Friday, September 28, 2012

Fun Pix Fridays #32

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All the pooches.  Have a lovely weekend xx.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thing #73: Go on a picnic

Before I headed back to the UAE last month, we took a  picnic to Woodstock Gardens in Inistioge to celebrate the Italian festival of Ferragosta.  None of us are Italian, or claim any Italian roots- but sometimes its nice to have an excuse for pretty bunting, vintage paper straws and excessive amounts of home baking!

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Since the weather is never predictable in Ireland, we decided to pick a date and just stick with it.  We only considered changing plans when the weatherman predicted thunderstorms, but my Dad insisted that they don’t know what they are talking about.  On the day, it only rained in pockets and we were well prepared when it did!

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Picnic time is the best kind of family time.  Everyone brought something different to the table and each took very special care with their offerings.  Fiona and my Mam baked up a storm (like you wouldn’t believe) the night before.  I made a cake (of the peanut butter variety), my Aunt Dee’s version of potato salad and bought the fancy San Pellegrino orange.  Jamie brought Fresh Wexford strawberries and homemade brown bread.  Claire brought Katie- the best gift of all.

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My mam’s quiche is an adaptation of this one, but she ingeniously substitutes puff pastry for the usual shortcrust!

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Fifi’s Fusion Salad (a deconstructed Caprese Salad with cous-cous) and Franks in Blanks (mini sausage rolls made with Frankfurters) served with a tangy mustard dip.  Tasty-town central.

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More of Fiona’s creations:  blueberry cornmeal muffins and homemade date chocolates.  Fiona loved Bateel dates so much when she was in Dubai that she decided to make her own version.  This girl is cray-zee talented.

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After eats, we wandered around the gardens, played on the swings and got up to all kinds of tomfoolery.

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Thanks for making my last weekend at home so lovely, peeps! xx

€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you too would like to donate online.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NYC Nails

During this New York Fashion Week,  I didn’t follow the catwalk shows as closely as I usually do.  I found myself drawn into what was going on backstage.  For me, the hair, make-up and in particular, nail trends are always the best bits.  You can be inspired and imitate without it costing an absolute fortune.

So, for those of us who don’t have a fortune to spend:

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Sally Hansen for Prabal Guruing in Angel Bite

It’s weird that I find this appealing, not least because of all my blood-related phobias.  I love that its theatrical and macabre without being completely over-the-top.

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Revlon Top Speed nail enamel in Spirit, worn for the Rag & Bone show

White nails.  White goes with everything.  It’s the new black.  Was that too obvious?

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OPI for Jason Wu

Or maybe this is the new black: a colour I can only describe as off-black.  I love it!  This is OPI in Suzi Skis in the Pyrenees.  Wouldn’t you buy it for the name alone?

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Essie for Carolina Herrera

I never opt for a French manicure- it should be the ultimate in neutral sophistication but I think it always ends up with the white looking too white for an overall unnatural look.  This, to me is what a French manicure should look like: clean and simple.  You can achieve this by applying the white tip first, followed by two layers of Essie nail polish in Adore-A-Ball.  Wouldn’t this be the perfect wedding look?

More on pinterest, if you like.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thing #72: Be able to hold a short conversation in French

There is this strange thing that happens after I drink  a few vodkas: my French improves.  No really, it does!  I know you’re probably thinking what really happens is my confidence in speaking French improves, or my perception of my level of fluency increases… but you’re wrong.  I’ve tested this, pretty much scientifically, and the results were conclusive.  My level of oral French improves in direct proportion to the amount of vodka consumed… up to a certain ceiling of course, after which I would undoubtedly be unconscious.  It unexplainable- like how people can awake from a coma suddenly fluent in a foreign language of which they previously had no exposure to- except perhaps not as miraculous.

Roisin and I visited Paris earlier this year- you know all about that!  In the knowledge that Roisin had mastered only the most basic phrases (Bonjour, Merci, Au revoir…), I tried to brush up on my very rusty French (okay, so it was never really any good to begin with).  During the day, I struggled with the simplest of conversations and usually resorted to my own variation of the language, peppered with English words and animated gesticulation.  The French have this annoying habit of pretending not to understand you until you get the pronunciation spot on.  That didn’t help.

Once the sun went down, it all seemed to get a lot easier.  Maybe its that crowded noisy bars make people slow down and focus on basic messages.  Or the grammar police loosen up after working hours.  Or you feel less pressure to understand and be understood after a couple of drinks… I don’t know. 

One night, we got a taxi-driver who had absolutely no English.  Daytime me would panic over that but we breezed over the address and directions.  We chatted (disjointedly, I’ll admit) about the value of property in the sixteenth (where we were headed), the Tour de France (which was on in Paris at the time) and where all the tourists were hanging out.  I asked Roisin did she think I could cross thing #72 off my list and her answer was a definite Yes!  Yay! 

When we reached the apartment, the driver knocked a fiver off the taxi fare.  He said it was because he had respect for Irish people (or something like that) but I took it as a direct compliment on my efforts at speaking French.

P.s. I considered writing this post en fran├žais, but I didn’t have enough vodka in my apartment and I figured if I started writing my posts while drunk, it could be a slippery slope…

€5 has been donated to UNICEF Ireland for the completion of this ‘thing’.  Click here if you too would like to donate online.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fun Pix Fridays #31

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

So, um… Hi

This is a post about beautiful men.  Because I did promise one.  Apologies to any male readers (though who am I kidding?)

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Let’s get all girly.

Here are some of the things that I find very attractive:  a sense of humour;  excessive facial hair;  the whitest teeth;  tattoos;  accents; old-fashioned gentlemanly gestures; working-man’s hands (forearms are very attractive to me too- is that weird?);  men reading in public places (something other than The Daily Mail);  sleepy/ squinty eyes;  three-piece suits, worn well; tennis-players;  the ability to get along with my parents;  back muscles;  men who can cook;  furrowed brows;  good taste in music;  dreadlocks,  decisive-types;  sustained eye contact;  white starched shirts;  musicians;  impeccable manners;  gravelly voices;  moustaches…

Please don’t ask me to explain the things that contradict each other.

What do you look for in a man?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Evolution of Cheerleaders

1920

1920’s

1930

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1940

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1950

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1960

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1970

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1980

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1990

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2000

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2010

2010’s

All images via Retronaut