Showing posts with label Lifestyle Blogger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lifestyle Blogger. Show all posts

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Yoga Weekend Retreat at Redcastle Hotel || January 2019

I received an email early one morning from Redcastle hotel inviting me to experience their yoga retreat for an entire weekend. A holistic weekend at a 4* hotel in one of the most beautiful parts of Donegal? You bet! I replied immediately accepting the offer.

I was even more delighted to be able to invite my friend and fellow yoga enthusiast, Yasmin. Yasmin has been integral to the growth of Replenish, and she was the first person who came to mind when I was told I could bring a friend. Yasmin has experienced Yoga in all its glory when she was travelling through South East Asia, so of course she was exactly the person who would appreciate this retreat as much as myself.

The retreat was guided by Tara O'Rourke, founder of SaolBo Therapies and Training based in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Tara is 'gracious'.  She was passionate about every single person's experience during the yoga retreat and became a friend to everyone. She has the most calming presence and soothing voice. Tara is also a Wellness Therapist, Homeopath and Meditation teacher as well as being a Yoga teacher.

I received the itinerary and I patiently waited for Friday to come.

I practice yoga often as you'll see on my Instagram . Whilst I'm very flexible, I like to work on my strength and balance as having inner ear problems can inhibit my balance in general. Yoga is part of my 'Replenish Lifestyle' that I lead, and encourage others to lead in order to yield optimum mental health and wellbeing.

From the first Yoga practice on the Friday until the very final practice on Sunday morning, I had never felt more at peace, both physically and mentally.

Tara educated us in every aspect of the various types of Yoga we were practicing.  Her passion for what she was teaching enlightened me just as much as the learning of the importance of 'Pranayama Practice'. Prana is 'life force' and the sources of Prana are vital to our wellbeing, whether that is through our food, air quality and environment. So, Yasmin and I decided to go a walk in Moville for some good quality Donegal Prana after our practice on Saturday.

I also thoroughly enjoyed our 'Mantra with Intentions' session as I had never experienced doing anything like that before. We did Chakra Meditations with Mudras and Mantras and by the end of the session I felt relaxed yet, re-engerised.

For two mornings and two evenings Redcastle hotel provided the utmost quality of food that I found enhanced our experience even more. We sat, as a group, along the tables provided for us and we exchanged stories with each other, laughed and truly enjoyed each other's company.

View from our hotel room

Ready for Yoga

There WERE strawberries...but I ate them.

Our Yoga room for the weekend

Yasmin getting ready for some flow

There's my balance away...

A walk in Moville

Dinner Time

Don't pretend like you don't run for dinner as well

Breakfast View

Tea by the Sea

"Bye Room'

The Group

Even if Yoga isn't your 'thing', just to experience a weekend in Redcastle Hotel is enough to help you unwind.

Thank to you Tara for making me feel renewed and to The Redcastle Hotel, and of course Feleena, for your unprecedented service and care.

Keep an eye out on The Redcastle website for their next retreat and offers:
The Redcastle Hotel & Spa

Monday, 15 October 2018

An Amalfi Dream

Holly & Dave Wedding Video

Until you've eaten Pizza in Naples and sipped Limoncello in Amalfi, you've not experienced the essence of Italy. 

'September 28th 2018, Amalfi Coast' was etched on the wooden 'Save the Date' magnet that had just come in the post. 

"Stephen!! We're going to the Amalfi Coast ahhhhhhh" was the next thing I heard myself saying down the phone to my boyfriend.

Nothing could have prepared me for the holiday I was about to experience, and the wedding I was about to witness.


So the wedding of my dear friend Holly and her Aussie beau was to be held in Amalfitana, and I was going to make sure that it was the holiday of the year. Little did I know it'd be one of the most incredible holidays I'd ever experience.

First Stop:


Stephen and I arrived in Naples on the Sunday before the Wedding on the following Friday. We decided we would work our way down towards Amalfi town by renting a car making stops along the way. What's better than actually living like a local to experience the real culture of Italy?

Naples, much like Sicily, is a crumbling city. It's old, defaced and cramped, but that's what adds to its charm. With the endless cacophony of car horns, hyperbolic expressions of disdain from enraged drivers, and baby cries from beyond the repetitive, rusted balconies above, Naples is convincingly a movie set; Everyone plays their part to their utmost melodramatic ability. 

For two nights we stayed in a contrasting modern Air BnB. Usually, the Italian interior of most hotels is dated, but we realised we chose well when we got into our first apartment.

Italian Coffee

Old Bells

Italian Interior

Castel Nuovo

Built in 1279

Painted mural inside the castle

Street Art

After driving through the Amalfi I now understand why Italian cars are tiny


After two nights and endless amounts of the best pizza I had ever tasted, we got our rental car and made our way to Praiano for one night. Praiano is located on the iconic coast of Amalfi and we wanted to experience the restaurants that were literally built into the cliff walls.

Add caption


Amalfi Town/ Ravello

The following day we drove to where we'd be staying for the following four nights, Ravello. 
Ravello is 10 minutes from Amalfi town, and since I'm a creature who likes to stay in the middle of the countryside, I booked into the most charming little house high up on the Ravello hills. 
We had the most breathtaking view. Every morning I got out and I stood in awe at the view we had and even as I look at it now, I'm still mesmerised.

The Beginning of the Wedding Celebrations...

Holly, never settling for anything less than epic, had her THIRD hen party in Italy. The ladies dressed in red, and got ready for a fabulous evening that ended in us being about 10 metres under the ground in a cave that had been turned into a nightclub. There's a first for everything I suppose.

Mornings in Amalfi...

Amalfi Cathedral 

On the day before the wedding, Holly and Dave piled us all on a bus and didn't tell us where we were going. (I know, I wish you had friends like mine too) After a few (Derry) sing-songs on the bus we stopped and made a mysterious descent down the renowned vertical steps that Amalfi is known for.

And right there, laid in front of us, was another breathtaking view, a swimming pool, an open bar and the most delicious, fresh Italian food spread. "Are you surprising us all  and getting married right here, right now?" I asked Holly because I was convinced this was as good as a wedding reception could get...I was wrong (Just wait until I tell you about the actual reception).

Charlie (Videographer) and I

A beautiful soul with face to match 

The most beautiful sister duo

Bikini shot

It doesn't get any better...

Wait, it does <3

The Wedding Day

As if being a guest wasn't a privilege itself, Holly asked me to do her makeup on her wedding day. I was nervous, but delighted she asked me to contribute to her most special day. Honouring her own natural beauty, and usual delicate makeup style, I did a soft, whimsical glam look on Holly. With her bone structure and those brows, she doesn't need makeup at all.

Then, after I left I made my way to get ready myself. 

When I think of what to wear to a wedding I like to take into consideration the context of the wedding. So, taking inspiration from the Italian designers Dolce & Gabbanna, I decided to revere the the iconography of the local cathedrals and effigies. 

Here comes the bride...

Holly came up the aisle and my tears started to roll down my face, down onto my arm and onto the floor. I was fitting in with the melodramatic Italian culture.

Holly, never satisfied until she gets exactly what she envisions in her mind, (that's why we're friends), designed her own dress. The detail, the colour and the elegance of the fabric was majestic.

Mr & Mrs Bezzant

After the ceremony we were ushered to a little rustic restaurant at the side of the cathedral where wine, champagne and pizza awaited us. After we indulged there, we were summoned to go pick ourselves some gelato, adding to the endless treats Holly and Dave bestowed upon their guests.

The Venue

So I was wrong when I thought a wedding venue couldn't get any more beautiful than the 'pre-wedding' venue. Tucked away in the other side of Ravello stood the most iconic building with the most enchanted grounds. And of course, a view that Gods would envy.

Fixing up my makeup

The Bezzants

My Yasmin x

100% Pure Soul Sistas, never from concentrate.

Bridal Party & Mother-of-the-Bride (Even though she could be their sister)

Touch ups


Not only did Holly have mouthwatering options for my vegetarian palate, but also had SIX courses to her wedding meal. To be honest, with Holly being an absolute foodie, I didn't expect anything else. Stephen still talks about that meal to this day.

Holly wanted to change up her hairstyle for the evening celebrations and I was already ahead of her when she asked me to do a loose plait. I added flowers and she then removed part of her dress to reveal her petite curves. Just wait for her THIRD dress...

First Dance

And in true Holly style, she appeared from the shadows in her third dress and looked like a statue of a goddess carved from ice. With her raven hair, glowing skin, and Amalfi moonlight on her cheeks, I couldn't help but stare in awe at not only her beauty, but how she organised every single detail of the day to be magical. I felt like I was living my own childhood dream of being in a fairytale, and I was looking at a real life Queen. 


The next day we gathered on the port as Holly and Dave (again) treated us on a boat trip to the neighbouring town of Positano. (Seriously, I know! It literally doesn't get any better)

I couldn't wait to get into the sea and just 'Replenish' myself.

Mrs Bezzant 

Baby Shark...Do do do do

My love

Final Gelato
Never will I forget the experience Dave and Holly gave us. Not only was it an honour to witness their marriage, but to be there among her closest family and friends, and to be part of the biggest day of her life, was the biggest privilege I've ever felt.

Just one problem though...

...if I get married, how do I even begin going about planning a wedding to match that?

Watch their incredible Wedding Video here- Holly & Dave Wedding Video

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