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”

Podcast recommendations #3: This Week I’ve Been Listening To…

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.

Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #3: This Week I’ve Been Listening To…”

Things to do in Dublin: Get a history lesson at EPIC, the Irish Emigration Museum

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”

Working from home tips: How to be productive and not get cabin fever

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”

Looking for a nutritious vegan dinner recipe? This lentil stew is all you need

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”

Treat your sweet tooth with these no bake chocolate oat bites

‘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”

Smoothie recipes: this pineapple and blueberry smoothie is summer in a glass

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”