Sunday, 31 December 2017

Far Breton

This is a simple, delicious recipe from one of my favourite food bloggers, Mimi Thorisson. In this traditional French dessert prunes are added to a custardy base. There are so many delicious elements to this cake, from the silky smooth texture in the centre to the more flan like top and edge, with hefty rum-soaked prunes studded throughout. I never realised just how much I liked prunes until I made this. 


Sunday, 17 December 2017

Imaginations

The sound of war. Grenades, shrieking, gunfire. Pew, pew, pew. Pew, pew. Noise and chaos, thumping sounds, shouting. Arms and legs flying in every direction.



Thursday, 30 November 2017

Waiting for Snow

It's at this time of year I always remember the big snow of 2010. Not 1983 like some, I was just too small to recall the details, but the last big snow when my eldest was only four and I delighted in the fact that he could toboggan down the hill beside our house on a baking tray. It snuck up on me; I wasn't expecting such a big pile on the first day it fell, maybe it was because I didn't have an app back then to check the weather as often as I liked, maybe some people had an inkling it was on the way, maybe it was just one of those things that happen out of the blue for a reason that nobody knows. One minute I was preparing dinner and the next the snow came... Falling slowly at the start then picking up speed, gently covering everything outside with big, thick snowflakes until everything turned white. I don't remember much about yesterday but I do remember that evening, happy memories are as clear as day. Snow makes me happy :-)

As soon as the temperature starts to drop and I'm rooting out hats and gloves and scarves I secretly hope that the same will happen again. Hygge comes to the forefront of my mind. I want to curl up beside log fires while a blanket of snow quietly covers the ground, light every candle, sip on warming drinks and spend quality time with family indoors after the working day is done. Some people are summer people but I've decided I'm definitely a winter one.

Outside it feels cold enough for snow, but because there's no sign of any yet here's some photos from the web the get me in the hygge mood...

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Ode to Summer | Star Jumps

Ode to Summer

I'm not great with endings. Thankfully David is the opposite. Change, in his opinion, usually signals growth and new beginnings. It's good having someone in the house who thinks like that.

When Callum finished Montessori in June I was feeling lots of emotions but mostly sad; something that had played such a big part in his life over the past three years was coming to an end. I hoped the next chapter for him would be a positive one. Starting primary school was a major milestone. Would he like it? Would he be happy? Would he make friends? Would he like everyone? Would everyone like him??

"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles but most of them never happened" - Mark Twain


Sunday, 27 August 2017

White Chocolate & Peanut Blondies

Usually blondies have a sweet vanilla flavour. For us though, we prefer ours with a peanuty crunch and white chocolate chunks. 


Monday, 31 July 2017

Air Travel with Kids - Solo

Solo air travel...


Peach & Elderflower Cocktail | Non-alcoholic

When the sun comes out sometimes I feel like a nice chilled glass of wine or a cold beer in the garden, and sometimes I don't. This is a perfect tipple to drink in the sun and the bonus is you can drink as much of it as you like!




Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Vive la France!

"The year began with lunch..." The first line from one of my favourite books, A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

The days are long but the years seem short

Next week the days of 12pm pick ups for my five year old will come to an end.


Sunday, 28 May 2017

Wallspiration | New York Skyline

I've always found my boys bedrooms difficult to decorate. Don't get me wrong, I'm a relentless interior design enthusiast, I love solving design dilemmas and I'm definitely not stuck for ideas. The main reason is because I really want their personalities to shine through and I find this makes things a little trickier. A room of ones own is a special place and I don't want my quiet, calm, neutral style - the style of the rest of our home - to muscle in on their space if that's not right for them.

Of course I can scroll through Pinterest for ideas, create some mood boards and put a very nice look together, but a room like this will never deliver exactly what I want for them. I want their room to be inspirational for their growing minds, I want to encourage their creativity, I want this space to feel personal and unique. What I don't want is for this very important space to be identical to every other boy's bedroom which makes ticking all of those boxes tough!

This Summer I found myself itching to finish my eldest's bedroom, an interior design project I started quite a while ago. When it comes to interior design I often pick a subtle theme for each room and in Ross's bedroom the style was 'American'. There were a few reasons for this, but my favourite was that he really loves watching Casey Neistat's daily vlog with us in the evenings, we love to look at Casey zip through bustling New York city on his boosted board as he goes about his day.

I had almost gotten to the end of the project and was really happy with everything apart from one wall. It was the biggest uninterrupted wall in the room and needed something great. I had tried out a few ideas there but none of them looked right  - big posters in bright red frames, a gallery wall of quotes with pictures of people he admired. But nothing was working and I was getting frustrated, I just couldn't come up with anything fitting for the last most important piece of the puzzle.

Then one day out of the blue David thought of a perfect solution to personalise and inspire. A decal on the wall of the New York skyline with inspiring quotes written on the buildings and Ross and his brothers hidden among them. It ticked all the boxes and David started working on an amazing skyline shot of the city.


Sunday, 7 May 2017

Macaroni Cheese with Crab

I adore comfort food; hearty Bœuf Bourguignon, warming sweet potato soup with buttery slices of baguette for dipping, hot apple crumble with a scoop of melting vanilla ice-cream on top, and of course, the ultimate comfort food, Macaroni & Cheese. I used to make this recipe all the time, it was Ross's favourite meal at one stage. I remember throwing in some bacon pieces and peas to make it a bit more 'balanced' - Ha!



Monday, 17 April 2017

Eggcellent Easter

Like most Sundays these days Easter started early; with two bowls of porridge, a bowl of Rice Krispies and an hour later sausages with ketchup. Three boys, constant preparer of food, that's me!


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Pigs in Blankets

Sausages are a Sunday post-match staple in our house. Ross and the boys are starving after the game, I've been cleaning, and the easiest, and tastiest (for them!) thing to do is to pop a packet of sausages under the grill and serve in a fresh crusty baguette slathered with butter and oodles of ketchup. But sometimes, to dress them up a bit, I make these...


Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Let them be mindful

At the beginning of 2015 I wrote an article titled 'Mindful Mama' for Parent Trap, the parenting section on TV3's Xposé website. 

I'd heard that mindfulness along with daily meditation had proven benefits for productivity, mood and physical health. I was sold, and decided to give it a try. 

After testing it out as one of my 2015 New Year's resolutions I wrote about how beneficial it was, especially for me - a busy Mum. I knew that by nature I was the complete opposite of mindful, always rushing, with thoughts and ideas constantly whirring around my head. I really wanted to stop inflicting that sense of urgency on my children. I also felt I wasn't as present for my boys as I could be. Everyday distractions were getting in the way - filling the dishwasher, wiping up spills, laundry, my phone - I knew I was missing out on precious time with them, and I was aware that while the days felt long the years were short at this cherished stage in their young lives. 

After putting what I'd learned into practice I realised that practicing mindfulness - which had slowing down and focusing at it's core - was absolutely perfect for someone like me, who often runs from task to task without really achieving very much at the end of my busy day.

Friday, 31 March 2017

When in France...

When one of my longest and dearest friends contacted me a couple of weeks ago asking if I had any tips for places to visit while she was holidaying in Sainte Maxime in May I couldn't stop writing when I replied...

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Manifesto #1 | Parenting

At the beginning of 2017 I wrote seven manifestos; one on parenting, one about family, a personal manifesto, work, health, marriage and happiness. Writing down a list of principles to help guide how I want to live each day suddenly made everything very clear and simple. In just a few months they've improved so many things and, like everything on here, whenever I come across something that I think could be useful I need to share it! 


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Steak Salad


David thinks cooking isn't really his thing but whenever he does he knocks the ball out of the park.


Saturday, 4 March 2017

Frozen Peanut Butter Fudge

If you're like me and love peanuts you're going to love this.




Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Radish with Butter & Sea Salt

I discovered this ridiculously simple combination the other day and now I'm addicted.


Winter's in the Air

Winter. When does it really end? It seems the answer is a little vague, and also somewhat subjective.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

We have three kids!

I spent a good part of my life as a Mum trying to act as if everything had stayed the same. Baby number one arrived, "Ooh, you're going to London, I'll come. A night on the town, of course I can make it". Brunches, lunches, trips, dinners, bars, always there, always acting as if I could do this whole baby juggling thing in my sleep.


Saturday, 18 February 2017

Satay Chicken | Family Friendly Food

This is one TASTY dish. Tender chicken, surrounded by delectable peanut sauce, served on a bed of noodles with a fresh crunchy cucumber and beansprout topping.



Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Bedtime Drink | Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey

I'm a little obsessed with getting a good night's sleep. So when I heard about this concoction from Tim Ferriss for a tranquillising bedtime drink I knew I had to try it...


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Crab Dip | Party Food

This dip was always a huge hit in our house when I was growing up. My Mum made it every Christmas and now Christmas just wouldn't be the same without it.

It's creamy, unctuous, moorish and so wonderful that it's a big hit with my friends now too. Whenever we get invited to a get together and I feel that the host would appreciate an extra dish I bring this.


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Stop and Smell the Roses

Last Sunday, on the drive home from an excellent weekend spent with family at White's hotel in Wexford I had a moment...


Sunday, 1 January 2017

2017 | Go Outside

This year, as 2017 approached, instead of writing out a list of resolutions like I usually do I decided to write up several manifestos instead. I got the idea from a podcast I've become slightly addicted to over the last few months called 'Happier' with Gretchen Rubin and Elizabeth Craft. I wrote 7 in total: one on parenting, one about family, a personal manifesto, work, health, marriage and happiness. These manifestos sum up my morals and beliefs, they make how I want to live my life clear and simple, they are sentences or sometimes even a word or two that hone exactly what I need to do to get the most out of every single day. My manifestos are a collection of words I want to live by. As the saying goes 'None of us are getting out of here alive so we may as well make every day count!'.


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