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Border hopping from Carlow to Wicklow. The Perfect Irish Escape.

A girls weekend to remember, just an hour from Dublin ! My only regret is leaving too soon.

This Is a must read blog for anyone seeking a cool and alternative weekend away in Ireland. Fun, laughs + food. This blog post includes a detailed insight into the trip including the accommodation, day time activities and more. We explored everywhere from Redcross and Tinahely Wicklow to downtime in Hacketstown, Carlow.

The Airbnb – The Lodge Holiday Home, County Carlow.

Book a stay at The Lodge Holiday Home on Airbnb here http://bit.ly/2nXFRQX

As i am sure you have noticed from my blog i am a huge fan of Airbnb’s and hostels. They always add a very unique element to any trip and have WAY more personality than the average hotel. Booking this Airbnb was the catalyst that turned into one of the most memorable girls weekends away. The host Neil really turned our trip into something more by linking us with all the local fun which had everything to offer.

A private lodge located on a horse stud in Hacketstown, Co Carlow. A beautiful Airbnb surrounded by nature, mountains and incredibly friendly animals. Right on the border between Carlow and Wicklow, where you get to enjoy the best of both.

The lodge was the perfect base for our girls weekend and also the place we let our hair down. Some of the facilities we enjoyed included the pool table, outdoor jacuzzi, BBQ, insanely comfortable beds and of course spending time with the residents which included Jackie the famous goat and the herd of beautiful Gypsy Cob Horses. I couldn’t recommend this Airbnb more !!

Our first activity for the day was a private tour at The Wicklow Brewery.

The brewery is located in a gorgeous little town called Redcross in Wicklow, near Avoca. Easy to access from the m50 and a short 35 minute drive to the Airbnb in Hacketstown. The tour cost only €15 ! Which included plenty of Wicklow Brewery craft beer, an insight into their rich history and a tour around the brewery and introduction into the beer making process. I cannot wait to get my hands on their crafted Gingerknut Beer again. An experience I would certainly give a big thumbs up too.

Book your tour at The Wicklow Brewery here now https://www.wicklowbrewery.ie/brewery.html

Afternoon tea at Tinahely Farm Shop in a pink caravan. An epic food experience with a hint of Father Ted and washed down with prosecco.

Owned by Rebecca & Philip Hadden. The couple have created the most unique vintage afternoon tea experience in Tinahely, Wicklow. The little touches of care, the incredibly delicious food and the utter hilariousness of enjoying it within a quaint pink caravan. Better than ANY afternoon tea in Dublin and they couldn’t have been any more accommodating to our vegan & vegetarian needs. It was alternative, indulgent and crafty ! The rain couldn’t stop the fun had here at The Tinhaley Farm Shop.

Book your afternoon tea at Tinhaley Farm Shop here now https://tinahelyfarm.ie/

A pint of Guinness at a Traditional Irish Pub with an epic story called The Dying Cow.

The Dying Cow is famous for its nights of traditional Irish music, banter and it also has a great story (you need to go to find out the full story) !

For more information on this incredible weekend away please feel free to drop me a comment below. Time to get booking your adventure to Carlow & Wicklow.

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Saluti to Rome

What does the Italian capital of Rome have to offer ? Five days of ‘dolce vita’ (A life of heedless pleasure and luxury). This was a very special trip as I got to share it with my entire immediate family. Our first family trip in twelve years. When you turn 30, it is imperative to spend that entire year celebrating and experiencing the world.

What does it mean to have a large bucket list ? Simply a desire to acquaint yourself with more than what you know. To see every last morsel of what the earth has to offer. Its addictive right ?

Where did I stay in Rome? 900 Via Nazionale, Luxury Apartment (Airbnb)

The apartment was a very short walk to both The Colosseum and The Trevi Fountain. The total cost was €1135.50 for 4 days and 4 nights (€189.25 per person/6 in our group) The apartment was SPECTACULAR. The décor was elaborate and beautiful. The space was glamorous and spacious. It literally emulated everything that symbolises Rome. Our host Stefania couldn’t have been any more accommodating. She even allowed us the use of the apartment on the day of our check out, since we had a late flight and she had no other guests coming. A totally unnecessary kindness that added to the comfort of our trip.

Here’s a detailed look at my five day itinerary, in the hope of making your next trip to Rome a very unique one.


Day One

  • Trevi Fountain
  • An Italian style breakfast at Dante’s Caffe (€9 for three Espresso’s & three delicious Italian pastries)
  • Palazzo Venezia
  • Arch of Constantine
  • ★★★★★ Experience – Guided tour of The Colosseum, Palatine Hill and The Roman Forum with Headout Tours. A three hour experience with an audio headset and an amazing tour guide for €34.30. https://www.headout.com/tour/3075/italy/rome/guided-tour-with-skip-the-line-access-to-colosseum-roman-forum-palatine
  • Dinner at La Taverna (Authentic Italian food at a great price) and close to Colosseum. We topped it off with a drink and a view in Hotel Forum’s American rooftop Bar (€17 for an Aperol Spritz)
  • To finish off the evening we went to Trastevere (The top spot when the sun goes down)
  • ★★★★★ Experience – Dinner at La Tavernetta 29 Da Tony e Andrea. This was one of the food highlights for us on the trip. Full of locals, it was vibrant and buzzing. Incredible Italian food and drink. (Less than €200 for starters & mains for 6, including drinks, free breads and sorbets)
  • Last stop on our fulfilling first day – Gregory’s Jazz Bar which was on route back to our apartment for a cheeky Whiskey Sour.

Wearing my audio headpiece for the tour of The Colosseum, Roman Forum & Palatine Hill.


Day Two

  • The Spanish Steps & Trinita Dei Monti
  • Villa Borghese & Borghese Gardens – Since it was raining we decided to rent an electric buggy to see the entire grounds, which was great fun (€30 for one hour/ for four people)
  • L’argo Di Torre Argentina – A cat sanctuary in Rome where hundred’s of cats live and get adopted. The location is also tied to Roman history here where the famous emperor Caesar was murdered. Don’t forget to follow the stairs underground to see where the adoptions takes place.
  • ★★★★★ Experience at Mr 100 Tiramisu. Yes you heard me right 100 types of Italian Tiramisu. This gorgeous wine & cake bar is both indulgent & cool. We stayed for hours and even visited a second time before we flew home (€62 for 2 custom made Tiramisu’s, 4 glasses of wine, 2 limoncello’s & a large cheeseboard)


Day 3

Today we decided to do something different and take a day trip to the sea. Since the weather was blistering, an afternoon in the Italian sea seemed like heaven. We agreed to head for Santa Marinella, 40 minutes from the city.

  • Since Rome Termini was the closest main train station, we began our adventure from there. The station is very overwhelming and even though I planned the trip meticulously, I still found myself confused about where to go.
  • There are customer service agents walking around the floor and we were guided through the process. The tickets were roughly €17 return.
  • On arrival to the beach I was blown away at how many locals were around, I don’t remember hearing or seeing any tourists. To rent a day bed was €12 & you can also buy food & drink there (Be aware most local bars & restaurant’s close midweek)


Day 4

  • Circus Maximus
  • The Aventine Hill, View point at Giardino Degli Aranci & The famous Aventine Keyhole (literally a famous keyhole in a door)
  • Pyramid of Caius Cestius ( The ONLY Egyptian Pyramid in Europe) This sight is also the legendary tomb of Remus, one of the founders of Rome.
  • Close by i jumped into a great little local cafe for an espresso, i also decided to bring back some Italian cakes for breakfast for the family (€9.80 for an Espresso & 10 pastries)
  • One Rooftop drink at Hotel Minerva just at the back of The Pantheon (€16 Prosecco & €20 Aperol Spritz)
  • By night we visited The Fiumi Fountain at The Piazza Navona & The Pantheon


Day 5

  • St Peter’s Square & St Peter’s Basillica
  • The Vatican Museum (The Sistine Chapel) We booked skip the line tickets which is an absolute essential. Do not visit The Vatican Museum without them. I would also advise avoiding high season, every site says this but i didn’t pay much attention. This was my least favourite experience on the trip due to the crowds and ques inside the museum (not even outside). It was so overcrowded, beyond warm and literally no emergency exits to be seen. There were very little opportunity to take in or enjoy the amazing artwork around as a result of the intense push forward from the hundreds of people coming behind us.
  • Saint Angelo’s Castle


Follow the link below to see the detailed google map that I created. Including top Roman sights, best local places to eat without the mental price tags, vintage shops, rooftop bars and cool places to listen to music.

Click the link here to my personally create map of Rome https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Qhx60LpVFhLUgpGDqV9OSkrg3Lizbcbi&usp=sharing

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Why you want to spend 72 hours in Lisbon.


I decided to FINALLY visit the beautiful tiled city of Lisbon in Portugal. The trip was to celebrate the big 30th birthday. I’m glad to report it did not disappoint and my only real regret is not booking one more day. A city break with everything to offer.

Celebration trips usually deserve a lot more planning, but life unfortunately got in the way of that happening. Regardless, the spontaneity was charming and part of the fun and exploration. Three days in a city without anything except a Lisbon city guide gifted to me by my fabulous mother. The potential at the beginning of the trip was really unlimited.

My arrival

  • Arrived in Lisbon Airport early (Don’t buy coffee in the airport)
  • Straight to the Metro which can be found right outside T1 in Lisbon Airport.
  • Picked up our Viva Viagem Card from the machine, we usually went with the daily 24 Hour metro ticket for €6.40.
  • Took the Red Line to Alameda and switched to the green line. We jumped off at Anjos. In total took roughly 30 minutes.
  • Arrived at our cool hostel called Lisbon Poets Hostel which i booked on www.Hostelworld.com. The hostel cost us €150 in total for three nights with a private double room (small room) with an ensuite, the price included breakfast too(€25 each per night is fairly wicked) http://www.lisbonpoetshostel.com/en/

Day 1 Itinerary

  • We first visted the famous and impressive Rua Augusta Arch & The Praca Do Comercio square. A very dramatic sight to start with as they overlook the sea and attract a vibrant energy.
  • Walk around the corner towards The Santa Justa Lift.
  • Walk up hill towards the amazing Castelo De Sao Jorge, through the small streets of Lisbon. Where the homes are all uniquely tiled, screaming with personality and colour. The castle offers some of the best views of the city and its still one of my trip highlights.
  • Walk down towards Alfama and grab a photo of the rooftops.

Day 2 Itinerary

  • We kicked off day two with a breakfast in our lovely hostel including pineapple, coffee and some lovely granola. Freshly baked bread from the local baker as well.
  • Our second day was focused around The Belem & Alcantara area, which involved taking the train/bus. The transport in Lisbon is so quick and easy to navigate.
  • Our first visits included The Monument to the Discoveries (Padrao Dos Descobrimentos) and The Torre De Belem
  • After spending years in art college i was so excited to see an Andy Warhol and Picasso piece with my own eyes. They can be seen at The Modern and Contemporary Art Museum in Lisbon, which is called Museu Coleção Berardo.
  • We finished off our time in Belem at Mosteiro Dos Jeronimos which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Rather than taking more public transport we decided to rent city scooters, which are available all over the city. Not only are they so much fun but they are so handy to navigate the city. Download the Lime App and upload money to your account, you can then unlock any Lime Scooter across the city for the period required.
  • On our Lime Scooters we left Belem for Alcantara, we took a straight route down along the water front, which was beautiful. It lead us straight to The April Bridge & from them we made our way to LX Factory. We were so lucky to catch their Sunday market that day.

Day 3 Itinerary

This was the toughest day for us as we had to make a decision between a day to Sintra and the renowned Pena Palace or take a day trip to the beach. Usually FOMO would take over and i couldn’t bare the thought of missing a top site. Maybe its age haha, but i decided a day away from the crowds would be more suitable. Take a moment to actually catch my breath and recharge the batteries, after all that’s what a holiday is all about.

  • The decision was made to visit the beautiful town and beaches of Cascais.
  • Rather than our usual Viva Viagem card for €6.40 which only includes buses and metros, we decided to go for the 24hr Viva Viagem which also includes rail, metro and bus. This ticket cost roughly €10. The journey took us less than an hour.
  • We wandered The Old Town and The Marina first, Took some cool photographs at The Fortaleza da Cidadela, visited the collapsed caves of The Boca do Inferno (Hell’s Mouth) and sat on rocks gazing at the turquoise waters surrounding The Casa de Santa Maria.
  • After lunch we literally spent the entire afternoon until 7pm relaxing, sleeping and swimming at the beautiful Praia de Rainha beach. After a lot of research this seemed like the best beach, very scenic, private and not crowded.


One of the best things about Lisbon is the cheap and delicious food. I didn’t do much planning around cafes or restaurants, which i definitely regret. We still stumbled upon some great food regardless. After talking to other people we possibly missed some gems though, so i would highly recommend having a little list. Here’s some small gastro highlights ;

  • Pastel Da Nata – The famous Portuguese tart. There are a few really famous locations to grab one of these tarts, but the ques are RIDICULOUS. We grabbed ours from a lovely little local place right beside our hostel called Pastelaria Tebas. Super cheap and
  • We actually found this cafe restaurant by accident. Flower Power by Carlos Fillipe – https://www.facebook.com/Flower-Power-by-Carlos-Filipe-109866389083999/ We had been trying to find Park Restaurant Bar but decided to leave after almost an hour at a table without being served and crazy ques for the bar. The entire experience was very disappointing given it was meant to be a top spot. Then we came across Flower Power. Incredible customer service and the world BEST chocolate cake.
  • Ginjinha – Local Portuguese cherry liqueur. Great way to finish off a meal at any bar or restaurant in Lisbon.
  • O’Galhardo Tapas Bar – A beautiful little spot not to far from St Georges’s Castle. Quaint outdoor seating area where you can take it all in. https://www.facebook.com/ogalhardoalfama/

I hope you enjoyed my small piece on the incredible city of Lisbon. If you are looking for a European adventure, one with sun, fun and culture. Then Lisbon is your place to go.

Kelly x

I’m back after my HACK !

Its been a while my friends, and for that i apologize. I am not sure if you follow me on Twitter, but if you did you would be aware of my recent debacle with a hacker. An unfortunate situation combining pot bad luck and to be honest a little naivety, who knew when you had a few followers that your stuff was desirable, even when you didn’t want it. Do you know one of those stories you read and you think it will never happen to you.

I had been taking a little time away from the world of social media and blogging to get a little bit more grounded with the real world, which was LOVELY BTW. Its been a busy few years after all, from my reality tv days to bodybuilding, climbing mountains and publishing my debut book Build Your Own Body (I WAS WRECKED/ MENTALLY) During that time my blog domain was due for renewal and of course WOOOPS, i forgot. Hey, don’t judge ! Girl was enjoying the real world like i said. Little did i know someone would be hunting for mistakes just like my one. Before i knew it the ‘hacker’ had purchased my domain and in turn registered my associated email to the blog. Don’t forget i had no idea this had even happened yet. Through my email he gained access to all my social media accounts except my Facebook. Another mistake on my part. People double check your social media security, because i hadn’t in a very long time.

Here is where the story gets weird, I randomly receive an email from MYSELF, BLAHHHHHHHHHH !!!!!!!!!!!!!! My blog email had emailed my private email. Here’s where it hurts. The hacker not only had access to all of my online homes (Blog,Email, Twitter & Instagram) but now also wanted $500 to get them all back. Masking the entire thing as legit, given the fact i didn’t renew my domain and he/her was entitled to charge me this.

I wasn’t going to bow down easy, oh no ! Sherlock Holmes was on the case (me) with that absolute ‘HOW VERY DARE THEY’ attitude to back it all up.

It took over three months or possibly more to reclaim all of my online property, through sheer tenacity and knocking on doors (phones). The hilarious thing about the entire event was that all the online world did a fabulous job at keeping hackers in, especially in this case, given the hacker had purchased my email legitimately. I had reached the end of my tether, i really wanted to give up and just let the hacker keep it all. My attitude was ‘well its not like i’m overly active online anymore, maybe its time to move on’ ! Until a ray of light came my way in the form of a deadly client i have the pleasure of working with. With a background in this industry he guided me through all the avenues to follow and linked me with the IEDR ( IE Domain Registry ) & GDBR Ireland (General Data Protection Regulation)

The legend himself Joey from GDPR Ireland helped me even further along the way, BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE EVER. Who facilitated the return of my social media pages. The IEDR also reclaimed my web domain for various reasons, which meant i could repurchase it.

And here we are, the present !

Through the entire process i realized how vulnerable we can be online. How crucial it is to have up to date security on all of your online platforms. Lastly i realized, how cool am i ? Someone wanted to steal my domain. Which made me think of the years of work i have put into building my brand up since 2010 and i should value it more. Ive decided to return to my former enthusiasm for sharing & getting back to what i’m best at. Just like my very first blog Bikini Brawn, i’m going to be back with health & fitness, of course travel and maybe some new features. People develop, we mature and i want to share that too.

Sometimes we have to loose something to really highlight just how valuable it is.