Gratitude notes in December

Monday, November 30, 2015

DSC_0318 (2) For the month of December (which officially begins in a few hours!), inspired by Elizabeth Gilbert's happiness jars I've made a pact to take a small bit of time each day to write a little gratitude list. Nothing laboured or too grandiose-just one, two or three things written with pen to paper and kept for safe-keeping.

A little challenge to keep my end-of-year nerves/anxiety/stress/worry at bay.  I tried it today and even though the first thoughts were not exactly the most profound (a cup of tea. this bag of m&m's. joanne. the internet), the end result left me feeling a little lighter in thought and spirit.

So here we go, December.  Let's be enjoying you.

*image from when I had the immense honour of being a part of and capturing Emily's 30th.  Her most recent news tugs at every single heart string. Maya Catharine, you are already so loved.  I know this for sure.

Friday, November 27, 2015

So what if, instead of thinking about solving your whole life, you just think about adding additional good things. One at a time. Just let your pile of good things grow.

Attachments, Rainbow Rowell

Easy Meals for those wintery duvet nights in

DSC_0058 This one is for those similar to me who have a tendency for the quick and simple, succumb to take-aways, meals out and have a ridiculous guilt conscience about it all.  DSC_0054
Preheat oven to 200 C.  Wash and peel your vegetables (carrots, courgettes, parsnips, onions, tomatoes- whatever you have on hand). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and toss. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Cook quinoa and let stand for a few minutes to cool, then fluff with a fork.  Add roasted vegetables and any green leaf (rocket, spinach, kale).  Toss well.  Season with more salt, pepper and olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon.

It's easy and adaptable to everything you may have on hand-including topping it with feta, roasted walnuts, etc.  Plus it allows for leftovers.  Win-win.

*A guide to cooking fluffy quinoa. (I use 1cup quinoa to 1.5 cup water/broth!)

Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 26, 2015

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Happiest Thanksgiving for those celebrating today!  Over the years, the way we spend the day changes but every year without fail I am asked about the tradition and every year without fail, I mumble some narrative about Pilgrims and Indians without too much elaboration.  If you're in a nerdy, sharing mood as I am currently- here are a few things I read earlier:

  • The first Thanksgiving was held in the autumn of 1621 and included 50 Pilgrims and 90 Wampanoag Indians and lasted three days.  It was marked as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of a successful harvest that year.

  • Thanksgiving didn't become a national holiday until over 200 years later.  It is celebrated on the second Monday of October in Canada and on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States.

  • Some historians say that the first thanksgiving feast included venison and seafood.  (No turkey!)

  • Each year, the president of the U.S pardons a turkey and spares it from being eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. The first turkey pardon ceremony started with President Truman in 1947. 

  • Thanksgiving: the catalyst for packaged dinners.  In 1953, Swanson had so much extra turkey (260 tons) that Gerry Thomas, a salesman at the company, had a better idea. He got inspired by airplane meals and brought together 5,000 aluminum trays and loads of turkey, peas and sweet potatoes. And, the first TV dinner was born.
More of this sort of thing can be seen here from Huffington Post
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On a softer note, Thanksgiving or no Thanksgiving- here's to finding a moment today for light and gratitude.  Wishing you a sweet one, dear readers.

ps.  This post is well worth the read.  And this video a funny watch.

*Images from our recent trip to Howth taken by the incredibly lovely and talented, Aga. 

Makers & Brothers | At home

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A little less than a week ago we attended an event where the discussion was about innovative technology and the influence it currently has on architecture and interior design. This quote from Denise O'Connor kept mulling around in my thoughts for a good while afterwards: 'The core of our homes hasn't changed but the way we inhabit them has.'  Fast forward to the conversation about having less do more in a home.  About quality in design.  About quality in product.

Enter Makers & Brothers.  I've been geekily attending their pop-ups for the last few years (a few close friends have either worked or had products showcased)  (the stock is serious eye candy) and this year is proving to be their best yet.

We took a bus ride over yesterday to visit and the escapism on entering happens almost immediately. Fires alight, a gorgeous interior space and nearly everything shown wish listed to a never-ending list for the holidays- it's a beautiful ode to inspired living.

And a beautiful way to start into the holiday season.  Cosy in there sweet friends.  (Open this weekend and every weekend till Christmas)
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More info here if you'd like to take a visit.  (promise it's a treat!)

Sunrise walk with Aga

Saturday, November 21, 2015

R&A-2 Earlier this week before the bitter cold set in, we took an early morning walk around Howth. Part photo session with the uber talent that is Aga, part a little something different- it was images I've been wanting to do for a little while. Simple and unfussy. The weather had threatened rain that day but thankfully, we were treated to a clear, dry few hours. Rosy cheeks, the best companions to share the memory with and waffles to boot.

It's not often that I care for portrait sessions- but lately, I've been more conscious of this current stage of life.  This ongoing unsure, fork in the road, hugely uncertain but undeniably thrilling part of growing up.

Some of my most favourite images still remain those of my mother in her youth, maybe in a similar time of growth- natural, mostly outdoors on a horse or near water and with a glow that I cannot quite explain in words.  Part of me wanted to capture that same je ne sais quoi for future keepsakes.

A tad cheesy-sure, but one for the memories.
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* First image (a sneak peek!) by the lovely Aga Maru. The collage images from my iPhone.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.

Jean de La Fontaine

Friends and Staycations

Joanne, my pocket rocket of a best friend is back in town.  Easily one of the most intensely smart and yet, equally laid back women in my life.  I've brought her to dinner parties where she has heatedly discussed banking, margins and depreciation values to people we don't know (I usually cringe at this stage) and then later come back to the apartment to dance and do youtube exercise videos with me.  The contrast is utterly endearing to me.

We celebrated a law degree milestone for her with a one-night staycation at the Dean.  Not normally the type to do that sort of thing but every now and again pretending to be a tourist in your home city is a welcome treat.  DSC_0739 DSC_0731 DSC_0732 DSC_0740 picisto-20151112171149-401779 DSC_0758
Girlfriends + staycations = a very good thing.

A little thank you

Saturday, November 7, 2015

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So, this happened at the Blog Awards Ireland at the end of October! Thank you for reading, supporting and allowing me to keep on keeping on as they say.  This space has led to so many wonderful friendships, opportunities, life lessons- I've grown up tremendously over the last three years as a result of it all dear friends.

Currently reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (thank you Nathalie!) and this passage really hit home:

''And no, this story does not end with her winning any championship medals.  It doesn't have to.  In fact, this story does not end at all... simply because, it is still the best way for her to unfold a certain beauty and transcendence within her life that she cannot seem to access in any other manner. 

And while the paths and outcomes of creative living will vary wildly from person to person, I can guarantee you this:  A creative life is an amplified life.  It's a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life.  Living in this manner- continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you- is a fine art, in and of itself.''

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