Friday, 30 December 2016

Winter Warmers

The week between Christmas and New year is always one of my favourites. If we're not in work we can barely remember what day it is. Time seems to stand still yet as we near New Year's Eve the week feels like it definitely went by far too fast. Meeting up with friends and spending time with family is high up on the list of priorities, and with our newly acquired calmer demeanour it's a perfect time to catch up on all the things that make life rich and more fulfilling.


Monday, 26 December 2016

Ultimate 'Leftovers' Sandwich

Christmas Day, wonderful and special as it is, can be somewhat stressful.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

Winter Baileys Shake | Weekend Cocktail

After dinner, when everyone wants something sweet and I'm all out of either ideas, ingredients or most likely energy I'll often make an easy ice cream dessert with crushed Oreo cookies. It's so simple that it's not really a recipe more a combination of techniques: scooping, crushing, drizzling. Everyone loves it, even me and I don't have a particularly big sweet tooth. A couple of scoops of good ice cream - preferably cookies and cream but vanilla is good too - some Oreos crushed in the blender and sprinkled on top and a drizzle of caramel (has to be Starbucks - so good!) and that's it. But then, one evening a few weeks ago while I was making our 'go-to' dessert I had a Christmas cocktail brainwave. What if I added the ice cream and caramel to the blender with the Oreos, poured in some milk and Baileys and gave it a delicious name like Winter Baileys Shake? So I did and this is what happened...


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Descriptive Praise

There's a book I hear about a lot now that I'm a Mum. It's called "How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk" by Adele Fabel & Elaine Mazlish. It's been on my reading list for a long, long time but for some reason I've been skipping over it and choosing other books to read instead. Now I'm sorry I put it off for so long.



Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Pear & Roquefort Salad

I love France and I'm a huge fan of Ina Garten; this French, barefoot recipe adapted from her cookbook 'Barefoot in Paris' is a perfect combination of both!


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas Movie Marathon

Next weekend I plan to kick off the Christmas movie marathon. Actually it's not a marathon exactly, our films will be spaced out over the next few weekends and together we'll enjoy some festive, family-time calm.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Spaghetti Bolognese | Family Friendly Food

It's remarkable how an Italian dish from Bologna in Northern Italy has become such a popular staple dinner, especially among the Mums and Dads of Ireland!


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Pre-Christmas Toy Declutter

"If you want your children to turn out well spend twice as much time with them and half as much money" - Abigail Van Buren


Monday, 31 October 2016

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Email bankruptcy | Digital decluttering

If you're like me and have thousands of unread emails in your email account this will help...


Thursday, 27 October 2016

Ricotta with Cinnamon Honey

This is one of those simple, easy, quick, super-tasty desserts that can be whipped up and on the table in less than 10 minutes. Yep, that ticks all the boxes for me!


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Chickpea & Chorizo Soup

This is one of my favourite soups. I've posted recipes for courgette & cream cheese soup and sweet potato soup, both so heavenly, and both in my top three all-time favourites. And to finish the trilogy this...



Friday, 30 September 2016

Shadows in the Woods

I'd forgotten how much fun a power cut can be!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Ginger Amaretto Sour | Weekend Cocktail

I stumbled on this stunning drink over the Summer the night we celebrated our 13th wedding Anniversary. The mix of ingredients was so amazing that it's officially knocked my all time favourite cocktail - the Negroni - off the top spot.  It's syrupy sweet, yet slightly tart from the lime juice, with a winning hit of fiery spice from the fresh ginger syrup.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Spray Painting Interior Door handles

Over the Summer holidays, when the boys were off school, I decided to tackle a few niggly interior projects. 'Niggly' meaning that they weren't hard and they didn't require a huge amount of time, but they were jobs that had been on my mind for a while and I wanted to get them ticked off the list.

Most of them were tedious and boring (paint touch ups, stain blocking, filling holes, sewing a throw!). However, there was one job that I decided was blog worthy - spray painting brass plate interior door handles with matt black paint.



Sunday, 28 August 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016

Captain Crunch Chicken Fingers | Family Friendly Food

The backstory to this recipe: I spent the first part of my college life studying in America. For me there was something really special about the land of opportunity; I was just drawn to it. After college I spent the following two Summers soaking up the American dream - I must have been a dreamer in my teens! On one of those I waitressed in Planet Hollywood, South Carolina, where I discovered something I just couldn't get enough of...


Friday, 19 August 2016

Sugru Love | and Giveaway!

About a year ago David came home with a packet of Sugru; a mouldable filler/glue/playdough like substance. He had heard about it on 99U and afterwards picked up a pack in Woodies. He knew it was exactly what he needed to fix a couple of things.

THIS is what I'm talking about...


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Weekend Web

'Weekend Web' is a regular update on the blog with links to a variety of things I've come across on the internet over the weekend that I've found helpful, interesting or that I've just loved! Here's the round up...

Hope everyone is staying safe and dry this Summer?! Ours has been fun...



Sunday, 31 July 2016

Replacing Broadloom Carpet with a Stair Runner | The details!

So, we replaced the carpet on our stairs with a runner. You can read about it here. Now for all the work that was involved!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Replacing Broadloom Carpet with a Stair Runner

When it comes to decorating I'm a big fan of natural finishes - rustic wood, lots of silver, glass, stone, marble, natural fabrics; I tend to avoid veneered surfaces or plastics whenever possible. For that reason I'm a little in love with sisal, seagrass and jute floor coverings. They have a real earthy appeal - simple, natural, a little coastal even.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Chocolate Biscuit Cake | Happy birthday Ross & David!

Ross turns 10 today - 10!! A whole decade. So for my chocolate loving son, and husband - it's his birthday too - I made my chocolate biscuit cake. 



Saturday, 9 July 2016

IKEA | Secure it!

Make your home a safer place by reading the following short post...


Thursday, 30 June 2016

10 Great Ideas to Keep Kids Occupied this Summer

Today my three boys are off for two whole months!! And while one part of me is thinking "Brilliant, I don't have to stick to the clock for a couple of months" the entire rest of me is thinking "WHAT am I going to do with them for the next 66 days..!". It would be great to be able to say I'll just run them around outdoors for most of the day, but we all know an Irish summer can be slightly unpredictable at the best of times.

With a 2 year old, 4 year old and 9 year old, it's important that these activities are age appropriate and adaptable for everyone. So here's 10 great ideas I've tucked into my back pocket over the years to keep kids occupied come rain or shine!

Sunny Days...



Monday, 20 June 2016

Nancy Meyers Style

Ok I'll admit it, I have a treasured collection of Nancy Meyers films. Yep, treasured. Nancy Meyers is my all-time favourite writer/director who's behind films like 'Something's Gotta Give', 'What Women Want', 'The Holiday', 'It's Complicated' and 'The Intern'. Maybe her films aren't in the same league as 'Gone with the Wind' and other greats but Meyers is a brilliant oscar nominated writer with box office hits behind her; and I have an insatiable love for romantic comedies with dreamy decor!

Monday, 13 June 2016

Weekend Web

We spent this weekend celebrating... A new business venture for David and my sister's engagement! Two great reasons to sip bubbles, enjoy good food and party with friends and loved ones. In between the festivities here are some links I loved from the weekend...

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Watermelon, Cucumber & Feta Salad

If you're heading along to a barbecue and want to bring something to impress, this salad will certainly tick that box! It's so easy to make, tastes delicious and refreshing, and happens to look pretty impressive too. Inspired by 'Watermelon Salad' from The Londoner, here's my version.


Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing

The Sweetness of Doing Nothing. Phrased "Dolce Far Niente" in Italian. Or if you're Irish like me you might call it "The Sweetness of Doing Feck All."

I recently watched Eat Pray Love for the second time. While the book was better (aren't they always) I really loved watching Julia Roberts travel across three countries on a mission to get over her divorce and find herself. When Elizabeth Gilbert's book first hit the shelves almost 10 years ago I couldn't put it down. It was insightful, profound and captivating. And the best bit, her memoir involved three trips; Italy: to eat. India: to pray. Indonesia: to love.

When I randomly watched the movie again a few weeks ago one thing really stuck, something that definitely didn't register properly with me when I read the book the first time: The sweetness of doing nothing... While in Italy Elizabeth is introduced to the culture of "Dolce Far Niente" by her Italian friends. Italians are masters at it and to her, an American with a busy career and an often hectic life, it became a habit she relished. Dolce Far Niente doesn't mean being lazy, but it is an occasion to appreciate doing not very much at all. It's not looking at your phone, its not watching Netflix. It's cycling along curling roads past pea green vineyards towards the sea. Or walking in dappled evening light next to boats docked in the port, it's dining in restaurants and ordering café gourmand. It's the pleasure one gets from being idle, and that was me last weekend, fully committed to doing nothing. I'll explain...



Friday, 20 May 2016

Courgette & Cream Cheese Soup

It might be almost summer, but I still don't think it's 'too hot' for soups! They're a great way to get in your 7 a day, and are always miles tastier than any store bought version. Here's a recipe from David's Mum for one of the easiest, tastiest soups you can make.


Friday, 13 May 2016

Fresh Lavender Mint Tea

I may have mentioned this before, but I'll say it again, I'm a little obsessed with getting a good night's sleep! Not only does it make you feel better, adequate sleep is a key part to a healthy lifestyle and can benefit your heart, weight, mind and more. When I do these three things everyday I'm always guaranteed a perfect trip to the land of nod...


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Weekend Web

I hope you had a great weekend. We were barbecuing in Wexford for my Dad's birthday in what turned out to be a glorious day in the Sunny South East. If Dublin's climate was the month of May it would be the best country in the world!


Monday, 2 May 2016

Artificial Flowers

Until yesterday there was no doubt in my mind, summer started in May. I would have put money on it. St Bridget's Day, the 1st of February, was Spring, and therefore today - May - was the start of Summer...

Friday, 29 April 2016

Martini | Weekend cocktail

**This year instead of cutting back on things with my New Year's resolutions some of them involved taking up something new. One of those was cocktails! I decided I was going to make one or two on a Friday or Saturday, not every week but when we were at home with no weekend plans and wanted to swap our usual wine or craft beer for something a little different. Here's cocktail #4...

It's time for another cocktail recipe using my favourite spirit - Bombay Sapphire. With a few busy weekends one after the other we haven't had our weekend cocktail for almost a month, so I decided a Martini was in order! With four parts gin to one part vermouth you do need to limit yourself to just one though. Bond may have been able to down quite a few of these at a time and still aim a gun but in reality this is one strong drink!


Sunday, 24 April 2016

Ikea # 3 | The Hall

*The third post in a series of eight about IKEA at home. Previous posts #1 The Bathroom and #2 The Office.

Hallways can be tricky spaces to decorate. They're usually long, narrow and often lack much needed natural light.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Pasta all'Uovo | Fresh Egg Pasta

Last weekend I was flying solo. David spent three days in beautiful, sunny Italy. He flew over early Friday morning on the red-eye flight with his friend Brian to visit their friend Carl who lives in Terni. From the WhatsApps their trip looked amazing!


Thursday, 7 April 2016

Matcha Time

I'm a big fan of matcha tea. I have it every afternoon around 3pm to prevent that after-lunch slump and get my energy and focus up to deal with everything the little ones throw at me!


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Weekend Web

I hope you had a great extra long weekend? We spent Easter Sunday in Sea Lodge with my Mum & Dad, where Callum & Alex amused themselves catching dinosaurs with Gogi (the graveyard seemed to be the best spot), hunting for Easter eggs and searching for lots other fascinating things to do at the house!

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Negroni | Weekend Cocktail

**This year instead of cutting back on things with my New Year's resolutions some of them involved taking up something new. One of those was cocktails! I decided I was going to make one or two on a Friday or Saturday, not every week but when we were at home with no weekend plans and wanted to swap our usual wine or craft beer for something a little different. Here's cocktail #3...

Of all the cocktails I've ever had over the years (which isn't very many to be honest, see above ^ !) this is by far my favourite. Negroni. The ultimate Italian cocktail invented in Florence in the 1920s. It's bitter and sweet, tangy and tart; the flavours are wildly varied and that's what I love!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Monday, 14 March 2016

Mougins Musings

Last year my Mum needed chemo and radiotherapy. It was a difficult time for everyone, especially her. But she never complained. Not once. About anything. She is amazing and strong and we all love her so much. In September, when the treatment was finished and we realised that everything was going to be ok we all went on a holiday. To beautiful Mougins...


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Sweet Potato Soup | Family Food

This is the best 'under the weather' soup! 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

En Suite Redecorating | The Cost-effective Way

Since we moved into our house the en suite's the only room that's had hardly any improvements. We did replace the cream floor tiles a few years ago with a silvery grey wood laminate. After the floor went down I painted a feature wall, put up a corner shelf and a Roman blind with a wood detail above it, but apart from those things that was more or less it.


Sunday, 21 February 2016

London | Day Three

You may have figured out by now that good food makes me happy. Family, friends, France, food... Actually lots of things, but they don't all start with the letter 'F' so they didn't make today's list!

On our last day we headed to NOPI, Yotam Ottolenghi's outstanding restaurant on Warwick Street and my happiness index shot through the roof.

Friday, 19 February 2016

London | Day Two

On Saturday the heavens opened, slowing to a drizzle by mid-morning. Misty rain soaked the London streets and the sky was a murky grey, but that didn't stop us taking in as much of the sights as we could. Wrapped up, we set off with our umbrellas and hoods up hardly noticing the lack of sunshine. Lunch that day was in Chelsea, and isn't it always sparkly there?!

Thursday, 18 February 2016

London | Day One

Last Friday evening I set off on a foodie adventure. It began as soon as I stepped off the tube onto Charring Cross Road and wheeled my suitcase through a heavy, walnut-framed door held open by a man in a top hat.


Thursday, 11 February 2016

Classic Cosmopolitan | Weekend Cocktail

This year instead of cutting back on things with my New Year's resolutions, some of them involved taking up something new. One of those was cocktails! I decided I was going to make one or two on a Friday or Saturday, not every week but when we were at home with no weekend plans and wanted to swap our usual wine or craft beer for something a little different. David listens to the Tom Dunne show on Newstalk some evenings when he's working late. On a Thursday night, they make a cocktail and drink and describe it on the show. They all sound amazing! So we started our new endeavour with this classic cocktail - a cosmopolitan. A refreshing cocktail that really gets tastebuds tingling with its mix of fresh lime juice, cranberry, vodka and triple sec. 

Friday, 29 January 2016

Irelandopedia

Like lots of homes in Ireland, we adore books. Ross (9) can't get enough of them, sometimes reading up to 3 books a day, and the little ones (2 & 3) are following his lead.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Weekend Web

'Weekend Web' is a regular Monday update on the blog with links to a variety of things I've come across from the internet that I've found helpful, interesting or that I've just loved! Here's the round up...

How was your weekend?

We headed out for drinks and dinner for my birthday to The Dylan, which was amazing yet again, I also finished Marie Kondo's extreme discarding and tidying book. It ended up being a slightly yin and yang weekend - out partying for half, in tidying for half!


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