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… More
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”
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”
Welcome to another week of pop culture podcast recommendations! I’m at the stage where I have so many podcasts to listen to and not enough time to do it so when I came across this tweet from the always excellent Reductress, you can bet I laughed.
OK so, what podcasts should you listen to this weekend? Let me tell you.
EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum in Dublin’s CHQ Building, just celebrated its first birthday and I got the chance to join the festivities – and take a quick tour around the museum.
As I mentioned before, I’ve lived in Dublin for a long time but I’ve really been trying to inject a bit of magic back into my relationship with the city by being an urban explorer every chance I get and doing things I think are reserved for tourists.
Anyway, EPIC has been open on Dublin’s Docklands for the last year, making it the city’s newest museum. Even though the idea of a museum devoted to Irish emigration (a subject that’s loomed large over my life and everyone I know) piqued my interest, I had never bothered to visit.
Around the time it launched, I recall seeing the Che Guevara posters and scoffing to myself that the Argentine revolutionary couldn’t possibly have had Irish roots. Well, let me eat my floppy hat. Guevara was in fact the great-great-great-great-grandson of Irish emigrant Patrick Lynch from Galway. This isn’t the only genealogical surprise you get at EPIC; you quickly find out about the Irish ancestry of all sorts of pop culture people, ranging from Johnny Rotten to Rihanna. Continue reading “Things to do in Dublin: Get a history lesson at EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum”
If I got a euro for every time someone asked me ‘do you work in your pyjamas?’ when I tell them I work from home…well, I’d make more money than I do as a writer. After ‘who do you write for?’ that’s easily the most common question I get asked about my job and lifestyle.
As I mentioned here, the freelance economy is booming and in the US, 10% of employees now work from home. Whether you’re a writer or a virtual assistant, the market for freelance, remote workers is growing but for the majority, cubicle life is forever what they think of when it comes to work.
Contrary to what that oh-so-realistic cultural icon Carrie Bradshaw has led you to believe, working from home – especially as a journalist – is less ‘lusting over Louboutins’ and more ‘hey, have you met my husband? He’s called Macbook!’ Continue reading “Working from home tips: How to be productive and not get cabin fever”
It’s National Vegetarian Week so I decided to share my favourite recipe for vegan lentil stew, my go-to recipe when I’m feeling run down or I haven’t been looking after myself as well as I should.
I first came up with this recipe after I found out I had a vitamin b12 deficiency after a few years of traveling and not eating what my body needed. After 20 years of being a smug vegetarian who never so much as needed a packet of Galfer, I was angry with myself for being ‘one of those vegetarians’ and set out to add vitamin B12 into my diet as much as possible, which meant – as well as fortified foods – getting to grips with yeast extract. Some people detest Marmite but I promise you, you won’t even taste it in this recipe. More importantly, just 5g of Marmite gives you 25% of your recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin B12 so I try to eat this dish once a week at least.
As well as the high iron content of the green lentils and broccoli, I always serve it with a generous serving of bulgur wheat for extra B vitamins or quinoa for added protein on top of the tofu cubes. People always gripe that they’re never full after vegetarian food. Well, make this stew and you’ll be unzipping your skinny jeans, trust me. Continue reading “Looking for a nutritious vegan dinner recipe? This lentil stew is all you need”
‘Instagram is better than a travel magazine’, I declared to an unimpressed group of travel journalists about 4 years ago. The lesson here? Know your audience. But I still stick by my belief in Instagram’s influence.
As my wanderlust waned (more on that in another post) Instagram started to give me another kind of inspiration: #foodporn. And yes, I am now a member of the Photographing Your Food Twenty Times As It Goes Cold group. Anyway, I’ve found so many amazing plant-based food bloggers and accounts, including Plant Based Jane, the Minimalist Baker and – my favourite – the Beaming Baker. And discovered a whole world of easy recipes and ideas to try in my own cooking.
The Beaming Baker has an unbelievably easy but addictive recipe for peanut butter and coconut bites that I can’t stop making (and my housemate can’t stop eating when I’m at work). As I mentioned before, I’ve been trying to go vegan after twenty years as your standard vegetarian (OK, I was vegan for almost two years in my early twenties) but this has been one of those weeks where I just NEED chocolate…and it’s only Tuesday.
So, I decided to add chocolate to Beaming Baker’s recipe and see how it turned out. The verdict? Continue reading “Treat your sweet tooth with these no bake chocolate oat bites”
So you’ve bought a pineapple and now you don’t know what to do with it. Three words: make a smoothie. A totally tropical, Instagram-worthy treat that’s easy to make and will remind you of knocking back exotic cocktails on holiday – without the hangover. As I’ve mentioned before I’ve been trying to cut down on sugar but the pineapple in this smoothie kicks those crazy sugar cravings down the street. Hallelujah!
But where will you find such a recipe? Et voila! Here’s the recipe for this delicious pineapple and blueberry smoothie I can’t get enough of: Continue reading “Smoothie recipes: this pineapple and blueberry smoothie is summer in a glass”
Cat videos, insane ‘look like a Kardashian’ contouring beauty tutorials, the fact you can google Jonathan Taylor Thomas and find out in seconds where he went – these are just a few of the best things about the internet. Oh and that whole keeping in touch with people thing.
We all love the internet but I’ve definitely noticed a shift where it’s just not as cool as it was to constantly be online. Comments about how good it feels to go out without your smartphone or go on a staycation without any devices are becoming standard office small talk and writing digital detox tips are now de rigueur for lifestyle journalists like myself. Plus, all those studies about the negative effect of social media on your mental health are hard to ignore. Continue reading “Digital detox tips: How to spend less time on the internet”
Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to cut down on sugar but I just can’t seem to kick the cravings for something sweet, especially after dinner. Going sugarfree is making me go a bit Incredible Hulk so to combat this, I’ve been exploring the world of baking. Or should I say no-bake baking because I am all about the raw vegan treats these days, as you can probably tell from my Instagram.
My favourite, most addictive creation to date are these no bake brazil nut and date squares covered in melted dark chocolate. Words won’t do justice to how delicious these vegan snacks are but they’re kinda like caramel squares but healthier and so easy to make. Trust me, someone who can’t make a Pot Noodle can make these. Continue reading “Easy 4 ingredient snack recipe: the best raw snack you’ll ever eat”