Things to make you smile…
Simon’s Cat in Christmas Presence Part 1
“A festive feline goes looking for a Christmas treat.” Naughty cat.
Love Claire Maguire’s voice and it really shines on her new piano-driven track ‘Whenever You Want It’. Claire is back on form. Enjoy!
Looking for some gifts for christmas, check out these fab Irish companies for some great ideas:
I love Pixy products, all natural and gorgeous especially their foot scrub which is simply amazing and they always throw in some surprises with your order. Pixy is offering three magical Christmas Gift Sets From a Tenner with Free Delivery:
Pixy TEMPTING Gift Box €14.95
This lovely gift contains a scented, heart-shaped, gentle soap that gives a rich, creamy moisturising lather, two skin nourishing mini bath bombs and a creamy lip balm.
Pixy INDULGE Gift Box – €19.95
This brilliant gift contains a moisturising Lavender Bath Bomb, Pixy portrait Honeysuckle Soap that smells just divine and is full of natural goodness, some skin-softening Lime Body Scrub Cubes – ideal for exfoliating and brilliant for removing fake tan. For a therapeutic bathing experience there is Relaxing Lavender Bath Salts that contain Epsom Salts and Dead Sea Salts, to ease and unwind tired and aching muscles.
Pixy ENJOY Gift Box – €19.95
The Pixy Enjoy Gift Box contains popular moisturising Bath Bombs, Pixy portrait Honeysuckle Soap packed with natural goodness and with the sweetest honeysuckle scent, skin-softening Lime Body Scrub Cubes that create a zesty exfoliating experience and are wonderful for removing fake tan. For an extra treat there is Muscle Soothing Bath Salts that not only contain therapeutic Epsom salts and Dead Sea Salts but have the beneficial qualities of Black Pepper, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils that create pure Pixy bliss.
Check out their website for more ideas:
Check out their website for further ideas:
For funky T-shirts with typical Irish sayings check out Hairybaby. I always loved their T-shirts and now they have expanded their range to include tote bags and mugs and hoodies. The t-shirts themselves are a great conversation starter and all contain a ‘you have to be Irish to get it’ message. Popular slogans such as ‘State Of Yerman’, ‘Away with the Fairies’ and ‘Who Said Mass?’ not only offer the reader a good laugh, they give the wearer a sense of pride, much like an Irish badge of honour. Be Irish, Be proud, Wear Hairy Baby! There also the Father Ted range and the new Sminky range. Something for everyone even the babies.
Check out their website:
Brooke & Shoals
If like me you love candles than you will love Brooke & Shoals. It was founded by Alison Banton in the picturesque seaside town of Greystones in County Wicklow, known as the “Garden of Ireland”. Alison’s passion for fragrance was inspired by the divine aroma’s of the petals she picked as a child in her great-aunt Mollie’s circular rose garden. Mollie used to say the ‘babbling brook and the whispering shoals’ would help her turn Alison’s rose petals into perfume. Alison decided to create her own range of candles that were superior to other Irishmade candles on the market. Her vision was simple, high quality, divine fragrances, natural wax, beautiful packaging and Irish made. Her customers loved them. She built on her experience of fragrance by going to Grasse in the South of France, the capital of fragrance, to study it in more detail and gather new inspiration. Her candles smell divine. My favourite is the grapefruit and lemongrass – so invigorating. They also do body products and gift sets.
Check out their website for the full range:
Fawn (formerly The Printing Rooms) are limited edition fine art relief prints for sale, hand-crafted by an artist with a background (and degree) in fine art painting. The prints are beautiful and they come in the cutest gift packaging ever.
Check out their website for details:
And if all this isn’t enough, I hear the RDS National Craft and Design Fair is on this weekend. Check out their Gift Guide. Happy Shopping!
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Doesn’t Friday always make you feel this way, it does me! Taken from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack – those happy yellow despicable minions. Check out http://24hoursofhappy.com to experience the world’s first 24 hour music video! Directed by We Are From L.A. Enjoy!
Last Wednesday on the 4th December, I went to the Christmas Cookbook Club with Donal Skehan. The Cookbook Club is the creation of Elaine Walsh. She invites well-known chef-authors who have launched a recent cookbook to hand over their cookbook to the restaurant team at the Radisson Blu’s Brasseries de Verres en Vers to recreate a selection of signature dishes from that cookbook. I went last year to the Christmas Cookbook Club hosted by Neven Maguire, and really enjoyed it. It’s a great way to kick off the party season in style.
Having followed Donal Skehan’s career back when he was a food blogger to making it as a TV celebrity cook and author of many cookbooks, I was dying to try his recipes from his fourth cookbook, Homecooked. I actually like the fact that he is not a chef but instead self-taught as I find his recipes easy to follow and not too fussy. The Radisson Blu is a lovely hotel just off George’s Street and all decked out for Christmas, it was very welcoming. I got there early and availed of a warm greeting by the friendly and beautiful hostess, Elaine Walsh, and had some mulled wine with Santa and other early arrivals. There was a table plan and we shared our table with a teacher who was flying solo and has attended every one of the previous 14 Cookbook Clubs, a genuine fan.
There was a good choice of three starters, main courses and desserts – a good selection from the cookbook complete with page numbers for those who want to try them at home.
Ham Hock Terrine
Homemade Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce
Howth Head Seafood Chowder
Mini Beef Wellington wrapped in puff pastry
Homemade Spring Pea and Ricotta Ravioli
Harissa Fish with Carrot and Mint Salad (“Healthy Fast Food”)
Lemon Meringue Pie
Millionaire Chocolate Ganache Tart
I went with the homemade spring rolls which were very tasty indeed. For mains, I had the mini beef wellington which were wrapped in puff pastry and looked very seasonal. For me, they were a little overdone but still very nice and quite filling. One of my friends had the spring pea and ricotta ravioli which I tasted. It was very fresh. For dessert, I was won over by the Millionaire Chocolate Ganache tart which was very luscious.
Donal went round each table saying to the diners. He is very friendly and you can easily see why he is so popular. He signed our cookbooks and happily posed for photos. The mince pies in a gift box were also a nice touch. Afterwards, we enjoyed some jazz in the bar. All in all an enjoyable night and I can’t wait to try out some new recipes.
For details on upcoming events and language classes with a difference, check out:
This one is a bit different – according to scientists, this is the most relaxing tune ever so sit back, relax and enjoy! It helps slow the heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress!
This kid is awesome! I’d say this kid has basketball in his future.
Who doesn’t love a dancing Shetland pony for Christmas?
The dancing pony is back just in time for Christmas from Three. Get creative with #danceponydance and spread some cheer with The Christmas PonyGifter http://www.theponygifter.com/ – You can choose between the Party, Classic or Anthem Pony and personalise them.
Things to make you smile…
Yoga Mat for Sale: Used Only Once
This is reminiscent of my own experience with hot yoga minus the wife of course….truly had me in stitches. Enjoy!
Christmas at Dublin Castle: November 30th until December 22nd
Each Saturday and Sunday in December Dublin Castle invites you to enter the magical world of the Nutcracker. The upper courtyard is transformed into a traditional Christmas market and choirs every Saturday and Sunday will be performing under the tree from 1.30pm to 3.30pm. Enjoy a tasty treat from our Christmas vendors, including mulled wine, hot chocolate, gingerbread cookies and traditional chimney cake. The craft fair will take place on December 15th from 10.00am inside the Bedford Hall.
Check out their Christmas programme by clicking the link below:
Christmas on the Square: December 1st
This Saturday, December 1st, the second annual Merrion Square pop up shop will be taking place in Number 45 Merrion Square. To kick start your Merrion Christmas there will be a one-day pop-up shop on December 1st with leading Irish designers and irish artisan food producers bringing their beautiful irish-made products to No. 45.
Check out their website for further details:
Christmas at Farmleigh: 7th – 22nd December
Experience the magic of Christmas at Farmleigh with Christmas markets and carol singing every Saturday and Sunday. They also have Christmas Concerts. The Velvettes is a unique vocal group based on the classic swing combos of the late 1940s and early 1950s. They model their vocal blend on the style of the Andrews Sisters. A typical Velvettes set list is packed with songs from Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Hoagy Carmichael- to name but a few. Tickets are allocated on a lottery basis. The closing date for ticket applications is at 10am on Wednesday December 4th. 2 tickets per winner, and only successful applicants will be notified.
Check out the Christmas Programme:
The Docklands Christmas Markets: 12th – 23rd December
Everyone’s favourite Christmas Festival is back again for the 9th consecutive year, bringing Christmas cheer and magical festive treats to the heart of Dublin from the IFSC at Georges Dock. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever with a few surprises added to the regular line of events including an entertainment area taking place on the event platform in George’s Dock. The Victorian Carnival, the fantastic artisan food and craft market and of course Santa’s grotto will all be back to help make your festival experience a magical one.
Click on the link below for more information:
Dublin Port Winterfest at Point Village: 28th November to 23rd December
The Point Village will be transformed with the sights, sounds and aromas of a traditional Christmas market. You’ll find food stalls serving treats including Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Crepes, BBQ Bratwurst and Bockwurst, Hog Roast, Chinese Noodles, Chocolate Fountain and a Christmas Bakery. There is also an ice-rink, santa’s grotto and amusement rides.
Check out their website for more details:
12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour
French Foodie in Dublin brings you on her ’12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour’ this December.
Mulled wine, chocolates, mince pies and other Christmas treats will be sampled during this festive walking tour, a stop in a restaurant for lunch is also included. Join a small group of Christmas lovers to share some delicious food and good company. French Foodie will bring you around some of her favourite spots to indulge with 12 different treats.
To book click on the link below: http://frenchfoodieindublin.blogspot.ie/p/christmas-food-tour.html