Monday, 30 May 2016

New vinyl

Ever since I bought my record player I keep my eye out for vinyl and my record collection is slowly ever growing.
Today I picked up 3 more records in a little antique shop near my work.
This!  I am delighted with this!
Mam and I watched a documentary on John F Kennedy last week and this record was mentioned - it is a whole play/skit poking fun at the first family.  I look forward to listening to it. 
Quite a coincidence seeing it last week on tv in Florida, and seeing it this week for sale in Ireland.

Sweet Dreams - the soundtrack of the film about about Patsy Cline - and a Suzanne Vega album.  Both great easy listening.

Dress shopping

Mam, Enid and I are big fans of Lilly Pulitzer and if you remember I previously blogged about a dress that Enid bought on a facebook page before we went on holidays.
For posterity here is a pic of my "old" Lilly on the right.  I say "old" because on this trip I bought a new one!!!!

This is a more formal Lilly which I bought in a consignment store on White Street for then princely sum of $40.  I have a wedding coming up in July and will wear it for that.  I think it is very 60's looking so I shall be wearing it with hair and makeup inspired by Sharon Stone in Casino:
You might also like to see a second dress that I bought in Key West (in Ross!) for a wedding in December.
This is quite a vintage looking dress also.

I had been looking for a blue dress to wear with this fabulous blue vintage hat that Mam gave me as a Christmas present.  I'm happy to report that they are perfect colour matches - and as they are of the same (vintage) style it looks very cool as an outfit.

My mother is so clever.  To store the hat she also gave me this vintage makeup case.

It's perfect for the hat and doesn't it actually look like a proper hat box/case made specially for the hat?!



The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Considering I have been to the wonderful island of Key West many many times I did not think there was more magical places to discover and new things to do.  How wrong I was!
Near to the end of our trip I suggested to Dad that we go to the butterfly conservatory.  I figured it was something he would like, and I figured it would be an "ok" thing to do.  He was very keen, he said he had been to one in the UK and he really enjoyed it.
Entrance fee was around $13 which is fairly standard for attractions in KW.  Dad as a senior paid €9.
In we went and within seconds a butterfly landed on my shoulder blade and I quickly snapped a selfie!
The feeling of a butterfly's wings gently resting on your skin is just wonderful!
What is also wonderful was just walking and watching all the butterflies flitting and floating.  It was enchanting, and incredibly relaxing.

While we strolled through the trail another butterfly landed on my arm.  For the remainder of our visit, every now and again I stood still with my arms out to entice another butterfly landing but with no success.  From reading online it seems I was really lucky to get these two resting on me! 
Now, as great as the butterflies were wait until you hear about the flamingos!!! 

The conservatory also has two beautiful flamingos called Rhett & Scarlett. 

We were lucky enough to visit at a time when the flamingos were out having one of their daily walks.  I say walk but they go pretty fast!!!  Even on those spindly thin legs of theirs.  It's funny watching them strutting like supermodels.
They don't seem afraid of anything and come right up to you - I was afraid they might bite but the staff assured me they would not.

This photo makes me laugh. 
Looks like Dad was afraid too!!!

Sunday, 8 May 2016


Earlier this week I spotted a seagull (mom) sitting on her nest.  Unfortunately she also spotted me while snapping a pic, and she shouted and shouted until another seagull (dad) arrived and also shouted to warn me away.

Dad shouted and shouted like a lunatic - I got the message loud and clear and moved on leaving them in peace

You've got to admire the passion in protecting his partner and their precious nest

Monday, 2 May 2016

Best Breakfast Buffet in Ireland

I'm going out on a limb here to say that the Radisson Blu in Athlone has one of the best breakfast buffets I have seen outside of Las Vegas and Cancun.  As you may know I worked in The Gresham hotel as a teenager and while we used to do a pretty impressive buffet back in the day, the Radisson hands down beats it.
Some of the highlights of the buffet for me were:
A cereal bar with a large selection of seeds and nuts to sprinkle (sesame, poppy, sunflower, hazelnuts, cashews).
A cooked breakfast - all the full Irish trimmings, plus beans and spicy breakfast potatoes (nyom!)
Loads and loads of mini pastries, plus a "cut your own slice" of fabulous home made multi seed/nut brown bread
A juice bar which included an orange juicer and oranges where you could squeeze your own fresh oj
....and THIS!
This cooks you pancakes while you wait!

Follow the instructions (press a button) and in 60 seconds you have two pancakes

This photo isn't great but can you see the batter pouring out?
From here it moves through the heated rollers... voila!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The hen capital of Ireland

I was in Athlone for a hen party this weekend and I can safely say I have never ever seen so many hen parties in one town as I did last night.  I do feel sorry for any single "hens" out there who were looking for a stag party to mingle with because that was simply not an option!
On arrival we had a lovely afternoon tea of sandwiches, cakes, prosecco and tea & coffee.

Very classy altogether ;-)

We were then sent out into the town on a scavenger hunt which involved completing a list of tasks and sending back evidence via photograph on viber - how Generation Y did I feel!  Feel I said, I accept I am far from a Y :-(

Back to the hotel where the bride to be had a quick chat with Nuala Carey (weather girl from RTE!) to confirm the weather forecast for the wedding day - a scorcher apparently!  Then we all went to our rooms to get ready where we found little gifts from the bridesmaids which was a really nice touch.

The theme was 1920's/flapper girl and I was feeling the vibe!

How cool do we look as a group!