Thursday, 4 October 2012


Just some of the graffiti I found while exploring the wonderful city of Toronto. 




Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Overheard in Toronto

Wanna peek into my diary again? It won't be as sweet as last time, I'm sorry. Background: I spent the summer in Toronto working, and did all of my sight-seeing alone. So I had a lot of time to people watch (or eavesdrop, your call). And I heard some pretty funny/ interesting things along the way which I jotted down into my journal. Here are my favourites :)


1. Little boy: "Pa, you smell like a traffic light"

2. One teen guy to another: "I've figured it out though. You can wear like jeans and a t-shirt, and if you wear nice shoes people will be like 'Oh, you look nice!' It's crazy!"

3. One teen girl going up an escalator, the other going down. First girl shouts "Hey, where did you get your skirt? I love it!" Second girl: "Oh! Garage!" and walks away beaming :)

4. Kid looking in a big fish tank: "Are these fish real, or are they dead?"


5. Son: "Daddy, how did he get in here?" 
Dad: "It's so hot that even the birds are taking the subway."

6. One rich teen girl to another: "What is grit?" "Oh, it's like bad risotto."

7. Mom to son: "I love you too, kiddo. I love you all the way to Africa and through all the safaris and into another universe."

8. Teen girl: "But I honestly think that I'm a really interesting person and that everyone wants to come talk to me."

9. One woman to another: "So wait, you don't have decent bookstores but you have spas where fish eat your feet??" 

10. 2 kids, boy and girl about 12, talking about pigeons. "In pigeon world, I think he's daaaaamn!"...."No, I think he's probably oh heellllll no!"

11. Guy, early 20s: "Yeah I shaved my back and glued it to my face."

Well there you have it, a glimpse into the minds of strangers. Some made me laugh so hard, others made me smile. Also, just as a sort of disclaimer- none of the people in the photos are connected to these quotes. 

All for now :) 


Sunday, 30 September 2012

Quirky Piece of Home

Have you ever walked into a place you've never been before, yet you're overwhelmed by the comforting feeling of being home? Every detail of your new surroundings plays with a piece of your heart. It almost feels like someone crawled inside your mind, took careful notes and then made the perfect escape just for you. I found my little part of heaven today when a friend brought me here... 

I smiled and smiled and tripped over my feet as my friends and a bemused waiter assisted me to a cosy spot upstairs. I gawked at every detail open mouthed. Comic book table cloths, lady bug teaspoons, owl shaped clocks. Couches that swallow you whole when you want to sleep and sofas that promise to hold and support you while you study. Books about perfume and Egyptian art, vinatge maps and posters of Audrey Hepburn, my lovely friend. Every little thing in the cluttered cafe was precious to me. 

Then of course, I opened the menu and my jaw dropped once more as I read the lists of fancy teas and cosy coffees. I settled on good old hot chocolate, and was not disappointed. However, a huge wave of sadness hit me as we were leaving and it occurred to me that I may not be back for a very long time, as it is located approximately 3 hours and 46 minutes from my home. Sigh. But if you are ever in Dublin city, then I would highly recommend you search for 'Foam', the most wonderful cafe I have found in my 18 years. Drink a hot chocolate and think of me :) 

Saturday, 29 September 2012

hi :) i want to tell you...

i want to tell you that...
i have lost my words
i no longer know what to blog about, and i hate that
i used to have a million ideas for blogging in my head, but now... nada
i love creativity, i thrive on it. i have this blog, i have my YouTube, my music, my poetry, i like to act, i like to make pretty things, and i like to share my ideas with you all
but i think i have been trying to be creative in too many ways, as well as keeping up with university and... life.
and it's my blog that has been neglected the most
i put so much work into it for months and months, and now i have left it all alone

why am i posting this nonsense? i hate posts like this
i'm posting it to show my embarrassment, and to embarrass myself further
hopefully this will give me the push i need to get back on track here, because i miss it a lot

i miss you guys, i miss your sweet comments and i miss reading your blogs too
i hope to come back, i hope to make time

for now, i will leave you with this video to show you i have not left the internet world entirely, and if you would like to join me over on YouTube, i would really love that :)

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Sunscreen & Popsicles


I have just spent the most wonderful summer of my life taking care of 3 little boys in Canada. I've explored Toronto, I've been to Niagara Falls. I've had an awful lot of adventures, and it has changed me forever. But I must admit... When I'm old and grey, my fondest memories of my summer as an au pair in Toronto will be of sitting on the porch in the sun licking melted popsicle off little fingers and laughing and telling stories about frogs and balloons and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Sunscreen & Popsicles Playlist
Smile Bright- Letters & Lights
Rollerblades- Eliza Doolittle
When I Grow Up- The Beach Boys
One Thing- One Direction
Three Little Birds- Bob Marley
When I'm Gone- A Rocket To The Moon
Gold Rush- Ed Sheeran
Does Your Mother Know- Abba
Follow Me- Uncle Kracker
Brighter Than The Sun- Colbie Caillat
Never Grow Up- Taylor Swift

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Being Five Years Old

Meet Zach. And remember who he is, because one day this kid will be famous. Be it for music, painting or his new found talent of photography, his name will be be on everyone's tongue, mark my words. 

Today he begged and begged me to let him take photos with my phone, so I let him. And this evening I finally got a second to look through the photos he had taken. It hadn't occurred to me before, but  allowing him to let loose with a camera turned out to be a wonderful way for me to see life through his eyes. And wowee, what I saw inspired me. 

Give an adult a camera, and they will capture the memories that stand out, the 'big' things. I think we spend too much time thinking about the bigger picture, all of the things that stand out in our lives as interesting or important. Give a child a camera, and they will show you what life is really all about. 

Friday, 10 August 2012

Orla: Uncovered


In answer to your questions... :)

-How long have you been blogging for? 
I started a blog maybe 2 years ago called 'A Cosy Escape', and I had no idea what I was doing. I have a terrible habit of wanting to do things but feeling too inadequate when it comes to pulling them off. So I posted twice, then deleted it. But my love of blogging didn't die, and so last November I took the plunge again and started 'Escape to Vanilla'. I've been working really hard at building it up, and have loved every second of it.

-Do you have a particular Motto?
I have so many mottos, quotes and philosophies that I try to live by... But the one little phrase that pops into my head and inspires me time and time again is "Tell me I can't and I'll show you I can". I can be pretty stubborn, and I hate to be told that I'm not able to do something, or that I'm not allowed to. It's helped me to achieve a lot so far.

-Are you in Canada or Ireland? I'm confused!
Ooops, sorry about that! I'm Irish and I live in Ireland. But this summer I decided to go on an adventure, and I took a job as a live-in nanny for a family in Toronto, so I have been here since May.

-If you could marry any Disney prince/hero, who would it be? 
I just about died when I saw this question, I LOVE it! But it was pretty tough to think of an answer... But I am going to choose... Aladdin. :) He's not rich, he's not a prince, he's not very well dressed and he needs a haircut. He wins Jasmine's heart with his sweet and daring personality.

-Your biggest insecurity?
I'm not sure if I could put my finger on my biggest insecurity, but I think one thing that I am quite self conscious about is my body shape. I wouldn't consider myself to be overweight, but you know how it is being a teen girl when you're made to feel as though you should be a stick insect like everyone else. But I would choose chocolate over wearing a bikini any day!

-Favourite smell?
Hmm... Probably vanilla scented anything or babies. :) 

-Who is your biggest inspiration? 
A famous person? Definitely Kina Grannis, she has the sweetest voice and the kindest heart. And she's goofy too! But she's not my biggest inspiration. If I'm honest, the person in my life who inspires me most is my best friend, Kate. She'll probably read this too, and say I'm being silly- but I said I'd be honest! Ever since I met her (I was 11 years old), I have aspired to be more like her. She is generous, selfless, compassionate, quirky, goofy, incredibly smart, creative, motivated and good in every way. She is the best friend anyone could asked for, and she is my biggest role model. :)

-What country are you dying to visit?
If you'd asked me 4 months ago, I would have said Canada. Now I've spent a summer here, and it is just as amazing as I thought it would be. Next on my list are Italy and Japan!

-How old are you?/ What's your birthday?
I'm 18, born February 16th 1994 :)

-Do you have a boyfriend?
Nope, and I am absolutely loving it. Don't get me wrong, I love almost everything about being in a relationship! But right now I am happy to be on my own. I have so much time for my friends and for myself, and I doubt I would be in Canada right now if I had a boyfriend in Ireland.

-Favourite songs right now?
World Spins Madly On by The Weepies
Paperweight by Joshua Radin
Paradise covered by Audrey Couch

-What are you reading right now?
I am re-reading 'Emma' which is my favourite Jane Austen. But I only have 32 pages left, so next on my list is 'Fugitive Pieces' by Anne Michaels, which I'm really excited about.

Okay, well that's all! I hope I haven't bored you to tears. Though if you have any more questions or you'd just like to say hello, then please do leave me a word or two in the comments.

Sending love,
Orla X

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Who am I?

Hellooo :) You guys have been getting curious, and I'm not surprised... I've been getting some emails asking me why I don't talk about anything personal on my blog. Some of you have said that I don't talk about myself enough in my posts, and you are very right- I don't. That makes it hard for readers to get to know me, so I have to change that- starting now. :) 

That means you all get the chance to be reeeally nosy (nosey? Hmm...), because I am going to answer any questions you have for me, I will spill ALL! They can be casual "What's your favourite colour?" questions (it's purple, of course) or they can be more personal things too. Anything you want to know! As long as it's not extremely inappropriate, I promise to answer. Maybe in a video, maybe a post... 

I think the main reason I don't talk about personal things on my blog is because my personal life is not always that... fun. And because I have some friends/ acquaintances who read once in a while, and I guess I'm not sure how I feel about them knowing everything about me. But I've decided to get over that. :-P So from now on, I want to be more honest and open. I want you to know me, I want to feel a little closer to my readers, and then I can start the next chapter of my blogging journey. :) 

So, you can ask questions in the comments, or if you would prefer to do so privately, you can email me here: 

I can't wait to get started. :) 

Orla X

Wednesday, 18 July 2012