Monday, November 26, 2012

Charity Swim

curracloe beach

This is Curracloe strand in Co. Wexford, Ireland and the location of an annual charity swim on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26). 

The reason I’m telling you this is because my brother and I have signed up to do it this year.  Usually, we go just to watch and show our support for a very worthy cause, the Wexford Hospice.  It can even be pretty cold cheering from the side-line, dressed in layers of our best thermal-wear.  This year, I’ll be wearing a bikini.  A small one.  The same one I wear regularly on the beach in Abu Dhabi.

I have mentioned before that I live in one of the hottest climates in the world- to which my general body temperature adjusted a little too happily.  I feel cold now when the temperature drops anywhere close to 20°C.  I can’t even imagine what the Irish sea will feel like in December. 

It is going to be tough.  But wait, who was that person who said the best things in life are also the easiest?  No one.  People don’t say that because it’s totally not true.  This is not going to be easy. No siree.  But, will it be totally and completely worth it?  Of course it will.  I’m pep-talking myself now.  Feel free to pep-talk me too.  Or, if you happen to be in the area, come along in a month’s time to take on my usual gig as cheerleader.

P.s. This is part of my Day Zero List.  I’d love to know how you’re doing with yours?

Thursday, November 22, 2012


a short list

A short list of things you cannot buy- and also things to be truly thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving y’all, have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


More words

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another Dinosaur Joke

dinosaur joke

It’s becoming my thing- I’ve even created a new tag for it!

Monday, November 19, 2012


table manners

I found a book on etiquette once that belonged to my mother when she was in school.  They had actual classes on it!  Can you believe that?  Most of the material in the book was out-dated and somewhat pretentious- one of my favourite parts referred to playing with your hair in public as “unsightly” and “an indication of inferior intelligence”.   Guilty! 

I know some people think of etiquette rules as uptight and constricting, but I’ve always felt the opposite:  In most social situations, particularly ones that make me nervous, there is a comfort and even a sense of power to be gained from knowing the absolute right way of doing something.  I’m fascinated with etiquette guides and read them with the aspiration of knowing the appropriate action for every situation that might present itself.

Needless to say, I was excited to come across this site: The Mistress of Manners: periodic tips for modern manners.  This is as close as I’ll get to life’s instruction manual!

Also, kudos to The Urban Etiquette Project, yet another initiative attempting to restore politeness in our modern world.

“Table Manners” illustration by Gemma Correll for Cup of Jo

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Christmas Card (from me to you)

I love you.  Really, I do.  I love that you care enough to click on my links to see my pictures and read my stupid stories and tolerate my stubborn opinions.  I love that you offer words of advice and a good book recommendation when the occasion calls.  I love that I keep writing this silly blog and for some reason, you keep reading it.

I want to say thank you.  I want to package up the love and send it to you- but I don’t know how to do that so I thought perhaps you might settle for a Christmas card instead?  Can I send you a Christmas card?

Here’s a commitment I’m making (it’s rare, it’s special…): 

If you email me your address (or the address of someone you think would appreciate a Christmas card from me), I’ll send a card.  No catches.  No stalking (promise I won’t use it for anything else).  Just a Christmas card.  I’ll feel good.  If you’re anything like me about getting mail, you’ll feel good too. 

I’ve stocked up on stamps and supplies.  I’m ready.  Emails to thelmafrayne (at) gmail (dot) com.  Let’s go!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The people at Wideroe created this.  Clever people they are.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thing #83: Take my parents out to dinner and pay for it

Ask me my age and 90 per cent of the time I’ll hesitate before answering.  Not because I’m embarrassed to admit the number- I’m 26- but because I have to think about it to make sure I’m getting it right. In some ways, I feel like nothing in me has really changed since I was sixteen.  Where did those ten years go?  And why can I still not see myself as a grown-up?

Back when I was 16, as chairperson of our school’s branch of Toastmasters International (yes, I still had friends!), I wrote and delivered a speech on Adulthood as part of an end-of-year concert. I spoke about being in that key stage of transition between child and adult, but the speech centred around a bunch of seemingly ordinary things that in spite of how I thought I had developed, I couldn’t see myself doing anytime soon. They were things that, to me, only my parents did: budgeting for health insurance, procrastinating over floor tiles,  incorporating all the major food groups into an evening meal, scrubbing the toilet… I remember my father cringing at an acute description of my mother fishing a stray spoon out of the rubbish bin with her bare hands!  Things like that, I admitted, were still foreign and to me, what symbolised adulthood in a real, everyday sense.  Once or twice recently, in the midst of a Saturday-afternoon hoovering frenzy, I’ve stopped myself to acknowledge that ‘Yes!  I am indeed growing up!’, but for the most part, the sentiments in that speech still apply today and I find myself caught in limbo, waiting for my grown-up instincts and sense of responsibility to kick in.   

That’s why I put this ‘thing’ on the list- part because I wanted to prove to myself that I have grown up in the last ten years, and part because if I haven’t, its about time I did.  Taking your parents out to dinner- instead of the other way around- is a big step towards adulthood. In my books anyway.  My 16-year-old self would have neither the money nor the inclination to do that.

We all went to Friday Brunch (an institution in Dubai) at the Rotana on JBR when my parents came to see me earlier this year.  The rite of passage I was expecting by completing this ‘thing’ was underwhelming but the food served was out-of-this-world good.  Friday Brunch in Dubai could be a ‘thing’ all on its own.  We left groaning after grazing for almost four hours on some very beautifully-presented, coma-inducing food, served alongside bottomless alcoholic drinks!  A combination I could easily adapt to.  As for my own development into adulthood, I guess I’ll have to work on some of the icky spoon-in-the-garbage-type-things too.

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Best of… October 2012

A little late, but here it is: the best bits from another month of fashion-blogging.  Where does the time go?  October seemed to evaporate before my very eyes.

oct addicted2

oct addicted1

oct expresso1

oct facehunter1

oct sart1

I can’t stop thinking about THAT Celine bag!

oct sart2

oct sj1


oct toast1

oct toast2

oct toast3

oct toast4

oct toast5

oct toast6

oct weworewhat1

oct weworewhat2

I’ve joined the rest of the world in this oxblood craze – it really is everywhere right now!

oct weworewhat3

oct weworewhat4

From the top:  Images 1-2 via Because I’m Addicted;  Image 3 via Express-o;  Image 4 via Facehunter;  Images 5-6 via The Sartorialist;  Image 7:  Sincerely Jules;  Images 8-13: Fashion Toast;  Images 14-17: We Wore What.

More on pinterest.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Creepy Puppet Doll

That was my impromptu Halloween costume choice this year.  I learned that if you really want to spook people, blood and gore isn’t the way to go. For whatever reason, people are much more afraid of different forms of children’s entertainment: puppets, dolls, clowns…





What did you dress up as this year?