This is me, enjoying the last year of my 20s and drinking a cocktail out of a fake coconut because why not?

So tomorrow I turn 30 & leave my 20s behind. It feels like this is the right time to evaluate my 20s and what I’ve learned. Here are 20 things that I have learned in my 20s:

1. A drama free life is a wonderful thing. There is soooo much unnecessary drama in your early 20s. 

2. You don’t have to and shouldn’t pretend your life is perfect all the time. It’s okay to tell the people close to you about the bad stuff as well as the good.

3. Relationships (of all kinds – friends, boyfriends, family members) are so important. They also take work. It needs to include equal effort (maybe at different times) and making time for each other. Oh and quality > quantity. 

4. It’s okay to mess up. That’s pretty much what your 20s are for. Learn from it.

5. Everyone doesn’t like you and you definitely should not lose sleep over that. 

6. Less is almost always more. Leaving something to the imagination is a good idea. 

7. Stand up for your beliefs. Don’t ever go along with the popular opinion to impress people. 

8. If he cares, you won’t have to chase him. It’s a man’s natural instinct to chase. If you’re the 1 doing all the chasing, he’s not worth it. 

9. Look after your skin! High SPFs and skin care routines are where it’s at. You’ll be glad of it later. 

10. Duck face poses are ridiculous and extremely unattractive. 

11. Taking photos is so important. Your memory will fade and photos serve as great memories. 

12. Wear comfortable heels or put flats in your bag. Don’t walk home in your bare feet. 

13. Your gut instinct is almost always right! 

14. Travelling is a good way to spend your money. Do it your way though, because there are so many travel “know-it-alls”. Whether it’s a week at a time in 5 star hotels or a year at a time in hostels, do what feels right to you. 

15. It’s ok to spend Saturday nights binge watching TV series rather than binge drinking but it’s also okay to go drinking and let your hair down with friends too. 

16. ‘No’ is a full sentence. You don’t always have to have an excuse/reason. 

17. Pick your battles. This is a big 1 for me. Sometimes it’s easier and makes more sense to hold your tongue. 

18. Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is on a different journey. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Be happy for your friend’s achievements, wish people who are no longer in your life happiness and be grateful for what you have. The grass is not always greener. 

19. Never point out your flaws to other people. They might not have noticed before you drew their attention to them.

20. This 1 leads on from the last and it’s a bit of a cliche but stop hating things about yourself. You might never be the skinniest or have the prettiest hair. So what. You have plenty of other things going for you. 

Of course, it’s not all plain sailing and if I’m being honest, I’m not 100% there with #19 & #20 but it’s definitely a work in progress. Unfortunately I don’t know everything and I still have a lot to learn so maybe in 10 years time, I’ll be sharing 30 new things I’ve learned.

Here are some things I hope to learn/do in my 30s that I haven’t quite mastered in my 20s:

1. Budgeting my money better and not being afraid to check my bank balance! (Shopping obsession, anyone?)

2. The 6 month mantra. I tend to over worry and I can be a bit of a worse case scenario kind of person. I’ll learn from this in the future, I’m sure. So I need to try & think of the mantra of asking myself if it’s something that will still be a problem in 6 months time before I freak out. 

3. Not to let my emotions or mood dictate my day.

4. Patience. Mine are definitely getting worse rather than better.  That’s enough said about that. 

5. Stop making excuses not to exercise. 


Johnnie Fox’s, famed for being the highest pub in Ireland, can be found in the Dublin mountains. It is one of the oldest pubs in Ireland, established in 1798. Although it is considered to be a bit of a tourist trap, I always enjoy myself when I go there. They have open fires and entertainment 7 nights a week and during the day on Saturday and Sunday. They serve great food and a lovely pint too, so I hear. 


Dave and I decided to go there for our lunch on Friday as we were both off work. The menu is largely made up of seafood, which I never understand since it’s in the mountains and not near the sea. They are famous for their chowder and mussels and as you might know if you read my review of The Fish Shack, I love mussels so they’re always an easy choice for me. The mussels came in a cider, garlic and onion cream sauce. We ordered a portion of chips with them. We also ordered a seafood pie, which is served with mash but we asked for chips instead. They also brought some lovely homemade brown bread for the table before our meal arrived. It would have worked perfectly for soaking up the sauce from the mussels but we were pretty full and trying to leave space for dessert. The only negative I have, if any, is that we had a bit of a cream overload between the mussels and the pie.


 There was a coconut cheesecake on the specials menu and I loooove coconut so we shared that and Dave had an Irish coffee too.


 Every bit of it was so delicious and we felt fit for nothing but a nap after all of it. If you have the opportunity to go, do it. 


I know I have an about page and you can find out a little bit of information about me there and if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll find out plenty but I just wanted to share some things that people probably (or possibly) don’t know about me here….

1. I only learned how to swim in 2011. 

I went to plenty of swimming lessons as a kid and was just so terrified of the water that I never seemed to get the hang of it. I went on a holiday to Cuba in 2011 and I learned the breast stroke. It’s still the only style of swimming I can do and I try to go swimming 3 mornings a week. (Operative word being ‘try’).

2. I’m left handed.

Yep! Part of the 10%. We even get our own day for goodness sake.  Funny story, when I started school, I had such a problem with writing properly. My teacher had to put a little star at the top left of my page because I was in a bad habit of writing right to left instead of left to right.

3. My middle name is Ann.

After my mother and her mother before her. I took the name Margaret for my confirmation which was my Dad’s mother’s name. 

4. I’m obsessed with protecting my skin from the sun.

I rarely ever wear less than SPF 30. I almost always wear SPF 50 on my face when I go abroad and for the last year I’ve worn SPF 30 on my face pretty much every day. I also have a slight obsession with skincare products in general & own waaaay too many!

5. I can watch One Tree Hill over and over. 

It’s my go to TV show when I want to binge watch something familiar or if I’m unwell. I would probably pee my pants if it made a comeback. 

6. I’m messy, yet organised.

I am soooo messy! My bedroom is NEVER totally tidy and I almost always have a chair-drobe or a floor-drobe BUT I have black & white storage boxes lining all my shelves with everything organised in them. I need to know everything has a home. 

7. I am awful at maths.

I mean seriously, hideously awful. I failed it in my Leaving Cert and with absolutely no effort put into getting better at it in the last 10 years, I now can’t do anything but add without a calculator. 

8. I  also have a really bad sense of direction. 

It’s an on-going joke in my family that I have to reset and go home if I want to find my way somewhere. I have to plan routes out in my head before I leave home. Google Maps saves my life regularly. 

9. My dream job is to be a party planner/event organiser.

Even though I get extreme anxiety about actually attending parties. Then I tend to almost always enjoy myself thoroughly. I  love the idea of organising them and not having to worry about attending them. 

10. I have one tattoo on the top of my back.

I got it 5 years ago in Thailand and it says ‘Ancora Imparo’, which means ‘I Am Still Learning’ in Latin. Michelangelo said it just before he died when he was 88 years old. 

This past weekend was a bank holiday weekend in Ireland so I thought I’d share my weekend in photos here. I shared a post like this a few years ago and I don’t know why I don’t do it more. There’s endless photos in my camera roll that never end up anywhere so I’m going to take the opportunity to share them here. (not pictured: drinks with friends on Friday, nachos for the Champion’s League Final on Saturday and drinks and dinner with Dave’s family on Sunday!)

Lady & Chief

Going Shopping in New Sandals Rasmopoliton

Dublin CityLadyCooling Down on a Warm Day

Chief

Picnics in the rainCar Picnic
A belly rub for Chief

1) Lady & Chief enjoying a lazy Friday afternoon (not sure there’s any other kind for them!),  2) Going shopping in my new sandals,  3) A razmo before dinner,  4) Dublin – Henry Street with a view of the Spire, 5) Lady looking a little fed up of having her picture taken, 6) nothing cures a hangover like an ice-pop, 7) Chief wishing he could have my ice-pop, 8) I was using my new picnic basket this weekend rain, hail or shine!, 9) picnic in the car, it is!, 10) If Chief rolls over and presents himself for a belly rub, you don’t say no!!

Me looking happy...

Me…looking happy! Duh!

 

I’ve decided to start a new mini series of posts that’s going to be made up of lots of different lists. I love lists. I find the idea of getting ‘to do’ lists down on paper really satisfying. I tend to like actually physically writing them down. I know this is really old school & there’s a bazillion apps to do the same job on our phones now, but I really enjoy the process of writing them down & crossing or ticking things off. I may actually write all of the lists down too.

This first list is a list of the little things that make me happy. I think we can focus waaaay too much of the physical things that make us happy and sometimes on the things we want & cant or don’t have so it’s nice to remember the little things…


Things that make me happy are…

  1. Good books that you get lost in & don’t want to put down.
  2. The smell after a well needed rainfall.
  3. Spending time with the people who make me forget that the world is sometimes an awful place.
  4. Music that triggers memories.
  5. Sunsets with a mixture of beautiful colours (particularly when I’m driving home from work – it lifts my mood).
  6. A shower on a cold day followed by clean pjs & fresh bed sheets.
  7. Family dinners.
  8. When people are polite.
  9. Waking up & realising there’s still lots of time left to sleep.
  10. Holding hands.
  11. Fallin asleep to the sound of rain.
  12. A great cup of tea.
  13. How excited my dogs get when I get home.
  14. Not setting an alarm for the morning.
  15. A smile from a stranger.
  16. Comfortable silences.
  17. TV shows binges.
  18. Taking photographs.
  19. Good hair days.
  20. Laughing until my belly hurts.

I’m sure there’s lots more so there may be another list of things that make me happy at some stage.

What makes you happy?

The 100 Day Project

I’ve decided to take part in The 100 Day Project which started today, 4th April 2017. I know most people tend to do something physically creative but that didn’t appeal to me because I knew it wouldn’t be something I would stick to for 100 days. I wanted to use the project to encourage me to blog more often but I really wanted to be realistic and saying I would release a blog post a day wasn’t realistic for me. As time goes on, I might decide on a number of posts to share within the 100 days but the plan for now is to spend time every day working on my blog. That will include planning, writing, sharing on social media, taking photos for posts, editing photos, researching and all the other things that go into blogging. I hope to post as much as possible on Instagram, ideally everyday but I don’t want to flood my feed with photos for the sake of it either.

If you haven’t heard about the project before check out Elle Luna’s Instagram here. You should also check out Elise Cripe’s podcast on her experience and plans for The 100 Day Project here. If you don’t see this on time, you can join in and start your 100 days anytime.

Have any of you decided to take part in the challenge? What will you be doing for 100 days?

I took part in Ali Edward’s ‘Day in the Life’ for the first time this year. Unfortunately I couldn’t do it on March 29th with everyone else so I did it on April 1st instead. I’m planning on incorporating the photos from the day into my Project Life album but I’m not sure how yet. I wanted to share all of my pictures here so other people can see what a day in my life looks like. As I was off work for the Easter holidays my day was spent at home which meant a lot more natural light than my work days would have. I used my iPhone 6 Plus to take all of my pictures. Next time I hope to have prepared a little better and take pictures of me using a timer rather than just selfies. I took all of my pictures using the Snapchat app so that I could save them and then add the time stamp to them and save them again. This meant I could move about my day a little quicker without having to pay too much attention to keeping a record of the times for each photo.

So here’s my day:

09.04am

09.04am | Messy bed // No work today as I’m still on Easter holidays from work // I was up until 3am last night so 9am isn’t bad.

09.15am

09.15am | Snuggles with Chief (for a little too long) // I like to do this on days that I’m not in work because I don’t have time on work days. He loves an ear rub // Lady was busy out the back garden barking at the neighbour’s cats.

09.52am

09.52am | Breakfast time // Soaked porridge with 0% fat Greek yoghurt and berries // I also took this time to scroll through my Instagram and Facebook feeds.

 

10.33am

10.33am | Brushing my teeth // Pyjamas and slippers // I have to use a soft toothbrush because my gums bleed very easily.

10.45am

10.45am | Pain Killers // My back is not as good as I thought it was so some paracetamol will help with the pain // Hopefully it will be back to normal tomorrow 

11.01am

11.01am | Organising my craft room // It’s a slow process but I’m getting an hour or two in each day while I’m off work // Trying to purge a lot of craft supplies // I’m also checking back over my files to see if I can minimise what I need to keep.

11.18am

11.18am | Purging & organising stickers // relocating my stickers from one of my Ikea Alex units to one of my Raskog carts with my Project Life kits // I find I forget to use them because they’re not kept with my kits. Hopefully this will remind me to use them more.

11.44am

11.44am | Purge complete, still organising // It’s taking a little bit longer than I thought.

12.37pm

12.37pm | Stickers on the bottom shelf of my two Raskog carts under my Project Life kits // I organised my Project Life kits alphabetically yesterday and added labels using my Brother label printer and black card // the black sack is for recycling.1.26pm

01.26pm | Time to put my make-up on and get dressed // Yes, I’m aware it’s the middle of the day but what’s the rush when you don’t have to leave the house.

1.51pm

01.51pm | OOTD // All black, everything.

2.13pm

02.13pm | Time to leave the house.

2.37pm

02.37pm | Lunch and a chat with my friend Jade // In a pub in the village I live in // Cajun Chicken on Ciabatta.

3.32pm

03.32pm | Hood is up because it’s raining // Irish weather is unpredictable // The sun was splitting the sky yesterday.

3.49pm

03.49pm | Food shopping // picking up some food for lunches and dinners over the weekend // I also got some flowers to brighten this rainy day.

4.04pm

04.04pm | Came home too these two guilty faces // The stuffing was pulled out of one of the cushions.

4.30pm

04.30pm | Flowers // cutting the stems of the flowers and putting them in vases // I’m also tidying the kitchen and putting the food shopping away.

5.01pm

05.01pm | Dropping in to Dad and Marian // I wanted to drop something in and stayed a while to chat.

5.07pm

05.07pm | Dad’s dogs // Chilling in their crate even though they don’t have to. 

5.28pm

05.28pm | Hair up // out of my way because I’m ready to sit down and finish off March’s One Little Word prompt before I check out April’s lesson.

5.39pm

05.39pm | Vision board for One Little Word // flicking through some magazines to find pictures that represent balance for my One Little Word vision board.

6.25pm

06.25pm | Spending time with Chief and Lady // I can work on my One Little Word prompt anywhere so I’m doing it in the living room so I can spend time with the dogs // even if they would prefer to just snuggle together and fall asleep // Chief fell asleep looking out the window // Lady is happy once shes snuggling near Chief.

07.05pm

07.05pm | A tea dinner with my Dad and Marian // A perfect Friday, rainy day dinner.

7.50pm

07.50pm | Nose biter // chatting to Dad and Marian while Klaus bites Dad’s nose.

8.28pm

08.28pm | More snuggling // the picture is blurry because the lighting is poor in that room but she’s too cute not to post it // I sat with Lady and Chief for another little while and watched the soaps.

9.43pm

09.43pm | Sweeping the floor // someone tell me how 1 woman and 2 dogs can make such a mess in 1 day // something tells me Lady brought a lot of this in from the back garden.

10.02pm

10.03pm | April’s One Little Word Lesson // sitting on my bed for a few minutes to check out this month’s lesson // reading the PDF, I’ll watch the video tomorrow.

10.19pm

10.19pm | Some more tidying // back to the craft room for another while // working through a box of miscellaneous things like thread, pens and notebooks.

12.41am

12.41am | Bedtime // technically not the same day but my bedtime is rarely before midnight // taking my make-up off in bed.

12.46am

12.46am | A little reading before I sleep.

 

Did any of you take part in Ali’s ‘Day in the Life’? How do you plan to document it?

 

image

I’ve always hated the word busy so when I first heard the term “Stop the glorification of busy”, it really stuck with me. Why is it that people think there is some pride to be had in being soooo busy, like it’s some sort of competition for whose life is more important? Why do people feel the need to express how busy they are all the time, as if they must surely be the only person with a lot to do? Why do people look at the idea of sitting down and relaxing or doing something for your own enjoyment as a sign of weakness? While thinking about this post I googled the definition of ‘Busy’ and the description was ‘having a great deal to do’ but the example was ‘he had been too busy to enjoy himself’. How awful is that? Life is short and I, for one, want to enjoy it as much as I can, so the next time I decide I’m too busy to do something fun, I’m going to have a long, hard think about how important the things I’m busy doing really are.

International Women's Day

everythinghistory.com (found on Pinterest)

 I’ve noticed a lot of people seem to trivialise and mock the idea of International Women’s Day. The purpose of it is to celebrate the social, economic, cultural & political achievements of women, as well as to draw attention to gender inequality. 

Have a look at the facts below and tell me if you think it’s important to have a day that brings attention to the inequalities suffered by women around the world. 

  • There are still countries today where women need their husband’s permission to get a job.
  • 78 countries in the world restrict the kind of work women can do. 
  • 2 out of 3 of the people in the world who cannot read & write are women.
  • Every year an estimated 15 millions girls under 18 are married worldwide, with little or no say in the matter.

Shouldn’t women celebrate the achievements of other women? Shouldn’t women try to bring attention to the suffering of other women around the world? Shouldn’t men acknowledge a day that celebrates the achievements & equality of their wives, mothers, daughters & sisters and fights for their equality?

So I say, celebrate the women you know today and come November, celebrate the men in your life.

Happy International Women’s Day! 

2015

Last year I wrote a similar post about my December plans. It’s probably my favourite month of the year. I love Christmas and I feel that the Christmas cheer starts the minute December does. I don’t like to engage in it too much before December but the odd little bit sneaks in. I just started my shopping this past weekend and I’ve bought my first present. So my plans for December are:

  1. Wish my friend Emsy a happy birthday today. Second last of the group to turn 28.
  2. My mam’s birthday is the tomorrow & we’re planning on going to see the Hunger Games at some stage this week.
  3. Think of ideas for what I might like for Christmas. My family always appreciate ideas, as do I.
  4. Take a trip to New York with some of my friends for shopping, drinking & soaking up the Christmas spirit. I can’t wait. I’ve only been once before but I love New York.
  5. Welcome my lovely friend Kiara and her little family home from Australia on the 9th after over a year. I still can’t believe they’re coming home and CANNOT wait to see them.
  6. Go to see the Riptide Movement in Whelan’s on the 11th.
  7. Possibly take part in The 12 Pubs of Christmas on the 12th. I haven’t done it before so I’ll decide closer to the time.
  8. Plenty of Christmas shopping.
  9. Christmas nails…it’s ridiculous how much I look forward to them.
  10. Christmas dinner & drinks with my friends from work/college.
  11. Kris Kindle night with my girls. A few drinks in one of our houses swapping presents followed by a night out.
  12. Go to the 2FM concert on the 23rd in the 3 Arena. There are lots of different acts playing including Hozier, The Riptide Movement (again! Stalking much?) and Gavin James. I’m really excited to see Gavin James. I should have seen him twice this year already but keep missing him, so hopefully third times a charm.
  13. Wrapping my presents.
  14. Enjoy drinking, eating and generally being merry.
  15. Spending Christmas Day with my lovely family.

Anyone else planning out their December?