iphone captures

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Suffering from a bit of a tummy bug earlier this week was not fun.  Gaining my appetite and energy back after 72 hours however, was so very welcome.  Especially when it means getting back to spending time with those near and dear.

Now admittedly, this photo from yesterday's breakfast is not the most flattering photo of us.  Some or all of them will call me out for it too. Having said that, they know I adore the absolute bits off them and this post is about girlfriends.  A few of whom are in the above photo and many others whose images are in folders on my desktop, on my iPhone or not in my possession at all; truth is, it does not matter.  They are without a doubt, where they are most cherished- ever so present in real life.

I never quite understood the power of friendships as much as I do now.  The women in my life are my sisters, my advice-columnists, teachers, dance partners and my forever cheerleaders.  Some of them can read me like an open book and others just know how to draw me out when I'm hiding. If you've been in my company, you know how much I value my friendships (both male and female alike) but with my girlfriends, that bond has turned into one of my most cherished.

Grateful this holiday season to be surrounded by some of the best I've ever known.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

This time of year always seems to be a reflective one for me (maybe you too?).  I tend to get easily swept in the hustle of the holidays, the gatherings, the pace of work - then in the same breath, feel the weight of another year coming to an end.  Truthfully, I had no grand accomplishments this year.  I didn't travel every month as I did last year, my work hours were definitely less strenuous overall , I published more but not as much as I would have liked.  This blog took considerable, long, quiet pauses.  I think in so many ways it was an accurate reflection of all the ongoings of a very transformative two years.

More than anything, I became an observer.  I also became more acutely aware of my own voice.  For someone who for so long had been a people-pleaser (and still remains so), who regarded herself in the way others viewed her, it is a massive experience to discover your own desires without allowing others to interfere.

It has also been an incredible experience to find myself around people who nurtured that growth. Women who did not bat an eye when I spoke about my many misgivings and instead, challenged me to be better.  Men who constantly rise to the occasion of humour and logic in the day-to-day.  Children at work who will forever remind me about patience and love.

No, I did not have the most successful of years but I am reminding myself to be thankful for the quiet magnitude of its silence.  And to be honest, December has been a pretty mighty month.  I turn a year older soon and get to take a trip away to mark it all off.  Writing this I feel a lot more at peace with a year of pause,  I have a feeling it is going to lead to bright new adventures in the year to come.  Sometimes we all need that time to guide ourselves in the right direction.

Wildflour Bakery

Friday, December 12, 2014

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Meet my Wildflour Bakery flashcards of sorts.  I have in the past bought many a birthday/celebration cake, the just-because treats, the I-need-a-Wildflour-sweet and most recently shared a spiced clementine, Toonsbridge ricotta with honey and rosemary cake at work with colleagues to bring in some holiday cheer.

I am very lucky to call Kate a dear friend, but boy this lady is seriously ruining every chance of me ever getting over my sweet tooth cravings.  This is the sort of sweets heaven I cannot help but want to share with everyone I know.  'Inspired, Irish, beautiful' - done, done and done.

Completely sold on all this bakery goodness.

A little collaboration

Monday, December 8, 2014

Dublin can often feel like an old, cherished friend- full of memories, ups and downs and experiences that somehow turn into the greatest of stories or (embarrassingly) the cringe-worthy sort that still deserve to be told. I fell in love in this city, did cartwheels on the Ha'penny bridge at midnight for no good reason, discovered I prefer the taste of cider to beer and learned that there is nothing better than fresh air and sea to give clarity to the toughest of situations.

I've never done a collaboration post before, (insert the usual tag lines that arise from that sort of sponsored thing) but this one sharing my view of all that this city has to offer with these guys just feels right, in good time and being that friend who is always trying to create beautiful and inspiring for those around her - it seems fitting to finally share it here too.

This is my current little see, hear, do and eat cheat sheet of sorts.picisto-20130714173541-568954 DSC_0585
See: I am a walker.  I adore the fresh air for any bit of day and even if it is just the long way into the city- I do it. Thankfully, places like Glendalough, Howth, Dun Laoghaire and the cliff walk from Bray to Greystones make it a worthwhile camera-happy experience.  When that just doesn't do, road trips are the next best thing.  Our friends took the most envious of ones not too long ago and I am now convinced that rain or shine, this wee island somehow always delivers in full.DSC00094 (1) DSC00202 (1) DSC00233 (1) DSC00241 (1)
Eat:  This list is constantly changing. And just when I think it couldn't get any better on the food scene, it does.  My waistline is obviously so pleased, as are my sweet friends who I am constantly urging to join me in these ventures.  A few on my love list at the moment. For brunch: Sister Sadie and San Lorenzos.  For the not-your-regular-pub-experience-which-will-quickly-become-your-regular: L. Mulligan Grocer.  For the win: Forest Avenue (book well in advance!) For wine, the quality of produce and your splurge grocery: Fallon & ByrneDSC_0170 DSC_1023Experience:  Pop-ups are a thing.  I adore that lately, it has been expanding into anything that could possibly take your fancy in Dublin.  Wreath-making, gigs, cooking, shopping, dining, movies, inspirational talks.  For a different meal experience: Living Dinners, Dublin pop-up, News of the Curd, French Foodie.  For music and cinema: Sugar Club, Homebeats.  For inspirational: Image Networking Breakfasts, Lovin' Dublin events.  For the memories: a bike ride in Phoenix park, a pint at Neary's and a guide through Trinity College.  And of course, for something-different-you-wouldn't-necessarily-try-had-you-not-known, refer to: Le Cool guides. DSC_0005 photo (3) picisto-20130619064921-781672 DSC_0162
Any single combination of the above see + eat + experience blurbs has been included in that familiar enthusiastic email I send to friends and family coming round on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.  And while there are still always good and bad days- even after all these years, those bright coloured doors of the city still charm me plenty.

(A sweet thank you to Judit for allowing me to edit and share the 'see' photos)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

I must learn to love the fool in me- the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self-control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries.  It alone protects me against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom I also harbour and who would rob me of my human aliveness, humility and dignity but for my Fool. 

Theodore Isaac Rubin

Siobhan Lam | April and the Bear

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Siobhan Lam is the jam.  Discovering new, inspiring ladies doing incredible things these days is the best sort of mojo for me. This lady is no exception- she's bright, has her own unique taste and her uncanny ability to make that into the next 'why is this not in my home already' purchase is pretty incredible.  She's fresh, authentic and just so darn cute- it's hard not to girl crush.  Yesterday, she opened up her home to the sweetest little festive shopping experience. I dare you to find an attendee there who did not want to buy everything in that space.

And because, I am always a curious creature- a little mad lib of sorts follows with a peek of the bear bash that was. DSC_0407
Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, loyal, worrier. DSC_0409
Best thing about having your own business: The freedom to follow your instincts.
Worst thing about having your own business: The inability to ever switch off, it's a 24/7 occupation.  DSC_0401
Things I know now that I didn’t last year: If you want something enough and work hard enough, it will come.

Things that get your creative mojo moving: I'm a very visually inspired person so adore blogs with beautiful photography like this one, the sartorialist and thisisnthappiness. Music wise, Little Green Cars are amazing - every tune is so atmospheric and they're Irish! I'm also terribly inspired by passionate business women that are doing it for themselves like Jennie of Opsh, Jen of Moss Cottage and my biggest inspiration my incredible Mum. 
Favorite place(s) in Dublin right now: Dillingers in Ranelagh for the BEST brunch in the city and Bernard Shaw for the liveliest and most delish coffee. DSC_0394
All I want for christmas is: A busy shop and some downtime with my lovely family.

Best advice you’ve ever been given: When I was learning to drive I was extremely nervous and wanted to throw in the towel almost immediately but my Mum told me to look out of the car and at the other people driving. She said if those people can do it so can I. Simple but effective. I've tried to apply this to every facet of my life. DSC_0417
Not so secretly, I am unbearably excited for all the the things this little lady is going to dream up.

Subtle simplicity

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

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Last week, when I was beginning my usual transformation into a walking, talking baby virus (thank you work and winter season!) the sweet souls of Informal Florist dropped off a beautiful holiday wreath that now adorns the living room.  With the constant reminder of Christmas being 'just around the corner' these florals and neutral palette Claire created for Emily's birthday celebration last year are just the amount of winter I can handle right now.  Subtle simplicity- my favourite kind of holiday.

ps. Happiest belated to you Emily. 

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