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”

Umbrellas in Dublin

Self-deprecation gets you nowhere

Oh, you liked my latest blog post? You think I’m a good writer? Thank you! I mean, I think I’m alright and everything but there’s obviously much better writers out there than me. You see what I did there? Obnoxious, unnecessary, self-deprecation.

Lately, I’ve really noticed that I am bubbling over with self-effacing ‘jokes’, negative comments and rambling replies that rain all over my own parade. Now that I’ve realised this, I want to punch myself, Ed Norton in Fight Club-style, every time I do it. But surely there’s a better way to deal with self-deprecation that won’t leave me swimming in self-loathing or potentially with a black eye? There is. Continue reading “Self-deprecation gets you nowhere”

Living more sustainably in 5 small steps

True story: I joined Greenpeace when I was 8. I still have an envelope full of literature and stickers about the Ozone layer, Save the Whale and the dangers of pollution. Let’s just say I was a precocious, super sensitive little Sally Draper who was very obsessed with saving the planet. Plus, I’d read The Baby-sitters Club ‘Dawn Saves the Planet’ that summer and well, just about everything in my life can be traced back to The Baby-sitters Club books.

At the weekend I listened to Ali Cutler talk about her love of nature, Gaia theory and how to live sustainably on Atlanta de Cadenet Taylor’s podcast, I’m Over It, and then I read Al Gore’s comments on the current heatwave and I felt inspired to share a few easy things we can do everyday to live more sustainably. At the risk of sounding completely preachy, we only have one planet and time is running out for us to stop a complete catastrophe. Small actions make a huge difference. Continue reading “Living more sustainably in 5 small steps”

5 podcasts for creatives

Have I mentioned that I love podcasts? Oh, only about 800 times. And counting.

Some of my favourites are podcasts for creative entrepreneurs. Wide generalisation here but I find creative professionals hold their cards pretty close to their chests IRL so, when you’re a freelancer, it’s hard to find out the nuts and bolts of your profession without good ol’ trial and error. A lot of error.

I’ve found podcasts for creative entrepreneurs to be an absolutely invaluable source of practical tips and insider knowledge about running your own business in the 21st century. If you work in a creative field or you’ve got a side hustle you one day would love to turn into your main hustle, these podcasts will give you the tools, insights and inspiration to get things done to achieve your goals. In fact, they’ll pretty much be your career coach. Continue reading “5 podcasts for creatives”

5 Vegetarian Cookbooks Worth Buying*

(*or checking out of the library)

Nothing beats a glossy cookbook full of tantalising recipes to make me head straight for the kitchen. This week I wanted to share some of my favourite cookbooks for vegetarians, the books which really helped me figure out how to make vegetarian meals and which really got me out of a food funk.

These vegetarian cookbooks are all geared towards beginners and, as I have no culinary training myself and can’t deal with fussy recipes with ingredients I can’t pronounce, I can attest that anyone can follow these guides and cook healthy, delicious veggie meals. Continue reading “5 Vegetarian Cookbooks Worth Buying*”

How to deal with negative thoughts

This week I wanted to don my Oprah hat and write about something I think we all experience: negative thoughts and self-doubt. I’m told that self-doubt is as much a part of a writer’s DNA as coffee dependency, narcissism and nosiness. To be honest, that doesn’t really give me much comfort when I’m hunched over my laptop, paralysed with fear and self-loathing, as though the assignment I’m working on is the first thing I’ve ever written and wondering why the editor gave it to me of all people. So how do you stop that niggling negativity from completely taking over? Continue reading “How to deal with negative thoughts”