Archives For June 2013

Over the May bank holiday, my husband and I, along with two friends near and dear to us, packed up and headed West for the weekend.  Only a few kilometers outside of County Dublin, we decided it was such a lovely day that we would head straight to the Cliffs of Moher instead of first heading into Galway City, where we were staying for the weekend. We hired a car for the weekend, and once we ventured off the motorway, what an experience driving through Ireland really is! The roads are narrow and bend and turn, but the scenery is absolutely unreal.  I got dizzy looking from window to window as we passed by farms, castles, castle ruins, and more.

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By the time we actually reached the Cliffs of Moher, the clouds had rolled in (that happens along the coast!) and it was clear at first, but as you can see from the photos, the fog moved in quickly. These pictures were probably taken about 10-15 minutes apart.

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Cliffs of Moher  (notice the cool little cave?!)

The Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most visited attractions.  The cliffs tower over 700 feet (214 meters) at the highest point (near O’Brien’s Tower) and stretch approximately 5 miles (8 kilometers) along the coast. At the southern end of the Cliffs stands Hags Head, a natural rocky promontory that resembles a seated woman when viewed from the north. In the ancient Gaelic language, the word Mothar means “ruined fort” and a 1st century BC fort stood where the tower now stands.

Cliffs0005Stag’s Head

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O’Brien’s Tower

If you are a Princess Bride fan, as I am, you’ll be delighted to know that the Cliffs of Moher were a filming location for the movie’s “Cliffs of Insanity”. There’s a little fun fact for you! Have you packed your bags yet?

Whether you live in Ireland or are here on holiday, make sure you plan a visit to the cliffs.  Even if the weather is gloomy, you can still take in the majestic views and appreciate the beauty of the coastline.  If you are fortunate enough to visit on a sunny and/or clear day, well, consider yourself incredibly lucky! Admission is only 6 Euro per person and you can spend hours walking up and down the stretch of coastline taking in the views.  Tour buses run from Dublin daily, but if you dare, hire a car and make the drive yourself.  County Clare is absolutely stunning, both at the coast and inland. You won’t regret it!

 

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I know, I know…I didn’t have a 30-Day Challenge for June. My bad.  I did offer advice to a friend of mine who decided to do a 30-day vegetarian challenge for the month, so, can I say I participated by proxy? Yeah, I know: No.  *sigh*

Well, all that aside, we are three days out from July and I just happened to get an email from a former co-worker containing a document with loads of green smoothie recipes in it. (30 days of green smoothies to be exact; from the Unconventional Kitchen).  My former co-worker knows how often I make green smoothies and also knows that I try to partake of 30-day challenges; Could this document by any more perfect?

Smoothie

In the past, when I’ve made green smoothies I’ve only ever used one recipe and modified it based on how I was feeling on that particular day.  No matter the fruits I added to my green smoothies, that recipe base always included kale and/or spinach. Let’s talk about a few different greens for just a second and what benefits you get from them:

Swiss Chard– Helps regulate blood sugar levels & high in Vitamin K
Kale– Anti-inflammatory, contains essential omega-3, & high in vitamin A
Collard Greens– Ability to help lower cholesterol & high fiber content aids in digestion
Spinach– Helps prevent disease & high in Vitamin K
Mustard Greens– High in folic acid & high in flavonoids that have been proven to prevent cancer
Bok Choy– Aids in weight loss: high fiber content aids in digestion, & high Vitamin C helps to strengthen immune system.
Dandelion Greens– High iron content, loaded with antioxidants, & has more protein per serving than spinach

I consume an insane amount of kale and spinach and I frequently cook collard & mustard greens as side dishes with dinner.  As for swiss chard, bok choy, and dandelion greens, well, I’ve not had the pleasure of encountering these greens yet.  It’s safe to say that this 30-day green smoothie challenge will be interesting! To keep some consistency in the challenge, I will either prepare my green smoothie as a replacement/supplement to breakfast, or will be preparing the smoothie post workout (to aid in my half marathon training!)

I discovered that the smoothie list was for subscribing members only, therefore I will not be publishing the list on the site (unless I can contact the owner and request permission).  I will however post pictures to Twitter and/or Instagram with the greens I used that day so you can follow along with my adventure (click the links at the top of my blog to find me).

Are you a green smoothie/juice maker? Any advice to give? Wish me luck!

Last week was quite a lovely week in Dublin. Warmer temperatures, sunny skies, and just all around cheer in the city.  I’ve noticed that about Dublin; everyone appreciates the nice days so much more than they do back in the states, and I can only suppose it is because there are normally so few of them.  (The weather has been favorable for us this summer, so, I have nothing to complain about outside of the unusually cold and snowy March/April, but ask any local and they’ll tell you our current weather situation is most definitely NOT the norm.)

On clear, sunny, warm days you’ll find no open green space in the parks, due to picnic lunch breaks, family time after school, or just lounging bloggers sipping coffee enjoying the sun. Any way you slice it, those are just the days you have to get out of the house! And since I had just received a package from my mom & sister (don’t get me started on the VAT import!), I decided to give my new skirt a tour of the town.

Close Up - OOTD 6.20.13 OOTD - 6.20.13 Shoes - OOTD 6.20.13 

Chevron patterns are all over the internet right now.  That’s why I loved this skirt when I saw it! I brought the outfit together with pops of coral color in my shoes and my lipstick.  At some point in time my hair even got long enough to put on top of my head into a “blogger bun” as my NY friends would call it.  I of course, kept the look causal by opting for the beloved plain white tee and throwing on a pair of sunnies.  

It definitely isn’t a typical look for a Dubliner, so, I did receive quite a few head turns walking around, but, sometimes a girl just needs color in her life! 

Outfit Details:
Skirt: The Other Foot Maxi skirt (all the way from Russellville, Arkansas) in green/white Chevron

 

Top: Pennys (not available online) plain white tee

Shoes: Dunnes Bow Pump in Coral

Lipstick: MAC Cosmetics in Vegas Volt

Do you own anything Chevron? How do you rock the pattern?

As a girl who has unbelievably dry skin, I’m always grateful when brands have products that hydrate and moisturize for a full day–I mean REALLY do these things, not just claim to.  Trust me, I’ve tried all too many products that did not hold up to their end of the bargain.

Benefit Lotion

I’ve had this Roger & Gallet “Lait Des Bienfaits” (translated as “milk of benefits”) body lotion sitting on my dresser for a few weeks now.  The lotion contains 5 antioxidant fruits (cranberry, pomegranate, blueberry, blackcurrant and cherry) and promises to nourish and hydrate for up to 24 hours (via aloe vera & kiwi extracts).  The signature blood orange & violet scent of the lotion is VERY strong.  Be warned, if you have a sensitive nose this product is likely not for you! I’m not one who generally likes powerful scents, but I was having a particularly dull, dry skin day last week so I decided to suck it up and give it a try.  And I’m really glad I did!

When you first slap the lotion on, the fragrance hits you, hard.  Luckily though, it dissipates quickly and while you might get a quick whiff throughout the day, you won’t be left with a headache–at least I wasn’t. The fragrances are also natural fragrances, so if you have sensitive skin you need not worry about irritation from perfumes in the lotion.  Bonus: the lotion itself is made with 93% natural ingredients.

Once applied, the lotion absorbed quickly and my skin immediately perked up and felt happy again. The lotion also does not leave behind an oily residue, or any residue for that matter, and since it absorbs so quickly you see instant results! I would recommend applying the lotion straight out of the shower to maximize the absorption of the benefits, but if you love the lotion more than the scent, try applying it before bed; this way you still benefit from the hydration but the smell is dulled by the time you wake up (and your sheets are left with a fresh scent!).

The best thing about this product? It really was still hydrating a full 24 hours later. The more I use this product, the more I love it and the less I notice the fragrance.  If you have dull, dry skin as I do, you should definitely look into purchasing the product and giving it a try.  Locally in Ireland, you can purchase the product from select Marks & Specer stores.  For worldwide locations, check out the Roger & Gallet website for a Stockist nearest you.

 

 

 

I’m sure by now many, if not all, of the blogosphere has watched the Dolce and Gabanna Summer 2014 Men’s Fashion Show that was held this past Saturday afternoon in Milan.  (If you were fortunate enough to be there, well, suffice it to say, I hope that someday I might be sitting amongst you!)

Men’s fashion is not a strong suit of mine, but I absolutely love watching the shows and seeing the designs transform in front of you as they move down the catwalk. Seeing as how D&G is one of my all-time favorite designers, I of course had to watch the show! I know it most certainly is not the same seeing it through your computer screen, but you can for a few minutes just imagine yourself front and center and take it all in regardless of physical presence!

The stage set-up for the show featured a single tree that towered behind the catwalk and the music really helped to set the stage.  The show opened with prints of an ancient temple, followed by dozens of perfectly tailored suits and additional printed pieces showcasing the Sicilian mythology inspiration behind the collection.

D&G Openers

The pieces featured different weaves of linen and linen organza and georgette, silk net, shantung and cotton in colours of white, beige, brown and black with touches of red, bright blue, silver and gold scattered throughout.

D&G Suits

According to the Press Release, “The Dolce & Gabbana Men’s Summer 2014 draws inspiration from Sicilian mythology, whose Greek origins are still retraceable in places such as the Valle dei Templi of Agrigento…Zeus represents creation and absolute force, while Apollo is the sun, the light, the positivity and the beauty….” Simply brilliant!

I have no doubt the show received extra press after last week’s arrest of the two founders for tax evasion. Though, if for some reason you haven’t had a chance to view the show, you really should check it out, here.  You should also check out the full collection in the Gallery to see all of the prints and the tailoring. It is a superb collection! What are your thoughts on the show and/or collection?