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xmas
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
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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:
http://www.dublincastle.ie/media/Christmas%20at%20Dublin%20Castle.pdf

Christmas on the Square: December 1st
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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:
http://merrionsquare.ie/index.php/christmas-on-the-square/

Christmas at Farmleigh: 7th – 22nd December
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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:
http://www.farmleigh.ie/events/Title,25285,en.html

The Docklands Christmas Markets: 12th – 23rd December
docklands
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:
http://www.dublindocklandschristmasfestival.ie/

Dublin Port Winterfest at Point Village: 28th November to 23rd December
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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:
http://www.dublinportcompanywinterfest.com/

12 Treats of Christmas Food Tour
snowmen
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

christmas

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mad
On Friday as part of DLR Voices, the author of Bridget Jones, Helen Fielding appeared in conversation with Roisin Ingle in the Royal Marine in Dun Laoghaire. She is in Dublin to promote her new book, the follow-up to Bridget Jones and The Edge of Reason, Mad About the Boy. After a fourteen year break, Bridget is back minus Darcy – a widow at 51 with two children and back on the dating scene getting to grips with a changing world and new technologies. Helen is a very private person but Roisin is a great, bubbly personality and chatted away filling in any gaps and keeping the conversation going. It was an engaging chat about a well-known and much-loved character with her creator. Bridget came about from a newspaper column that Helen was asked to write and she decided on this much-exaggerated version of herself taking inspiration from her university diaries where she used to keep track of calorie counting. She defended killing off Mr.Darcy in that he was too good a person to ever leave Bridget alone with two children and she prefers writing about single Bridget than a smug married Bridget. She also told us of how she had to ring Colin Firth to deliver the bad news. She shared some witty personal stories like the time she sent a mass e-mail announcing the birth of her daughter before she had actually given birth! After the chat, there was time for questions followed by a book signing. Helen was rushing off to appear on the Late Late Show. I for one can’t wait to read Mad About the Boy and follow the hapless Bridget experiences of dating a younger man and being a mother – it’s sure to be a funny read.

Welcome back Bridget.

music life

So November was a busy month for gig attendance for me with one gig a week for three weeks!

The National @ the o2
It all kicked off with my favourite band at the moment, The National back for the second time this year and my second time seeing them. I really enjoyed the gig at the Marquee in Cork and for me they will never top that gig in the Olympia on a snowy December night in Dublin. We had seated tickets which I find always lacks a bit of atmosphere but at least the view was good. I loved the lighting and stage set-up and they had a large backing band with both brass and strings that enhanced their large sound and filled the o2. Matt always puts his heart and soul into every performance so much so I was in fear that he might fall off the edge of the stage or burst a vocal cord! There was a great mix of both new and old songs. For the finale, Matt went into the crowd and of course there was the now expected sing-along to ‘Vanderlyle Crybaby’ to end the gig on a high.

Blue October @ The Institute, Birmingham
Blue October are another one of my favourites and their gigs never fail to disappoint. This one was no different – the energy at a Blue October gig is always amazing. The Institute is in the Irish Quarter [how appropriate] on Digbeth High Street – a lovely intimate venue. They are currently touring their seventh studio album Sway. The band were truly on form for this tour and it showed. The set list was brilliant featuring many favourites kicking off with Sway. I also especially loved Fear, Not Broken Anymore and Bleed Out from the new album and also some of my old favourites including Into the Ocean, The Worry List and Italian Radio. We ended the night off in the Kerryman next door with a lock-in listening to the album – a fitting ending to another memorable gig.

The Lumineers @ the o2
The Lumineers are a folk rock band from Denver, Colorado. If you’re thinking the who? then all I have to say to you would be two little words ‘Ho Hey’!

ho hey
Based on the liking of that one song which was on constant repeat on the radio at the time, I agreed to go to this gig. It just shows how one popular song can sell out the o2. Apparently Dublin was their biggest gig to date. The band are good musicians hopping ably between instruments but they failed to hold my interest. With only one album and ten songs, there was a lot of pauses and a few covers to fill in time. The lead singer, Wesley, who looks a bit like Thor [Chris Hemsworth] was quite bossy telling us to stand up and put away our mobile phones. They also played ‘Ho Hey’ quite early on and there was a good sing-along. They tried to get close to the crowd by playing a short set in the centre of the o2. By the time the band came back on for an encore, we had had enough and left before the end which for me is a rare occurrence. Judging by the screaming adoring fans they won’t miss me at the next one.

Well two out of three great gigs in one month ain’t a bad score!
music warning

If it’s yours too, you may be perfect for this job of part-time Elf…

Funky Christmas Jumpers pop-up shop on South William Street are looking for part-time elves.

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Elf Duties:

Must be able to deliver service with a Smile 🙂
Have energy (even when hungover!)
Be a champion Christmas Tree decorator
Sing Christmas Carols
Keep Funky HQ nice & tidy
Friendly with animals, especially our Reindeers

Perks of the job

Wear a Funky Christmas Jumper every day
Opportunity to work in a fun, creative, dynamic environment where your ideas are valued
Gain vast amount of online and retail experience
Work parties

Advantages:

Expert Toy Building Skills
Experienced Sleigh Driver
Elf college graduation with specialisation in Knitting
Have a big cheesy smile
A Santa Clause believer
Fluent in “Elf lingo”
Good Interaction Skills

So if your interested send your details and photo to info@funkychristmasjumpers.com or show your creative side by submitting a funny video
– See more at: http://www.funkychristmasjumpers.com/


A rooftop view of Ringsend & Irishtown, Dublin 4, Ireland. Seen from Strategem iLabs’ Offices.

BramStoker

From 26th – 28th October, Dublin City will celebrate the life, work and legacy of Dublin horror novelist Bram Stoker and his gothic novel ‘Dracula’.

The three-day festival will peel back the layers of the city to reveal Stoker’s Dublin. The streets will come alive with free pop-up performances of spine-chilling street theatre and sinister sounds, a city-wide Vampire Hunt for families and friends, spooky movies in the open-air, blood curdling literary happenings, terrifying theatre, haunted walking tours and a very special event will take place in the spectacular surrounds of Dublin Castle.

Whether you’re a resident vampire or visiting from further afield, the Bram Stoker Festival 2013 has something for everyone in its spooktacular programme of events!

Check out the website for details:
http://www.bramstokerfestival.com/

blogger meetup invite sept 2013
Last Wednesday on a rainy night in Dublin, the lovely Emily From China Village hosted a second gathering of lifestyle bloggers in Peperina Garden Bistro. Peperina is a local bistro located on Dunville Avenue in Ranelagh, close to the Beechwood Luas stop.

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There was a great turn-out of about 30 bloggers. It never ceases to amaze me the number of blogs and the variety available on every topic imaginable….if you don’t believe me check out the Blog Awards Ireland which recently took place. We even had one of the winners among us that night, Ketty of French Foodie in Ireland, who won both Best Personal Blog and Best Newcomer. Her blog is well worth checking out for great places to go in Dublin. Also what struck me was the many nationalities represented – there were English; Americans; French as well as Irish.

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We started the night off with some punch and a craft demonstration from Laura of Daintree Paper who showed us how to decorate glasses to liven up a table display. I loved the idea of glitter – so simple yet very effective and even me, a crafting novice, could manage that. She had lots of ideas and then we got to put them into practice by attempting our very own. Peperina treated us to some samples of their lovely food both savoury including some yummy mini sliders and sweet including mini scones. We got to chat and get to meet some new friends.

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The highlight is always meeting the faces behind the blogs some of who I already feel I know by following their blogs [stalker alert] – Rincy of A Little Bird; Alex of Hydrangea Girl; Laura of Dublin Diary. It’s also nice to be introduced to some new blogs to follow and hear what interesting things they have going on – Jette of Wood and Chocolate who has just moved here from London; Emily of Lemonkind who is launching a new shop on November 8th and Liz of Cool and Dandy who interviews the faces behind the small shops, galleries, cafes around Dublin.

All in all a fun night and we even got a goodie bag to take home. Thanks to Emily and Peperina for hosting.

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cheesecakeshop
The cutest little shop selling nothing but Cheesecake has opened on South William Street in between Dylan Bradshaw and The Damson Diner. For lovers of cheesecake this is the shop for you. It’s pink, it’s girlie and best of all it’s got a great selection of cheesecake both baked and the more traditional creamy biscuit-based ones. I came late in the day and the baked ones were all sold out. It’s only been open for a week and the lady behind the counter said it is “made with love”.

I loved the bar in a jar idea with some of the bars on offer including Oreos, After Eight, Bounty, Munchies, etc. I treated myself to the After Eight bar in a jar and it was yummy – can’t wait to try some other flavours.
cheesecakeinajar
There are different selections every day and they are open to suggestions. Slices are €3.95 and jars are €4.50, but if you bring the jar back the next time you are in you get 50c off! IT is open 7 days a week from 12pm – 6.30pm. And to quote a certain terminator “I’ll be back”. Spread the word cheesecake lovers.

Show them the love on their facebook page for daily updates of available flavours:
https://www.facebook.com/CheesecakeDublin

Lights DC – Leaving My Heart Behind from Mark Duggan on Vimeo.

Music video for the single ‘Leaving My heart behind’ by Lights DC filmed in Dublin between April & July 2013 and directed by Mark Duggan. We live in a beautiful part of the world.

Riverdance – The Gathering takes place over this weekend:

20 July 2013
Riverdance – The Gathering at the Park
Riverdance – The Gathering Ceili
Riverdance – On Screen presented by The Gathering Ireland

21 July 2013
Riverdance – The Gathering World Record
Riverdance – The Gathering at the Gaiety

For more information, check out the link below:
http://www.riverdance.com/the-gathering/

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Blog Awards 2013

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Liebster Award 2013

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