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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”

5 lessons I learnt in 2017

I really should’ve called this blog ‘Dear Diary’, shouldn’t I? It’s that time of year when we start to look back and make all kinds of fancy resolutions to hopefully make the next 12 months better than the last 12, and maybe even become shiny new versions of ourselves.

Taylor Swift aside, the general consensus is that 2017 was a shit show but, in an effort to be more positive, I learnt a lot this year. My wellness obsession swelled to new heights and led me to spend a lot more time delving into self-care and self-help, spaces I previously scoffed at. There’s no book, blog post or podcast which changed my mind about these things – maybe it’s just part of getting older – but this year I’ve spent more time considering my own choices, looking at why I and those around me do what we do and, as twee as this sounds, generally seeking to be a bit more understanding.

Here’s 5 of the big lessons I learnt and started to apply in my life in 2017 and a few podcast recommendations thrown in for good measure:

Continue reading “5 lessons I learnt in 2017”

4 ingredient date and cashew energy balls recipe for when you’re too busy to bake

Dear reader, please forgive me. I fully intended to post a round-up of easy vegan snack recipes for anyone who is looking for healthy snacks for Christmas but I just haven’t gotten around to it, thanks to the unpredictability of being a freelance writer. This weekend I managed to escape into the kitchen for half an hour, listen to a podcast (Leah Remini discussing Scientology on Ru Paul: What’s the Tee? – I 100% recommend it) and make these unbelievably easy date and cashew nut energy balls.

Similar to my recipe for coconut and cashew cookies, these balls are vegan, you only need 4 ingredients and there’s no baking required so, even if you’re time-strapped or not exactly Nigella in the kitchen, you’ll be able to make them. So, if you’re looking for a really delicious but healthy snack before you overindulge over the festive season, give these date, cashew and coconut energy balls a go. Continue reading “4 ingredient date and cashew energy balls recipe for when you’re too busy to bake”

Christmas events in Dublin

To celebrate the most wonderful time of the year, there’s Christmas events happening all across Dublin this month, from carol concerts to craft markets and free festivals.

Whether you’re visiting Dublin in December or you live in the city and you’re not sure what’s happening near you this Christmas, look no further – here’s a round-up of fun events in Dublin for Christmas 2017, including a few free and family-friendly options if you’ve got kids in tow.

Last week I did a round-up of non-Christmassy things to do in Dublin in December so, if you’ve had your fill of baubles and lights already, check it out.

Continue reading “Christmas events in Dublin”

5 Things to do in Dublin this December

Can you believe it’s December? I’m in shock. I used to be more of a Grinch about the festive season but the older I get, the more I love this time of year – yes, even the dark evenings. I particularly love Christmas in Dublin. Sure, it’s no Fifth Avenue but I love the Christmas lights on Grafton Street, the cosy open fireplaces in bars and the excuse to wear a ridiculous amount of layers and give up on your appearance. More than anything, I love counting down to going home for Christmas and the feeling of wrapping up everything I need to do before the festive season really begins.

With this in mind, I wanted to do quick post about 5 things to do in Dublin in December which is really a list of 5 things I myself hope to pack in this month. Some are brand new and others are new-ish but I just haven’t gotten around to checking them out. Next week I’ll do a roundup of Christmas events in Dublin so I’ve skipped really festive events.  Continue reading “5 Things to do in Dublin this December”

Podcast recommendations: Career and Business Podcasts for Women

I’m obsessed with hearing people’s stories. Not how they met their husbands (although, if it’s weird and wonderful, I’m all ears), more how they found what they’re good at, their huge mistakes and big breaks. As I mentioned before, I’m a big podcast fiend and, while most of my choices are pop culture podcasts, I absolutely devour any conversation with a successful woman talking about how she carved her career path.

A buttoned-up, businessy podcast would bore me to tears but I absolutely can’t get enough of chats with crazily successful women about their trials, tribulations and lessons learnt. If you’re too hard on yourself (which I am definitely guilty of) it’s amazing to hear that talented, on-top-of-their-game women experience self-doubt too and that it’s not plain sailing for anyone (despite what you see on social media). As well as giving me this fix of reassurance, I pick up a lot of useful tips from these conversations, from how to ask for a raise to digital marketing hacks.

My list of favourite podcasts is always growing but these are my current favourite business and career-oriented podcasts for women: Continue reading “Podcast recommendations: Career and Business Podcasts for Women”

Try this banana oat breakfast bars recipe for a healthy snack on the go

What’s the story with recipes that include a 2000 word intro before you’ve even seen a photo of a vegetable? Is this another one of those things that only annoys me, like Reply All email chains or text messages beginning ‘Hi’ not ‘Hi Lisa’ (ruuude)? I promise, I will never start a recipe with a long essay. But…

I will preface this banana oat bar recipe by saying that I first started making this recipe because I used to eat those ‘healthy’ cereal bars a lot, before I realised that there’s more sugar in them than in a cupcake and they’re pumped with palm oil, additives and all sorts of nasties. When I don’t eat on the hour, every hour, I get hangry, so I needed a healthy snack to pop in my bag and eat on the go. Continue reading “Try this banana oat breakfast bars recipe for a healthy snack on the go”

September Self-Care

Wait, it’s 30th September. Why am I writing a blog post about September? Well, like they say in The September Issue, September is the best month to shake off your old skin and start afresh. For me it’s been a month of change. It’s also the month where self-care really landed on my radar as a real, doable thing and not just a vague idea I read about on Goop.

Maybe it’s yet another thing you only appreciate as you get older, like drinking wine for the taste and not just to get drunk or young Tom Cruise. I used to scoff at the idea of taking care of myself but – hello, self-help bible alert – if you don’t look after yourself, no one else will. Self-care is all about the little things, from taking your make-up off every night (even when plastered) to just avoiding situations and people who cause you stress.

Self-care is an ongoing thing that I’m sure changes throughout your life, if not day-to-day. With this in mind, I just wanted to share six new self-care strategies and steps I’ve been trying this month: Continue reading “September Self-Care”

Commuter health: how to stay healthy – and sane – on your daily commute

So, I read an article in The Irish Times about Ireland’s long haul commuters (Limerick to Dublin commuters – I salute you!) and it inspired me to write about an aspect of commuting  I think is most important but that I don’t see covered regularly – commuter health.

If you’ve never really commuted or you enjoy a leisurely 25 minute cycle into the office, you’re probably thinking ‘commuter health? But they’re just sitting still for an hour!” Yes, I once thought that about commuting too. Then I had a bad experience with a greedy landlord (you know who you are) who wanted to exploit the housing crisis and I quickly found myself with nowhere to stay and forced into a two hour commute each day. Both ways.

To say it was a shock to the system would be an understatement. Let’s just say I went from smiley Ken Cosgrove to Season 7 Pete Campbell in six weeks. Continue reading “Commuter health: how to stay healthy – and sane – on your daily commute”

The easiest and best recipe for raw peanut butter and chocolate brownies

So I tried to make Reese’s peanut butter cups and this is what happened…

The other night I was absolutely craving Reese’s peanut butter cups but it was raining. Heavy. So I decided to try and make something to satisfy the peanut butter craving, y’know that would not involve me standing in the kitchen with a face mask on, eating it straight from the tub.

So this is my recipe for peanut butter and chocolate brownies and I swear it’s such an easy vegan snack recipe that the laziest of lazy girls can make it, everyone will love them and they’re raw so you don’t even have to bother baking them. And I bet you’ve got all the ingredients already in your kitchen. Should I just rename this blog Lazy Girl’s Guide to Baking?!

Continue reading “The easiest and best recipe for raw peanut butter and chocolate brownies”