Friday 30 December 2022

1953 bathroom

If you've been following my blog you will know that I'm terribly fond of my bathroom and it's 1953 tile work.  Well recently we had a bit of a shock when a pipe related to the sink completely disintegrated and there was talk of the whole wall/bathroom needing to be torn apart to fix it. 

So as much as I love the bathroom and didn't want to have to do all that work...I admit I did get a little caught up in the prospect of a new bathroom and did do some googling of modern styles etc.

It turned out to be an easier job (although still a little complex) and while it took time and labour, no major construction was needed. Phew.

So next thing I started thinking of, was to put a crazy patterned mid century wallpaper. Patrick wasn't entirely on board with the idea but he said he didn't mind too much either way also. In the heel of the hunt, I went off that idea and instead just decided to change out the mirror from a crazy parrot one that I disliked to something plain and simple, and vaguely 1960s.

And here it is:


Thursday 29 December 2022

Christmas Day food

Started the day off right with Christmas tradition of baileys coffee!!

Appetizers! Devilled eggs and a charcuterie board

Was very pleased how this came out. We had 4 cheeses (Brie, blue, manchego and Irish cheddar), Italian prosciutto, Spanish ham, Spanish sausage and French patê. 

And then the main! Stone crab claws!!!
Which everyone just loved!
Washed down by a bottle of veueve cliquot.

Patrick's mam's dessert - a French brandy, type of tiramisiu. Very nice indeed!

The eating continued when I went back to work and Paul made me a lovely Irish rasher sandwich for lunch:



Saltwater Catfish sting

Whether we are out checking our crab traps or just doing a spot of fishing, I pride myself on being brave and tough out on the water.

Last week however, something happened that tested my mettle - plus we both got a little reminder in peril and preparedness.

I was pulling in catfish after catfish. Rather strange as (a) I'd never seen them in that spot before and (b) Patrick wasn't catching any [catfish].  

Anyway, all this stuff I read about later on the internet, but unknown to me at the time: if you get stabbed by a catfish fin it has venom in it which really hurts. And also, they wriggle around a lot, which means there is a higher chance of getting stabbed. And of course this happened to me! 

So there I am, in quite a bit of pain, and goddammit I am struggling with getting the hook out of the fish. They also all seemed to swallow the hook quite deep. So I'm just working away trying to get it out. Whilst also saying to Patrick how painful the puncture still is (bearing in mind neither of us know about the whole venom thing). Eventually the hook slips out and I grasp my hand to my stomach in pain. Patrick said to me, "do you want to call it now and we just go home?" It was about an hour earlier than we had planned to leave... I held up my hand with blood streaming all down my wrist "yep, I think we probably should go".  The poor fella got quite a shock "omg! Is that YOUR blood?" 

Lesson learned:
And of course we had nothing to clean my hand with: no neosporin, no wipes, no bandaids. I was a a bit disappointed in myself about that to be honest. We always joke that Patrick is the captain and I'm the first mate/safety officer. So since then, you will be happy to know I've put together a nice little First Aid kit in a good solid, sealed, fishing box and left it on the boat.

I rinsed my hand off with the hose when I got to the dock. The pain felt worse, which I thought was caused my the pressure of the hose but again, on the internet, found out that cold water activates the venom. And that hot water is good for it. Which makes sense because when I had a shower at home I remarked to Patrick that it felt so much better afterwards.

So that was the drama there! All good. It stopped paining after a few hours and that was that...until a few days later when my body rejected and pushed a tiny bit of fish spine/fin out the wound. Bleughh!! Lol. All good.

Second lesson:
Be extra careful around catfish!!!! 

Saturday 10 December 2022

Grill repair

 Firstly, please excuse the quality of my photographs lately.  My phone jumped out of my purse while I was cycling along White Street. And if that wasn't bad enough, I promptly ran over it. It all happened very quickly 😞 The only damage was to the camera; the lens got a little cracked and is letting in too much light now. Ugh

Another ugh is that our barbecue stopped working during the week. We bought a fancy Weber a few years ago, which we really love, so it was a tad worrisome. Plus, Patrick's family are here this month so really need a functioning grill!

Patrick's first thought that it was a dodgy propane tank so this morning he got a new one. Nada.  I took a look. I figured that we knew the propane was good. And the sparking mechanism was working fine.  So I figured it must be something between those two things: it had to be the gas line. I noticed that in one place; where it had been screwed to the grill, it appeared to be pinched. So after unscrewing it and adding a few cable ties to reshape it in to a proper tube we tried the cooker again. Et voila! Success

Monday 5 December 2022

Christmas 2022 - preparations

For the first time in such a long time we will have guests for Christmas Day! Patrick's parents are here on the island for the whole month of December, and his sister and brother and wife are flying in for a week or so around Christmas.

Our plan is to do something totally different from the Irish or Canadian traditional Christmas Day dinner.  I find the weather, as beautiful as it is, really does not work for the big old Turkey and ham dinner etc etc.

We are working on....CRAB CLAWS! We are checking our trabs every week or two and we want to have a total of 21 claws which is 3 per person.  We have 17 so far so all is looking positive.

So! We will have a little smorgasbord of cheeses, crackers and Spanish ham and sausage etc prepared for the first course.  This will be laid out buffet style inside the house on the kitchen island.  When people arrive we will serve some festive beverages and people can help themselves to the board.

And then for the second course, the main act, we will head outdoors to eat.  We will serve the claws atop a big platter of ice and I will make key lime mustard to serve alongside.

I have some cute little Paul Costello paper napkins for drinks, some Christmassy red (Dunnes) for the cheese course and then some cute candy canes striped clith napkinsfor the main course

And I am excited to use my Spode crockery this year!  I bought it after last Christmas so this is the first time using it

Support small businesses / Project Tom McCabe

 One thing that I am doing lately, and something that I will incorporate into my New Years Resolutions for 2023, is to try avoid buying new where I can buy second hand.  In particular, I am thinking of my beloved Lilly Pulitzer.  It is ridiculously expensive and guess what, the last two dresses I have found on facebook marketplace for a fraction of the cost.  And I am reusing something that someone else is finished with and avoiding it being thrown out into landfill etc.  So much better for my pocket book and for the environment win, win, WIN.

I am also trying to buy local and/or support small businesses. To that point I want to recommend these AMaaaaaAAAZING earrings from Taryn McCabe in San Francisco. I fell in love with these stunning "shoulder duster" leather cascade earrings.  What you cannot see from pics online is a how lusciously glossy, shiny they are.  Just beautiful.

And because it was cyber Monday, there was a special, and I also got these in GOLD.  Again, so shiny.  I would never have thought that leather could look so glitzy.  I think I shall wear them to my holiday party. 


Would you have ever thought that leather would make good earrings?  Well it does!  Lightweight.  Very wearable. And so eyecatching.  Extremely unique.  

These would make a great Christmas gift for someone who likes hand crafted, "something different" and quality at the same time.

Her Etsy shop is HERE

Ranelagh at Christmas

 One of my favorite parts of Dublin all year round is Ranelagh.  However, at Christmas time, this is when Ranelagh comes even more alive.  Great pubs, great restaurants, just perfect for cozy nights warm in a pub, chatting and whiling a few hours away with friends.  The village looks beautiful all lit up with their christmas decorations and lights and even their Spar looks great - with a christmas tree on it's terrace roof, it was featured in one of their ads a few years back.

And! It is a great place for shopping for lovely special gifts. I like going into Redmonds to buy a nice bottle of wine or champagne for Christmas day and they are always helpful in there...

This year there is going to be a great little pop up event/store in Ranelagh Arts.  Ranelagh Arts is conveniently located right at the luas station - which is just two stops away from the Stephens Green stop.  They will have a group of artists who are presenting a selection of their curated artwork,  Perfect for a gift for a beloved, or heck why not buy yourself the gift of Art (which lasts forever) and get yourself something amazing.

Featured amongst these artists will be local man: PIGSY

Throughout the duration off the "Art Deli" pop up (8th of Dec to 22nd Dec) there will be Christmas cheer with canapes and cocktails, so call in to Ranelagh Arts to view the artworks, chat with the artists and find that Perfect Gift.  Why not have some mulled wine and enjoy a mince pie or two!

Sunday 20 November 2022

My new favourite hotel

 It has been a dream of mine for about a decade or so to have stayed in The Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. I would go for a drink in the bar, or gaze at it as I walked by, and dream about an overnight stay.

Back in June/July of this year that dream was fulfilled and it really was as lovely as I thought it would  be. It also was just lovely staying right in the heart of Dublin and going our for dinner etc and then back to the fab hotel.

Well this weekend gone, The Shelbourne has been surpassed and I have found my new favourite. The (Fairmont) Royal York in Toronto! 

The lobby in the afternoon when we arrived to check in

The lobby the day after, when I guess they put up their Christmas decorations, while we were sleeping.

Beautiful tree in centre of the hotel!

So, when I told Patrick it was my favourite hotel he said...really?? More than The Shelbourne?? More than The Powerscourt Hotel.  He also affirmed that he thinks the Powerscourt is his favourite. 

And while yes, undoubtedly the Powerscourt Hotel is just beautiful...

(Not our room...Lounge area!!)

...and we did have the most amazing upgraded room! Whereas, in both The Shelbourne and The Royal York, our rooms were the very standard and SMALL!!!

But as I said to Patrick. "Yes, powerscourt is fab. And indeed, it is in the middle of the beautiful Irish countryside"
And that's when it hit me "well of course you love the Powerscourt hotel, it is in the middle of the country. And of course I love the Royal York, it is in the middle of the city"

Town mouse versus Country mouse

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Fantasy Fest & Halloween in Key West 2021

The Halloween season started for me, with a late invitation to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  I tried to scramble together a costume but was really struggling, until the night before when I decided I would go as BRAD!!!  Although, when I posted this on facebook, a few people commented that they have always thought myself and my twin look like a young Susan Sarandon.  What a compliment! Yoink, I'll take it! 

Myself and two friends dressed as Janets.  We had a lovely cocktail in The Saint before heading over to the Tropic movie theatre.


I went solo to see the Bum Farto musical.  It was a cute and funny production!  Great dancing.  Is it Broadway standard? No! But it was great for Key West.  And I love the San Carlos Theatre where it was shown.  A very enjoyable evening.


Tutu Tuesday!

Patrick and I ventured downtown as we always do for Tutu Tuesday.  It is always one of our most enjoyable events of Fantasy Fest.  It is fun people watching and check out their costumes.

We popped up to Halo to say hi to Paul

Bumped into my friends Isabelle and Emily as we Always Do, Every Year.  Fun!

A classic photo snapped outside Sloppy Joe's


We then laid low because knew needed to conserve energy for Saturday! The big event!!!

For the first time ever The Saint entered a float into the parade!  I took charge of organizing it and came up with a simple ideas of a vintage car and some cute angels.

My friend Bill's 1974 Corvette Stingray! Just beautiful

First!  A meet & greet for hotel guests.  

Have you ever seen a happier smile?

What a fun, fun day!!!


I made a little newsletter of all the events going on in The Saint during the week. 


A good old Irish home (Amy) made costume lol!


My little munchkin in her costume - she is a pint of Guinness :)  
A bit of side eye thrown in for good measure


Leia.  My niece...

...remind you of anyone?