Friday, June 21, 2013

How do you like your eggs?


Poached for me.  (Thanks, Krystal!)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The 7-Minute Workout

7 minute workout

Everyone is talking about the 7-minute workout.  It’s scientifically proven!  My lazy-brain wants to believe.  Has anyone tried it yet?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013



It’s been one of those days where I’ve done a bad job of both relaxing and being productive.  The worst.  Days like these come to a point where you just can’t seem to turn them around… unless… I may have just the elixir. 

There’s a part of me that knows cocktails on a regular Wednesday is not a wise solution.  A small part.  A part that today, I choose to ignore.  This way to a goooood time.


A cocktail, inspired by the writer of the same name

What you’ll need:

4 tablespoons white rum

a dash maraschino liqueur

2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

juice of 1/2 lime

2 tablespoons of simple (sugar) syrup

Ice (crushed, preferably)

Here’s how:

  • Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with the ice
  • Shake well
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (like the ones in the picture) and drop in a maraschino cherry

Photo by Lucy Jones

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Thing #80: Start a Tradition

Here’s the tradition:  a family picnic for Ferragosto, an Italian holiday celebrated on August 15.  My family claim no Italian roots and my Italian friends tell me I can’t even pronounce it properly. Pffft, I sound exactly like this.  Anyway, I have no idea why this is the tradition, but it is!



2-Ferragosta Picnic

Ferragosto  2012, Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny (I blogged about it here).  I love that photo of Jamie and I anxiously taking photographs of the food.  My family like to reminisce of a time when they were allowed to just eat their food without anyone taking pictures of it first.

1-Farewell Ireland, August 2011

2-Farewell Ireland, August 20111

Ferragosto 2011, White Gap, Curracloe, Co. Wexford

Both years, the celebrations have coincided with my return to the UAE for a new school year so it’s always been bittersweet.  This year, it will make a nice change to not have to say goodbye to everyone afterwards!

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

Monday, June 17, 2013

Love to your Fathers

fathers day humans newyork

“My daughter died of a brain aneurysm when she was thirty.  She wasn’t a baby but she was my baby” via Humans of New York

Have you heard of the awesome tumblr Humans of New York?  I might be the last person to find out.  Brandon asks random strangers if he can take their photograph and posts them on his blog alongside a caption with a quote or a short story from the person.  This one (above) got me all choked up.

On that note, I hope you had a nice Daddy’s day?  For me, it was another one spent 6,000 kilometres away from my Pop.  We’ll be reunited in one week… right before his 60th birthday… time is an unstoppable beast!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Shangri-La, Abu Dhabi

If I’ve only learnt one thing in my whole life, it’s this:  The world is not a wish-granting factory. 

There’s this idea that’s been pushed through our eyeballs by Disney that good things happen while we’re sitting around combing our hair.  It’s not like that at all.  You will work hard for anything good in this life.  I’m not trying to take your dreams away.  This is just a reminder of how much we work for our dreams, how tough it can be, how exhausting, how unromantic… and how even when it’s all worth it and things are exactly what you want, this life is still totally hard.


It’s very easy to forget that and believe in the Disney version when you stay at the Shangri-La.  The world begins to feel as if it’s designed in tandem with your whims,  where things you didn’t even know you wanted appear before you at the precise moment they’re most useful to you and your face continuously lights up while the staff smile knowingly, having seen that expression on a thousand other guests’ faces before you.


The Shangri-La is (by far) the most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed at, and possibly the most beautiful I have ever seen.




The weekend we spent there (about 2 weeks’ ago) started off well (checking in at a 5 star resort is not a bad start) and kept getting better and better.  When we arrived, the room we reserved wasn’t ready so we were immediately upgraded to a suite.  We had to politely nod through the Receptionist’s tour and wait for her to leave before we could scream and whoop and fist-pump at our luck. 

The suite was about the same size as my apartment, with a huuuuuuge bed (you could roll over 50 times and not fall off), massive balcony with two couches and a sea view, an office, walk-in wardrobe/ dressing room, shower room (rainforest and mist settings), a big tub that fit two comfortably and a separate toilet.  We kept walking around marvelling as we found new things. 



In our room: fresh cut roses and treats from L’occitane

Details I particularly loved:  the bathroom was stocked with L’occitane goodies (my favourite), the sound system allowed you to play music in each of the separate rooms (singing in the shower has never been so much fun) and all the doors were on rollers so it was possible to push them all back and lie in the bath with the light from the balcony streaming in.  Bliss.


The view from our balcony

Altogether, there are three pools and a private beach.  The best is the infinity pool with stunning views of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque



Infinity pool at Shangri-La, Abu Dhabi

I found it strange that the hotel’s website doesn’t make more of a feature of it because it is so breathtaking.  The hotel also has it’s own souk, which can be reached by golf buggy or abra (a traditional Arabic boat) along the hotel’s winding waterway.


Abras at Shangri-La, Abu Dhabi





Private beach at Shangri-La, Abu Dhabi

I was so impressed that I’m actually booking in again for a couple of nights right before I leave at the end of the month.  That might sound pretty extravagant but the hotel’s rates will surprise you.  It’s gets very (some might say too) hot in the UAE at this time of year, and hotels adjust their rates accordingly.  Trust me, the heat is a lot more bearable when you are greeted at the pool with a complimentary mini cooler filled with bottled water and icy-cold-verbena-scented face cloths.  I swear, these people have thought of everything.


A man who’s sole job seems to be to clean the guests’ sunglasses


Photos by Lucy Jones (except the ones she’s in, of course).

p.s. Another 5-star stay and my complete guide to holidaying in the Emirates

Thursday, June 13, 2013

White Hot

white nail polish

I’m looking for the perfect white nail polish.  It seems a simple request, but it’s hard to find a shade with good nail coverage without being so white it looks like Tipp-Ex… ideas?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ten Psychological Questions

Just for fun, let’s do this.

Write the down the first answer that comes to your mind.  First comes the questions and then the meaning of your answers.


1. You are walking in the woods. Who are you walking with?

2. You see an animal. What kind of animal is it?

3. What interaction takes place between you and the animal?

4. You walk deeper into the woods. You enter a clearing and before you is your dream house. Describe its size.

5. Is your dream house open, or surrounded by a fence?

6. You enter the house. You walk to the dining area and see the dining room table. Describe what you see on and around the table.

7. You exit the house through the back door. Lying in the grass is a cup. What material is the cup made of (ceramic, glass, paper, etc.)?

8. What do you do with the cup?

9. You walk to the edge of the property, where you find yourself standing at the edge of a body of water. What type of body of water is it ?

10. How will you cross the water?


Meaning of your answers:

1. The person who you are walking with is the most important person in your life.

2. The size of the animal is representative of your perception of the size of your problems.

3. The severity of the interaction you have with the animal is representative of how you deal with your problems (passive, aggressive).

4. The size of your dream home is representative of the size of your ambition to resolve your problems.

5. No fence is indicative of an open personality.  The presence of a fence is more indicative of a closed personality.

6. If your answer did not include food, people or flowers then you are generally unhappy.

7. The durability of the material with which the cup is made is representative of the perceived durability of your relationship with the person from number 1. For example, Styrofoam, plastic, and paper are disposable; Styrofoam, paper, and glass (ceramics) are not durable; and metal and plastic are durable.

8. Your disposition of the cup is representative of your attitude toward the person in number 1.

9. The size of the body of water is representative of the size of your sexual desire.

10. How wet you get in crossing the water is indicative of the relative importance of your sex life.

My friend, Lucy sent this to me, second-guessing (mostly correctly) what I would answer.  I don’t think any of it can be very accurate.  At least I hope not. 

I was walking alone,  encountered a deer and watched it dart in the opposite direction.  My dream home was a tiny cabin without a fence.  The table was full of stacks of paper and books (!).  The cup was made of porcelain and I kicked it aside.  For number 9, I wrote down a massive lake (ha!) and I canoed across. 

How about you?  Did you play?

via The Dopamine Gallery

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ik Kil, Mexico

When I’m away from home, I count down the days until my return, but then when that time finally gets near (less than 2 weeks’ to go now!), I get all wanderlust-y again.  It’s normal, right?

ik kil 1

ik kil 2

ik kil 3

ik kil 4

ik kil 5

ik kil 6

ik kil 7

This is the stuff of my latest travel fantasies:  Ik kil, a cenote outside Pisté in Mexico.  Looks like Paradise.

Photos via Tuula

Monday, June 10, 2013

Doc 2 Dock

I wanted to let you guys know about Doc 2 Dock, a non-profit I’ll be supporting through my personal Day Zero Project.  This organisation saves usable medical supplies from the US and ships them to where they are needed most.  Watch the video and support!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Rules my Grandma’s Psychiatrist gave her in ‘56

1.  Get some cheap dishes and break them when you get upset.

2.  Learn how to say no and not feel guilty about it

3.  Buy something frivolous for yourself once in awhile, like a new hat. 

4.  Never again do anything you don’t want to do.

via Crystal Ground.  I think these still apply today.

Thursday, June 6, 2013



Confessions is a public art project that invites people to anonymously share their confessions and see the confessions of the people around them.







via Favorite Things

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rape Escape

Serious topic today.  I read this via Tea for One:

I don’t mean to impose a personal favour on you guys, but I really would like to ask that everyone who follows me re-blog this.  I don’t think I made it very clear but last month I was sexually assaulted by someone who I thought was my friend (I don’t want to talk about it don’t ask), and it’s… really fucked with my head.  Had I known this a month ago I would have been able to get away.  So, essentially, I’m really pleading with you to re-blog this so everyone who follows you doesn’t get stuck in the same position I was with no way out.  I mean again I don’t want the point of this to be my sob story or whatever but if you could re-blog this it would seriously mean a lot.

It is a horrible thing to even imagine being in this situation, but visualising how you need to react makes an escape so much more likely should it ever happen to you.  We have all heard accounts of women, when attacked, feeling completely paralysed by shock and fear.  Having a plan in the event of an attack means a better chance that your body will go into autopilot to get you out of danger.  As uncomfortable as it makes me (even watching this video), I’m going to practice this with my friends. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Emotionary

The Emotionary was created by Eden, who wanted to assign words that don’t exist to feelings that do.  I salute you, my friend.

A few of my favourites:

full emodulate

full prelament




full floss

Thanks, Shoko!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Best of… May 2013

This month, can we consider how some people are going to look cool no matter what they pull on them in the morning?  Basically, I have a theory that is the reverse of Twain’s the clothes maketh the man.

I read everywhere not to be fooled by messy, thrown-together perfection because it’s not real and it actually requires a lot of effort.  I want to believe that.  If you like, you can imagine that what you’re about to see requires careful planning, regimental wardrobe organisation, designer friends and endless supplies of cash.  You can do that but you’d be fooling yourself.  By you, I mean me.

I’m fairly confident that it’s the people here that are cool and the clothes only by association.  The (wo)man maketh the clothes.  There, I said it.

may caradona1

may caradona

may modernhep2

Christina Caradona, via Trop Rouge

may citybrewed1

Ellie Eckert, via City Brewed

may ft1

Rumi Neely, via Fashion Toast

may weworewhat1

Danielle Bernstein, via We Wore What

may facehunter1

via Facehunter

may prettything1

Carolyn Yuen, via Hey Pretty Thing

may sart1

may sart2

via The Sartorialist

may sj1

may sj3

may sj2

may sj4

may sj5

may sj6

Jules Sarinana, via Sincerely Jules

may tuula1

Jessica Stein, via Tuula

may wheredidyou1

may wheredidyou2

via Where did you get that?

More on pinterest.