from. People love coffee, an adding that  into your “add me as a friend” message tends to get you a good response. )

For example: I attended Event X where you spoke, and thought you were very inspiring. Next time I am in the area, I would love to take you for coffee to learn more about Y.”

Update as you go

Let’s imagine a scenario where you’ve been at a job for two years, and are now deciding to look for a career change. Up until now you’ve ignored LinkedIn, so it’s time to add 2 years worth of updates. You’ll probably spend quite a few hours trying to remember your accomplishments (and you’ll still probably forget a few). If you update as you go, you make this a quick 5 minute task, where things don’t fall through the cracks. This also can apply to college students: add your leadership roles, projects, and internship details as you go to avoid missing out!

And lastly, if you have more than 5 minutes… Write an article.

I love writing and I love giving career advice. I’m always more than happy to have coffee or chat on the phone with students that have reached out to me through LinkedIn or via email. If you like to write and have a passion, consider writing a short (5-10 minutes to read) article on LinkedIn. It can be anything from career advice to discussing events you’ve attend to what is happening in your industry.

Photography: Grace & Co Photo

Clothing: Shop Rollick – Shop the dress & scarf

 

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6 Tips for Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

 “Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that is the one that is going to help you grow.” – Caroline Myss 

This week marks the 2 month mark before my big move back to California, and like a little rain cloud, the “big move” has permeated every conversation. The biggest question? “Why am I moving so soon?” And while my answer has consistently stayed the same – career growth – it has led me to do some introspection on why I’m truly leaving a city where I’m filled with love and happiness. Another big question? “It seems like you love Seattle! How could you leave?”

The problem? I was getting too comfortable. As soon as I feel myself slipping into complacency, into too much comfort, I know that it’s time to start looking for the next step.

My trick to making decisions? Picking the one that absolutely terrifies me, because somewhere in that risk, I know that there is a huge opportunity. Moving to Seattle, away from all my friends and family was scary. Deciding to move again to the Bay Area? Also scary. Diving into the world of blogging? Nerve wracking. Having a long distance relationship? Absolutely terrifying.

What do all of these decisions have in common? Except for the one that hasn’t happened yet, they have all been worth it. I have looked back on all of them with pride and growth. A year from now when I have settled into life in the Bay Area, I am sure that I will feel the same pride and growth that came with the other decisions that pushed me from my comfort zone.

Getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to mean big changes. I find myself trying new things all the time on a smaller scale. So don’t worry, you don’t have to move to a new state to lean into discomfort.

Below are some tips that come from my personal “anti-comfort zone playbook”

Try a new style

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The yellow ThredUp summer dress in this post is an example of me trying something new. This is the first item that I have EVER worn this color (and dress style for that matter), and when I picked it out originally for my upcoming trip to Hawaii, I was nervous about how I’d feel about this new look. When I took it for a test run on a day trip to Bainbridge Island, I received not one, not two, but THREE compliments. That goes to show you that getting out of your usual style rut can change your outlook on fashion.

Read 1 (professional development) book a month

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I am currently writing a post about “5 Books that Every Aspiring GirlBoss Need to Read” that will be coming out in a few weeks. I’ve been working on it for the last few months as I read my way through tips and tricks from girl bosses in different industries. Reading professional development books help you think outside the box and think about ways to implement changes to the away you approach your work (and life).

Find a role model (or two or three…)

Your role model can be a co-worker, a friend, or even someone you’ve never met. Just find someone that inspires you to be a better version of yourself. I have a role model for blogging, a few for professional matters, and one for general life inspiration. Having someone to look up is so inspirational. And as the Sicilian proverb goes (it roughly translates to), “show me who you spend time with, and I’ll show you who you are.” Spend your time with people that make you better.

Set an “outrageous” goal

There is nothing I love more than being told that I’m too much of a dreamer or that my goals are outrageous. I almost love when people negatively react to my goals because it pushes me to make it happen. I put “outrageous” in quotes because someone will always think you goals are silly. I truly believe that no goal is too big and if you believe you can do it, it’s do-able. Your goal can be regarding something you want to accomplish in the next month, next year, or next decade.

Stop complaining

I grew up always being reminded that you can’t change the way others treat you, but you can change the way you treat yourself. I often hear complaints from people about not liking where they’re at in their job, or in their relationship, or in their life in general. Literally, stop complaining!! Make a plan. You’re not the victim in the story of your life, you’re the protagonist, so start acting like it.

Move to a new city

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Moving to a new city is the crown jewel in pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Moving was a blank slate where it was my decision on how I would treat the experience. In a year I’ve discovered so much about the person I am, and who I want to be. I’ve also made some amazing friendships, and discovered some beautiful places along the way.

How have you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?

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Photography by Karya Schanilec Photography 

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How to throw a soiree on a budget

Seattle in the summer is gorgeous. I mean honestly, the summer days here make you forget that it rains 152 days a year. In honor of the summer, Mare (of MARELLEN) and I decided to throw a little soiree to celebrate. We love to “ball on a budget” – because who doesn’t like more $$ in the bank while still looking classy?

Before I hop into the tips, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to the following local Seattle businesses that sponsored our desserts and photography.

Without further ado, let’s get to the tips! I will admit, this list is a checklist-tip hybrid to help you from A to Z with your soiree planning.

MAKE A GUEST LIST

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I love to get right into thinking themes & foods, but before you can do anything – figure out who you plan to invite. This number will of course affect your budget and location. We decided to keep our soiree intimate with 8 of our closest friends (a total of 10 people).

Pro tip: By keeping an invite list small and intimate, you’re able to 1) Save $$ 2) Invest in more quality food than focusing on quantity.

SET A BUDGET

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$0.20 cent mason jar from Goodwill, $1 napkins & silverware from the Dollar Store

It can be tempting to skip this section, but you’ll be surprised how quickly items add up (even when you’re shopping at a discount store)! Depending on your budget, your spending $$ really can vary. Here are a few more tips to help you avoid breaking the bank:

  • Co-host your event: If you can co-host your soiree that will cut your spending in half (or give you twice as much spendability as I like to put it)
  • Ask yourself how much you want to spend per person: This is a great way to estimate a reasonable budget. Ask yourself how much you want to spend per person (and consider drinks, food, dessert) and multiply that by the number of guests. We estimated about $10 per person, so our budget became $100.
  • Throw a pot luck: You can still throw an adorable event pot luck style by giving your guests a theme and asking them to bring something that goes with it. Then you can focus specifically on the decor!

PICK A LOCATION

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Let’s get real – this isn’t your wedding – no need to drop a fortune on location! We were lucky enough to be able to use the roof of my apartment building that oversees the city of Seattle.

If you can’t use a community area in your apartment or your home, look for a beautiful park to immerse yourself in nature, or if you’re near a beach that can be fun for a laid back vibe. Also do some brainstorming – you may not have a roof/house that works, but a good friend of yours might – and they just might be willing to offer the space if you ask 🙂

GET PIN-SPIRED

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You can visit our dinner party’s Pinterest board here. Originally we kept going between a few themes – including palm trees/ pineapples, and lavender. We pinned everything from veggie platters to table settings. Being able to actually visualize the table, and food was super helpful for settling on a theme and for the last three tips in this list.

Real talk – the beautiful veggie board that Mare put together was a culmination of a few she had found on Pinterest!

PICK A THEME

As you can probably guess by all the lavender colors, we went with a lavender theme. We did this because 1) it felt very summer and 2) it felt very Pacific Northwest as it’s currently lavender season here.

Pro tip: Pick a theme that goes well with the season because it makes decor shopping 100 times easier. If you do want to go with something that you can’t just find at Target, make sure you plan well enough in advance so that you can order what you need online. 

MAKE A LIST

Making a list is crucial so that you don’t forget anything, and so that you don’t find yourself over-buying.

  • For Food: We assembled all the recipes we wanted to use and wrote down exact amounts of ingredients we needed
  • For decor & silverware:
    • For decor try to use as many items as you can from home (think: serving platters, etc.). I also try to integrate nature as much as possible because many times you can just pull over to the side of the road and clip some greens or lavender (which runs wild in Seattle!).
    • For silverware: make a list of utensils you’ll need and check at home to see if you have anything before you buy!

GO SHOPPING

No, we didn’t wear these looks shopping. LOL.

For shopping – first stop should (AKA needs to be) your local dollar store. And because each one has different items, if possible try to visit 2 of them before checking out Target or a Party City. Below are the stores that you should visit in order & what you should buy there:

  1. Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Store (or equivalent): serving platters (our silver ones were from there), silverware, napkins, plates/bowls
  2. Goodwill, Value Village (or equivalent): glass items, center pieces, and other odds and ends. Note: we found our mason jars that we used for drinks for 20 cents each at Goodwill.
  3. Amazon: Perfect for speciality items like our lavender candles and purple paper straws
  4. Costco: platters (like our veggie & meat/cheese platters), drinks, and anything else you need in bulk. We also got an inexpensive bouquet of flowers to split between the different mini vases.
  5. Normal grocery store: Last stop for items needed in smaller quantities

PREP AHEAD

Truth – time on the day of an event feels like it goes way faster than usual. We had 6 hours to get ready and somehow the day flew by. Do as much prep as you can a few days before. The veggie, meat, and cheese platters we prepared the night before. Same with the silverware wrapped in napkins.

And there you have it! My tips for balling on a budget!

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Summer Date Night Look ft. The Espadrilles Trend

I distinctly remember being 10 years old and my mom had on a pair of lace up espadrilles. I really liked them because they were #MediterraneanVibes meet ballet. By the time I was old enough to wear heels, they were out of style * sad face *

Recently I discovered that the trend is back and better than ever! I love all the variations (and colors) that have surfaced. You can find the ones I’m wearing in this post at The Mint Julep Boutique.

My bestest friend in whole world – I call her the sister I got to pick – Michelle – came to visit me this past weekend. We totally gorged on amazing vegan food, did some touristing in Seattle, and of course squeezed in a little photoshoot because she’s an amazing photographer (and the photographer behind this post). If you’re in the Davis/Sacramento area, visit her website here.

BTW: And get ready to see a lot more of her/ her work on the blog once I move to the Bay Area. She’s already ready to become P&P’s primary photographer. #GetExcited!

More about the look:

I wore this look for a “date night” with the girls. It tends to get chilly in the evenings here in Seattle, so I went with a long sleeve sweater-shirt. I’ve also been super into the ‘millennial pink’ color lately as you can tell by my shirt, shoes, and sunglasses! LOL.

I love the versatility – it also works for brunch, a date with bae, and really anything you need to take from day to night.

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| Mint Julep Espadrilles c/o | Crossbody (thrifted, similar here) | Abercrombie & Fitch Jeans (old, similar) | Rosegal Sunglasses | Forever 21 Shirt (old, similar)

Disclaimer: The Mint Julep Boutique gifted me the espadrilles featured above. However, all thoughts are my own.

What are your summer date night go-to’s?

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