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Staying at the Sandymount Hotel, Dublin

There’s always something special about staying at a hotel in the city you live in. It feels like a real treat, a brief blast of indulgent escapism from your normal life of doing the dishes, grudgingly sorting out the laundry and throwing together dinner from last night’s leftovers before settling down to your ‘Sex And The City’ boxset.

This weekend I got to indulge in 24 hours of escapism when I stayed at a Dublin hotel I’d shamefully never heard of before – The Sandymount Hotel, a family-run home-from-home that’s been in business since 1955 and that’s right beside the Aviva Stadium. (FYI if you’re attending a match or event at the Aviva, this is THE place to stay, as I soon found out on Saturday morning as I bravely battled through the deluge of enthusiastic rugby fans heading in the opposite direction.) Continue reading “Staying at the Sandymount Hotel, Dublin”

Productivity tips and tricks for freelance writers

What’s the key to freelance success? Being productive when you work for yourself requires good old-fashioned discipline and ninja time management skills. At the risk of sounding like a 1980s business bible, time management is absolutely essential for freelance success. Of course there are other factors – being tenacious, pursuing all leads and just blind fate. But in my experience once you’ve mastered managing your time, you’ll hit your productivity stride, your clients will be happy enough to give you more work and the mythical work-life balance we hear so much about can actually happen. Continue reading “Productivity tips and tricks for freelance writers”

5 Things To Know About Going Vegan

Vegans wear dreadlocks, tie-dye and stink of patchouli, right? Think again. In recent years, the word vegan has gone from hippie dippie to (dare I say it?) kinda cool, thanks in no small part to famous names like Jared Leto, Beyonce and even Arnold Schwarzenegger swapping pork for plants.

I’ve been a vegetarian for over 20 years (making me *cough* 22) and spent almost 3 years as a committed vegan. There’s been a huge shift in attitudes towards eating healthier in Ireland in the last 5 years (I could rant allll day about how many ‘rabbit food’ comments I’ve gotten over the years but I won’t bore you) so it’s thankfully much easier now to have a diet that’s not meat and potatoes but going vegan is still a big lifestyle change for most people. Continue reading “5 Things To Know About Going Vegan”

Podcast recommendations #6: This Week I’ve Been Listening To…

This week I was working from home a lot so that meant less time on buses and less time listening to podcasts. Boo! Still, I managed to pack in a few quality conversations while I baked, including finding out how lust-worthy website The Coveteur was founded and about the early life of Hollywood legend Jane Fonda. And yes, once again, each podcast is presented by a woman – women are really kicking ass in the podcasting world, aren’t they? *insert fist emoji*

Here are my podcast recommendations but if you’ve listened to anything good lately, I would love to hear about it so let me know in the comments: Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #6: This Week I’ve Been Listening To…”

It’s July. Here’s a recipe for the greatest soup of your life – sweet potato, spinach and coconut.

I don’t know what it’s like where you are but here in Ireland, it’s wet ‘n windy…and I contemplated putting the heating on at the weekend (hello, climate change). I settled for a cozy blanket instead. I know, I’m a weather wuss.

So, I needed something cozy to eat too while I binged on Twin Peaks and hid from the rain. And what’s cozier than soup? At this stage I’m 95% sweet potato and coconut so unsurprisingly these two delicious ingredients make this really rich soup so great. Did I mention it’s vegan, sugarfree and so easy to make you only need 30 minutes to whip it up? Sold!

Here’s my recipe for sweet potato, coconut and spinach soup: Continue reading “It’s July. Here’s a recipe for the greatest soup of your life – sweet potato, spinach and coconut.”

Podcast recommendations #5: This Week I’ve Been Listening To….

Welcome to another week of pop culture podcast recommendations! This week I have bizarrely had ‘Set It Off’ by Strafe playing in my head every single day (don’t ask) but when I wasn’t listening to classic hip hop on a loop in my mind, I delved deep into podcasts about Old Hollywood glamour, how to make your business idea a reality and, on a more serious note, into a subject we should all care more about – homelessness. Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #5: This Week I’ve Been Listening To….”

5 easy ways to use turmeric everyday

Move over coconut oil, turmeric is the superfood du jour.

I thought everyone was on the turmeric train already but I saw a story on the front page of the Irish Independent last Wednesday announcing that turmeric is the new avocado so I guess we’re just catching on to turmeric’s antioxidant powers in Ireland. With this in mind, I just thought I’d share the ways I’ve been sprinkling this fantastically hued spice into my life. If you think turmeric is just for curries, think again. But before we get to that, let’s talk about why turmeric is so good for you. Continue reading “5 easy ways to use turmeric everyday”

Networking tips for people who hate networking

‘It’s all who you know.’ Is there a more discouraging sentiment when you’re starting out in your career? After finding out that your arts degree is in fact worthless, I can’t think of a more sinking realisation than the one where you realise connections, not your First Class Honours degree or last slave labour internship, are what catapult you further up the ladder.

After a few years of feeling all ‘why me?’ about growing up in a small town and therefore having no ties to the all-important Dublin-centric media, I started to realise that the personal connections thing works both ways. If I could just bump into people and make a good impression…that was an opportunity to make the connections I was so lacking. Sounds easy, right?

There’s just one problem: I loathe networking. Continue reading “Networking tips for people who hate networking”

Fancy a healthy snack? Try these oat-so-good banana oat cookies

Someone at work recently asked me what I do for ‘downtime’ and I said ‘listen to podcasts and bake.’ (I didn’t think ‘worrying’ was the correct answer.) So today I made cookies and listened to an interview with Prozac Nation author Elizabeth Wurtzel, one of my favourite writers, talking about smuggling cocaine into Norway in her diaphragm and almost destroying her writing career. Cocaine smuggling and cookie recipes go hand-in-hand, ya know.

Anyway, against this unlikely soundtrack I made the easiest healthy 4 ingredient cookies ever. Bananas, oats, coconut and sesame seeds. That’s it. I’m always looking for a healthy snack to binge on when I’m hunched over my laptop on a deadline – and I love recipes with 3 or 4 ingredients so I don’t have to go shopping for baking ingredients I’ll never use again – so these vegan oat cookies are my new go-to healthy snacks when I need a sugar-free pick-me-up. Continue reading “Fancy a healthy snack? Try these oat-so-good banana oat cookies”