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As one year comes to an end and another one begins, it’s always good to reflect on the year gone by so here are my personal highlights from 2013. It’s all about creating memories.

The Gathering went well and was hailed a roaring success as tourist numbers increased by 291k.

I accomplished all of my goals for 2013 – well they were rather achievable – I joined a union, went to the dentist and gave Bikram Yoga a try as well as lots of walks with Baxter.

Some of my favourite things included:

Music this year has been pretty good with Haim; Chvrches; Kodaline; Villagers; Biffy Clyro; Little Green Cars; Walking on Cars; London Grammar; Hozier; James Vincent McMorrow and many more being top of my playlists.

All the many gigs I attended even though I thought I was being quite restrictive….I actually clocked up 14 gigs but only 1 festival! Some of my highlights included Biffy Clyro and Tom Baxter in March; Little Green Cars in May,The National and Robbie Williams in June and Blue October in November. Another highlight was the new Festival Longitude in Marley Park where we were bathed in sunshine all weekend. I didn’t blog about it mainly because I got strep throat back in July right after but it was the best organised and laid out festival I have been to! I would totally recommend it especially if we can order the sunshine!

Also theatre-going featured strongly for me this year from musicals like Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and Once to Irish-produced plays such as Singlehood, A Wine Goose Chase and For Love. With the Fringe Festival and Dublin Theatre Festival and many others, theatre and creativity is fostered in Ireland. I even attended Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the beautiful setting of Malahide Castle.

Travel also featured with a few trips around Ireland including to a cat show in Limerick in February, an overnight to Brooklodge in Wicklow in May and a boating trip down the Shannon in August. I also made it further afield to Vienna in September and a mini-break in Birmingham in November but the big highlight was spending the October bank holiday in Iceland. It is definitely in my top ten places that I have visited.

2013 was also about connecting with other bloggers. Back in March, I was thrilled when Rincy from alittlebird asked me to do a
Paddys Day Playlist. I also attended two lifestyle blogger meet-ups organised by Emily, From China Village – one in Avoca in April and one in Peperina in October where I met some lovely, inspirational bloggers. In June, I was honoured to receive a Leibster Award from Edwina Smith of The Life of Stuff. And in October I had the French Experience in Dublin and met Ketty of French Foodie in Dublin who has taken blogging to a whole other level. I continue to be impressed and inspired by my fellow bloggers – here are “Some Must Reads” that I wrote about in November. I hope this continues in 2014.

Another highlight was meeting inspirational female authors such as Dawn O Porter; Caitlin Moran and Helen Fielding of Bridget Jones fame. I love the Dublin Writers Festival and how reading is encouraged and fostered in Ireland.

Lastly, to round off the highlights from 2013, some of the other things I have enjoyed included the Breathe Expo, Bark in the Park and awesome summer sunshine; learning to meditate; making chocolate fudge and The Christmas Cookbook Club with Donal Skehan.

I also bought a bike last year and am hoping 2014 is the year of the bike. 2014 – bring it on!



Keeping a blog is an excellent way of keeping a record of the highlights from my life and also things that make me smile. I love receiving my WordPress Year in Review as it makes me reflect on another year passing. Am always a little surprised that people read what I write! Not sure why a Christmas-themed Happy Monday was the most viewed post in mid-March but who am I to argue with the Stats Monkeys! I’ve also reached out to the blogging community a little this year both in April and October and found the bloggers I’ve met to be warm, friendly and keen to share a common interest. I hope 2014 brings more meetups and connections.

I shall be writing a post about my personal highlights from 2013 but in the meantime…

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 100,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 4 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Here’s to 2013. Discover what the world searched for with Google’s year in review. Music: “Feels Like Coming Home” by Jetta. Enjoy!


Only four shopping weeks to go and here are some events to get you in the Christmas spirit…

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:,25285,en.html

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:




#clontarf #dublin #wildwaves







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