Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Heaven on Earth

The last few days I had the most wonderful time in my friends house.  Below are a few photos and words which might give you a flavour of the great time we had.

On arrival we sat around chatting drinking tea out of beautiful china cups.

We all then went for a walk along the beach (which is at the back of the house).

We then came back to the house where we settled in for the night with some drinks before dinner.
Dinner was incredible - my friends are amazing cooks.  We had a fabulous cooked ham, with mashed and roasted potatoes and honey roast veg with the most beautiful gravy.  

Next morning we got up and had a great big Irish breakfast with a few additions - Tony took some of the leftovers from dinner and made them even better; refried in butter mash potatoes, roast potatoes recooked with tomatoes and mushrooms.

We went out for another walk after breakfast.
I liked looking at all the houses near us - they were all very 1960's style (like the one we stayed in).  I went for a walk and took some photographs.

This one was my favourite

Nice country road and countryside.

We explored some fields and Tony brought us through an old abandoned house which had a caravan park (abandoned) and a disco on its site.  I love seeing things like that but it is also quite sad seeing buildings abandoned and falling apart.  

From there we went back down to the beach.  You can't see it from this photo but it was busy on the beach with a lot of families out walking.

When we got back from our walk we were all quite thirsty after the salty fried breakfast and the walk.
So Tony made some fresh lemonade for us all!!!!!

Heaven on earth!!!!!
Thank you to my wonderful hosts and to my other great friends who were there also, I had a wonderful time.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Chocolate log cabin

My sisters and I are having a Christmas competition to see who can make the best "confectionary house"
Here are the instructions of how I made my chocolate log cabin!

I decided I wouldn't go all the way and make my own sponge.  I cheated and bought some madeira cakes.
All the ingredients cost approx €15.

Cut and shaped my house

Further carved the edges to make it bond a little bit better.
I have no photo but essentially I covered it in chocolate icing/frosting.

I covered the house in chocolate fingers - for the windows and doors I used white chocolate and dark chocolate.  Plus made a chimney out of dark chocolate.

I fancied the tree up with a little candy cane fencing on either side. Plus then I cheated by putting a silver decoration from my tree of Santa and Rudolf on the roof :-)

This is my sister Kate's entry.  Wow!

And Lydias.  Wow!

I think we know who will be in third place :-(

Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Little Museum of Dublin

My cousin Kasey was given a great gift by her mam of membership to The Little Museum of Dublin.  As part of the membership she received an invitation to their Christmas drinks.

Before the party we went to Yamamori Isakaya for a bite to eat.

Cocktail special - 2 for €15.  I got a Sake Daiquiri and Kasey got an Isakaya Lychee (if I remember correctly!)

We ordered a few little tapas plates to share - tempura prawns, pork belly, prawn dumplings, sweet potato wedges, seaweed salad.  It was all delicious.

Then we headed over to The Little Museum of Dublin where we had a really lovely evening.

Nice glass of wine beside their impressive and pretty Christmas tree.

I loved all the 1980's memorabilia.

Jim Tunney - a Fianna Fail politician, and a neighbour of ours growing up.
The less I say about Bertie Ahern on the left probably best. My blood boils just thinking about him.

I stuck this picture up on facebook and it got a lot of reaction - seeing Santa in Switzers was a big part of a Dubliner's childhood in the 80's and the badge reminded and struck a chord with a lot of my friends.

Just before we were leaving (train to catch!) the director of the museum, Trevor White, introduced himself and we had a nice chat.  A very nice man - see him do a Tedx talk about Civic Pride here.

I'd never been to the museum before, but I certainly liked the flavour I got last week and will be back to do the tour and see the whole museum proper.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Forever Bright Sparkling Aloe Vera toothpaste

My sister Faith has been a proponent of aloe vera for sometime now.  So much so that she has started a business selling aloe vera products.

My first order from her was a toothpaste and a deodorant.  The deodorant appealed to me because it has no alcohol or aluminium salts in.  And while I like the deodorant, it is the toothpaste that has really impressed me!

I've had the toothpaste for weeks and weeks now - it seems to be lasting for ages.
Fluoride free which is great.  I really don't like the way the Irish Government add fluoride to our water, personally I prefer to make my own personal choice about things like that.

It is quite a unique colour for a toothpaste.  I was worried it would taste weird but it has a nice minty flavour to it.

So!  What's good about it?
My teeth feel cleaner than ever before - I think they look whiter (and brighter) and they actually feel much smoother.  Also my mouth feels really fresh after brushing and the fresh feeling lasts much longer than my usual toothpaste.  And all of this from a natural product with no bleaching agents.

I am really happy with this toothpaste and although it is more expensive than your usual toothpaste with my teeth looking and feeling so good I think it is worth it.

The next step for me is to try Aloe Vera proper - and drink it like a juice every day.

Check out Faith's Aloe Vera facebook page here to see all the aloe vera products available plus more details about the toothpaste.

Monday, 8 December 2014

A limitless co-incidence???

I was staying over in Enid's house last Thursday as we had our final visit to UCD the next morning for the Twin Study that we recently took part in.  Before we went to her house we popped into the Swan Centre as I needed to pick up something in Dunnes Stores.

The Swan Centre is one of the funniest places ever, Enid and I slag it by calling it a Dead Mall, but saying that, we always have fun there - and tonight was no different.

As we passed Dubray Books we saw they were having a book party/celebration with many authors speaking (Joseph O'Connor amongst them!) to celebrate 20 years in the Swan Centre.

We stood at the back and a nice friendly lady (a) offered us a glass of wine and (b) suggested we go up a side aisle to be nearer the speaker to hear better.

In we went and listened to a very nice man called Alan Glynn.  
I do like Dubray Books and while I was listening I was looking around.  I drew Enid's attention to a shelf beside her which said "local author - John Connolly" and we both gave a little nod and smile - we like things like that, bookshops going out of their way to highlight something interesting etc.
I then pointed to the next shelf which had another "local author" on it, and we both looked at each other in surprise - it was Alan Glynn!!!!

What are the chances that we could end up on the aisle, beside the shelf containing a book written by the person who was speaking????

And then we saw the book on the shelf - Limitless! This was the man who had written the book of the film Limitless, a film with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro.  
"I love that film!!!" the two of us mouthed at the same time.

So here it is, the man behind the book - literally :-)