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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”

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”

10 Books To Read This Summer

Looking for a good book to read on the plane or while you’re lazing on the beach in Spain? (I did not intend for that to rhyme – I swear!) If you follow me on Instagram you’ll already know I’m a voracious reader (I’ve just started book 31 of the year – Murakami’s Norwegian Wood) so I decided to share my summer reading list. Some of these summer book recommendations I’ve already devoured and others I’ve yet to thumb through and no doubt there are some glaring omissions I’ll remember the second I hit publish. The best bit though? They’re all written by women. Continue reading “10 Books To Read This Summer”

Podcast recommendations #7: This Week I’ve Been Listening To…

Welcome to my weekly round-up of podcast recommendations! Again, all the interviewees are women (this was accidental – I swear!) and there’s a strong feminist theme so if you’re looking for some feminist podcast recommendations, step right up!

Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #7: This Week I’ve Been Listening To…”

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”