Freelance writing tips: 5 lessons I’ve learnt

I have a lot of opinions on being a freelance writer in Ireland in 2017. Although it’s offered me opportunities to work at companies I used to dream about while growing up in a small town, I still feel like the whole house of cards could collapse at any time, that every publication I write for could go the way of the dodo and we’ll all be replaced by ‘influencers’. Welcome to the Freelance Fear.

It’s an interesting but challenging time to be a journalist. Each week I hear that a journalist I thought was killin’ it has become a press officer or joined a tech company and there’s a strong sensation of ‘don’t wanna be the last one on this sinking ship’ when I meet other journalists, even editors. While it’s admittedly tough out there, at the same time it seems like everyone is a freelancer and there are few staff jobs anymore. In the US alone, more than a fourth of the workforce is now part of the freelance ‘gig economy’ so this way of working isn’t going away any time soon. Continue reading “Freelance writing tips: 5 lessons I’ve learnt”

Easy vegan recipes: 4 ingredient no bake coconut & cashew cookies

These no bake vegan cookies are so easy anyone can make them. Trust me. What’s more, I’m willing to bet everyone – even your picky, vegan-food-is-terrible friend – will love them – and eat them all on you. They are seriously the best raw cookies I’ve ever eaten. (Wait, can I say that about my own cooking?! Too late.)

Anyway, if you’re looking for a healthy vegan snack this weekend that’ll keep your sweet tooth at bay and that only requires 4 ingredients, here you go. Continue reading “Easy vegan recipes: 4 ingredient no bake coconut & cashew cookies”

Podcast recommendations #2: This week I’ve been listening to…

You want podcast recommendations? I’ll give you podcast recommendations! Last week I was out sick for a few days so I didn’t listen to anything, bar ‘Brass Monkey’ by the Beastie Boys on a loop, but this week my podcast-a-day habit is back with a bang.

I hate podcasts with long preambles so without further ado, here’s the podcasts I’ve listened to and loved this week:

Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #2: This week I’ve been listening to…”

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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”

Travel accessory review: STM Grace Deluxe laptop bag

Since I started freelancing I’ve left a trail of at least three broken handbags in my wake. I’ve broken the straps of two favourite handbags and one overnight bag all because I’ve been lugging my laptop around inside them (along with my usual OTT collection of Things I Can’t Leave Home Without). When you’re freelance, no day is the same and regularly when I have meetings in town, it’s just easier to take my laptop with me so I can set up shop in Starbucks between meetings rather than running home to do a bit of work. Sadly, handbags are not made for the weight of a not-so-slimline device and laptop bags are so…functional looking so I’ve avoided buying a proper bag. Hence, the strap situation.

So, I’ve had my eye out for a sturdy-but-stylish bag that can carry the laptop, as well as my purse, phone, notebook and all other non-essentials. Most importantly, because I’m superficial (jk) it has to look good and not, y’know, like a laptop bag. Enter Australian brand STM’s Grace Deluxe laptop bag, my current favourite tech/travel accessory. Continue reading “Travel accessory review: STM Grace Deluxe laptop bag”

Using coconut oil for psoriasis

Kim Kardashian and I have one thing in common. No, not a love of Kanye that others find inexplicable, not an oversized derriere or a knack for self-promotion (I wish). We’ve both got psoriasis, that chronic, systemic inflammatory skin disease. Kim Kardashian, me and 73,000 other sufferers in Ireland.

(Side note: finding out that a famous person who seemingly Has It All battles with things too always makes them more likable and relatable, doesn’t it?)

Anyway, I’ve been using extra virgin raw coconut oil on my psoriasis for a few months now and just wanted to share my experience.

Continue reading “Using coconut oil for psoriasis”

How to make Golden Milk in 5 minutes

“Decaf’s for babies!” I used to scoff, as I sipped my fifth coffee a day. Just call me the Gordon Gekko of caffeine. After all, you can’t be a cynical hack without being caffeinated, right?

After daily bouts of ‘am I dying?’ palpitations, crippling anxiety and severe nausea around 4 months ago, my love affair with the coffee bean came to a soggy, anticlimactic end. Well, I still indulge in a cup of joe first thing in the morning (ok, and an occasional Starbucks when I’ve had a long day) but otherwise I’m happy with that one kickstarter cup and plan on going caffeine-free completely. Eventually. Continue reading “How to make Golden Milk in 5 minutes”

Podcast recommendations #1: This week I’ve been listening to…

One of the only New Year resolutions I’ve actually kept was ‘listen to a new podcast everyday’. I’m embarrassed to admit that I only really got into podcasts last summer when I was commuting from further afield. Now I’m addicted and I probably listen to more podcasts than music – really!

As a result, I’m constantly referencing the conversations I’ve been listening to and recommending them so I thought this could be a good place to recommend the podcasts (and tunes) that have been soundtracking my days each week. Who knows – they might just take the pain out of your commute or make you have All The Deep Thoughts too. Continue reading “Podcast recommendations #1: This week I’ve been listening to…”

Visiting Dublin: my 5 favourite places

I’m baaaaaack! After a brief (ahem) hiatus, I’ve decided to bring myself kicking and screaming into 2017 with a new blog. And what better to write about than the city I’ve called home for almost – gulp – a decade?

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that most of the time you don’t appreciate what’s on your doorstep and, even though I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the place worthy of an Albert Hammond Jr track, writing this post about Dublin and just picking out the pics really did make me see Dublin through the eyes of a tourist and appreciate it a little bit more. Which was nice.

Continue reading “Visiting Dublin: my 5 favourite places”