Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trust Fall

1-whale cartoon

This cartoon made me laugh…. but then I read about how Dusty the Dolphin’s boisterous activity has led to serious injuries for swimmers in County Clare, Ireland.  Irish journalists are making Dusty out to be a criminal with headlines like ‘Dolphin attacks fourth swimmer in a month’ and ‘Diver claims Dusty tried to drown her’.  A little unfair.  Poor Dusty!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Things that fall











the sun

and I,

for you

via Modern Hepburn

Monday, July 29, 2013

Food Typography

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Danielle Evans’ food typography blows my foodie-brain.  More here.

Friday, July 26, 2013




I love this!  The MaCool is a cooler designed to look like a vintage Mac computer, circa 1984.  It even sports a ‘happy mac’ icon.

via Swiss-Miss

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Yoga Bunny

Yoga bunny

Morning yoga routine.  I own you, downward dog.

Sidenote:  What the what is upward dog? There is nothing dog-like about this pose.  Does anyone else call it Cobra… or did I invent that?

p.s. more yoga talk

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Frayed jean shorts sincerely jules

I’ll admit that I was not wardrobe-ready for this spell of warm weather we’re experiencing in Ireland.  I have suffered the consequences of ignoring the weatherman.  Getting dressed in the mornings has become very frustrating as I fixate on that one essential item that’s missing from the closet: the perfect jeans shorts.

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The pair I’m after are low-rise, mid-thigh, relaxed, distressed pale denim.  A kind-of shortened boyfriend jean, if you will.

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(I’d wear mine with stripes too)

The Autumn/Winter stuff has started to creep into stores, but I refuse to give up on my Summer mission.  Ideas?

All photos collected on pinterest

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Blackberry Sage Spritzers


Last week was just one of those weeks.  I was juggling a ton of stuff.  Except I can’t actually juggle, so really I was just throwing stuff in the air and waiting for it to come back and hit me in the face. 

When the weekend arrived, my to-do list had been reduced to one simple instruction: Sort your shit out.  Working out what that entailed was the cause of some emotional stress, to which my body automatically responds by ingesting ice-cream and gin, separately and generously.  Hashtag Science.  Hashtag notreally.

That’s how a second item came to be added to the list:  Make ice-cream and cocktails.  Immediately, the sorting of my shit (whatever that even meant…) didn’t seem so important after all.

Sage Syrup

(make this first)

What you’ll need:

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

Small handful of fresh sage

Here’s how:

Combine all three ingredients in a pan over medium heat, allowing the sugar to dissolve. Remove from the heat,  remove the sage, cover and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight jar/ bottle in the fridge.


Blackberry Sage Spritzer

What you’ll need:

Fresh blackberries

Sage syrup

Good quality gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)

Sparkling water


Here’s how:

Half fill a glass with ice.  In a shaker, muddle a handful of blackberries.  Add equal quantities of gin and sage syrup. Add a few cubes of ice and shake well. Strain into the glass and top with soda water. Garnish with a fresh blackberry or two and serve immediately.

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Recipe by Joylicious via Nao Me Mandes Flores.  Mine looks a little different since I used more blackberries and make it a shorter (read: more alcoholic) cocktail.

On some rare, sweet occasions in this life, things just fall into place while you lie slothfully on the beach, becoming further engrossed in your book and sipping on Blackberry Sage Spritzers.  Cheers to those times!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Thing #27: Make my own ice-cream



I did it!  At the weekend, I made the Barrack Obama of ice-creams.  I’d like to thank my Sister, Fiona for her unwavering support and encouragement and God for not letting the custard curdle.

The whole tub has been consumed, exactly 24 hours after I started making it.  Of course.

Recipe here.

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

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thing #94: Join the Gym

If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?  If I join a gym, then never go, does it make any difference?  These two questions are essentially the same question, and the scientific answer is no.  It doesn’t make a sound.  It doesn’t make a difference.

It seems like it would though, right?

I was tempted, in order to support my argument, to do a ‘before and after’.  A photo of me before I signed up, and another one a few hours later, after I had parted with my membership fee;  a few pounds lighter… or a few euro at least.  I could have posed for the first sullen-faced in a tight, flesh-toned onesie, while nursing a particularly bad hangover.  For the second, I would put on a bra, some make-up and something black and flattering.  I’d smile toothily to prove how much happier I was about my body, and my life in general.

“How did you do it Thelma?”

“I joined the gym”

If only it were that easy.

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


Thursday, July 18, 2013

On Airports

The best part about airports lies in what they symbolize. Airports are places of bookends: new beginnings and long-awaited endings, arrivals and departures, hellos and goodbyes. We start in one city to end in another hundreds or thousand miles away. You enter from a desert and exit into a blizzard. In from winter, out into summer. In from familiarity, out into something completely foreign. Or vice versa. An airport is a place of transit, and not just geographically. I wish there was some sort of time-lapse to show how people change between departures and arrivals. When I arrive back home from being away, I’m never the same person as when I left.

— Alex Brueckner

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

99 Problems

Jay Z’s 99 problems have been illustrated by Ali Graham.  This here might just be the best thing on the internet.







More problems here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Bowl of batter, what’s the matter?

bowl of batter marc johns

Marc Johns, you always find a way to make me smile.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Three Questions

a poem

(… and another question from Lang Leav)

Friday, July 12, 2013


Zooey Deschanel

Being tender and open is beautiful.  As a woman, I feel continually shhh’ed.  Too sensitive.  Too mushy.  Too wishy washy.  Blah blah. Don’t let someone steal your tenderness.  Don’t allow the coldness and fear of others to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable beating heart.  Nothing is more powerful than allowing yourself to truly be affected by things.  Whether it’s a song, a stranger, a mountain, a rain drop, a tea kettle, an article, a sentence, a footstep… feel it all.

- Zooey Deschanel

Thursday, July 11, 2013


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via The Sartorialist

Let’s all get our backs out while the sun continues to shine!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

11 Ways to be Unremarkably Average


I worked in a company before that gave watches to long-service employees.  I found it the most depressing thing but could never explain why.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thing #93: Go to the theatre

I never know what to say when people ask me the question Why do you write a blog? or that other one, What’s it about?  Uuuuuh.  The answer to both is simply I don’t know.  If ever I’m asked these questions, or if for some reason I’m finding it difficult to write something for little t, I think back to when I first started writing it over three years ago.  Back then, it felt so much easier to write because I knew for sure nobody (seriously not one person) was reading it.  I just wrote whenever I felt like it, simple things, that were true.

So, I’m going back to that place, and today I am going to write one true thing:  I don’t like the theatre.

I wanted my Day Zero List to be mostly fun, but also challenging and at times to push me to do things I ordinarily would not.  I included some more cultured things: learning to play chess, visiting a museum, a book signing, buying a piece of art… the theatre was one of those things. 

I went to see Snow White.  Maybe a person who chose to see a production with a target audience of 3-8 year olds isn’t qualified to be making  these kind of sweeping statements but I just don’t like the theatre.  There I’ve said it (twice).

I don’t like the larger-than-life characters  or their depressing handmade costumes.  I loath that I’m half watching the production through some-guy-in-front-of-me’s camera and half watching it in real life.  The soliloquys always bring to mind ancient episodes of Sunset Beach and The Bold and The Beautiful.  Any kind of audience interaction makes me cringe.  I hate that there’s no snack bar.

That’s all really.  That’s all I have to say about the theatre.

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

Monday, July 8, 2013

Summer Shoes


What shoes do you wear in Summer?  I alternate between flip-flops and these trainers by Italian brand, Superga.  They are similar to Converse except you can throw them in the washing machine and they come out like new.  I’ve heard that Bensimons are the French girl’s answer to Chucks and Superga the Italian girl’s.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Thing #84: Host a dinner party


There are times in all of our lives when we have to make dinner for our friends.  There is no point trying to avoid it, your turn will come.  Dinner has been made for you seventeen times now and you haven’t volunteered to do it once.  Not once.  People are starting to talk.  There are no more excuses.

If the thought of hosting a dinner party causes your heart to start beating like a dryer with shoes in it, I understand.  I’ve felt the fear and done it anyway, and when I did I realised there was nothing to be afraid of after all.

There is nothing scary about The Dinner Party.  We’ve already established that you will eventually have to feed your friends at some point – it’s just good manners.   The Dinner Party is merely a way of feeding your friends in a predictable environment.  The last thing you want is to find yourself staring into your kitchen cupboard during an unplanned feeding crisis, wondering how you can make two tins of beans and an old potato look like dinner?  (Real life).  The Dinner Party allows you to plan, to buy fresh ingredients, to arrange some soft lighting and put together a chilled-out playlist.  The Dinner Party is indeed a grown-up affair, but it’s nowhere near as stuffy or pretentious as you thought.

Still afraid?  I have some tips.

Don’t do it by yourself.  Co-hosting is easier than hosting.  A three-course meal is daunting for anyone to undertake alone; taking charge of one course is much more doable.  Baby steps.

Have everything ready.  Only cook things that can be prepared (and ideally completely finished) ahead of time.  When your guests arrive, you will want to spend time with them.  Things to avoid:  steaks cooked to order, recipes with the word flambé anywhere in them, risotto,  roast dinners or anything with lots of ‘sides’, béarnaise sauce or homemade custards, anything that needs last-minute ‘assembly work’, soufflés or anything else that will require your attention when you should be refilling everyone’s drinks.

Stick to what you know.  At a dinner party a couple of months ago, I served Spaghetti Bolognaise as the main dish.  There is nothing sophisticated or showy about Spaghetti Bolognaise but I’ve been making that dish (dare I say well?) since I was fifteen.  Everyone seemed to enjoy it and all the plates were cleared.  Success.  Do you watch Come Dine With Me? (My Mam is obsessed).  It always baffles me how often the contestants attempt a recipe for the first time on the show.  That’s just taking a bath with a toaster.  There is nothing wrong with easy and simple, if it tastes good.

Eat later than usual.  I’m slightly hesitant to reveal this one but… giving your guests a little time to work up an appetite will make whatever you serve taste better – so make them wait.  Leaving some time between the main course and dessert has the same effect.  My secret’s out.

It’s not all about the food.  I mean it’s not really about food at all, is it?  It’s about spending quality time with friends.  Of course.  You knew that.  My friends and I started this little tradition recently.  Every time we sit down to eat together, before we dig in, everyone shares one thing they are grateful for and (just for fun) one thing they are not grateful for.  It’s a nice way to start the dinner conversation.

Make it special.  Clean up, tidy up, dress up.  Light a few candles. Heck, string some bunting.  Buy the good wine.  People will notice.

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

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Fourth!


No time like bro time –via Humans of New York. Happy Independence Day to all my American friends. xox

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Job Hunting


5 things I’ve learned from job hunting:

  • I’m supposed to have an objective reason for everything I do in life, in particular a reason why I moved to the UAE… and a reason why I came home.  Because it felt right or because it was time does not seem to suffice.
  • My Masters qualification is generally regarded by relatives as some kind of superpower that I stubbornly refuse to use.
  • I don’t have any substantial evidence of the things I’m good at, except my own certainty that I’d undoubtedly excel at them if given that chance.
  • There is a qualification for everything, and everyone else in the world has been secretly sneaking out at night and getting qualified in all manner of awesome things that I didn’t even know existed until now.
  • I will never know if any given job is the right job for me until I’m working it.  That’s when the career retrospectoscope will pronounce my decision right or wrong.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Best of… June 2013

Summer fashion is HOT.  I’m hearing all this talk of Autumn/ Winter trends and I’m not ready.  What’s the rush?  Let’s just stop all the crazytalk and celebrate Summer.  In this post, there are  short shorts, bare legs, cropped things,  white dresses, sandals… the usual Summer suspects.  It’s not over yet.

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Betty is a fox.

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Her foxy sandals are from Urban Outfitters and her foxy trench is from ASOS, via Le Blog de Betty

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Milan Fashion Week:  all the sexy ladies were at Prada and Missoni.  Look at that neckline held in place by the will of God…!, via The Sartorialist

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Jules, nailing it again and again and again and again.

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via Sincerely Jules

Something I’ve learned:  if you unsure about mixing prints (I am – it never ends up looking intentional), stripes are a good place to start.  Mixing a basic striped top with another print usually works out okay.  It’s a fail-safe option for people like me.

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Olivia is also a fox.  She knows it though,  which makes her a less-likeable fox.  You know I’m right.  via Sorakeem

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People who know it’s still Summer, via Trop Rouge and Tuula

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Details I loved this month:  layered necklaces and pretty embellished shoes, via Sincerely Jules and Tuula

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aaaand a token handsome man, as tradition dictates. via The Sartorialist  More on pinterest