Pretty Presents

Some great ideas for DIY decoration of presents this season via the lovely – poinsetta, orchids and papers bows – whatever you fancy so get those crafty minds ticking over!Paper Napkin Poinsettia Tutorial

These orchids look so gorgeous too….

DIY Paper Orchid Tutorial



Winter Essentials

Thw weather has turned, it is getting cold, the rain is lashing down and it’s already dark by 4pm! There are a couple of essentials I have dug out of the back of my wardrobe over the last week and it is with joy that I am rediscovering their benefits! Here are my winter picks below ranked in no particular order, let me know what yours are!

1. OnePiece

The cream of the crop when it comes to onesies, these Norwegian made bear suits are impenetrable to the cold draughts which nip at my heels at home. We received them as presents and they have become firm favourites in our house! (thanks again Gerry and Emma xx)

2. Emu Boots

So wonderfully, magically soft and toasty. I recently picked up a grey pair and they are just ever so slightly impossible to get out of (although I try not to pair them with the above one piece…too much).

3. Carmex

In truth I use this all year round but the application of it becomes slightly more obsessive, to say the least, in the winter months. I have yet to find a better lipbalm..

4. L’Occitane Shea Butter Cream

Another essential to keep hands from getting dry throughout the winter, this is very rich and luxurious but good value and lasts forever as a little goes a long way!

5. Le Roche Posay Lipikar & Trilogy Body Oil

This is a particularly great body moisturiser for every day and even better when used along with its shower cream product.

This Trilogy oil is more of a treat product, it doesnt last as long and used everyday would run out in no time but it smells gorgeous and used sparingly on weekends is a luxury for skin. Another oil I am dying to try is REN Morrocan Rose Body Oil, I have heard good things.

6. Clarin’s Blue Orchid Facial Oil

My mother has been using this most of her life after her friend, a lifelong make up expert raved about Clarins Oils being elixirs among ‘those in the know’. Also used by a dermatologist I know so it must be doing something right. Great for dry skin applied at night, I love it as it leaves skin so soft and refreshed.

7. Origin’s Clean Energy

As you can see I’m a huge fan of oils as they really suit my skin. I swear by this Origin’s oil cleanser and in fact really love this range of skin products which are so natural and sensitive.

8. Origin’s Make a Difference

I wouldn’t normally include two posts on the one brand but the Origins Make a Difference moisturiser deserves its own. Designed to combat the really harsh effects of cold windy weather on the skin it is one I go back to every year for its results. It does exactly what it says on the tin!

9. Hot Chocolate

Nothing is quite so comforting as hot chocolate at any age and any time of the day. My favourite brands are Cadburys and Butlers but there are so many out there to try out so find the one you like most, half the fun is in the testing.


The South Circular – a bright idea @TheSouthCircula

I have been a big fan of The New Yorker for years since my parents have been subscribing since I was very young. I love reading the short stories and great articles in it so I was really happy to hear that someone had the great idea of producing a quarterly Irish publication featuring four short stories per issue from emerging Irish authors called The South Circular.

There will also be a cover image by a photographer or a designer or an illustrator or a visual creator. There is so much creative talent in Ireland at the moment so this is a great way to showcase it and at €3 per issue a bargain. The first issue is due out on March 26th and can be downloaded here so I’m looking forward to taking a look!

Enjoy the silence in the heart of the city

I have practiced yoga for many years and have found the perfect teacher to enjoy weekly classes with. Not only does it keep me physically fit but it also teaches you how to shut out noise and today living in a world where everything is happening so fast and on a constant basis, this should be mandatory teaching for everyone!

Right in the heart of Dublin city amid all the hustle and bustle I stumbled across The Living Room which describes itself as a ‘place of silence’. Anyone is welcome to drop in between 9am and 3.30pm daily to reflect, rest, read from their library and take refuge from the city.

In addition classes in lunchtime meditation are run between 1 and 2 each day by different teachers where you can meditate and learn new ways of zoning out. Other classes include Nutrition for the Nervous System which teaches ways of eating to increase energy levels and yoga classes for awakening creativity and talks are run regularly combining meditation and conversation. A full timetable and contact details is available on the blog and a suggested donation of €5 per workshop is asked from those who can afford it.

I think it’s a wonderful idea to have a space in the heart of the city which is an oasis of calm – think we all need it sometimes.

The benefits of lavender

What a nice idea! I saw this in a magazine and decided to give it a go over the weekend. I chopped some lavender from my mum’s garden and the result was that it transformed a very ordinary looking candle into a lovely centrepiece for our table for no extra cost and released a lovely smell of lavender into the room. Known for its relaxing properties lavender is also thought to repel insects and aid sleep so a multi purpose and pretty addition to your home.

Innovative restaurant fends off recession

I came across this clever deal the other day which Bloom Brasserie on Upper Baggot street are advertising. Called Toss Up Tuesdays, it pretty much does what it says on the tin.

Every Tuesday they post a lunchtime special on their facebook page to entice people down and at the end of your meal you toss a coin, heads they pay for your lunch, tails you pay. I have been to Bloom a few times, the food is great particularly their fish dishes so a great way to drum up business on a Tuesday lunchtime!

I am sure more restaurants will start to come up with really interesting and different ways of getting customers in. Have you heard of any?

Gift ideas for those you love

I am currently on the hunt for gift ideas. You would think I would currently be earning a well deserved hiatus following the Christmas present season but I have several birthdays coming up including my mum and dad and some friends and I even have to think of something small for Valentine’s Day seeing as it is our first married – phew here are some of the thoughts going through my head.

The Great Food Boxset by Penguin Classics £140: Collecting together the twenty Great Food titles, from Elizabeth David’s A Taste of the Sun to MFK Fisher’s Love in a Dish, this is a boxed collection of the series. Great for any foodies or aspiring chefs.

Downton Abbey: Season 1 & 2 Boxset £24.97 on Amazon: I haven’t seen this yet myself but have heard really good things and think it would be right up my mum’s street. Plus the added benefit that I could borrow it after 🙂

Rough Trade Album of the Month: A must for music lovers. London based Rough Trade choose the best album each month and post it out to you so you get to keep up to speed on what is happening on the music scene. Available for 6 or 12 months as a gift membership.

Kindle: This is controversial as if you read my previous post on books, you will know I am an old fashioned girl who loves the feel of a book in my hand. Still I think my dad would love this so it’s on the list. I remain unconverted.

Diary, planner or calendar: The good thing about this time of the year is that it’s still not too late to give someone a diary ir calendar. I find art galleries the best places for inspiration like The National Gallery of Ireland or if you want something different check out MOMA in NY for calendars below with a difference.

If you’re a dab hand in the kitchen you could make some jam or pickle and wrap it up below for a personalised touch.

Or if you’re feeling adventurous and like the look of the necklace below, you’ll be glad to hear it’s easy to make and the tutorial is here.