Joy to the world, the Chemex has come..

December 31, 2013

Boyfriend got me, amongst a plethora of other awesome gifts, a Chemex for Christmas. I’ve been a coffee lover for as long as I can remember and each year my coffee loving heights reach a higher level. I’ve been vaguely aware of Chemex brew coffee for a while although I never made the plunge. Since Christmas I’ve been indulging in two double shots of fine Chemex brew a day and each time the brew just gets better and better. To date, my main source of home-brew coffee has been french press. Now don’t get me wrong, french press is a totally acceptable method of coffee brew. However, I do get irritated by the sludge for cleanup and the oils and silt that make it into the brew. The Chemex overcomes these issues and produces the perfect silt and oil free coffee and the bonus is that it is an easy eco friendly clean up.
Chemex Coffee

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First post of 2013

December 31, 2013

Okay, so 2013 wasn’t my most productive of blogging years. I didn’t post one single blog all year but better late than never. 2013 has been an awesome year for me in many respects. Boyfriend and I got to full-fill one of out travel dreams and travelled to Iceland for a week with friends in June. Iceland lived up to expectations and we plan to go back at some stage in the future. We travelled in June and we met with 24 hours of daylight – it was never dark and we used the perpetual daylight hours to explore as many attractions as possible. Highlights include swimming in the Blue Lagoon, the many waterfalls, the black beaches, icebergs, nightlife, the people, and the food in general was amazing.
Here are some pictures to enjoy.
Reykjavik June 2013

Icebergs Southern Iceland June 2013

Gulfoss Waterfall Iceland June 2013

We also returned to Sitges, a favourite holiday village just south of Barcelona. Our break in Sitges was nice balance between relaxation on the beach and exploring the vibrant nightlife that Sitges has to offer. A standout bar this year was the Piano Bar, where we swooned the night away with a G&T in one hand and lapped up the poptastic tunes on the decks. Overall, great company, delicious food and bopping resort.
Stiges Promenade

Another highlight of 2013 was the design and buildout of our city garden. A picture (or three) paints a thousand words so here you go;
City Garden

City Garden Dublin

City Garden Dublin BBQ

Summer 2013 in Dublin, Ireland was glorious and we enjoyed many BBQs in our new fabulous city garden. Looking forward to doing it all over again in 2014.

A major highlight of the year was boyfriend graduating with a higher diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy. This a a very proud moment for me and we made sure that celebrated in style with a fancy lunch in the Cliffhouse on St Stephens Green.

2013 saw Boyfriend and I go back to the Electric picnic, 8 years after our last adventure in Stradbally, Co Laois. We went with a large group of friends and had a spectacular weekend. The standout performance was most definitely John Grant joined by the wonderful Sinead O’Connor in full glory. Rock on Sinead!!!

Thats all for now – Happy new year to one and all and may 2014 bring awesomeness to each and everyone of you…

2012 in review

December 31, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,200 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Check out my buns…

December 30, 2012

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With nothing sweet to eat in the house with a cup of tea I decided to try my hand at good old fashioned fairy cakes or buns as they were known in my childhood. My mom used to make huge batches of these tasty treats back in the day and they were famous in the neighbourhood.

Turns out they are actually really easy to make. Boyfriend kindly offered to help and as the saying goes ‘many hands make light work’ so we set out to make the doughy concoction of butter, flour, eggs, sugar and water as follows:

175g/6 tablespoons Odlums Self Raising Flour
125g/4 tablespoons Caster Sugar
125g Margarine (half a block)
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons cold Water

In order to spice them up we added some sultanas and a dash of vanilla paste. One can never have enough vanilla.

Tasty, tasty, very very tasty, they were very tasty…

A little piece of Vietnam on Parnell Street

December 29, 2012

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Boyfriend and I stumbled across Phò Viêt on Parnell Street, just off O’Connell Street in Dublin yesterday and decided to try it for dinner. We had been to Vietnam on vacation a few years back and were on the look out for authentic Vietnamese food in Dublin ever since our return. The restaurant itself is in a refurbished shop visible from the top of O’Connell Street and is pristine condition. This should entice other business in the area to upgrade their shopfronts as Phò Viêt really stands out from the crowd in Dublin’s version if Chinatown.

The starters on offer looked amazing and we found it difficult to choose so we decided to try three. We adore fresh spring rolls so we just had to try them or in Vietnamese, Gói Cuón. These were incredibly fresh and tasty and instantly brought back the Vietnamese trip memories. They were keenly priced at €3 for two rolls. Next up was the deep fried spring rolls or Chá Giò. These came as a threesome and were again flawless – very tasty indeed. The pastry nice and crisp and the filling varied and oozed flavour. These were also keenly priced at €3 for three rolls. We topped these off with the Grilled Jumbo Prawns or Tõm Núóng served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. These were juicy, succulent and bursting with flavour and cost a mere €5 for six prawns. Rock bottom prices for all three starters, probably the best value in Dublin.

Next up the mains. I went for the Phó Viêt Dãc Biêt aka the Pho Viêt Special with rare steak, lean well-done brisket and beef meat ball noodle soup. This was absolutely amazing. The meat succulent and the broth oozing with flavour. This was Vietnam in a bowl. Boyfriend ordered the CàRi Tòm, Vietnamese prawn curry served with boiled rice or baguette. Boyfriend went for the rice and it sent down extremely well. The curry source was delicious, again full of Vietnamese flavour and freshness. We liked the idea of serving hits with a baguette, the French influence coming through and may choose this an an accompaniment next time as we most definitely will be back.

The proprietors are waiting on the drinks licence but in the meantime punters are served Jasmine tea. This was a first for me and I loved it. A great compliment to the Vietnamese flavours.

The staff were great too, really friendly and knowledgable about the food on offer. Pho Viet should shake up the Chinatown of Dublin encouraging other eateries to up their game. The food, decor, shop front, friendly staff all add to the ambiance. Dublin has been crying out for such an establishment, a neighbourhood ethnic eatery that serves up great food and at great value. I predict boyfriend and I becoming regulars.

Kiehl’s of NYC

December 28, 2012

Boyfriend introduced me to the Kiehl’s range of skincare products and bought me this fabulous gift set or Christmas. I can’t wait to try them all.

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New Years Resolution

December 28, 2012

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2013 will be the year if the photograph. I plan to use the DSLR a lot more in the new year and take plenty of shots like this one, Griffith Avenue on St Stephens day morning.

Holidays Are Coming…

November 27, 2012

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Holidays are coming… Holidays are coming…
For my daily caffeine fix at work today, my single shot Americano was presented in this Christmas holiday themed cup. Too early for this??? No way, the earlier the better in my view (within reason).

Leaving paradise

September 18, 2012

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We leave Phi Phi today by longboat to Phuket for one night before visiting family in Singapore. We will miss Phi Phi, a true paradise if there ever was one.

Pic of the day

September 16, 2012

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I spotted these beautiful boats this morning on the way to breakfast. Location: Koh Phi Phi, Thailand.