First Up, Best Dressed

I love “Say Yes to the Dress”. 

The happy, young American brides from the Deep South roll into Kleinfeld Bridal with their cousins, their mom, their future mom in law, their bridesmaids, their sisters, their dads and their neighbours to choose a dress for their ostentatious big day. They all want a sweetheart neckline and it has to be made by Pnina Tornai. 

They try on multiple dresses and are reduced to tears by the cutting remarks of their entourage. Randy Fenoli with his suspiciously spectacular eyebrows comes to the rescue with the ‘perfect dress’. The bride tries it on. Her mom cries. She cries. The entourage loves it and of course the big question is answered. 

“Are you saying Yes to the Dress?”

“I’m saying Yes to the Dress!”

This is, of course how I imagined my wedding dress shopping would be. I would have an Irish version of Randy Fenoli to locate the perfect dress for me and it would most likely be the first dress I tried on. I would glide out of the bridal boutique having selected my wedding dress and I wouldn’t need to go anywhere else. How wrong I was. 

I had a fair idea that I would end up in a short dress. I love music and dancing and I wanted to be able to get down on the dancefloor at my wedding. I wanted to keep my options open though so I tried on lots of different styles. 

I tried on a fishtail gown- my knees felt like they were welded together. 

I tried a massive ball gown- I was kicking layers of the dress out of the way to even stand on the plinth in the shop. 

I tried a stunning Grecian style dress – you could see what I had eaten for my breakfast. 

I was now one hundred per cent sure I would be in a short, quirky, swing dress for my wedding. No knock knees, layers of taffeta or flashing the guests for me! 

I thought I had found my dress, THE Dress, in Frilly Frocks in Drogheda. I tried on a stunning House of Mooshki Poppy dress in a champagne colour. It had beautiful lace detailing and was the perfect calf length for an elegant fifties look. My Mam and my bridesmaid Amy loved it. I loved it too. But I wasn’t totally convinced. 

I had spotted the Esther dress by House of Mooshki online and I was determined to try that dress on before I made my final decision. So I contacted Vintage Pearl Bridal in Galway city. I knew that this little bridal boutique had both the Poppy and Esther dresses in stock so I could try them on together and I would be sorted then. I was sure that the Esther dress would be perfect. It had long polka dot sleeves, calf length,cinched at the waist-so me! I contacted Michelle at the shop and selected three dresses to try on. The Esther, the Poppy and as an ‘ah sure throw it on the rack’, the Claire.

I put the Poppy dress on and, to my horror, I hated it. It didn’t look the same as it had merely weeks before. The colour did nothing for me and the detailing now looked old fashioned and plain. Cue a brief moment of worry. Never fear. I had the Esther hanging on the rack behind me. All good. I mean, just look at it……

Michelle took it down from the hanger and helped me into it. I immediately wanted to take it off. The material scratched my arms and chest and I didn’t even look at it in the mirror. I almost cried. Michelle saw the look of sheer panic on my face and told me not to worry. That we would find something and sure, didn’t I have another dress to try on. The ‘ah sure why not’ dress. This wasn’t what I had set my little vintage heart on and I didn’t hold out much hope. 


Michelle helped me into the Claire dress and lo and behold……. I loved it. It was so comfortable. My waist looked positively waspish. The colour actually suited my pale skin and made me look like I was glowing. I twirled in it straight away. 

Mam cried. 

I didn’t want to take it off. 

Michelle asked if I wanted to try a veil.I said I felt like a bit of an eejit with a veil on. Michelle put it on anyway…..

That was it. I looked like a bride.

This time, I cried.

Michelle indulged me by asking the big question. “Are you saying Yes to the Dress?” I was delighted to say yes to that dress. 

Michelle helped me choose a gorgeous headpiece and Rachel Simpson shoes with a matching bag. We selected a blue ribbon for my waist and changed the sleeves and the neckline. Of course it was a sweetheart neckline, sure isn’t that what all brides want? 

I got married in July. 

In that dress. 

With that veil. 

And I didn’t feel one bit like an eejit. 

Thanks for reading. 


The New Vintage Mrs. 


My Precious…..

I thought choosing my engagement ring would be a doddle. I’m like a little magpie, always seeking out the pretty shiny things and finding something I love each time I go shopping. Much to the dismay of my poor little bank account. 
When I found a little ruby ring in a vintage jeweller’s in Dublin city, I thought “This is it. It’s perfect”. It was a ruby, which is my birthstone and it was on a silver band, which is pretty much the only metal I wear. The seller came to the front door and offered Olan €20 off the price if he bought it there and then. Sure how could he say no to that bargain?! 

Of course that little ruby ring was my promise ring. It made a special appearance during the previously blogged about proposal in gorgeous Huntington Castle. The next day we decided that we would pop into Field’s jewellers in the Whitewater Shopping Centre in Newbridge to have a look at some diamonds and rubies. We sat at a small desk and marvelled at the various shapes and sizes of the diamond engagement rings. None of them were within our budget and only the solitaire looked nice on my little left hand. I quickly became overwhelmed. At which point Olan brought me outside and bought me a 99. Good fiance eh? 

We decided to leave it a while before we went on another shopping expedition. Our friends recommended that we visit Hugh Statham’s jewellers in Naas. I gazed at all the diamonds, emeralds and amethysts in the window…..when my eyes suddenly lit upon a beautiful sapphire ring with a double twist. It just looked so unusual to me, intricate yet simple. 

Hugh spent a long time with us,helping me to fit on a myriad of stunning rings. I tried on sapphires, rubies and diamonds and in the end I settled on the sapphire ring that I had seen in the window. Of course,I wanted a ruby and Hugh had no problem in replacing the sapphire with a gorgeous ruby for me within a week! 

We went back to Hugh to have a diamond wedding ring made to fit alongside my engagement ring. They fit together like two pieces of a jigsaw. Olan chose a simple silver wedding band and is still getting used to wearing it. 

Of course the reason why I love both of my rings so much is because they represent the fact that my best friend has chosen to spend his life with me. We had the most amazing wedding day and I will forever be reminded of that every time I see the diamonds sparkling in the sun or catch a glimpse of the rich ruby on my left hand. 

The Proposal (Part Two)

So we woke up on the Saturday morning and had a fabulous cooked breakfast in the gorgeous kitchen at Huntington Castle. I asked Olan what we’d get up to for the day and he said he didn’t have anything planned so we could just chill out. I went back upstairs and ran a lavender bath which I stayed in for an hour and a half whilst reading my book. 

Once we were both ready, we went for a stroll around the beautiful gardens. At the castle there is a stunning yew walk that is 500 years old and the gardens themselves are so colourful and peaceful. Whilst we were walking underneath these ancient trees I kept thinking “Is this it? What do I do? I’m not even dressed up! Oh my God I’m so nervous,what’s wrong with me? 

I mean just look at this place, a perfect proposal spot if there ever was one.

But no. That wasn’t it. 

(Turns out this would have been the proposal spot if not for the flock of sheep and the broken electrical fence beside it.)

We popped into the castle tea rooms and had some tea and cake whilst in the company of Percy the peacock. By this stage I was a bag of nerves completely and I’d convinced myself that I’d gotten it all wrong. Olan was just more organised for this trip. There would be no proposal and it was just a lovely weekend away. 

The weather was absolutely fab so after our tea, we took a walk down through the very small village and had an ice cream by the river. There’s not much in Clonegal so I decided to go back to the gardens and read my book for an hour or two in the sunshine. Olan said he wanted to walk through the woods and see if he could cross the river. Just the kind of thing I would hate!

I was walking in the front door of the castle and saw a picnic basket with two champagne glasses in it. Ah that’s so cute, someone had a picnic here today. I went up to the room at about half six to get ready for dinner and lo and behold, one of the suitcases had disappeared. Strange…… 

Olan came up to the room and said we’d head down to the pub for a drink before dinner, which was at nine. Grand. I put on a pretty dress and some makeup and was ready to leave by about half past seven. 
We were walking downstairs and about to head right to walk down the avenue to the pub when Olan said “Sure let’s go down through the gardens”. I walked through the archway and saw some tea lights on the ground. They were in the shape of an arrow. I looked towards where the arrow was pointing and there was a picnic set up in the gardens with fairy lights wrapped around each tree. I looked up at Olan. He was grinning from ear to ear. I burst out crying! 

Why are you crying?

Because this isn’t an ordinary picnic.  

He had made a photo book of all of our six years together; photos from New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Tenerife,Japan; photos of our numerous Halloween  and fancy dress parties, our house and our Christmasses. There was a photo frame with four pictures of us together and a wooden ‘T & O’ with inbuilt lights. 

He’d made little salmon pancakes with cream cheese and had fruit and berries on a plate. This is why the yew walk wouldn’t have worked. The sheep would have eaten the picnic. 

There was a box of After Eights and a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne. I was amazed. This was amazing. He was amazing. 


We sat on the little white blanket and chatted about nothing and everything for a while. The peacock ambled past and we panicked that his tail would catch on fire from the tea lights on the ground. 

(Afterwards Olan told me that he hurt his thumb again while trying to light the tea lights with one of those clicky-lighter things. He was so incredibly frustrated with it that he left a bag of tea lights under the tree unlit!)

It’s almost time for dinner.

Oh is it?

Yeah. So do you have something you want to ask me?

I might. 

Sure go on so……

With that I stood up and Olan knelt down on one knee. *cue strange cracking noise*

Was that your knee cracking?

No. It was my pants.

His trousers had split.

I couldn’t stop laughing. 

Tracey Martina Curran, will you marry me?

Of course I will!

He took the little ruby ring from his pocket and placed it on my finger. We kissed and hugged and laughed. Snapped some photos. Had another chat. Packed up the picnic and left it inside the door.

We walked down to the Sha-Roe Bistro. Olan told Stephanie we got engaged that night. She congratulated us. We ate dinner. We drank wine. Went back to the castle and slept til 7am the next morning when I, like a child on Christmas day, bounded out of bed to grab my phone and ring everyone I knew. 
My Mam was delighted. 

My Dad was so sleepy he forgot that I rang him at all. 

My grandad’s reaction “Ah Jaysus. That’s great news to get of a Sunday!”

My friends all had similar reactions too, everyone wondered why I was calling so early on a Sunday morning, I interrupted some hangovers and frightened the lives out of others!  I called my best friend Cat who lives in Sydney. “I’m engaged!” My now-chief bridesmaid replied “I know!! Sure why else would you be ringing me at 8 o’clock on a Sunday morning!”

We drove home and went to Fields jewellers to look at diamonds. I got overwhelmed so we left to get a 99. So much better than a diamond.

We arrived back to our house to cards, flowers and chocolates and gorgeous gifts. 

I went to school on Monday and told my kids I was getting married. Cue all manner of cards and artistic creations coming into school that week. 

My two best friends and I shared a bottle of Prosecco on a Monday night and ate copious amounts of celebratory chocolate.

The day of our engagement party, these two ladies took me out to Emo court and set up the second most romantic picnic of my life. We ate crackers, cheese and sweets, drank Prosecco and laughed about all the bad dates that had brought me here. I would be lost without these two.

To celebrate our engagement, we had a barbecue at home with our friends and family, babies included. It was such a gorgeous night. The weather was lovely. Our friends are awesome. The food was great. Many laughs were had. Our party ended with the two of us sitting on deckchairs my dad bought for us. 2am, looking at the stars which were insanely clear that night. 

Just us two. Happy out.

I’ve always been an honest woman. I’ve a sparkler on my hand alright, it’s not a diamond though. And the day out is next July. 

Thanks for reading.

Vintage Miss


The Proposal (Part One)

Six years, eleven months and one week. That’s how long myself and the boy were together before he popped the big question. 

Six years, eleven months and one week of laughter, adventure and great craic. We met in 2009 and moved to Australia together in 2010. We bought our house in Ireland in 2015 and settled in back at home. For years we had heard the questions “So when will you make an honest woman of her?” “Any sign of a sparkler?” and “When are you giving us a day out?”. Our answers: Sure she’s already honest. No diamond just yet and sure can’t you just take yourself out for a day?

We were quite happy as we were. We knew it would happen eventually.

One day while wandering through Dublin city, I spotted a little ruby ring in the window of a vintage jeweller’s. 

Sure why don’t we just get this ring?

That’s not very romantic. You’re right beside me!

Who cares? At least you know I’ll like it!

With that, the jeweller appeared at the door. “I’ll knock a few euro off if you buy it today”. Off Olan went to the ATM and he came back to buy this little ruby ring that I knew he’d propose with. 

I told him to hide it when we got home. 

He hid it in his bedside locker.

I told him to hide it somewhere else. 

A couple of months passed and I put the ruby ring to the back of my mind. I went on holidays with my mum. I planned nights out with the girls, including a night out in Dublin with my good friend Annie. We hadn’t seen each other since January and as it was now May, we were long overdue a catch up! I was lounging on the couch one Wednesday and told Olan about my plans for the weekend. 

What?! You never said you were going to Dublin this weekend!

Yes I did. It’s on the calendar in the kitchen and everything!

Well you can’t go. 

And why not?!

Because I’ve booked us a weekend away and we leave on Friday. 

Cue a quizzical look on my face and then a knowing smile as I began to think, maybe this is it? 

I arrived home from work that Friday to the sight of two packed suitcases at the front door and Olan rushing around the house.This is a man who usually packs a bag about five minutes before we leave and forgets his toothbrush in the process.  

I tried to open the fridge and the door was pushed shut in front of me. I went to walk into the office and the door was pushed shut in front of me. 

Just sit in the sitting room until it’s time to go. 

I duly did so.

We got into the car and took off at about half past five. I had to drive us to this mystery location because Olan had a broken thumb so I would be relying on his navigational skills. Lord help me. 

We drove onto the M9 so I deduced from this that we were heading south. I guessed Kilkenny or Wexford but I was wrong. Our mystery tour took us to the beautiful Huntington Castle and Gardens in Clonegal, Co. Carlow.

We checked in with the owner, Alex and settled into our room. We got ready and went for dinner in the Sha-Roe bistro. The food was just stunning and the French owner Stephanie was so chatty and lovely. At this point, I started to get nervous……. was this it? Is he proposing in this gorgeous restaurant over this amazing meal?! Oh my God! I can’t deal with the nerves…… I…… oh…… he’s asked for the bill. And we’re walking back to the castle…… and we’re going to bed……. and we’re not engaged. Hmmmmmm……maybe I’ve got this all wrong?!…….

Red is the Rose

Well it’s been a while since I had an excuse to dress up somewhat! Last night some of the girls went out for a meal and drinks so it was the perfect opportunity to break out this kind-of-nineties-but-still-on-trend outfit. I do apologise for the sad looking background but this photo was taken under duress by the boy two minutes before I left the house!

I picked up this shirt in Rokit Vintage in London for just £7 in their sale section. I absolutely love it! This is one shirt that I have left the shoulder pads in as I feel they give it a nice shape. I love the detail on the top, its dagger collar and the awesome little rose button holding it together at the neck. 

I paired it with black slacks from H&M (€19.99) and loafers with a gold detailing from New Look (€19.99). I love these shoes- they’re so comfy and they remind me of shoes my dad used to wear in the early 90s when he worked in Nijinsky’s nightclub in Kildare.

My cute little bag is from Floozie by Frost French at Debenhams and was a gift from a lovely friend last year for my 29th birthday. 

Happy Sunday everyone! 
Feels good to be back!

Vintage Miss


Oh hey, remember me? 

It’s been 5 months since I posted on my blog. 5 months since I felt like writing about anything. 

In those 5 months, I’ve gotten engaged, turned thirty and planned my wedding. Surely I could have written about any of these major milestones in life right?! 

I could have written about them but to be quite honest, I just didn’t want to. In short, I lost my Mojo. My Mojo was totally MIA.

I stopped wearing my fancy pinup outfits to Tesco. My Erstwilder brooches were consigned to my jewellery box. My petticoats only made an appearance when I had a wedding to go to. I have worn jeans and tops for pretty much the entire summer. My white converse are pretty much welded to my feet and I have worn heels once this summer. Once. This is coming from a girl who owns almost 40 pairs of fabulous shoes that aren’t fulfilling their destiny by sitting on a shoe rack in my dressing room.

I didn’t want to make an effort and lost interest in…..well, myself really. 

I’m trying to get my Mojo back and I have a list of blog posts that I want to write. The story of my engagement, finding my engagement ring, planning my wedding, fabulous summer holidays and other bits and pieces.

I’ve left it so long now that I don’t know how relevant any of it will be or whether anyone is even interested in reading about any of it. 

But feck it. I’m going to write them anyway. 

Have a great weekend guys and gals. 
Vintage Miss


Real Resolutions


Decluttering. It’s something we all need to do from time to time. Whether it’s giving away those baggy cargo pants from 2006, throwing out those jars of turmeric you’re never going to use or recycling those tired old paperbacks you told yourself you’d read again someday; decluttering is cleansing. It’s good for the soul.

Except for when you come across something that makes you feel so awfully sad.

I recently bought a house with the boy and up until this week, there were numerous boxes and bags scattered around my dressing room. Most were filled with clothes long out of fashion, belts, bracelets and other knick knacks but some held treasured memories; like my debs group photo, exam results and my old school shirt signed by all of my friends in my final year of school. It was in one of these boxes that I found a folder of worksheets I had completed in transition year. I was 15 at the time and had just gotten my first job. I had gone from being five feet tall to standing at five feet eight inches with curves appearing out of nowhere. I had insanely curly hair, crooked teeth and I was only just beginning to find a modicum of self confidence.

The worksheets were based on our sense of self and our friendships, or at least our perceptions of them. I looked at these and thought “Aw this is so cute! My writing is exactly the same as it was then”. Turns out, my writing wasn’t the only thing that hadn’t changed.

One question that was on this piece of paper was “What do you worry about?”

My answer: “Not being pretty enough. Not being thin enough.”

I always thought I’d grown in confidence as I’d gotten older. I mean, this is 15 years later, I’m almost thirty years old and I’ve found a style that I love, surely it’s different now right?


I wake up every day thinking, today’s the day. Today’s the day I will eat really healthily, I’ll get up at 6am, work out, prep all my meals, eat avocados and protein bars, lift twice my body weight and lose two stone. Today’s the day I’ll be happy with my body.

Inevitably I fall at the first hurdle.

I snooze my alarm and wake up at 9.30am. I roll over and read my book in bed until my tummy rumbles. I eat some fruit and cornflakes for breakfast. I drink tea. I watch TV. I might read a book. If I’m feeling energetic I might go for a walk. As far as the kitchen to make another cup of tea. I cook a relatively healthy dinner with whatever’s in the fridge and eat it in front of the TV. I drink more tea, have a Curly Wurly, brush my teeth, “forget” to floss and go to bed. Then beat myself up for not doing more to lose weight. I feel like a failure. I’ve lost it before why am I finding it so hard to do it again?

As I read through my fifteen year old self’s musings on herself and her friendships, I found myself welling up. Here I was almost fifteen years later with the same worries and insecurities I had back then. Despite the fact that I am so much more sure of myself as a person and generally more confident in my personality and my looks,to a point, I was still worrying that I wasn’t thin enough.

(I wouldn’t mind but I look back at photos of me then and I’m amazed at how tiny I was!!)

So it’s not January, but I’m making a resolution. No more beating myself up over my weight. I will try my best to eat healthily and keep fit. If I lose a few pounds in doing so then, great. If I don’t, also great.

To sum it up, I’m just going to look after myself. Sometimes you need a long walk or maybe a gym session. And sometimes you just need some chocolate cake.

I’ll have mine with a cup of tea please.

Vintage Miss